24
Aug

Gray FishTag Research opposes recent Long-lining Research EFP approval

Gray FishTag Research (GFR) opposes the recent approval of the EFP application that would allow pelagic longlining (PLL) research in the northern portion of the Florida East Coast (FEC) closed area.

 Official Memorandum

Gray FishTag Research (GFR) opposes the recent approval of the EFP application that would allow pelagic longlining (PLL) research in the northern portion of the Florida East Coast (FEC) closed area.

We believe the authorization of the EFP and allowing PLL to take place within the closed area, even if only a small few mile total area, would be detrimental to the conservation successes gained by the closed area.  Over the past decade, the Southeast Florida recreational fishery has flourished in part to the success of the FEC.  Allowing longline boats in the closed area would likely result in reducing the stock abundance of sharks, billfish, sea turtles and other commonly encountered marine species.  The potential bycatch of Atlantic Sailfish, Blue Marlin and other Istiophoridae species would have devastating to the Florida East Coast and Southeast Coast Fishery.

The swordfish fishery, in particular the Florida East Coast fishery, is one of the greatest success stories in U.S. fisheries management history.  Allowing longline gear to be fished within the Closed Area will cause the great successes gained towards sustainable fishing to be reversed.

Gray FishTag Research vehemently oppose the authorization of the EFP and request that permit be rescinded.

Gray FishTag Research Team Members