The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) new catch share policy, which encourages the use of catch shares to manage fisheries, is exciting news for the Gulf of Mexico’s declining fisheries and struggling fishermen.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council deserves a pat on the back for already considering catch shares for some of its fisheries, and NOAA’s new policy can help jumpstart even more progress to end overfishing in all Gulf fisheries. Ending overfishing is good for Gulf economies and will give fishermen more time on the water.
The red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ), one type of catch share, is wrapping up its third year, and we continue to see the tangible benefits of catch shares: commercial overfishing is ending, fishing businesses are more stable, and bycatch (accidentally-caught fish that must be thrown back in the water and often die) has been significantly reduced.
Other Gulf fisheries and sectors can benefit from catch shares too: Read More
Michelle Owen, EDF's Recreational Fisheries Specialist, shares her first experience appearing on the Captain Bill Kelly Friday Night Radio Show in the Florida Keys.
What was scheduled as a 30 minute meeting on April 17th with Captain Bill Kelly turned into 90 minutes as he persuaded me to be a guest on his Friday night radio show. The show is great community radio broadcasted live every Friday night from Wahoo's Bar and Restaurant at the Whale Harbor Marina in Islamorada. Yes, my meeting was scheduled in a bar, it's the Keys! And it's the perfect spot for a productive meeting – a great view of the charterboat fishing fleet, fresh fish and a great crowd. Not too surprising that a fishing show packs the bar every Friday night.
It was my first time on the radio and Capt. Kelly and his co-host did an excellent job keeping it easy and fun. Capt. Kelly introduced me to his listening audience and encouraged recreational fisherman in the Keys to contact me to learn more about EDF's fisheries work.
I have a standing invitation to come back for a more lengthy topical conversation and I plan on taking him up on that offer sooner rather than later. Though I can't promise a view, I'll let you know when you should fire up the grill, pour a cold drink and listen live via internet to EDF talk fish on the "Friday Night Radio Show".