Friday, May 25, 2012

The Other Side of Professional Fishing

As I talk more and more about the fishery issues we represent, I might as well give a brief overview of the issues we have been working on at the national level for those who wish to know. Over the past few months, I have made several trips to Washington, D.C. to meet with House and Senate offices from across the gulf about fishery issues.

It began with a large trip to maintain funding for the exploration of flexible and accountable management tools in the charter for hire and private recreational fishery. Charter captains from across the gulf took the time away from their businesses and busy schedules to talk to their representatives in DC about the issues facing our industry.

About a month later, I returned to speak against the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill proposed by Congressman Southerland from Florida. This bill was an attempt to block the implementation or development of catch shares from the DC level. While I respect everyone's views on catch shares, I believe there should be no management tool removed from exploration for our fishery managers. Bills such as this are the perfect example of attempts to bypass the local decision making process, where everyone has an equal seat at the table, and regulate fisheries from Washington. Although the bill passed the house, it has not been introduced in the senate as of yet.

The second trip I made was to meet with congressional and senatorial office across the gulf about the Fishery Investment and Regulatory Relief Act (FIRRA). In support of this bill we are trying to gain traction and sponsorship from the southeast to regain funding from NOAA that has been slowly diverted over time from the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act. It is estimated that since 1979, $13.1 Billion has been diverted from the regional management councils. This money was set aside to be used for cooperative research, stock assessment, data collection, and Exploration of new fishery management tools. Our success is still pending as this bill is in the very early stages, but we hope for it to gain traction over the next months and after the election madness that's coming up later this year.

The most recent trip is actually being completed as I write this on the plane returning to Houston was to express our overall support of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation Act. This is the landmark piece of legislation that is responsible for protecting our fisheries, and it's reauthorization in 2006 mandated that we take action to end overfishing. At the time of reauthorization, the fishery was in serious trouble and has since made a fantastic recovery. Magnuson is working, but the problem we have now is an access problem and a 27 year old fishery management plan. That's a topic for another time, but the main focus on Magnuson is IT'S WORKING!

For now, it looks like I'll be able to relax and just go back to fishing and providing access to the american non boat owning public. As more legislation threatening this access comes out of the usual area, I'm sure I'll make the trip back to DC. But for now it's time to just sit back and enjoy the good times to come as the Memorial Day Weekend on Galveston Island!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Those Pesky Snappers

After the long awaited announcement of what we have left of  Red Snapper season in federal waters this year, we finally got our answer a few weeks ago. This year we will have 40 days. From June 1-July 10 this year we will be able to legally harvest those pesky Red Snappers in federal waters. In the few blue water and Galveston shark fishing trips we have had this year, the Red Snapper seem to be really  thick and good sized heading into the season.

Book your Galveston fishing charter today, before it's too late. Our boats are filling up fast for deep sea fishing trips during this limited season, so don't wait too long to get your reservation. Last year we managed to bring limits of 10 pound fish to the dock nearly every day, so we hope to improve upon that with your help.

On a separate note, make sure you also talk to us about your membership to the Charter Fisherman's Association. We want to represent the fishermen on our boats at all levels and work hard to improve the access and sustainability of our fisheries. Your voice will be heard as a member of the Charter Fisherman's Association at all levels. We appreciate the opportunity to make lasting memories with every fisherman on our Galveston fishing boats and look forward to continuing to provide access to Americas non boat owning public in the future.

Book your Galveston Red Snapper Fishing trip with Fishin Addiction Charters

Check out the Charter Fisherman's Association at 

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fishing at all Levels

After a few very busy weeks, I've finally gotten around to getting another update from the crew of Fishin Addiction Charters. It's been a crazy few weeks here in Galveston, Texas with some fantastic fishing going on. This weekend looks to hold a lot of promise as well.

I've been traveling back and forth to our nations' Capitol talking to congressional and senatorial offices from across the Gulf about some critical issues to the Charter industry. Meanwhile, Captain Dan has been finishing up the school year with finals and getting warmed up for the great Galveston fishing season ahead.

A couple weeks ago I was greeted with a great surprise.  My mom, dad, uncle, and grandpa joined me for a Galveston deep sea fishing trip and a morning at the jetties. I knew nothing about it until they showed up the morning of the trip. We had some great times and managed to catch and release some nice red snappers while bringing home this nice kingfish along with a cobia (ling) and several chicken dolphin. As for the blue water trips, we have getting good numbers of amberjack and king mackerel with a few nice wahoo and groupers mixed in.  This past week I had some friends from Liberty Hill, Texas where I went to high school join me and get rewarded with our new boat record for speckled trout. This great fish was about 8 pounds.

With 2 more days of fishery lobbying behind me for this month I am really looking forward fishing the rest of the week on the Gulf Coast. Looks like I'll be returning for another round of lobbying next week to continue the fight for improving our fisheries at the federal level. I appreciate the opportunity to represent the millions of Americans who rely on the Charter for hire industry as their lifeline to this nations fishery resources.

To book your next Galveston Fishing Charter visit Fishin Addiction Charters

For more information about our nations fisheries check out Charter Fishermans Association

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