The Billfish Foundation
Working worldwide to advance the conservation of Billfish & associated species to improve the health of oceans & economies.

Stop Longliners From Fishing in a FL Closed Zone

After the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced on August 10th its approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit that allows longline boats to fish in Florida’s east coast closed zone, Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation (TBF) said, “Florida anglers, all anglers who fish off Florida’s east coast and the recreational fishing industry should be irate at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Highly Migratory Species for not valuing or respecting recreational fishing by their approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit, which allows longline boats to fish inside Florida’s East Coast Closed Zone.

Florida has more anglers than any other state in the nation, 2.4 million, and the related industry generates an economic impact of $7.6 billion dollars (2015/16) and supports 109,300 jobs! This is a slap in the face of all connected to recreational fishing in Florida especially after strong opposition was expressed by the industry and community participants. This decision could have a negative impact on Florida’s wide ranging marine tourism. 

Be prepared, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Highly Migratory Species Divison may issue more restraints on recreational fishing so there will be more fish for the “research longlines” to kill if illogical thinking continues. Keep in mind that the State of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opposed the permit being issued.”

We cannot stand by and watch the east coast closed zone be wiped clean of conservation benefits, we need your help to contact your Senators and US Representatives now and if you haven't yet, please join TBF.