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"DC Rally Feedback" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 02/02/10

Getting lots of reply emails to my recent report and email on the DC Rally- will post some that are relevant and will help to futher the cause. Thanks for the response. Still a few seats left- email me at [email protected]

*** Great - but a couple of comments. First, for those who can't make it to DC we've set up a web-based petition at http://fs16.formsite.com/FixMagnusonNow/form793561462/
so they can still be heard.
And also, this is a joint recreational and commercial and party/charter fishing effort, and I think that is giving us a huge political boost - the pols don't have to worry about getting caught in the middle. I'm not trying to take anything away from Jim D. and the other guys at the RFA, they're doing a fantastic job, but in future communications, if you can push the "multi-cultural" (not the right word, but I'm sure you know what I mean) aspects of this campaign, I think we'll all be better off for it.
Finally, NJ Congressman Frank Pallone introduce the House version of the Flexibility bill. I try to give both him and Senator Schumer equal billing. To most of us outside the beltway that might seem like a really minor point, but you never can tell.
Anyway, really good job and keep on beating those drums.

*** Hi Guys, Thanks for sending this alert. I can’t go to DC but I just now joined the RFA. Quick and easy. Suggest you send a follow-up email out because I suspect I’m not the only one on your list from a state other than NC/SC. Here is a link for folks to get contact info for their politicians:

*** Maybe this is quibbling, but the M-S re-authorization requires if a fishery is declared overfished, overfishing has to be stopped within one year and then rebuilt in a proscribed time, usually not to exceed 10 years. And NMFS has taken the approach it has to be as soon as possible. A total closure given the paucity and uncertainty of the data is unconscionable. Seasonable closures, time & area closure during spawning, scaled back quotas/creels would seem to be a better approach.
I am hoping this show of force will force the Sec. of Commerce to reconsider some of these awful options and put some reason back in S/G management.

-Capt. Brant McMullan


"DC Rally- What's it about?" | OIFC World Cat / Carolina Cat | 01/31/10

Here is the deal in a short version --- environmentals are in control of fisheries and the current administration that is in place is listening to them. I am all for conservation in fisheries, and there is no doubt many species need new rules. BUT, the problem as if often the human nature case, is the pendelum is swinging too far in one direction. For years there has not been enough legislation and laws and now they are going absolutely crazy. You will likely here the word "Magnuson Stevens Act" get thrown around. I don't know exactly what it is, but in a nut, it says that all fisheries must be brough to "maximum sustainability" in the very near future- think they put a year on it, maybe 10',11', 12'. Thus, since this is place, fisheries panels as they put it "have no choice" but to shut down entire fisheries completely in order to bring them to "maximum sustainability" immediately. And therin lies the problem. There's no middle ground. Instead of acknowledging that our Red Snapper population off of NC is depleted and shutting it down for 3, 6 or even 9 months, they shut it down completely because "they are forced" by the Magnuson Stevens Act. So, where we are right now is that the fisheries councils have all ready agreed to shut down ALL bottomfishing from middle Florida to the Frying Pan Shoals-- the rough area covers depths from 80 feet o 150 feet. That is everything! No more Grouper, Snapper... AT ALL. It is complete closures of fisheries that will snowball into further regulation on other species. Even if you are not a bottom fisherman, if this goes forward, your King Mackerel, Dolphin, Wahoo, Cobia will be next.

So, the RFA (Recreational Fishing Alliance) has got the ball rolling on the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer. The concept is that instead of shutting fisheries down to meet deadlines of the Magnuson Stevens, there is some flexibility built in that will still aim at achieving the goals of maximum sustainability, but the goals are to be achieved over several years, allowing fisheries to remain opened- not completely closed.

Thus, RFA has initiated and is organizing a Rally on DC on February 24th whereby all who have a care to save our fishing rights are asked to show up on the steps of the Capitol to show their support for the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009.

The OIFC is sponsoring a bus to carry you to DC to show support. The bus leaves the OIFC at 4am on 2/24 and will get back late that same night. The only expense you have is for your meals, as I'm sure we'll make stops along the way. There are 50 seats on the bus, and the first 50 that commit, will have a seat. If you prefer to travel by your own means, visit http://www.joinrfa.org/ for information.

For complete details on what is going on with this issue, and not my abridged version visit http://www.joinrfa.org/ .

WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW? If you cannot make the DC Rally, you should join the RFA at http://www.joinrfa.org/ . Next, PRINT THIS FORM and fill out with your information and fax, mail, email it to your elected officials. For contaction information for your elected official see below:

NC officials: http://www.ncgov.com/1223,1223,Government_Officials,Government_Officials.html

SC officials: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe

REMEMBER- email me at [email protected] if you want to ride the OIFC bus to DC

Thank you for your support- the silent majority MUST be heard now or we risk losing our right to fish!

-Capt. Brant McMullan

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