EFP for the select few


I Should Upgrade My Account
Mar 18, 2012
Florida Fisherman
Friday, April 20, 2018
Two fishery bills undercut progress... Tampa Bay Times
Double Eagle Fleet Clearwater, Florida
Captain Chad Haggert
For boats like mine (Double Eagle Fleet) a system (exempted fishing permit or EFP) was designed that allows us to take customer out fishing whenever we wanted throughout the year, modeled after the CATCH SHARE system that has 'helped' commercial fishermen improve management of their sector.
HR 200 and S 1520 would impose unnecessary restrictions or burying them in bureaucratic red tape. HR 200, in particular, would establish a set or requirements that would make EFP's very difficult to use. "HR 200 would also ban the use of EFP's to test new catch share programs, a 'proven' management tool. HR 200 and S 1520 are unnecessary and threaten the progress being made by fishermen" Chad Haggert
"allows us to take customer out fishing whenever we wanted throughout the year". QUESTION: Why should only 'our customers' be allowed to fish whenever we wanted throughout the year? What ever happened to an open fishery for one & all? Available stocks should be available for all, not just 'our customers'. Our national interest are not well served by granting exclusive access to common property to an extremely small group of headboat operators seeking to increase their profitability.

Fishing for the Facts about the Modern Fish Act S. 1520
Alexandria, VA – February 28, 2018 – Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation overwhelmingly approved S. 1520, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). This legislation calls for critically important updates to the oversight of federal fisheries, including adding more tools to the management toolbox, improving data collection techniques, and examining some fishery allocations that are based on decades-old decisions.

Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2018

By Chris Horton, Fisheries Program Director, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Let’s look at some of the key provisions of the Modern Fish Act from both the fiction being told and the facts of the matter.

Alternative management measures for recreational fisheries

  • FICTION - S. 1520 would, “Inappropriately exempt the recreational sector from the necessary management discipline imposed by annual catch limits and accountability measures.”
  • FACT – This provision simply frees the Councils to consider more appropriate recreational fisheries management measures when hard-poundage annual catch limits (ACL’s) are not effective. It does not exempt the recreational fisheries from adhering to annual harvest constraints. In fact, in a report from the Gulf Council’s Science and Statistical Committee on the feasibility of these alternative management measures proposed in the Modern Fish Act – “They noted that extraction rates, fishing mortality targets and harvest control rules could easily be implemented as catch limits…”
Flexibility in rebuilding timelines

  • FICTION – “Injects too much flexibility and ambiguity into the rebuilding timeline for overfished stocks.”
  • FACT – Both H.R. 2023 and S. 1520 eliminate arbitrary rebuilding timelines and replaces with a biologically-based timeline relative to individual species. It’s interesting to see organizations that claim to support science-based decision making opposing an effort to ensure that rebuilding plans are based on science, not an arbitrary 10-year requirement that has no scientific basis.
Temporary Moratorium on Limited Access Privilege Programs (catch shares)

  • FICTION – “Both the moratorium and the study are unnecessary and unwise”.
  • FACT – Of course this would be considered “unwise”, coming from the primary environmental organization that has received millions from foundations like the Walker Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation to push catch shares on both commercial and recreational fisheries. What they are concerned about is that the study by the National Academy of Sciences required by this provision might find that catch share programs may not be such a good idea in mixed-use fisheries.
Process for allocation review

  • FICTION – “Such reviews would divert significant resources from compelling management issues without significantly improving recreational fishermen satisfaction.”
  • FACT – Reallocation of quota between sectors is a difficult, exceedingly contentious process, much of which is caused by the ambiguity of what metrics the Council should weigh in making those decisions. To make periodic reallocation reviews more efficient, this provision simply requires the National Academy of Science to provide some clear criteria to consider. In the case of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, the allocation between the commercial and recreational sectors was set more than 20-years ago, using data 10-years prior. Fisheries change over time, and with today’s technologies, families have an opportunity to catch their fish themselves, rather than just purchasing from someone who profits from the resource like a restaurant or seafood market.
  • Chris Horton

H.R. 200: Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act Landmark Legislation to Benefit Saltwater Anglers Advances in U.S. House
House Natural Resources Committee Approves Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Bill

Washington, D.C. – December 13, 2017 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 200, a bill sponsored by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) that amends the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen. A coalition of organizations representing the saltwater recreational fishing and boating community endorsed H.R. 200 and highlighted the importance of incorporating saltwater recreational fishing management provisions into the nation’s primary law governing federal fisheries management.

Coastal Conservative Association... CCA
The purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of those coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

Not only is this EFP flawed from a purely technical perspective, it is difficult to comprehend that such a program would be given serious consideration given the very high levels of political and popular opposition to sector separation and catch shares

Touted as an experiment to provide accurate and timely landings data, we believe that the primary goal of this EFP is to pave the way for allowing separate allocations of common property resources to the for-hire and private boat recreational fishing sectors and the ultimate creation of a catch shares program in the recreational sector. The application for this EFP has been careful to avoid the use of the terms “catch share” or “sector separation,” but it is clear that it tests a catch share that would depend on sector separation.
The most that this EFP will show is that a small number of vessels, when granted the right to fish when it is illegal for everyone else to fish, will be more profitable. That conclusion needs no test. Artificially controlling supply in the face of pent-up demand will increase prices, pure and simple. This application fails to make any case for why the government should allow an EFP to be granted when it will provide no other benefit than to line the pockets of a very few headboat captains.
In 2009, NOAA Fisheries funded a Bioeconomic Analysis of the Red Snapper Rebuilding Plan and Transferable Rights Policies in the Gulf of Mexico (Wade and Woodward). That STUDY, which has been presented to the Gulf Council, revealed that the net present value of the total Gulf reef fish and shrimp fisheries over the timeframe 2009 – 2032 is estimated at $11.8 billion dollars. The for-hire sector is estimated to generate 7% of this total. The private vessel recreational sector accounts for 77% of this value and yet it is currently being virtually shut out of the fishery through proposals such as this EFP. If NOAA Fisheries wished to generate real economic value for the benefit of all the people of this nation, it can accomplish that goal by actively seeking reallocation of red snapper to the recreational sector. Our national interests are not well served by granting exclusive access to common property resources to an extremely small group of headboat operators seeking to increase their profitability.

Want an open fishery for one and all, or for "our customers" only? S. 1520, and H.R. 200 represents ALL, not just the 'select few'.
Bob Harbison
Florida Outdoor Writers Asociation

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