TBF NEEDS YOUR HELP!
“No balance” is the hallmark of the NMFS Atlantic shark management, no balance for species taken or damaged by sharks, for captains and crew trying to make a living, for families wanting to fish, nor for the wide range of supporting recreational fishing businesses, including tournaments. In 1978, the “traditional”, highest and best use” to the nation of Atlantic billfish was recognized to be for recreational fishing, which remains today. TBF leads the campaign on Capitol Hill to find viable solutions to excessive shark depredation and to explore the promotion of the LEGAL US shark fishery and market.
TBF needs you to:
- Copy the TBF-supplied letter or your own to your Senators and Representatives making clear your opposition to the NMFS proposal.
- Click on the orange button below to locate and email your Senators and Representatives in D.C. (addresses provided by the site).
- Write Dept Commerce Fish in the subject line of the email.
- Follow the instructions on the site and paste the TBF-supplied letter or your own in the form provided.
- Select the topic for your representatives that most closely aligns with these keywords Commerce/jobs/economy or fish/ocean.
- Add your name, contact information, and submit.
Contact Ellen Peel at (954) 202-9267 (office), (954) 593-1231 (cell) or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an angler and member of The Billfish Foundation (TBF), I ask you to review an issue very important to both the recreational and commercial fishing communities. Atlantic shark depredation, which refers to the effects of an increased presence of Atlantic sharks and their subsequent predation of billfish, tunas, marine mammals, and many other species important to recreational and commercial fishing, is a problem that has grown out of control. The solutions offered by the National Marine Fisheries Service: (1) lowering the boat’s engine noise, (2) moving the boat to where sharks are not seen, or (3) changing baits, are ridiculous and clearly developed by those unfamiliar with angling and our community. We ask you to stop the passage of the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act and instead pass the Sustainable Shark Fishery and Trade Act.
Problem: Depredation of angler-hooked billfish, gamefish, and commercially caught species by an excessive number of Atlantic sharks is causing economic reduction, loss of jobs, damaged gear, and some unfortunate human-shark interactions.
1) The collapse of the US legal commercial shark fisheries and markets following the implementation of 13 states banning fin sales has left an excessive number of sharks in the water, while also rendering U.S. shark fisheries noncompetitive. No markets = No fisheries = No landings = Excessive sharks = Depredation
2) The current NMFS’ Atlantic shark management strategies highlight its lack of understanding ecosystem equilibriums, especially predator/prey relationships. Additionally, most sharks do not have stock assessments needed to support management decisions.
Potential Resolutions: (1) Reviving commercial Atlantic shark fisheries & markets through the passage of the Sustainable Shark Fishery & Trade Act (S115 -143 Rubio & Cassidy) & (HR5248) Webster & Lieu) will reduce shark abundance and depredation. The Act promotes sustainable shark management globally, by requiring all shark products entering the US to be from nations with comparable management measures, a successful solution used with tuna-dolphins.
(2) NMFS should launch a public information campaign to clarify the difference between illegal finning and the LEGAL removal/sale of shark fins taken from dead sharks. That should help individuals understand that properly managed shark fisheries are vastly different from the inhumane and illegal practices often portrayed by the media when discussing shark fins.
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