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Ban longlines in the dolphin fishery
Dolphin are critically important to the recreational fishery in the South Atlantic, and yet federal fisheries managers continue to encourage development of a directed longline fishery that could have a radically negative impact on the recreational fishery going forward, and may have already.
NOAA Fisheries’ intent to commercialize dolphin isn’t new. These efforts go back to 2004, after the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Regional Administrator removed a commercial trip harvest limit provision that had been approved by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and was designed to prevent a directed longline dolphin fishery from developing. Ever since, NOAA and commercial representatives on the South Atlantic Council have fought efforts to prevent longlines from gaining a foothold in this predominantly recreational fishery, despite growing evidence that an intensive commercial fishery is already developing. See a history of this issue HERE.
This issue will be up for discussion at the next South Atlantic Council meeting and we need your help now in asking for safeguards to prevent a directed longline fishery for dolphin from developing once and for all. See below to contact your Florida Council representatives and ask them to outlaw this destructive, indiscriminate gear in the dolphin fishery.
Nurtured, encouraged and protected by NOAA Fisheries, a directed commercial longline fishery for dolphin will inevitably have a material, negative impact on the quality and availability of this highly prized sportfish that is so crucial to recreational angling. Tell the South Atlantic Council to say NO TO LONGLINES.
Thank you.
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