25 Mar 2007

Pacific Fishery Management Council to Consider Longline Allowance

At its upcoming meeting (April 6, SEATAC Marriott, Seattle Washington) the Pacific Fishery Management Council will make a recommendation on the request for an Exempted Fishing Permit that would allow a single vessel to use longline gear to target bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, albacore and swordfish in the waters of the coastal Pacific from California north to Washington.

Although this permit now includes a provision that would prohibit fishing in the Southern California Bight that includes the primary range of striped marlin in U.S. Pacific waters, The Billfish Foundation is opposing the issuance of this permit on the grounds that three of the target species (bigeye, albacore and yellowfin tuna) are either currently overfished or approaching the overfished condition. We do not believe that it is wise management to begin to explore the possibility of a new longline fishery on species that are currently subject to excess fishing mortality. Click here to see our letter and the list of options available to the Council.

You can contact the Council to provide your opinion on this issue by sending an email to: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov. Reference Agenda Item J.2 Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) for Longline Fishing in the West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone in the subject heading of your email.

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