Stop long line fishing of the EFC PLL Closed Area.
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On August 10th, 2017 NOAA Fisheries issued an announcement stating that an exempted fishing permit has been issued for the EFC PLL (East Florida Coast Pelagic Long Line) Closed Area.
"The research conducted within the two sub-areas in the EFC PLL Closed Area and in the open area would be carried out by no more than six PLL vessels at any one time. An additional six “backup” vessels could conduct research if any mechanical or technical issues arise on the other six vessels. The project would be authorized for 12 months and, pending annual review of any changed environmental conditions or impacts and of catches and catch rates of all species, as well as individual vessel performance, could be re-authorized for two additional 12- month periods. In response to public comment, NOAA Fisheries is limiting the research to a maximum of 720 sets per year (12 months) authorized between the six vessels. All sets would be distributed evenly between the two sub-areas in the EFC PLL Closed Area and the open area. Each set would consist of a maximum of 600 16/0 or larger circle hooks."
-NOAA Fisheries bulletin August 10th, 2017 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/news/news_list/2017/8/efp_pll-research_081017.html
This area has been closed for a number of years to Pelagic long lining and the recreational and smaller commercial vessels have thrived and enjoyed the benefits of a revived and thriving fishery. The concerned anglers of the East Coast of Florida are asking that NOAA rescind the permit and protect a fishery that was devasted by long lining in previous years.
The permit is issued under the guise of research, with the vessels being able to sell the captured fish for profit. We believe there is a more suitable way to conduct vital fisheries research, than allowing 6 specific vessels to profit while destroying a fishery that is worth millions in tourism, and economic revenue. Please sign and let NOAA Fisheries know that this is unacceptable. There's room for all fishermen at the table, but let us not begin to destroy a fishery again, after it was brought back from almost certain demise.
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