NOAA is soliciting comments on a proposed Recovery Plan for Rockfish (specifically Yelloweye and Bocaccio). With comments due end of day today, we are encouraging all readers to make their voices heard on this plan. Comments are due by Today, so the moment you’re ready to be heard, click here and give them a piece of your mind!!
Why is your feedback important? Because we believe that the inclusion of Marine Protected Areas in the draft plan is unwarranted, and presents a clear danger to recreational fishing opportunities going forwards. Some specific points you might consider:
- Puget Sound rockfish already receive significant protection without resorting to Marine Protected Areas. Bottom fishing is already prohibited below 120′, protecting the vast majority of Puget Sound.
- Recreational salmon fishing — which the Marine Protected Areas would prohibit — has not shown significant impacts on the listed rockfish species. Since 2003, the state has been running test-boats out among the recreational fishing fleet. The test boats fish where and how the fleet fishes, and in those 13 years the test boats have not encountered a single listed rockfish.
- Any Marine Protected Areas would only apply to non-tribal fishermen, so in addition to the points above, all NOAA will have accomplished is to provide private fishing grounds for the Tribes. This would be a repeat of the “C-Closure” off La Push, where Tribal fishermen fish inside the closed area–and sport fishermen are shut out..
Again, time is short, so follow these links and offer your comments TODAY!