Proposal to give Rec Groups five year review of fish allocations a red flag in Begich's Magnuson bill
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - Aug 29, 2014
One of the big fights over Magnuson reauthorization this year will not be between NGO's and commercial fishermen, but over the attempt by well financed recreational lobbies to undermine catch share programs.
Although not present in the Magnuson langage in the House reauthorization, the draft Senate bill contains a provision that would create a five year review period for all catch allocations in the Gulf and South Atlantic.
Many people in the industry like Begich's draft. Mark Gleason, executive director of the commercial fishing group Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, told Politico it “threads a fine line” on the reallocation issue. Its distinction between environmental issues and overfishing as causes of declining fish populations would be helpful to commercial fishermen, he said.
NGO groups like Oceana also see the Begich draft as the best bill they may get this year.
But others have raised concerns about the recreational fisheries provisions.
In interviews done for a Politico article that said that the recreational groups were hoping to make Magnuson reflect their issues this year, several representatives of the Seafood Harvesters laid our their thoughts.
“If I were a hunter and gatherer, I would not be intimidated by the idea of a five-year reallocation,” said Chris Brown, head of the Seafood Harvesters of America. “But having negotiated the terms of my financial existence ...Full Story »