Despite the fact that fishermen happen to be enjoying an incredible run of bluefin and yellowfin tuna currently, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a non-governmental agency has sent a petition to the U.S. Department of Commerce to urge the prohibition of any bluefin tuna retention in U.S. waters.
Now the National Marine Fisheries Service has announced their receipt of the petition and has begun their mandatory public comment period.
It is imperative that all fishermen send in your comments concerning the impact that this blanket closure would have on you and any personal thoughts from your first hand observations.
Of course the statistics are flying, and the CBD claims that the sky is falling and total shutdown is the only answer. So often this is the pattern in fisheries management to date. There has to be a middle ground somewhere.
The U.S. take of pacific bluefin is a relatively small percentage compared to the global take and international quarrels are underway between countries about the “who gets what” aspect to international fish management.
I’m sure more details will surface and we will relay them to you as they do. Below is a list of items that you could mention in your comments and where and how to make your voice heard.
If you don’t take the time to comment, then you can’t complain when the end result does not go your way.
So take a moment and respond. You don’t have to agree, and if so you may comment in favor of a closure. That’s your right, so exercise it! The comment period will remain open until September 22, 2014.
Written comments are thought to have more weight than electronic ones, so the fishing community will be better served if you can write comments and mail to address below. If not, electronic submission is still better than nothing.
Here is the link to the Federal Register Website and click the green button to “submit a formal comment”.
HOW TO SUBMIT A COMMENT:
• Mail: Submit written comments to: Mark Helvey, NMFS West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Ste. 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. Attn: Pacific Bluefin Tuna.
• Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0076, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. All comments will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. NMFS will also accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR COMMENT:
Please make an effort to include the following in your comment:
• Name (unless you want to be anonymous)
• City you live in.
• Experience with recreational Fishing
• How long have you been ocean fishing?
• How does fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna affect you?
• How would closing access to Pacific bluefin tuna affect you?
• How important is the opportunity to catch Pacific bluefin tuna?
• Do you rely on the opportunity to catch Pacific bluefin tuna for business?
• In your professional opinion, is the Pacific bluefin stock down or up as compared to historical averages?
• In any given year, do you observe (not necessarily catch) multiple sizes of fish (a diversity of age-classes)? Or just one age-class? (the more age-class diversity we see = healthier stock)
• Typically, do you fish for Pacific bluefin every year? Emphasis needs to be made on what you have been seeing in the ocean the past few years. Size of fish and volume is important.
BD Outdoors will give you updates on this issue as they become available.
THANK YOU FOR GETTING INVOLVED!