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1/30/2009 - FWC lauds sea turtle protection proposal

Sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico may get more protection, thanks to a vote on Thursday by a federal fisheries management agency recommending emergency action to prohibit the use of a type of fishing gear that incidentally catches sea turtles in their offshore habitat on the west Florida shelf of the eastern Gulf.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) supported Thursday’s vote by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to ask the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service to implement a temporary emergency rule prohibiting bottom longline reef fishing in waters less than 50 fathoms (300 feet deep) for the entire eastern Gulf of Mexico.
“We are extremely pleased with and supportive of the Gulf council’s proposal to reduce sea turtle injury and mortality associated with this fishing activity,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.
A 2006-2007 NOAA Fisheries Service report indicates the number of threatened loggerhead sea turtles that have been caught in the bottom longline fishery has exceeded authorized levels.  The temporary emergency rule restricting the use of longline gear in Gulf waters off Florida where sea turtles are found would reduce the fishing impacts on this threatened species until the Gulf fishery council can further develop a reef fish plan amendment that will address the issue in the long term.
If the NOAA Fisheries Service implements the Gulf council’s proposed emergency rule, it would be in effect for 180 days, and it could be extended for an additional 186 days.

1/30/2009-Ready for more mind-numbing fisheries management babble? Click here for: SUMMARY OF THE REEF FISH MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE - Remember; this is your tax dollars at work.
Attached is the reef fish committee report with the committee motions and new motions that were approved by the council. The important info is highlighted in yellow. You see that there was a motion passed to initiate an options paper to consider sector separation along with other issues. The GOMARS proposal and the SOS plan will both be considered. Days at sea, sector separation, endorsements, logbooks, vms, and other issues will be looked at.
You will also see the comments from Dr. Crabtree that the red snapper fed season may only be a few days longer than 2 months.

1/28/09-North Florida spotted seatrout season closes, Atlantic snook reopens Feb. 1

1/28/09-Gulf gag grouper season closes Feb. 1

1/22/09 GULF OF MEXICO REEF FISH SEASONAL CLOSURES AND GROUPER REGULATION CHANGES here *Note: the proposed Amendment DOES NOT close the season for COMMERCIAL grouper fishermen, only recreational!

The decision to no longer monitor the 121 MHz radio frequency was made by the international satellite-based search and rescue organization, COSPAS/SARSAT, nearly nine years ago, giving time for mariners to transition to the newer technology.

NOAA Issues Final Guidance on Annual Catch Limits to End Overfishing

Gulf Council info for upcoming meeting Jan. 26th.

1/18/09 - Letter of intent to sue NMFS over bottom longlining in the Gulf..Click Here

1/17/09 - National Registry for Recreational Anglers click here

1/16/09 - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Sandestin Feb. 4-5. for complete agenda Click Here

1/16/09 - NOAA Issues Final Guidance on Annual Catch Limits to End Overfishing - Click here

1/16/09 - Saltwater Recreational Fishermen Boon for Economy, Says NOAA - Click Here

1/13/09 - NOAA Establishes Eight Marine Protected Areas to Provide Safe Havens for Deep-Water Fish - Click Here


Possible four month recreational grouper fishing closure. Click Here
Fishing Laws Working Too Well!!??
Here's a comical news release everyone should get a kick out of.

National Marine Fisheries Service sticks it to us again.. Click here for story
The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council will meet in January for some very important discussions: Click here
The latest Net-Scam from the commercial netters,
reported by Florida Sportsman Magazine - Click Here for story RESOLVED by the Florida Marine Bureau!
Latest info on the GPS system
- IMPORTANT to all boaters and fishermen! Click here for story