"Recently, an author on the Florida Sportsman's Conservation Blog questioned whether Environmental Defense Fund is contradicting itself in supporting catch shares to solve overfishing problems in federal commercial fisheries. The answer is: “not at all.” As an organization, EDF works in partnership with industry ..."http://blogs.edf.org/edfish/2012/11/21/how-catch-shares-are-working-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/
Her statement; "It is evident that tweaking seasons and bag limits won’t ever work, but innovation and collaboration are proving they can sustain the Gulf’s bounty." is not true. Bag limits and seasons HAVE proven to work - they just don't work when they are artificially shortened to push the Catch Share agenda. She also claims that coastal businesses are busier and that fishing related businesses are more stable - that is an outright LIE, as the exact opposite is true. Alabama officials have documented the benefit of the artificial reefs off of Alabama for many years, and hosted the world's largest red snapper tournament that was extremely successful as well. Not only has the red snapper tournament been decimated, but the damage to Alabama coastal communities has been DOCUMENTED to had fallen 24% in 2009 from the $630 million generated in 2006 (pre-Hijack). That's over $150 million PER YEAR, lost due the the un-necessary, un-wanted reduction in our seasons/bag limits driven by Ms. Baker's ideological dream.
If catch shares are so great, why has there been hundreds of millions of dollars spent to date in public relations marketing? Imagine the impact on our fisheries that those wasted hundred of millions would have ALREADY had. Pitiful.
If catch shares are so great, why is the American taxpayer having to subsidize the funding of the management and enforcement of the Red Snapper IFQ program? Fact is, the American taxpayer is subsidizing this program designed to generate revenue streams from harvesting our Public Trust Resource for the private profit of individuals/corporations.
Check out this video - these are people who are actually in the fishery who KNOW what they are talking about; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLK3ql1-q0I&sns=em
You will notice repeated references to the 6 month season that EDF operatives got removed - THAT is what worked, and THAT is what we should be demanding to return. Dr. Ship states a couple of times in this video that the solution is a "better" stock assessment for red snapper that gives "full credit" for fish swimming around artificial reefs and oil platforms. It seems that current stock assessments do not give credit, by not counting, the millions of fish that these artificial structures are producing. He goes on to say that IF these fish were counted, the biomass would be shown to be so much larger that we could immediately extend the season to 6 or even 8 months! EDF knows that if the 6 month season was brought back, that any supposed benefits from IFQs/Catch Shares/Days At Sea would be eliminated, as there would be absolutely no need - the charter captains would have plenty of time to fish/make a living, they would also know when the season began and ended each year so they could book trips way in advance. The private recs and coastal communities would also benefit from the 6 month season for obvious reasons.
I believe that the NMFS actually had it right in 2006 - a 194 day season with 4 fish limits. I also believe that we could get this 6 month season back (even if we stayed at the current 2 fish limits), IF we worked hard to bring it back. The way to do that? Count the fish. There are some new scientific initiatives underway to do just that - if the government refuses to do it, then we, the People, will get it done. It will be difficult for Crabtree and Co. to refute this new "best available" science, but I'm absolutely certain that he will fight any action that will show their deception regarding the red snapper biomass.
They want us to be more accountable? I think it is past time for the US Government Accounting Office (GAO) to investigate this obvious sham that EDF/NMFS is trying to perpetrate on the American People.
Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
Seems like she is also pushing for Sector Separation. In most angler's opinions that's enough reason to discredit her, except in the eyes of Crabtree