The chief fishery officer of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), William Hogarth, will meet with anglers on Sat., April 21, at 9:00 a.m. at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) building in Dania Beach, Florida.
Mr. Hogarth agreed to meet with anglers interested in discussing the application for the 13 Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), which would allow pelagic longline vessels to fish in some of the waters of the East Coast closed zone. If approved, the vessels would be allowed to fish in the zone for one year with observers on board for the stated purpose to determine whether their required use of 18/0 (with an offset not exceeding 10 degrees) and 16/0 circle hooks have reduced the bycatch of undersize swordfish and other bycatch, including marlin, sailfish and spearfish. The swordfish caught by these boats will be sold and count towards the U.S. ICCAT quota.
Representatives from The Billfish Foundation (TBF), the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), the IGFA, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and others plan to attend the meeting.
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