American Sportsfishing Association Newswire
This week, as a victory for the sport fishing community, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council voted not to proceed with the consideration of an amendment that would allow shallow longline gear in highly migratory species on the west coast..
“As a leader in conservation, we support sustainable fishing practices in all sectors. Industrial pelagic longline has a heinous history of waste bycatch and unsustainability.” said Danielle Cloutier, Pacific Fisheries Policy Director for the American Sportsfishing Association. “This practice runs counter to our collective goal of reducing by-catches and ensuring quality fishing opportunities for future generations. We are grateful that the Council fell on the right side of this issue, which is in the best interests of our society.”
As a significant victory for the angling community, the American Sportfishing Association, Wild Oceans, the Coastal Conservation Association of California and the International Game Fish Association joined forces to successfully defend angling interests. Low-lying longline gear creates an excessive amount of by-catch, which can have a negative impact on the health of recreationally important fish stocks.
Public comments on this issue were significant, with nearly 50 separate comments submitted from the sport fishing community, conservation groups, tribal units, and the general public. The council also received more than 500 postcards and petitions, all of which were in opposition to low-layer longline gear. In addition, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife made it very clear that there were several unanswered questions and limited information.