Don't shut down healthy fisheries, SAFMC! sign now

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, please don't shut down healthy fisheries.

We, the undersigned, strongly urge the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) to remember: 1) in a petition, over 10,000 local citizens and business owners formally opposed the emergency red snapper closure, which the SAFMC ultimately approved with a 7-6 vote, and 2) that many state and local governments have since voted unanimously in favor of resolutions formally opposing large area closures to bottom fishing as part of the SAFMCs 17A proposals to rebuild red snapper stocks. These were the results of a true grass roots effort for the truth to be known and the public to sustain as little harm from draconian and unwarranted management measures as possible.

We, the undersigned, strongly urge the SAFMC to take an even more deliberate approach to its selection of an alternative for Amendment 17A because of the woeful inadequacy of SEDAR 15, the last South Atlantic red snapper stock assessment. SEDAR 15 does not include the best available data or science, and it is clear that SEDAR 15 was manipulated to fit into an agenda that includes major restriction of fishing effort and de facto marine protected areas whereby fishing would be prohibited. This agenda is not founded in science but instead a misinformed ideological belief that fishing effort must be curtailed or fish stocks will be ruined. The facts surrounding red snapper disagree with this agenda as well as the misinformed and myopic ideological beliefs supporting it.

As the current preferred alternative of the SAFMC for 17A is for slightly more than 6,000 square miles of some of the most popular area off our coast to be closed to diving and bottom fishing, we, the undersigned, strongly urge the SAFMC to consider the full facts surrounding this issue. These include not only the findings of the new benchmark red snapper re-assessment, SEDAR 24, that will be reported later this year prior to the interim rule red snapper closure expiring, but also logical and common sense evidence of how badly the preconceptions that motivated SEDAR 15 disagree with reality.

We, the undersigned, also strongly urge the SAFMC to consider the entirety of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which, among other things, proscribes that economic as well as biological realities be considered when selecting rebuilding plans for fisheries.

Members of the SAFMC were appointed to serve as public servants, and as such, they will be held accountable for their decisions. We do not feel this petition is undue as public servants necessarily serve the public, and we are representatives of the public. We have continuously offered constructive advice, data and arguments to the SAFMC on this matter, and we feel that for this petition to be dismissed as merely a complaint would be extremely detrimental to all stakeholders in this process.

Finally, we, the undersigned, acknowledge and appreciate members of the SAFMCs unique and difficult position at this time, and we would like to extend our full support to the members and staff of the SAFMC as they decide what is right not just for our fisheries and communities but our entire South Atlantic region.

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Latest Signatures

  • 06 January 20161000. Captsteve A
    I support this petition
  • 31 December 2015999. Suzanne W
    I support this petition
  • 25 December 2015998. J Kennethe
    City, State Coinjock, NC Failure of SAFMC to be pragmatic, reasonable, responsible and factual is inexcusable.
  • 16 December 2015997. Charles Fp
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Information

Melvin MayBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, NOAA, NMFS

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