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 stop excessive shark depredation and to reinvigorate the LEGAL shark fishery and market, essential to checking shark depredation.
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 a member of The Billfish Foundation and your constituent, I ask you to review the content of this letter. The shark depredation problem is out of control and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) current plans are inadequate. The agency uses the phrase “sharks are important in balancing the ecosystems” but it is also true for the other species being killed by sharks, including billfish.
Agency staff fail to recall that caution has been advised when a predator-rich environment is encouraged beyond “equilibrium” resulting in heavy predation of other equally important fish stocks. Current Atlantic shark management has achieved that imbalance with a lack of equilibrium.
Current management does not include families’ fishing & businesses (charter boats) economics. 9 out of 14 fishery HMS FMP amendments are for sharks, which reduced shark fishing effort by 40%, landings by 54% driving harvesters away, essentially killing the commercial bottom longline shark fishery, causing shark markets to nosedive by approximately 50% as fish houses became uncertain whether legally obtained shark fins, removed from dead sharks, could be sold. They can be legally sold.
Needed Resolution (1) commercial Atlantic shark fishery (bottom longline) & market need reviving, including fin sales from legally caught sharks once dead, (2) clarifying in Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act that removing fins from legally landed sharks, once dead, is not finning and those fins can be sold. Reviving the shark bottom longline fishery and market is needed to curb shark depredation.
Killing a fishery and economic returns from one-sided management is not responsible management. Even the “precautionary principle” calls for balancing risks, not just for creatures, but also for human activities and economic returns – fisheries and jobs.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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