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why is it that it seems like every couple of days I hear or read about someone wanting close this, ban that, etc. auctioning off rights to harvest resources, thats a new one that I havent heard before...until now. how greedy can you be. not only do they want to take from us, they want us to pay for them. maybe because its 3:30 in the morning and I havent slept my brain isnt working so I am wrong about this... someone tell me I am wrong. this sounds very bad. imagine what else they could implement this plan too...

Conservation Group Offers "Freedom to Fish" To Highest Bidder

New Management Approach Would Sell Off Recreational Access

Galloway, NJ - In what can best be described as a "pay to play" version of fisheries management, the Texas-based conservation group, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), has gone on record with a new socialized approach to managing the nation's coastal fisheries, whereby access to the resource is offered to the highest bidder. According to Dr. Russ Nelson, Fisheries Consultant for CCA, a "free market-based approach to managing red snapper and other marine fishes" could create individual fishing quotas (IFQ) for the recreational fishing community, the same as commercial fishermen.

"IFQ programs have demonstrated some success in controlling commercial fisheries, but restrict access by the general public and necessitate difficult allocation decisions," Nelson said in a CCA discussion paper delivered to the Gulf Council on April 10. Citing current discard mortality problems within the recreational sector, particularly with regard to the red snapper fishery, Nelson said "We are facing new, stricter control measures to assure that our annual catch doesn't exceed the allowable level, and the recreational sector remains without an accurate means of counting the fish we catch."

CCA's proposed "free market-based approach" would issue individual, non-reusable tags for red snapper to account for the total allowable catch during an annual cycle. The tags would be issued for public auction every year, and those members of the public who wish to catch red snapper would make bids on the available fish tags. "Let anyone who so desires to place their best bid and distribute to the highest bidders," Nelson's paper stated, "bidders could be individuals, states or organizations."

Tags would remain on individual fish until cooked and consumed, whether in a residential home or at a seafood restaurant, which CCA explains will allow all fishermen who gain access to the tags to do with the fish what they please. "Those who buy the tags can used them any way they desire - take the fish home and eat it, give them as Christmas presents, sell them, take their fish to a market and sell them," the CCA paper continued.

The authors of the discussion paper explain that the current method of surveying recreational anglers through the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) could be eliminated, since only anglers possessing tags would be allowed to fish for regulated species like red snapper, and only a certain allotment of tags would be issued during any given cycle. "It is simple and arguably the most fair and equitable approach. Every one - anglers, commercial harvesters, seafood processors, investors and conservationists would have the same opportunity to access the resource," the CCA paper added.

Many members of the recreational fishing community fear the proposal, if put into policy, would take the common man out of fishing. "We think it is bad policy to rest fishing rights in a select few," said Jim Hutchinson, Jr. Managing Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). "Such a proposal would create a fishing elite to the exclusion of the American fishing public."

"Together with marine reserves, this plan, if implemented, would completely eliminate open-access fishing in America," Hutchinson added. "Hopefully, the Gulf Council can squash this idea before it gains any credibility within fisheries management circles."

"We do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many. Our aim is to preserve our natural resource for the public as a whole, for the average man and the average woman who make up the body of the American people."

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talk about taking the recreational out of recreational fishing.

I can sort of agree with a tag system (just like hunting) for some species like sharks and etc but having a bidding war is absolutely horrible for the recreational fisherman. I can see a whole new market of people turning those tags into a business and buying as many tags as possible in order to make money.

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I agree with you Jim sometimes it just makes me wonder it not about conservation but more about money with the economy the way it is right now when it rains it poors.:BangHead:

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well, in my opinion, this is just like the beach closures. they want to start off by doing one thing, one thing that people will sign off on because "it will help". but, by doing that one thing you open the door for more to follow and then you cant stop it. just a guess, but stripers would probably be next. could you imagine having to go to an auction or on freakin ebay to get a tag just so you can keep a fish? I hear $20, do I have $25?

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just another way to tax the people of this country. That would be very unfortunate one of the greatest things about fishing is that it can be enjoyed by so many people and families. I would hate to see this trend start. Next thing you know they will have us registering ammo......wait a minute this administration is already working on that.

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Thanks for the post Matt. I cannot believe what I am reading, well maybe I can. This day and age, nothing surprises me anymore.

What about the poor people like myself. I guess I will never be able to consume another fish. Bad idea.

Could you imagine the Defenders of Wildlife buying up a majority of the tags:angry8:

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I hope I cannot see this happening.

PETA and others would put up more money than any of us could and lock us out.

Either that, or you would see scalpers on every dock.

There are a whole heck'uva lot of folks that rely on free fish so their family can eat. Not everyone has the money to buy food in a store.

Take Florida for example, the poorest and cane pole fishers would pay nothing to fish, others pay a small fee for a state license.

They can't afford a stupid tag. We need to look out for the folks that will suffer the most, those "groups" (gangs) don't care about them.

Take care of your brother and he will take care of you.

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Simple and most fair access to the resource?

NOT!

If this came to life, the only 4X4 you would see on the beach would have a Lexus or Mercedes label on it. Every person struggling to make ends meet and every young person would not to have the opportunity to participate in this beautiful way of recreation, or source of food for their family.

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I saw a pic of a yellow HUMER going down the beach at sandbridge that had FLA tags. Law told me that it cannot happen. they are going to stop US. Who ever has the GOLD, Makes the RULES!!!:BangHead::clock:

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