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March 2013

NMFS Releases Alternatives for Amendment 8 - Swordfish

Swordfish_TBFOn February 22, 2013 The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released the preferred alternatives in the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Amendment 8 to the Highly Migratory Species Fisheries Management Plan dealing with swordfish management. In a process that began in 2009 to increase access to the fishery and find ways to fulfill the U.S. swordfish quota established by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). This is an important topic because over the last several years the US has failed to harvest the allocated quota and faces the possibility of losing unharvested quota to other countries.

Some of the alternatives proposed in the Draft Amendment 8 could have an impact on recreational anglers, charter and headboats, and the management of swordfish in many areas where recreational anglers swordfish. The preferred alternatives create a new open-access permit for handgear that would allow easier access to the fishery as well as establish regional harvest limits by gear/vessel type. The thought behind this is that current recreational anglers illegally selling swordfish catches could now legally obtain a permit and sell their catches to licensed dealers. Current regulations do not allow sale of swordfish caught by anglers, but swordfish commonly enters the black market and creates issue for fisheries management and food safety.

As part of proposed alternatives, charter and headboat vessels may also be able to sell any of their swordfish catches when they are not on a for-hire trip. However for vessels with an HMS Angling Permit wishing to obtain the new open access handgear permits, it is important to note that they will forfeit their ability to target billfish outside of HMS registered tournaments.    Read More

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TBF Recognizes Tag and Release Award Winners

The Billfish Foundation celebrated the accomplishments of the 2012 Tag and Release Award winners at the annual awards ceremony presented by Bisbee's Black and Blue. With award winners representing more than 7 countries and some of the best captains and anglers in attendance, it was a fantastic night that celebrates great strides toward conservation.    Read More

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And We Have a Winner....

Carolina Skiff WinnerThe Billfish Foundation would like to congratulate Todd Anderson for winning the The Billfish Foundation's Charity Raffle celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Big Game Room. Todd won the beautiful boat package which included a Carolina Skiff 16HVX, a 60 hp Suzuki motor, and a magic tilt trailer. TBF would like to thank the Miami International Boat Show (NMMA), Carolina Skiff, Suzuki Marine, and Magic Tilt Trailers for the dedicated support of The Billfish Foundation. 

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Recreational Fishing Generates $192 Billion in US Economy in 2011

NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) recently released the Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011 in which it details the economic impacts generated from both the recreational and commercial fishing industries. In 2011 the recreational fishing industry in the US generated $70 billion in sales impacts, $20 billion in income impacts, and supported 455,000 jobs. The economic impacts for the recreational sector increased compared to 2010 and shows a bright outlook. It is important that recreational anglers in the US make the importance of the recreational fishing industry known; without healthy fish populations for the future, these large economic impacts would not be possible. Read More

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Still a Chance for Anglers in Australia

Many environmental groups are praising Australia and claiming victory for Australia's national system of marine reserves, but hold on.... all is not said and done for anglers down under. The proposed system of marine parks will shut out anglers from vast areas of ocean costing billions of dollars to important marine industries all without there being sound scientific reasoning for such measures. Fortunately, political actions are being taken in an attempt to prevent the implementation of these reserves in order to evaluate the practices and science surrounding this controversial issue.   Read More

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