Governor Perry Speaks Out About Texas Recreational Angling

| November 4, 2009

CCA Texas News Release 11/03/09

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Texas Governor Rick Perry joined with three other Gulf State Governors to outline their concerns over the potential negative impacts of catch share programs on their states’ economies, and how such programs could restrict citizens’ access to fisheries resources. In addition to Gov. Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley have all signed on to the effort coordinated by Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Center for Coastal Conservation (Center) to find a better system to balance the needs of the public.
“We have already seen the negative impacts of the Gulf red snapper catch share system and are concerned about potential negative impacts from the pending program for Gulf grouper,” the governors’ letter stated. “Creating an exclusive harvesting right for a small group of commercial fishermen inherently marginalizes other users who do not have the same access privileges. In purely commercial fisheries this effect can have both economic and management benefits. But when applied in mixed-use fisheries, recreational anglers are forced to focus their efforts in limited state waters or not participate in the fishery at all. Neither of these outcomes is desirable.”
“Recreational angling is an important part of Texas’ economy and culture,” Gov. Perry said. “I appreciate CCA bringing this issue to my attention and look forward to continuing to work with the recreational angling community to find a solution to this issue.”
“Governor Perry and his fellow Governors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have brought to light a number of the problems inherent to catch share programs in mixed-use fisheries,” said Robby Byers, CCA Texas executive director. “Governor Perry’s leadership on this issue is helping the voice of the recreational angler be heard.”
CCA recently filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging the adoption and implementation of Amendment 29 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Management Plan that gives away a majority share of Gulf grouper to the commercial fishing industry through a catch share program. The Obama Administration has made the implementation of catch share programs in federal fisheries a priority, and both CCA and the Center have been working at the state and federal level to oppose their use in fisheries that have a large and growing recreational component.
“Catch shares are a huge concern for recreational anglers, and Governor Perry and his fellow Gulf State governors obviously share those concerns,” said Patrick Murray, CCA president. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Perry for taking the lead on this effort, and to governors Jindal, Barbour and Riley for taking such an extraordinary step to raise the visibility of this issue and protect their citizens’ access to public marine resources.”

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Category: Causes, Gulf Coast Report

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