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Anglers Make Case for Better Management of Fisheries

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continuing to struggle in the management of the nation’s fisheries, lawmakers today held a committee hearing intended to explore the impact of a looming deadline that will force the agency to set annual catch limits on stocks of fish for which it has no science. Today’s hearing, “NOAA’s Fishery Science: Is the Lack of Basic Science Costing Jobs? looked at how NOAA’s fishery research affects jobs and the coastal economy.

Diamond Jim Still on the Loose After Impostor Caught

The first Diamond Jim impostor of the 2011 Maryland Fishing challenge has been caught by David Huffman of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. Huffman was fishing off of Rock Hall, Md. on July 20, when he hooked the 22-inch striped bass. The Diamond Jim imposter, worth $500, was one of nearly 600 rockfish tagged so far this summer. If no one catches the authentic Diamond Jim - worth $25,000 - the money will be split among those who caught the imposters.

'Evil Defense' Lobby Firm Builds Fishy Client List

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.

AFFTA Joins Forces With TU To Protect Backcountry

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association today joined Trout Unlimited and a host of other sporting and conservation organizations in opposing the so-called Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, which would remove all protections from the last, best fishing and hunting destinations in the United States.

NOAA Approves Rhode Island Plan for Offshore Energy Development, Job Creation and Ocean Stewardship

NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. joined Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and other national and state leaders today to recognize the pioneering Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP). This new, innovative ocean management plan improves state review processes and policies to facilitate the development of offshore projects that could lead to the creation of hundreds of wind energy jobs and balance energy development with transportation, fishing, recreation and environmental stewardship along the state’s coast and adjacent federal waters.

RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 Has Sportfishing Industry’s Full Support

Alexandria, VA – July 21, 2011 – In support of the Gulf of Mexico region, still coping with the impacts of the April 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate. This bill directs critical funding to the Gulf of Mexico region to help revitalize coastal communities and improve fisheries habitat and data collection. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) today expressed its strong support for this legislation and the benefits it will provide for the thousands of recreational-fishing dependent businesses who continue to try and rebound from the oil spill’s economic and environmental impacts. Introduced on July 21 by Senators Cochran (R-MS), Hutchison (R-TX), Landrieu (D-LA), Nelson (D-FL), Rubio (R-FL), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS), the RESTORE the Gulf Coast Act directs 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties charged to BP to the restoration of the Gulf Coast environment and economy.

NOAA Seeks Public Input on Sustainable Management of Halibut Stock

NOAA’s Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on a draft rule, called a catch sharing plan, designed to sustainably manage the halibut stock in southeast Alaska and the central Gulf of Alaska.

NOAA Approves Catch Limit Increases and Other Measures to Provide Greater Flexibility to the Sustainable Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery

NOAA has approved a suite of management measures for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, developed by the New England Fishery Management Council with input from the fishing industry, which will increase fishing opportunities for fishermen. Among the measures being put into place, as a result of effective science-based management, are increased catch limits for the remainder of this fishing year and in 2012.

Gulf Snapper Season Closed as of This Morning

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."

U.S. Joins More Than 50 Nations in Adopting Recommendation to List Vessels Engaged in Illegal Fishing Around the World

The United States joined more than 50 countries Thursday signing a recommendation to regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) to better track vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for tunas, swordfish, sharks and other highly migratory species. Annual global economic losses due to IUU fishing are estimated to be as high as $23 billion.