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SOUTH CAROLINA REPRESENTATIVE CHAMPIONS RFA MISSION

State Rep. Goldfinch Introduces Bill to Take Black Sea Bass From Fed by Jim Hutchinson, Jr.

March 11 2013 - March 6, 2013 - Members of the South Carolina Chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-SC) have been working with freshman Republican state Representative Stephen Goldfinch to do whatever's possible to help ensure access for recreational anglers to fish stocks that have been closed due to draconian federal management measures. ... Read More

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CONGRESS SET TO DISCUSS FISHERIES THIS WEEK

RFA Says Anglers At Center of Magnuson & Cape Hatteras Debate

March 11 2013 - March 11, 2013 - The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is keeping a close eye on renewed activities by the 113th Congress with regard to improved angling access and opportunities in the future, and reports that the House Natural Resources Committee has a full schedule of critical debate planned for this week. ... Read More

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Gulf Council Seeking Public Comment

RFA Urges Anglers To Attend 1/17 & 1/22 FL Scoping Meetings

January 15 2013 - The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and its Florida chapters ask you now to stand up and be heard! On Thursday, January 17 (Destin) and Tuesday, January 22 (St. Petersburg), the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) is going out for scoping of public opinion of regional fisheries management. Both meetings are set to begin at 6 p.m. and will conclude no later than 9 p.m. ... Read More

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RFA SUBMITS PUBLIC COMMENT ON MENHADEN (11/16)

Urges Angler Caution When Signing Pledges & Petitions

November 21 2012 - The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) has spent considerable time reviewing the latest draft amendment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden and has officially submitted its comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) on behalf of RFA members nationwide. The deadline for public comment ended on Friday, November 16th. ... Read More

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CONGRESS TO BLAME FOR BLACK SEA BASS CLOSURE

Unrealistic Provisions In Magnuson Stevens Act Strike Again

October 23 2012 - The black sea bass fishery is rebuilt. However, the stock is too healthy for anglers to go fishing. According to the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), there are simply too many black sea bass along the East Coast which has led to too much angler success. Because the stock is so healthy, NOAA Fisheries will have no choice but to shut the fishery down for the next four months while considering how to take a huge chunk of the allowable catch away from anglers in 2013. ... Read More

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House panel pushes for Magnuson changes

By Richard Gaines , Staff Writer Gloucester Daily Times

August 06 2012 - The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee is pushing to finish a partial rewrite of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act before the August recess, the committee press secretary says.

Both houses of Congress are scheduled to stop work Aug. 6, and do not return for more than a month. Committee Press Secretary Crystal Feldman, however, said this week the goal was to have a bill that synthesizes reforms sought by several fishing industry advocates ready for the committee by that date. ... Read More

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House Approves Southerland Amendment Advancing Freedom for Fishermen

May 09 2012 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Steve Southerland, II applauded today House approval of an amendment that he introduced to prohibit federal funding for the expansion of Limited Access Privilege Programs, or "catch shares," for fisheries along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard. Southerland's amendment to the FY2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act was approved by a bipartisan 220-191 margin. ... Read More

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75% of Walton Foundation’s $30.5 million marine conservation money goes to seven groups

May 08 2012 - Last week the Walton Family Foundation released their 2011 funding report. They spent a total of $71.4 million, of which $30.54 million was specifically directed towards marine conservation.

In this area, most of the money went to seven major groups: ... Read More

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Tierney, others step up push for fishing reforms

April 10 2012 - Twenty-one congressmen, including John Tierney, whose district includes Gloucester and all of Cape Ann, have asked the House Natural Resources Committee to send to the full House federal fisheries regulatory reform legislation that was the subject of a bicoastal rally of commercial and recreational fishing interests on the Capitol grounds last month.

Most of those who wrote to Chairman Doc Hastings spoke at the March 21 "Keep Fishermen Fishing" rally. It drew about 1,500 fishermen and allies, reprising many fishermen's call to write explicit flexibility into the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the ire directed at NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco at an even larger rally at the same location in the winter of 2010. ... Read More

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Administration Refuses Public Additional Time to Weigh-In On Plan to Zone the Oceans

April 02 2012 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) has received notice from the Obama Administration that they will not agree to his request for a 90-day extension of the public comment period on the draft National Ocean Policy Implementation plan.

"President Obama issued an Executive Order imposing a new bureaucracy to zone the oceans that threatens to deter new economic investment, suppress job creation, restrict even recreational fishing, block energy development, and stretch far from the shore to affect farmers and inland communities. Given the high economic stakes, the vast amounts of new red-tape set to be unrolled, and the fact that some 15 agencies spent over two years devising this scheme, it's unreasonable that the Obama Administration won't allow the American people more than just 75 days to review and comment on it. This refusal to allow a thorough and open review of the plan to carry-out the President's Executive Order is another example of the Obama Administration prioritizing their job-destroying agenda over the livelihoods of Americans from coast to coast," said Chairman Hastings. ... Read More

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RALLY A HUGE SUCCESS!

By Jack Holmes and Hutch Hutchinson, Jr.

March 26 2012 - The second Washington, DC rally in the last couple of years came off without a hitch and definitely gave both the recreational and commercial fisher people an update on where our organizations have progressed. ... Read More

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RFA Calls ‘Keep Fishermen Fishing’ Rally A Win

Members of Congress Pledge to Fix Broken Fisheries Law

March 22 2012 - The second historic Keep Fishermen Fishing rally in Washington DC was deemed a success by organizers!

While the legislative line-up of speakers at yesterday's national fishermen's rally was impressive, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) said it was the commitments made by those powerful Members of Congress that turned the day into a win for America's coastal fishing communities ... Read More

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Scenes from the Rally

March 22 2012 - Click here to view photos from the Rally. ... Read More

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FLEXIBILITY IN REBUILDING AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT OF 2011

March 12 2012 - I wanted to make you aware of an important fisheries related bill that was just introduced in the SC House of Representatives: ... Read More

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Sportfishing Industry Applauds Senate Passage of Historic Conservation Legislation

The RESTORE Act provides critical funding for Gulf Coast restoration and land and water conservation

March 09 2012 - Alexandria, VA – March 8, 2012 - The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), along with the country's leading conservation and sportsmen's and women's organizations, applauds the Senate for passing the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act (S. 1400) as an amendment to the Senate transportation bill. Introduced by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), RESTORE represents extraordinary bipartisan consensus among lawmakers in the Gulf of Mexico region and beyond and is a crucial measure that ensures that 80 percent of the funds from the Clean Water Act and other penalties assessed in the wake of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill are used to pay for economic and environmental restoration projects in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Due to Senator Nelson's leadership, of particular importance to the sportfishing industry, is funding provided in RESTORE to establish a research, science and technology program aimed at improving Gulf fisheries management and monitoring. ... Read More

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IG to NOAA: New probe going forward

March 02 2012 - The Commerce Department inspector general's office has notified NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco that the investigation sought by two Massachusetts congressmen into the influences of non-government organizations on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its regional fishery management councils is going forward.

Inspector General Todd Zinser agreed to the probe last October in a letter to Congressmen John Tierney and Barney Frank. They had requested the investigation in an Aug. 17 letter to Zinser. ... Read More

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Rep. Southerland Speaks Out.

February 29 2012 - At a town meeting in Destin, Florida U.S. Representative, Steve Southerland discussed his disdain for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “I’m very disappointed with the job they are currently doing,” he said. Southerland said he has become acutely aware of the plight of Gulf Coast fishermen in his two years in Congress, and believes they are being pushed out of business by legislation, specifically the Magnuson-Stevens Act. ... Read More

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Meeting with U.S. Representative Steve Southerland

February 27 2012 - While we were at the Miami Boat Show last week, Jack and I had the opportunity to spend Saturday afternoon and late into the evening with Florida's U.S. Congressional Representative Steve Southerland from Florida District 2 (Panama City through Tallahassee). What a learning experience it was. Steve is on the Fisheries Committee and is raising all kinds of hell with NOAA and the NMFS. He along with several other U.S. Senators and Congressmen are going to speak at our Rally in Washington on March 21st . While NOAA is pushing FISH'S rights down our throat, Steve and several of his co-horts are fighting for FISHERMEN'S rights in Washington. Everyone should make an effort to attend this important Rally. ... Read More

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Kerry, Brown to speak at fishing rally

February 24 2012 - Both Massachusetts' U.S. senators, Democrat John Kerry and Republican Scott Brown, have accepted invitations to speak at the second multi-coastal fishermen's rally, titled "Keep Fishermen Fishing," in Washington, D.C. on March 21.

Kerry has long been engaged in fisheries issues, but was not one of the two dozen federal lawmakers to participate in the 2010 "United We Fish" D.C, rally which galvanized a general resistance along the coasts to Obama administration fisheries policies and launched a movement to modify the Magnuson-Stevens Act. ... Read More

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Walter Jones Speaks Against NMFS

February 22 2012 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) spoke out against the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) proposal to transition the Atlantic shark fishery into a catch share management system. An aide to Congressman Jones delivered a letter from Jones to Sam Rauch, Acting Assistant Administrator of NOAA Fisheries, at a public comment session at Manteo Town Hall. Jones could not be there in person due to previously scheduled votes in the House of Representatives. ... Read More

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U.S. Coastal Fishermen Rally in Washington, D.C. - March 21, 2012!

It's long since past time to fix the Magnuson Act and put recreational fishermen back on the water.

February 22 2012 - The date was February 24, 2010, the place, a small park alongside the Capitol Building where full sessions of the House of Representatives and Senate were underway. An army of over 5,000 recreational and commercial fishermen descended on the park in an orderly and respectful show of force to tell our elected representatives that legislation they passed in 2007 was not working and was, in fact, putting thousands of American fishermen, both commercial and recreational, along with people in the industries that are supported by fishing OUT OF BUSINESS! And the shame was it was totally unnecessary. The rally featured a host of speakers from the recreational and commercial fishing community, organizers of the event, and a handful of Congressmen and Senators who seemed genuinely concerned with our plight and addressed the crowd. Noticeably absent, representatives of the sportfishing and boating trade associations, who, it was later reported, were working behind the scenes to thwart the efforts of the fishermen at the rally, something that has not been forgotten to this day. ... Read More

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THE NY TIMES, TEDDY ROOSEVELT & A BIG WOODEN FISH NAMED PEW

By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.

February 13 2012 - There was big news over Christmas break for those interested in “who owns what media outlet,” as the far left-leaning New York Times announced it was selling off 16 of the regional newspapers it had gobbled up over the past two decades. According to reports, Halifax Media Holdings LLC, of which Stephens Capital Partners of Little Rock, Arkansas is the majority owner, has purchased the local news outlets for approximately $143 million.

Stephens Capital Partners is owned by Warren Stephens of Little Rock, though their Halifax Media division was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Included in the sale were Florida newspapers like the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, The Ledger in Lakeland, Star-Banner in Ocala, News Chief in Winter Haven and the Gainesville Sun in Gainesville. ... Read More

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THOUSANDS OF COASTAL FISHERMEN TO RALLY IN WASHINGTON DC ON MARCH 21

February 13 2012 - In another historic show of solidarity, U.S. recreational and commercial fishermen will gather at Upper Senate Park in Washington DC on March 21, 2012 starting at noon in an organized demonstration supporting sensible reform of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.

This is a follow-up to a rally in February of 2010 that brought some 5,000 recreational, commercial and party/charter vessel owners, fishermen and people in fisheries dependent businesses from all over the country to Washington. Twenty plus Members of the Senate and House of Representatives spoke regarding efforts to reform Magnuson. ... Read More

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New Method Improves Catch Estimates

WHAT IS NOAA'S NEW METHOD AND WHY WAS IT DEVELOPED?

February 01 2012 - The Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP, is the new way NOAA Fisheries is collecting, analyzing and reporting recreational fishing data. The program brings scientists and stakeholders together to evaluate the way we've done things in the past and constantly work toward ever more reliable and trusted data. In January of 2011, the MRIP team finalized an ambitious overhaul of the way NOAA calculates recreational catch: We have corrected assumptions about how different factors might affect catch rates, and developed a new method to produce more accurate estimates. This method is being used to recalculate previous estimates dating back to 2004, and will be the basis for all new estimates moving forward. In the coming months, pre-2004 estimates will also be recalculated. ... Read More

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Fishing Rights Alliance Call To Action - Gulf AJ and other issues

January 31 2012 - Time to take some action. You should contact the Gulf Council via email by Wednesday afternoon. After their vote on Thursday, you may be urged to contact your Governor.

The Council is taking public input at their full meeting in Mobile, AL this week. Since it is a long drive and many of you feel ignored by most of the council, you can simply put your comments in an email. The email addresses are all grouped together below for your convenience. ... Read More

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REVISIONISM AND REFORM

An Op-Ed Response From U.S. Fishermen

January 31 2012 - A recent national opinion piece jointly written by Lee Crockett of Pew Environment Group and Dr. Bill Hogarth of the Florida Institute of Oceanography is titled Putting Fish Over Politics - had news editors been aware of the history of fisheries management as it relates to these two former federal employees, we’re sure that editors would’ve agreed a better title might’ve been U.S. Revisionist History By Bureaucrats Turned Lobbyists. ... Read More

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Keep Fishermen Fishing Blog

January 31 2012 - Give it a look at http://fixmagnusonnow.blogspot.com/. Any additions etc., just add them as comments. Suggestions, post 'em here (or let me or Susan Chambers know off line). I'll post permanent links to the other sites later today. Nils Stolpe ... Read More

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Pew opposition to S.1916

January 24 2012 - Email exchange between Bob Zales and Jim Donofrio. ... Read More

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U.S. Coastal Fishermen to Rally in DC March 21

“Keep Fishermen Fishing” Organizers Unite to Fix Federal Fisheries Law

January 24 2012 - In another historic show of solidarity, U.S. recreational and commercial fishermen will gather beside the U.S. Capitol on March 21, 2012 in an organized demonstration supporting sensible reform of the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act).

Signed into law in 1976, in recent years the Act has been transformed from its original intent, to conserve our nation’s fish and support our nation’s fishermen, into a weapon employed by a handful of mega-foundations and the anti-fishing ENGOs they support to drive fishermen off the water. ... Read More

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RFA THROWS WET BLANKET ON CATCH LIMIT FIESTA

Enviro's & Media Praise ACLs Which Some Say "Lack Legitimacy"

January 11 2012 - As widely reported this week by Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin, the U.S. has become the first nation to impose annual catch limits on its fisheries. While many of the environmental groups interviewed (including Pew Environment Group and Natural Resources Defense Council) are applauding NOAA Fisheries efforts to roll-out annual catch limits and accountability measures to meet the 2011 deadline, not everyone is pleased. ... Read More

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HOUSE COMMITTEE TO HOLD MAGNUSON HEARING

Congress To Address Federal Fisheries Reform on December 1

November 30 2011 - After 5 years of widespread fishing closures, strict seasonal restrictions, diminished angler access and participation, and staged protests and rallies at government offices throughout the country, Congress is finally set to hear debate about problems with the federal fisheries law. This Thursday, December 1, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a legislative hearing on bills to amend the Magnuson Stevens Act. The full Committee hearing will be held starting at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room 1324 in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington DC and will be broadcast live via the web at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live. ... Read More

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THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL’S PUSH FOR SECTOR SEPARATION

CATCH SHARES, AND A RECREATIONAL FISHING SHUTDOWN

November 28 2011 - Recently, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has set its sector separation and catch shares sights on the Gulf of Mexico commercial and recreational fishery. The EDF is using and funding shell organizations that purport to be the voice of the recreational and commercial Gulf fishermen in order to further their catch shares agenda. Organizations such as Save Our Sector and the Charter Fishermen's Alliance that support sector separation for recreational fishermen along with the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fishermen's Shareholder Alliance and the Gulf Fishermen's Association that support catch shares for commercial fishermen are hoping to lead our legislators to believe they speak for the majority of the Gulf of Mexico fishermen. ... Read More

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GULF COAST LEGISLATORS OPPOSE CATCH SHARE PLAN

Rep. Southerland (FL) Spearheads Efforts To Protect Open Access

November 15 2011 - Little more than one week after 19 members of the House of Representatives requested language be included in the 2012 appropriations bill to help restrict use of funds for development of new catch share programs in the New England, Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic regions, 25 legislators have responded in kind to help protect access in the Gulf of Mexico.

Spearheaded by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), the bipartisan letter sent to House leadership this week sends a clear and concise message to Congress that coastal legislators on both sides of the aisle are not happy with NOAA Fisheries attempt to respond to fisheries management issues through privatization schemes which limit fishing participation. "Just as Members who have Atlantic coastlines in their districts desire to keep new job-killing catch share programs from being implemented, so too do we, the undersigned Gulf Coast members," the letter reads. ... Read More

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NOAA REQUESTS $54 MILLION TO REDUCE FISHING EFFORT

RFA Says Agency Seeking Congressional Aid to Destroy Fishing Communities

November 03 2011 - In a bold attempt to take control of our nation's coastal resources, NOAA Fisheries has asked Congress for an additional $54 million in funding for catch shares, while simultaneously turning their back on the agency's scientific deficiencies in managing marine fisheries.

While Atlantic and Gulf Coast fishermen and legislators have openly rallied in opposition to this particular takeover scheme, NOAA Fisheries, led by an agenda-driven ideology to reduce fishing participation, continues to run roughshod over coastal constituents in clear violation of legislative order. ... Read More

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National Park Service Plans to Shut Anglers Out of Biscayne National Park

Park officials shun stakeholders and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by proposing large marine reserves

October 31 2011 - National Park Service officials at Biscayne National Park released a draft General Management Plan (GMP) which, despite opposition from numerous stakeholders and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), proposes to close over 20 percent of the park's public waters to recreational fishing and other activities. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) urges its members, and anyone concerned with their ability to access public waters, to provide input on the GMP before the Monday, October 31 deadline. ... Read More

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RFA & NOAA IDEOLOGIES CLASH AT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE

Lubchenco Takes A Licking, While Donofrio Keeps Ticking Off Bureaucrats

October 31 2011 - For the second week in a row, Jim Donofrio of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco appeared together in a panel discussion concerning national ocean policies. However, while Dr. Lubchenco received a rather warm embrace by last week's hosts at the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), she was met with a chillier reception during a much more critical line of questioning by Congressional representatives sitting on a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington DC. ... Read More

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ELECTED OFFICIALS CALL FOR NOAA CHIEF’S OUSTER

RFA's Jim Donofrio Expected To Continue Theme At Miami Conference

October 20 2011 - As reported recently, and rather repeatedly in the Gloucester Times out of Massachusetts, a growing cadre of New England legislators is calling on President Obama to replace NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco.

Not one to keep his opinions in check, Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) told the Gloucester Times, "This is the most corrupt administration in modern history." ... Read More

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NOAA/NMFS GIVES SOUTHEAST ANGLERS THE FINGER

Flawed Federal Law Provides Fisheries Service Cover to Close Fisheries

October 17 2011 - On October 7, NOAA Fisheries and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determined that the 2011/2012 recreational annual catch limit of black sea bass had been reached. Using survey data which the National Research Council (NRC) in 2006 called "fatally flawed" and inadequate for making fishery management decisions, NMFS determined that the annual catch limit of 341,747 pounds of recreationally caught black sea bass has already been reached, resulting in a closure of the fishery in federal waters from Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina to Key West, FL, effective October 17at 1 minute past midnight. ... Read More

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RFA-GA CHAPTER TO MEET 11/5 IN THUNDERBOLT

Saltwater Anglers Encouraged To Join Political Effort To Open Fishing Access

October 13 2011 - Georgia saltwater anglers should mark their calendars for November 5, 2011, as the Georgia chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-GA) will be holding its next group membership meeting. The social hours start around noon with the meeting set to start at 2 p.m. at Tubby's Tank House restaurant in Thunderbolt, GA (2909 River Drive). ... Read More

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PALLONE INTRODUCES COMPREHENSIVE FISHERIES REFORM BILL

RFA Says Industry Agrees Magnuson Is "Flawed and Must Be Modified"

September 29 2011 - In response to the growing chorus of support for fisheries reform, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) today announced the reintroduction of legislation designed to amend the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011 (HR 3061) would extend the authorized time period for rebuilding certain overfished fisheries, while also calling on the scientific and statistical committees to provide regional fishery management councils with annual reports on the process used in their recommendations. ... Read More

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CONGRESS TO ADDRESS “BURDENSOME” PRESIDENTIAL ORDER

RFA Applauds House Committee Hearing On Enviro "End Run"

September 29 2011 - In March of 2010, ESPN Outdoors created a national controversy in claiming that President Obama "wants to ban sport fishing." While the Walt Disney owned media giant has since distanced themselves from the opinion piece (along with saltwater fishing programming in general) following a wave of angry mainstream media response, the underlying truth in the report about how the President's federal strategy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing" is still alive and kicking and headed towards a Congressional hearing. ... Read More

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Boaters Opposed to Increased Ethanol

September 26 2011 - FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — With the EPA recently allowing fuel companies to increase the amount of ethanol found in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent, the move could mean more damaged boat engines for unsuspecting owners who use the fuel. Ethanol increases the acidity of the fuel, which in older boats and motors can dissolve fuel tanks and lines, which can ultimately damage, clog and stall engines. A recent survey conducted by AnglerSurvey.com found most anglers who boat were unaware of the increase in ethanol and the threat the change poses. Asked if they were aware of the increase in permissible ethanol levels, 55.9 percent of respondents said “no,” while only 41.2 percent reported being aware of the change. ... Read More

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NC FISHERMEN ENCOURAGE WALMART BOYCOTT

RFA Praises Captains For Pressing Walton Family's Corporate Ethics

September 16 2011 - The North Carolina Watermen United (NCWU) this week sent a letter to the Global Ethics Office at Walmart informing them of the group's intention to boycott the store immediately. The NCWU announcement comes as a result of the Recreational Fishing Alliance's (RFA) call for a nationwide Walmart boycott by U.S. fishermen in light of the corporation's support of catch shares and marine reserves. ... Read More

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RFA CHARGES PEW WITH RUNNING BAIT & SWITCH

Campaign Uses Angler Support of "More" Science To Lobby For "Less"

September 07 2011 - The big criticism in America today is that nothing ever gets done in Congress. As a political action organization that represents recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on saltwater fishing issues, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is confronted by this stark reality on a daily basis. ... Read More

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WALMART MAY SOON BEGIN TO FEEL ANGLER BACKLASH

RFA Said Nationwide Protests Against Walton Family Are Expected

August 22 2011 - The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) says angler and business response to the group's call for a nationwide Wal-Mart boycott have been overwhelming, to the point that coastal communities can expect to see some grassroots protest begin very soon outside of their local Wal-Mart corporate chain location.

"We've had calls of support from both coasts, even from a few Midwest bass fishermen, our nation's anglers are extremely agitated by the Walton Family Foundation's actions," said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio. "When you spend your hard-earned money on fishing tackle only to learn that the profits are being used to close down fishing access, it gets folks justifiably upset." ... Read More

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WAL-MART GIVES $36 MILLION TO ANTI-FISHING GROUPS

RFA Says Walton Family Foundation Supports MPA & Catch Share Efforts

August 17 2011 - Wal-Mart announced this week its efforts to help fund the demise of both the recreational and commercial fishing industry while also working to ensure that the next generation of sportsmen will have less access to coastal fish stocks than at any point in U.S. history.

In August 16th news release from Wal-Mart corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Walton Family Foundation announced investments totaling more than $71.8 million awarded to various environmental initiatives in 2010, with over $36 million alone handed over to Marine Conservation grantees including Ocean Conservancy, Conservation International Foundation, Marine Stewardship Council, World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). ... Read More

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Walter Jones introduces bill to require Regional Fishery Councils and Science & Statistical Committe

The following was released by the office of Congressman Walter Jones:

August 02 2011 - Yesterday U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) introduced legislation to bring sunlight to the proceedings of federal fisheries managers. H.R. 2753 - The Fishery Management Transparency and Accountability Act - would require the federal Regional Fishery Management Councils and the Science and Statistical Committees (SSC) to broadcast their meetings live over the Internet. It would also require the Councils to make transcripts and video/audio recordings of these meetings freely available to the public through their websites for three years after the meetings. Congressman Jones was alerted to the need for this legislation after hearing from fishermen who wanted to follow the Council's proceedings but could not do so due to the time and expense involved with attending in person. ... Read More

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Menhaden: 42 Stakeholders tell ASMFC a rushed decision could trump scientific facts

August 01 2011 - Forty two individuals from Maine to North Carolina, who are involved in the menhaden reduction industry or who rely on menhaden to sell as bait to crabbers and lobstermen have written to the chair of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in advance of a scheduled meeting next week to express concern that a rushed decision by the commission could trump careful consideration of scientific facts regarding the status of the fishery. ... Read More

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‘EVIL DEFENSE’ LOBBY FIRM BUILDS FISHY CLIENT LIST

RFA Says Legislators Aren't Fooled By Mock Fishing Masqueraders

July 27 2011 - Former New York Republican Congressman James Walsh is now lobbying his congressional friends in DC on behalf of catch shares and the privatization of our coastal fish stocks. According to the Legal Times, Walsh is among members of the K&L Gates government affairs practice who've notified Congress that they are now advocating for the South Atlantic Fishermen's Association, having received $10,000 from the group between April 1 and June 30 for its advocacy efforts. ... Read More

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GULF SNAPPER SEASON CLOSED AS OF THIS MORNING

RFA Expects Red Snapper On Gulf Council August Agenda

July 19 2011 - The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) reminds anglers that the recreational season for Gulf of Mexico red snapper in federal waters is now officially closed. According to a release from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) issued late last week, the closure which went into effect this morning "was established to limit the harvest of red snapper in the Gulf and help rebuild overfished stocks so that anglers can enjoy better red snapper fishing in the future." ... Read More

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ARE PRESERVATION GROUPS ATTACKING YOUR RIGHT TO FISH?

RFA Applauds Big Game Fishing Journal For Tackling National "Conspiracy" Issue

July 13 2011 - For more than a decade, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) has been extremely vocal about the infusion of preservationist rhetoric and funding coming into the world of fisheries management. RFA Executive Director Jim Donofrio lobbied extensively from 2004 to 2006 to defend the recreational fishing community against an onslaught of anti-fishing agenda, which began with the heavy-handed implementation of no take marine reserves off the California coast, continuing through the inclusion of ultra-restrictive measures included in the 2006 federal reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSRA). ... Read More

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SENATORS PUSH FOR BOAT TAX ROLLBACKS

RFA Warns of Return to Early 90's Coastal Job Killing Days

July 11 2011 - President Barack Obama called key congressional leaders together for meeting on Sunday night to negotiate a deficit-reduction package in hopes of preventing the U.S. government from defaulting on its financial obligations if a $14.29 trillion borrowing limit isn't raised by August 2. The president is pressing Republicans to accept new tax revenues, with leading Democrats looking to make changes to entitlement packages as part of a comprehensive agreement. ... Read More

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RFA WELCOMES NEW SUPPORT FOR MAGNUSON REFORM

Calls On Industry & Congress To Unite In Effort To Fix Federal Fisheries Law

June 28 2011 - Nearly 5 years of political pressure by grassroots political activism along the coast seems to be paying off for recreational fishermen and business owners, as a new piece of legislation introduced before Congress last week (HR 2304) shows that Congress is beginning to recognize the plight of the saltwater angler.

According to the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) which has publicly led the charge for fisheries reform, the Fishery Science Improvement Act (FSIA) sponsored by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) and supported by the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus attempts to address some of the key issues impacting angler access to healthy, rebuilding fisheries stock. In a release issued by the legislative caucus last Friday, HR2304 would address key elements of the current Magnuson Stevens Act, including setting of annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) using current scientific stock assessments as well as extending rebuilding deadlines for non-overfished stocks of fish. ... Read More

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RFA PRESSES FOR COMPREHENSIVE FISHERIES REFORM

Angler Advocacy Groups Says ACL's, AM's & Arbitrary Deadlines Killing Industry

June 17 2011 - Ever since President Bush signed off on the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSRA) in 2007, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) has been loudly sounding the alarm with regard to diminishing angler access. ... Read More

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FWC asks anglers to help with red snapper research

June 15 2011 - Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) request angler assistance with a research project focusing on red snapper caught in Florida offshore waters. This project will provide fisheries researchers and managers with vital catch-and-release survival information needed for assessing the status of this important recreational fishery. ... Read More

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Congressmen Frank and Tierney express concern on Bryson nomination

June 13 2011 - Congressmen Barney Frank and John Tierney of Massachusetts issued a joint statement on President Obama's nomination of John Bryson as Secretary of Commerce noting "to our knowledge, no one concerned with the fishing industry was given any chance to have input on the nomination of the proposed new Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, and we were especially troubled to see that the number one credential listed for him outside of his business experience was membership in the National Resources Defense Council. There are many aspects of the NRDC's work with which we agree, but they have unfortunately been one of those environmental organizations that has reflexively attacked the fishing industry inaccurately and without any real environmental basis. For the President to nominate someone for the position of Secretary of Commerce, without consultation with those of us most concerned with fairness for fishing, and for the NRDC membership to be listed as one of his major qualifications is troubling." ... Read More

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NOAA Fisheries Science: A Guess, a Coin-Flip, and a Kick in the Teeth

June 13 2011 - Protecting our national fish stocks from ruin by overfishing is a national imperative that requires both good management and solid science. NOAA, the agency responsible for managing our fisheries, is incapable of even adequate management, as shown by a recent independent review by Preston Pate. ... Read More

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RFA BOARD MEMBER RESPONDS TO “INFLEXIBLE” MANAGEMENT

"Jobs Are Being Lost" Due to Red Snapper & Black Sea Bass Limits

May 26 2011 - While the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is continuing to pressure federal legislators to help fix a fatally flawed federal fisheries law, coastal fishermen in every state have been taking to message boards, club meetings and newspaper columns to blast away at fisheries managers for not listening to the angling community with regard to flawed science. ... Read More

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The Big Green Money Machine – how anti-fishing activists are taking over NOAA

May 24 2011 - For the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won't take too much of any species from the sea, one of the nation's top fishery scientists says.” This is from an article written by Jay Lindsay for the Associated Press and the top fishery scientist is Steve Murawski, who retired early in 2011 as Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor at NOAA Fisheries. So why are so-called “marine conservationists,” ENGOs, the handful of billion dollar foundations that support them and the upper echelons at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce still claiming that radical surgery is needed to “save” our fisheries? The answer to that question is beyond me, and beyond anyone who’s likely to be looking at this website. ... Read More

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SOUTH CAROLINA SENDS FISHING MESSAGE TO CONGRESS

RFA-SC Praises State Legislators For Helping Take Up Access Fight

May 13 2011 - The South Carolina Legislature is sending the U.S. Congress a message from the entire state about what saltwater recreational fishermen and countless businesses desperately need; a resolution urging Congress to adopt S. 632, the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act, has been introduced in the South Carolina statehouse by Representative Kevin Ryan of Georgetown, SC. ... Read More

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Congressmen Pallone, Jones Request NOAA Suspend Catch Shares Programs

May 03 2011 - Congressmen Walter Jones and Frank PalloneJr., made a bipartisan request to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco asking that Catch Share Programs be suspended in the wake of the signing into law of the "Jones Amendment". ... Read More

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Establishment of a June - July Closed Season

for the Recreational Harvest of Greater Amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico

May 02 2011 - NOAA Fisheries Service has published a final rule to establish a June 1 through July 31 seasonal closure for recreational harvest of greater amberjack in or from the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) federal waters. The intended effect of the rule is to maintain the rebuilding plan targets for the overfished greater amberjack resource, reduce the likelihood of exceeding the recreational quota for greater amberjack, minimize the length of in-season quota closures for greater amberjack during peak recreational fishing months, and increase social and economic benefits for Gulf recreational fishers by maximizing the number of fishing days available to the recreational sector. ... Read More

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GROUPER CLOSURE DOCUMENTS KEPT FROM PUBLIC

May 02 2011 - An eight month closure of gag grouper, a premier offshore species for west Florida anglers, is on the verge of becoming law for the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, under the supervision of National Marine Fisheries Service, sets the rules for fish caught in federal waters. ... Read More

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RFA CALLS FOR A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF SAFEWAY SUPERMARKET CHAIN

Campaign To Educate Corporate Giant On Anti-Fishing "Greenwashing"

May 02 2011 - Recreational fishermen are being urged to Stay Away From Safeway!

According to a recent press release from Safeway, the corporate grocery giant is openly endorsing California's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) initiative under which large areas of state waters are being closed - possibly forever - to public fishing access. The Recreational Fishing Alliance's (RFA) California chapters are asking anglers on every coast to help send the message to Safeway that we have a right to fish! ... Read More

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Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Quota Increases and Recreational Red Snapper Season

May 02 2011 - NOAA Fisheries Service has published a final rule implementing increases in the commercial and recreational red snapper quotas in the Gulf of Mexico from 3.542 and 3.403 million pounds (MP) to 3.66 and 3.525 MP in 2011, respectively. A recent red snapper assessment update projected overfishing (rate of removal is too high) ended in 2009, and therefore, the total allowable catch can be increased from the existing 6.945 MP to 7.185 MP. This action was evaluated in a regulatory amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. The final rule published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2011. ... Read More

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Mercury Marine Gives Support to Sportsmen’s Effort to Restore Louisiana’s Vanishing Coastal Wetlands

May 02 2011 - New Orleans - Mercury, a marine industry leader in manufacturing and sales of outboard, inboard and stern drive engines, gauges and controls, today added its name to a rapidly growing list of businesses and organizations to sign a letter urging Congress to dedicate the resources needed to restore Louisiana's vanishing coastal wetlands. ... Read More

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Fishing catch shares suddenly become hot ‘commodities’

Investment execs had head start on New England industry future

April 22 2011 - Two months before the Environmental Defense Fund achieved a political policy triumph with the vote last week to transform the New England groundfishery from a commonly held resource into negotiable commodities, a bullish EDF executive was urging institutional investors to buy these catch shares.

EDF vice president David Festa's projection was a 400 percent return on the investment, based on what he said was recent experiences with the imposition of catch shares in other fisheries. ... Read More

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Jones Amendment to block catch shares passes; headed to President’s desk

April 15 2011 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today Congress approved legislation (H.R. 1473) to fund the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011 which includes a version of an amendment offered by Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) to block funding for approval of new fisheries catch shares programs. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) had proposed to spend $36 million to institute new catch share programs, which would destroy commercial and fishing jobs and communities across the country. The Jones amendment to block this funding was originally approved by the House on February 19, 2011 with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 259 to 159. The language will prohibit the federal government from using any Fiscal Year 2011 funds to approve new catch shares programs for fisheries along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1473 this afternoon, and the bill is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by the President by Friday night. ... Read More

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JONES AMENDMENT BLOCKING CATCH SHARES MAY PASS SENATE

RFA Says Bill Could Get President's Signature By Friday Night

April 15 2011 - According to Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Congress is set to approve legislation (H.R. 1473) to fund the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011 which includes a version of an amendment which would block funding for approval of new controversial fisheries catch shares programs. ... Read More

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RFA SOUTHEAST MEMBERS URGED TO ATTEND PUBLIC HEARINGS

South Atlantic & Gulf Councils Taking Public Comment on Cobia and Mackerel

April 12 2011 - Federal fishery managers are now soliciting public input on measures proposed for species managed jointly by the South Atlantic (SAFMC) and Gulf of Mexico Councils (GMFMC), including king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. Annual catch limits (in pounds or numbers of fish) and accountability measures (AMs) must be set for these species by the end of 2011, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act to prevent overfishing, and measures will impact both commercial and recreational fishermen who fish in federal waters along the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico. According to the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), Southeast anglers who target these particular fisheries should take particular note of what's on the agenda. ... Read More

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FWC wraps up 2-day meeting in Havana

April 07 2011 - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wrapped up its two-day meeting Thursday in Havana, learning that Rodney Barreto is stepping down from his chairmanship of the seven-member board.

Despite accolades from his fellow commissioners, Barreto described himself as an “advocate of term limits” and thanked staff for their unwavering service. ... Read More

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FWC proposes more protection for permit

April 07 2011 - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed several draft rule amendments on Wednesday to further enhance and protect Florida’s permit fishery, while also strengthening management of the Florida pompano and African pompano fisheries.

“Permit is a major recreational game fish and a big reason why Florida is the ‘Fishing Capital of the World,’” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “We want to give permit, Florida pompano and African pompano more protection and increase the enforceability of our current rules by extending our rules into federal waters adjacent to Florida waters, where these species are currently unregulated.” Federal waters extend beyond nine nautical miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico and three miles from shore in the Atlantic Ocean. ... Read More

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FWC approves conditional Gulf amberjack recreational closed season

April 07 2011 - he Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Wednesday approved a rule amendment to establish a two-month closed recreational harvest season for amberjack in Gulf of Mexico state waters that would be consistent with anticipated new rules in Gulf federal waters. Gulf amberjack are considered to be overfished and undergoing overfishing.

The FWC believes that applying the same closed recreational harvest season for amberjack in Gulf state waters (inside nine nautical miles from shore) as in federal offshore waters would maximize fishing opportunities for anglers and charter boat operators along Florida’s Gulf coast. ... Read More

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BoatUS Urges Boaters To Be Heard on New EPA Requirements

Deadline for Public Comments is June 2

March 31 2011 - Remember the Clean Boating Act of 2008? The bi-partisan federal legislation stopped recreational boats from falling under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirements originally targeting "normal operating discharges" from commercial ships. However, the Act required the EPA to analyze recreational boat discharges and eventually mandate "Management Practices" to address environmental concerns. ... Read More

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A CALL TO ARMS

Are You Willing to Help Save Recreational Fishing?

March 29 2011 - We are losing our right to fish and only an organized effort at both the State and Federal level by fisherman-activists can reverse the tide. RFA needs qualified volunteers at all levels to man its growing state chapters.

You can see it every time you go on a fishing website, read the outdoor column in the local newspaper, or whenever you try to go fishing. The regulations are more draconian, the seasons are shorter, the bag limits even more constrained and more new areas are closed to fishing altogether. If you didn't think that was possible just a few short years ago you cannot deny the reality of what is occurring before your very eyes, we are losing our right to fish and the pace has been accelerating since the Obama administration put the darling of the environmental left in charge of NOAA Fisheries. The question is, are you going to sit on the sidelines and let it happen or are you ready to become an angler-activist and fight for what you love? If you want to get involved and you have time and talents you can bring to the fight please keep reading because the RFA needs you and many more anglers like you. ... Read More

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Your response from Senator Bill Nelson

March 29 2011 - Dear Mr. Holmes:

Thank you for contacting me regarding recent restrictions on fishing and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. There have been a lot of concerns lately about fishery closures affecting Florida, whether in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. Because fishing is so important to our State, it is vital that we find a way to preserve public access to our fisheries, so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy the same fishing trips and fresh Florida seafood that we have enjoyed. ... Read More

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Coastal Migratory Pelagics (mackerel) and Spiny Lobster Public Hearings - April 2011

March 29 2011 - Federal fishery managers are soliciting public input on measures proposed for species managed jointly by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Councils, including king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. Measures are also being proposed for the lobster fishery, also managed jointly. Annual Catch Limits (in pounds or numbers of fish) and accountability measures (AMs) must be set for these species by the end of 2011, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act to prevent overfishing. The measures will impact both commercial and recreational fishermen who fish in federal waters along the Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico. A series of 7 public hearings are scheduled from April 11-20, 2011. ... Read More

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NY and NC Senators reintroduce Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act

Senators say legislation will help save fishing industry by increasing flexibility in arbitrary Federal fishing rules.

March 29 2011 - Bill is sponsored by New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and by North Carolina Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.

According to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Long Island's once thriving commercial and recreational fishing industry has been decimated in part by quotas and inexact science, severely limiting catch and allowable fishing days. Their bill would increase flexibility of quotas. Long Island is losing millions every year because of excessively strict quotas. Schumer, Gillibrand say that with flexibility and better data we can rebuild stocks and allow Long Island's fishing industry to survive. ... Read More

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Recreational season for Atlantic vermilion snapper opens April 1

March 28 2011 - The recreational harvest season for vermilion snapper in Atlantic Ocean waters off Florida opens on April 1. Recreational fishing for vermilion snapper has been closed in Atlantic state and federal waters since Nov. 1 to reduce overfishing and help increase the population of vermilion snapper. ... Read More

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SAFMC and GOM Appointments

March 25 2011 - Governor Scott of Florida has selected Rob Harris for nomination to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Bo Gorham for nomination to the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. These Council members will be responsible for formulating fisheries management policy in the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. It was your support of these candidates that resulted in Gov Scott s selection of these candidates. Now we need your help encouraging Congress and the Commerce Department to support these nominations. ... Read More

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Onslow Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament Will Donate to the RFA

March 25 2011 - The Onslow Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament Committee, Swansboro, N. C., announces that they will be donating $10 of each paid entry at their 11th Annual Southern Kingfish Association sanctioned king mackerel tournament on August 13, 2011 to the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). The tournament has raised $192,000 in 10 years for children's charities and fishing related community activities. Visit http://www.obokmt.us ... Read More

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Onslow Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament Donates to the RFA

March 21 2011 - The Onslow Bay Open King Mackerel Tournament Committee, Swansboro, N. C., announces that they will be donating $10 of each paid entry at their 11th Annual Southern Kingfish Association sanctioned king mackerel tournament on August 13, 2011 to the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). The tournament has raised $192,000 in 10 years for children's charities and fishing related community activities. Visit http://www.obokmt.us ... Read More

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Letter from Senator Marco Rubio

March 21 2011 - Dear Mr. Holmes,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Representative Jones' amendment to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 (H.R. 1). As your Senator, I appreciate your advocacy on this important issue and for allowing me the opportunity to respond. ... Read More

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RFA VOLUNTEERS TAKE ON FLORIDA FISHERIES FIGHT

New RFA-FL Leadership Ups Ante In Effort To Protect Red Snapper Fishery

March 17 2011 - Grassroots efforts to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers in the Southeast have been significantly strengthened this week with official announcement of a new board of volunteer officers for the Florida chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-FL).

Newly-elected RFA-FL president Meli Londeree of Mt. Dora, FL said local anglers are experiencing a new set of challenges in terms of accessing coastal fisheries and she believes the newly elected officers for 2011 are energized to face the fight head-on. "We find ourselves in a time of necessary action in Florida, as anglers on the East Coast especially have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of recreational angler representation in our fisheries management," Londeree said. "Here in Florida we are not going to take it lying down, it's definitely an exciting time." ... Read More

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RFA SOUTHEAST MEMBERS COMMENT ON SAFMC MEETINGS

Council Votes To Terminate Work on Amendment 21 Catch Share Development

March 11 2011 - The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Snapper Grouper Committee voted this week with regard to the Snapper Grouper (SG) Amendment 21 Catch Share portion of the document and the majority of SG Committee members voted not to pursue Catch Shares with SG Amendment 21, except in terms of revisiting the Wreckfish individual fishing quota (IFQ) rules. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), which had submitted official comments to the SAFMC in opposition to the intent of Amendment 21 to establish catch share programs for nine stocks subject to statutory overfishing in the Southeast region, praised the decision as a win for the coastal fishing community. ... Read More

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Coastal Conservation Association Urges Senate to Cut Off New Catch Share Programs

March 11 2011 - Coastal Conservation Association is encouraging the U.S. Senate to slam the door shut on funding any more controversial catch share management schemes in the Gulf of Mexico or on the East Coast.

The 2011 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contained an eye-popping $54 million for catch share programs at a time when fishery after fishery is closing based on outdated science and suspect recreational harvest data. An amendment filed by Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) that would keep any funds earmarked in NOAA's budget from being used on catch share programs in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic and New England areas passed the House in late February and now awaits consideration by the Senate. ... Read More

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South Atlantic Council votes NO on catch shares

March 11 2011 - A few moments ago, George Geiger (FL) Sn/Gr Committee made a motion seconded by Ben Hartig (FL) as follows: "Motion to terminate all work relating to development of catch shares in Amendment 21".

Abstained (1) - Crabtree
Against - Currin (3), Cupka, Phillips
For (9) - All Others ... Read More

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SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETS TO DISCUSS MAGNUSON

RFA Says Today's Hearing Shows Fishermen Have Much Work Ahead For Reform

March 09 2011 - The first official hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard under new Chairman, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and the 112th Congress took place this morning in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington DC. The hearing focused on the implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), reauthorized as recently as 2006. In his opening remarks, Chairman Begich recognized the contentiousness of fisheries issues in America today, noting specifically that the 2006 reauthorization wasn't a typical fisheries bill. "At the end of the day, the Senate passed it by unanimous consent, and the House passed it under suspension of the rules," Begich added. ... Read More

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EDF TO HOST CONGRESSIONAL ‘CATCH SHARE’ PARTY IN DC

RFA Says Magnuson Reform Is Best Answer to National Anti-Fishing Agenda

March 02 2011 - "The way to put an end to the continued fishing closures and help stem the tide of the Catch Shares movement is by reforming our federal fisheries law," says Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). "If we don't fix the Magnuson Stevens Act in this Congress, things will only get worse for our recreational fishing industry and our coastal anglers." ... Read More

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Gloucester Times reports Massachusetts Senators’ positions on Jones Amendment

February 28 2011 - GLOUCESTER, Mass. - Feb. 28, 2011 - The Gloucester Times has reported the positions of Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown on the Jones Amendment, which would block NOAA funding of new catch share programs and which passed the House of Representatives 259-159 with 51 Democrats (including 8 of 10 Massachusetts Congressmen) joining a majority of Republicans. ... Read More

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Spending on Catch Shares Passes House of Representatives Jones Amendment to Block

February 21 2011 - This is a letter from Congressman Jones of NC sent to Stan Jaursinski Feb. 19, 2011.

The Senate must still pass this important resolution. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat also from North Carolina, has joined with several other senators including Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Scott Brown (R-MA) are working hard to get these controls passed by the Senate. Now is the time for everyone to contact their respective Senator and ask them to ratify this bill and get it on the Presidents desk ASAP. ... Read More

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2 TV interviews on NOAA and the 2/25/2011 Fishermen’s Rally

February 17 2011 - Last night Congressman Jones filed an anti-catch shares amendment to H.R. 1 – the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution which will fund the federal government through the rest of Fiscal Year 2011 (i.e. September 30, 2011). The amendment has been printed in the Congressional Record and is #548. A copy is attached. The amendment would prohibit NOAA from spending any money on the development and approval of new catch share programs in fisheries under the jurisdiction of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management . It does NOT affect anything on the West Coast or Alaska. This amendment could come up for House floor consideration, and potentially a vote, this evening or tomorrow. Please contact your member of Congress and urge them to support Jones Amendment #548 to block funding for catch shares. ... Read More

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CATCH SHARE ACTIVISTS MEET HEAVY RESISTANCE

RFA Says DC Legislators Pushed Back Hard Against Preservationist Attack

February 16 2011 - Earlier today, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) issued a press release blasting Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) activists for erroneously claiming to represent U.S. fishing interests today on Capitol Hill. RFA has since learned that members of the EDF delegation have been shameless in their anti-fishing rhetoric with legislators, putting out false information to members of Congress in hoping to sell their Catch Share manifesto. ... Read More

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RFA SAYS ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE IS ON THE OFFENSIVE

Catch Share Activists Arrive In DC To Spread Anti-American Fishing Propaganda

February 16 2011 - This week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) activists are visiting the offices of federal legislators claiming erroneously to represent the interests of U.S. fishing communities while selling their plan to privatize our nation's public resources in the name of conservation. According its sources, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) said EDF campaigners have been arriving in DC by plane the last few days to promote their 'Catch Share' manifesto with Members of Congress in an effort to limit overall public access to coastal fisheries. ... Read More

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New Legislation Threatens Fisheries Conservation in Florida

February 16 2011 - Send a message to your state Senator opposing legislation that would eliminate Florida's resident and non-resident recreational fishing licenses and have a devastating effect on fisheries management, conservation and law enforcement.

Florida is the top fishing destination in the United States and recreational fishing has an estimated $7.5 billion annual economic impact on Florida's economy.

The Situation
Florida State Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) introduced a bill, S.B. 744, which would eliminate resident and non-resident fishing licenses.

... Read More

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RFA CALLS FOR END TO DIRECTED OCEAN NET FISHERY OF STRIPED BASS

Angler Advocacy Group Urges ASMFC To Address Wasteful Fishing Practices

February 10 2011 - Two staggering fish kills by commercial trawlers fishing out of Oregon Inlet are just the tip of the iceberg as the state of North Carolina continues to promote fishing practices for Atlantic striped bass that are not only wasteful but filled with loopholes that encourage unreported landings.

In the past two weeks, recreational fishermen along the East Coast have watched in horror as videos and photos on websites and local news broadcasts showed thousands of dead striped bass floating in the wake of trawlers just off the beaches of the Outer Banks. A significant portion of the roe-filled spawning stock of this extremely valuable fish winters in this area, and is extremely vulnerable to commercial fishing gear. ... Read More

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Sen. Snowe Cosponsors Sen. Brown FISH Bill

SENATOR SNOWE COSPONSORS LEGISLATION CALLING FOR ANNUAL FISHERIES IMPACT REPORTS

February 08 2011 - WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, today cosponsored legislation with Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), to ensure that fisherman and fishing communities are not subjected to unnecessary and over-broad regulations imposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). ... Read More

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Recreational Fishing Alliance (FL)

February 07 2011 - Greetings!

In the coming days, active members of the Florida chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-FL) will be receiving more correspondence and updates through our growing RFA-FL team which includes volunteers Dave Huber, Dave Heil, Meli Londeree, Gary Poyssick and Bob Flocken from the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA). These RFA-FL volunteers are actively working on attacking the problem of continued fisheries closures in Florida, but they need your help! ... Read More

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National Marine Fisheries out of control. Too much PEW influence.

By Jack Holmes

February 04 2011 - Don’t like the recent closures? Neither do we. However, until the fishing community unites we don’t have a prayer. Here’s what you must understand.

1. Look at California. The environmentalists have successfully closed nearly a third of the waters to no fishing.

2. They’ve closed red snapper and now black sea bass off the coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

3. They are now trying to limit Wahoo and dolphin.

4. After that, what’s next? Are we going to end up with anything to fish for?

When I say unite, there are several issues we must look at.
... Read More

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NY Senator Calls For Moratorium On Flawed MRFSS Data

February 04 2011 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) has called on U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, and NMFS Administrator Patricia Kurkul to issue an immediate moratorium on the flawed survey data used to implement recreational fishing quotas for the East Coast. In a letter addressed to Kurkul, Sen. Schumer cited the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) as being “fatally flawed” and reminded NOAA of their responsibility through the federal Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) tSen. Schumer Pt. Lookouto implement changes to the methodology used to gauge the level of recreational landings over the course of a season. ... Read More

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