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The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Snapper Grouper Committee voted today to take catch shares off the table as a management option in Amendment 21. By a vote of 9-4, the Committee motion to remove catch shares as an option now goes before the full Council tomorrow, March 11, for final approval.

During public hearings on this and other South Atlantic issues in January and February 2011,**** CCA presented the following remarks regarding the Comprehensive Catch Share Amendment (Amendment 21):

  • CCA is opposed to catch shares for recreational fisheries. NOAA's own Catch Share Policy states that catch shares are not an appropriate management option for recreational fisheries;
  • CCA acknowledges that catch shares may be a valid management tool in purely commercial, large-scale, industrial fisheries, such as those in the North Pacific and North Atlantic, to reduce overcapacity and address bycatch issues. However, there are no such fisheries in the South Atlantic;
  • CCA has grave reservations about the use of catch shares for the commercial sector in mixed-use (recreational and commercial) fisheries. Catch shares systems are not appropriate tools for the recreational sector in mixed-use fisheries;
  • Before the implementation of a catch share system for the commercial sector of a fishery, CCA wants managers to reallocate the fishery based on economic, social and conservation parameters as outlined in NOAA's own Catch Share Policy;
  • After reallocation, the catch share system for the commercial sector should be designed so that commercial catch shares are available for transfer by states or other such entities to the recreational sector;
  • If a catch share system is installed for the commercial sector of a fishery, then the fishery should be scheduled for regular reevaluation, including reallocation;
  • The commercial participants in any catch share program should pay some form of ongoing resource rent to pay the expense of managing the catch share program and repay the public for the exclusive use of a common property natural resource.
CCA is encouraging the South Atlantic Council to formally adopt the Committee's motion to remove catch shares.
 
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