NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), in the name of being environmentally friendly has instituted tons of regulations due the Magnusson Stevenson Act to keep fisheries sustainable. This act and the amendments therein are increasingly complicated and require a law degree nearly for deciphering. All data collected, according to the powers that be, indicate that nearly all fisheries are collapsing and unsustainable, however the data collected and the statistical inferences used are completely faulty. Nonsensical data collection methods and outdated data are leading to draconian changes that are unnecessary.
The impact of these regulations is devastating. A simple trip to a marina shows most charter captains out of work and selling their boats since clients refuse to pay $800 for a charter to keep one or two fish. Commercial fisherman have heavily reduced catch quotas forcing artificially high prices or the shuttering of their businesses. Fishing in the US is nearly a $1Billion dollar industry and at a time when the economy is less than flowering, the loss in jobs and revenue in this industry is tragic.
Take a few moments to write your local Senator and or Representative and request that the most current and accurate data is used to create the regulations. Even further, join an organization such as the Recreational Fishing Alliance (www.joinrfa.org) and fight for your right to eat a tasty filet or even just to wet a line. Remember once they takith away they rarely givith back. It will take some action to turn this around—Tight lines to all fisherman!!