Feb 25 2011

Fisheries catch share program questioned

Small personal fishing boat returns to harbor - youngster in the red sweatshirt is filleting, cleaning the fish on the back deckphoto © 2009 Mike Baird | more info (via: Wylio)

Sue Book
Sun Journal Staff

The search for balance between economic and environmental concerns intensified this week over catch limits from those in both commercial and recreational fishing industries.

Key North Carolina congressional delegation members have asked U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke “to consider other well-established fishery management techniques” to help keep the industry alive.

A letter from Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., joined several senators and congressmen from other East Coast states in the request. The request came over “concern that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations catch share policy will further endanger the economic vitality of the already-struggling fishing industry and will not end overfishing.”

“The fishing industry is a crucial part of our nation’s economy, but in these tough economic times too many fishermen are struggling to provide for themselves, their families and their communities,” the letter said.

It maintains, as have fishermen speaking at recent public hearings in New Bern before the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council this year, that NOAA has “committed significant funding to encourage the adoption of catch share programs when it has not committed sufficient funds to adequately assess the stocks of our nation’s fisheries.”

Read the rest of the story here.


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