The Billfish Foundation objects to the goal of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to revitalize the Atlantic pelagic longline (PLL) fishery, and instead calls for options to reinvigorate the recreational billfish fishery.

NMFS’ preferential treatment of the pelagic longline fishery comes at the expense of marlin, the recreational billfish fishery, and bluefin tuna. Instead of taking a comprehensive approach with the management of highly migratory fish, which interact with both commercial fishing gear and recreational gear, the proposed options focus solely on stimulating the PLL fishery. Pelagic longline gear is, in large part, responsible for driving marlin and bluefin tuna to an overfished status. Revitalizing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery will be at the further expense of marlin and bluefin tuna.

TBF is calling for management options that revitalize the recreational billfish fishery. Read TBF’s full statement and send your own letter by May 1st.

For your convenience, below is a statement that may be used in the comments section. Simply copy and paste where the form says “Comment.”

Dear NMFS,

As an angler, I am opposed to plans to revitalize the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery. This goal comes at the expense of bluefin tuna, marlin, and the recreational fishing industry, which generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes billions to the economy. Many of the options put forth in the Scoping Document do not further fish conservation or stock recovery. I ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to, instead of bolstering the fishery responsible for closures and gear restrictions, take action to bolster bluefin tuna and marlin fish stocks. At a minimum, the “no action” option should be taken to maintain current closures and restricted areas. Please consider management options that achieve the greatest conservation benefits for our national marine resources.

Thank you,

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