By John Koegler
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association October1997Newsletter)
It is critically important that all recreational anglers make a major effort to attend this meeting. It is one of the rare times when we get some dialogue between the meeting chairman and those attending. This meeting will be chaired by John Graves, the chairman of the ICCAT advisors. Several NMFS staffers will also attend.
We need to ask specific questions about our future status in the HMS fisheries. The very slow progress ICCAT has made in their programs must be addressed. Questions must be asked that directly cover our future place in the HMS fisheries.
JCAA will host a short meeting at our office on October 1 beginning at 2 PM to cover the issues and key points. This meeting is open to all members and clubs who belong to JCAA. To assure there will be chairs for all, PLEASE call and leave your name, number attending at 1-609-492-2591 or fax to 1-609-492-2212.
NMFS issued NEW proposed HMS procedural guidelines on September 18, 1997. Comments on their guidelines will be accepted until October 15, 1997. These are the guidelines under which NMFS-HMS division will operate during the next several years. There will not be time to cover everything in the guidelines at our meeting. Copies of the proposals will be available and important points will be covered.
NEW Shark and Marlin Advisory Panels met several times over the summer and have produced management outlines. Many of the proposed items will shock recreational anglers. If anglers expect to continue to participate in these fisheries in a meaningful way, major revisions must be made in these proposals before they become new regulations. The advisory panels proposals favor commercial fishing; surprise, surprise!! Given the short time until October 15, the key items will be covered, giving everyone time to discuss the issues at your clubs next meeting and write a club letter. Phone calls to the politicians will also be required for several items, which if enacted would destroy what is left of the offshore recreational fisheries.
Please make it a priority to attend both meetings.