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Save the Mahi: It's Time for Public Comment

It's time to try and help save the dolphin fishery

Save the Mahi: It's Time for Public Comment

Matt and Lena Kimball with a, now rare, bull dolphin caught off Hobe Sound.


Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2022. Click here to make public comments on dolphin fishery.


If you’ve signed the Save the Mahi petition, great.  But, your words, from what you’ve seen on the water mean more than you know.  We must urge the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to put in place more protective regulations on the fishery.

Your written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2022.  Please make your comments to this website HERE.

“The final recommendations of the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) on Amendment 10, along with the underlying conclusions and recommendations of its Scientific and Statistical Committee ("SSC") are not based on the Best Scientific Information Available ("BSIA"),” testified Julie Dick, Julie Dick Law, PA, representing  South Atlantic Fishery Environmentalists ("SAFE


SAFE is a non-profit organization founded by a group of lifelong fishermen. The organization's mission is to combine science with the experience of life-long fishermen to ensure sustainable fisheries in the South Atlantic region.


“The recommendations ignore the most recent 14 years of data and downward trend in the dolphin fishery,” wrote Dick.  She concluded by saying, “We urge you to withhold acting on ABC and ACL for dolphin without re-calculating ABC truly utilizing BSIA including landing data from the last 14 years. Immediate measures are needed to help the fishery to be become more sustainable so that it continues to provide enjoyment, livelihood, and economic value for so many recreational fishermen who rely upon it, while protecting the fishery for future generations.

We urge NOAA to:

  • Reduce the boat limit for mahi from a proposed 54 fish to 30 fish;
  • Create a 2,000-pound commercial trip limit;
  • Maintain the current 10-fish per angler bag limit; and
  • Implement a 20-inch minimum for all areas it doesn't already exist.

SUMMARY:

Here is where we stand: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) submitted Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic (Dolphin and Wahoo FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, Amendment 10 to the Dolphin and Wahoo FMP (Amendment 10) would revise the acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs), sector allocations, accountability measures (AMs), and additional management measures for dolphin and wahoo. The additional management measures would address commercial trip limits, authorized fishing gear, the operator permit (card) requirement for dolphin and wahoo, and the recreational vessel limit for dolphin. The purpose of Amendment 10 is to base conservation and management measures for dolphin and wahoo on the best scientific information available and increase net benefits from the fishery.

This is what we need to do:  Contact NOAA and tell them that Amendment 10, with no commercial daily trip limit, and virtually no adjustment to the recreational anglers total boat limit, which is proposed to go from 60 fish to 54, will not stop the downward decline of the fishery.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on Amendment 10, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2021-0093,” by either of the following methods:




  • Electronic: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov and enter “NOAA-NMFS-2021-0093” in the Search box. Click the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
  • Mail: Submit written comments to Nikhil Mehta, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nikhil Mehta
Phone: 727-824-5305
Email: nikhil.mehta@noaa.gov


Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2022. Click here to make public comments on dolphin fishery.


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