fishermen. Our 14-year mission to safeguard the rights of saltwater
anglers, protect marine industry jobs, and ensure long-term sustainability of our nation’s saltwater fisheries requires a thoughtful
approach. Federal fisheries management is broken and the current
mandates in the law, coupled with problematic statistical analysis,
are forcing unnecessary closures. It’s not only possible to have
both conservation and access, the RFA demands it. It will require
some heavy lifting to reform federal fisheries law; it also requires a
more balanced and responsible approach to protect the fish, the
fishermen, and the fishing industry.
We let our three activists read each other’s comments, and
invited them to add anything that might help further clarify the
discussion, and move us forward toward solutions:
Pat Murray (CCA): These three articles make clear these
diverse groups share many of the same concerns, but our
approaches to solving these problems differ. CCA operates with
a philosophy of fish-first, science-based advocacy for angling.
The only successes in fisheries management have come from
this approach. It’s not the easiest path, but its success cannot be
denied when you consider the remarkable recovery stories of species such as red drum, snook, and speckled trout, among others.
When fishermen or the industry are put above the long-term
health of the resource, the result is rarely good. Consider what
is being experienced in the global management of bluefin tuna,
where the demise of these great fish is virtually a scientific certainty
and yet greed prevents nations from taking the steps necessary to
ensure a future for the species. Recreational anglers have histori-
cally been the best conservationists and stewards of the resource.
We need the federal government to recognize the value and impor-
tance of the angling community and take the necessary steps in
management, data collection, stock assessments, and reallocation
to ensure that both recreational angling and our shared marine