Longline Research In Closed Zone: Do the Math

Last year’s halting of the federally permitted longline research inside a zone closed to the gear
for 16 years off Florida’s east coast was a positive step for conservation and productive
sportfishing opportunities.

Unfortunately, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is again considering authorizing
the project. Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is not on the new application, but their
scientist remains, this time with his newly incorporated business, Fisheries Solution, LLC.

Do the math

Here is a breakdown of the issues behind the longline project, why TBF opposes it and why you
should too:

  • Conservation benefits in the zone support sportfishing, billfish and other marine species,
    the marine industry, jobs, local economies
  • NMFS wants data on conservation benefits in zone, but doesn’t want to pay for data
  • Instead, longlines will collect data
  • Longlines will then profit by selling the conservation benefits collected from the zone
  • Ultimately, sportfishing, billfish and other marine species, the marine industry, and
    related businesses lose

The NMFS is fully aware of stakeholders’ points of view, and yet has taken the following

  • NMFS knows zone was originally closed because of overfishing by longlines
  • NMFS knows zone is important to sportfishing, the marine industry, and related
  • NMFS knows the State of Florida opposes longline research in zone
  • NMFS knows longline owner expressed hostility on the public record towards the TBF
    and its president
  • NMFS has received other expressions of anger about the research
  • NMFS continues to pit user groups against one another = illogical, poor management,
    everyone loses.