Selected tag(s): South Atlantic

Fishermen Voices: Willy Phillips – North Carolina

The health and abundance of our oceans have a huge impact on many, from the environment to seafood consumers to the fishermen and coastal communities that rely on the seas for their livelihoods. EDF works diligently with all stakeholders, including fishermen, to end overfishing, protect our oceans, and bring back fish stocks to abundance.

Well designed catch shares are the solution to overfishing and many fishermen agree. We hear their stories all the time, and we intend to share them with you regularly through our “Fishermen Voices” feature on EDFish.

In the interview below, fisherman Willy Phillips of Columbia, NC shares some of his story following his visit to Congressional representatives in D.C. to advocate for catch shares.

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A Lesson in Catch Shares Cooperation

Golden crab from the South Atlantic on iceFor the past 10 years Doug Rader has worked with golden crab fishermen to protect deepwater corals off the South Atlantic coast.  Between formal Fishery Council meetings and hallway conversations, a compromise of allowable fishing zones will keep golden crab fishermen fishing and deepwater corals out of harms way. 

The golden crab industry has a history of being advocates for strong management.  In 1995 it was the golden crab fishermen that petitioned for a fishery management plan and a limited entry fishery. Now with the deepwater protections on the verge of being adopted, many in the golden crab industry are looking to catch shares management as the next step for maintaining a healthy fishery. 

Enter EDF staffers Eileen Dougherty (me) and Sarah Hagedorn.  Starting about eight months ago, Sarah and I answered golden crab fishermen’s call to be educated on catch shares.  Through many exchanges of information, Sarah and I learned about the fishery and fishermen learned about catch shares management.  I helped fishermen understand how catch shares work and are designed and Sarah worked with the fishermen on the science behind catch shares and on defining an appropriate annual catch limit for golden crab. 

Fishermen at the dock unloading golden crabWhat are the results of all this cooperation?  The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council heard fishermen’s request to develop a golden crab catch shares program and are tasking the industry with taking the first crack at the design.  Golden crab fishermen in return are looking to develop a collaborative process by which they can work together, with us, and Kate Quigley, the South Atlantic Council staff economist to craft a catch shares program that will meet their needs and continue the legacy of conservation and stewardship they’ve established.  I look forward to continuing our work with the golden crab industry and am glad I’ve played a part in this lesson of catch shares cooperation.

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Captain Bill Kelly’s Radio Show, Live from the Florida Keys

Michelle Owen, EDF Recreational Fisheries SpecialistMichelle 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. 

Michelle Owen with Captain Bill Kelly, and Rob Clift of the National Parks Conservation Association, during the Captain Bill Kelly Friday Night Radio Show live from the Florida Keys.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”. 

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