NOVA Southeastern University Scientist and assistant professor, David W. Kerstetter, who received a federal Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) in 2017 to conduct longline research in Florida’s east coast closed zone, has submitted an application for a new EFP, but this time without including the university.
In 2017, Dr. George L. Hanbury, NSU’s president, halted Kerstetter’s project when advised by TBF of the negative impacts the project could cast on the institution’s science and community relations credibility. Following that decision, on November 21, 2017, Kerstetter filed papers of incorporation for – Florida Fisheries Solution, LLC. – in whose name the new permit application is likely submitted.
The issuance of a Public Notice by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), acknowledging receipt of the EFP application and its specific parameters, is expected soon, followed by a public comment period. Currently, no one from the agency will speak on the subject, not even responding to inquires from media sources. If the new permit application proposes the longline research to be conducted inside the closed zone, allowing the killing and selling of the accrued conservation benefits, that is illogical and does not support conservation. Perhaps this time, the proposed research is planned to take place outside the closed zone; we have to wait and see.
Stay in touch with TBF on updates in this situation.