60 Fishermen, 23 EDF Staff, 89 Meetings: Lawmakers Hear About Catch Shares

EDF Oceans Communications Director Tom Lalley holding a fish on a boat with Willy Phillips of NC

Tom Lalley, EDF Oceans Communications Director and author of this blog post.

A frenetic week in Washington, D.C. brought Congressional leaders together with fishermen.  Early mornings, full days and late nights were the norm as fishermen spread the message that catch shares are important for their future.  Funding for the national catch shares program is included in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

As fishermen face closures for the fisheries they depend on, they told lawmakers how catch shares avoid closures and allow fishing to continue even as stocks recover.  Catch shares avoid the blow dealt by closures to communities and fishing jobs.

Many fishermen also zeroed in on the universal call for better fisheries science.  Catch shares give you robust catch accounting and monitoring, whereas conventionally-managed fisheries often have few data with minimal monitoring coverage.

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