Blog Archives

Sustainable Seafood Certification and the Feds

Juvenile Swordfish at the market - Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Would having NOAA Fisheries certify seafood as sustainable be a good idea? As I suspect most readers are aware, there are currently a handful of third-party, nonprofit business that have, for a long time, provided an “eco-label” for some market seafood. The Marine Stewardship Council is probably the largest and most well-know of such organizations. Through rigorous criteria they certify seafood products as “sustainable.” There are also plenty of environmental organizations that create and distribute lists of marine products that they consider to be sustainable as well as those that aren’t (e.g. those politically correct wallet-sized seafood cards that are

Posted in Conservation

One More on Magnuson

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Why the Hastings reauthorization bill just sucks Last week I tried to give a general description of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, how it works once the rubber meets the road, and why it’s actually been quite good for anglers in the Mid Atlantic. You can read that post here:  Understanding the Magnuson Act. If you read that post and others I’ve written recently, you know  the act is currently up for reauthorization. Back in December the House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings put out a draft bill called the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in

Posted in Conservation

Understanding the Magnuson-Stevens Act

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

As the debate around the act’s reauthorization rages, it’s important anglers have an understanding of the law’s provisions The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) is, simply, the law that governs how marine resources are managed in federal waters. It was implemented back in the late 70s to keep foreign fleets from wiping out fish stocks in U.S. waters. Once that was accomplished, the U.S. fleet proceeded to capitalize to the point where we started wiping out those fish stocks on our own. And so it’s been reauthorized/tweaked several times since then to address such issues. The most notable

Posted in Conservation

On Playing with Our Food

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

How can we really justify recreational fishing? If you hang around commercial fishermen much, you’ll notice that a lot of them have complete disdain for recreational fishing. From a practical standpoint, you can’t really blame them. Yes, we play with our food. Some of us get a lot of enjoyment from stalking fish, fooling them into eating something with a hook in it, then “fighting” them to the boat or shoreline. That’s sort of bizarre really when you think about it, not to mention, ehm, maybe somewhat cruel. If you want to read something incredibly entertaining, that kind of explains

Posted in Articles, Conservation

“Here’s to the people,” “Oh, I love the people”

Capt. Paul Eidman hoists a nice linesider

There are some great people in the Mid Atlantic region with passion and dedication working for fisheries conservation. Capt. John McMurray introduces us to a few of the folks who are getting things done for us.

Posted in Conservation

On “Bailing Out” the Fishing Industry

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Are Disaster Relief Funds really the disaster some people think they are? Just last week, it was announced that as part of the federal budget, Congress would dole out $75 million in “fisheries disaster relief funds.” The New England groundfish fishery will receive the lion’s share – $33 million – for a situation that was arguably of their own doing, while commercial and recreational fisheries in New Jersey and New York who got whacked by Hurricane Sandy will receive $3 million. The rest will go to Alaska to address issues with its salmon fisheries, Florida to deal with its failing

Posted in Conservation

On The Socioeconomics of Recreational Fishing

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

What we really mean when we say “we spend more money than you” I read with some interest fellow blogger Steve Waters’ piece (Wait, How Many Gumballs Do Recreational Anglers Get?)  regarding the press conference at the recent Miami International Boat Show on the findings of the Commission for Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management and its Vision For Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.   That report includes some good things, as well as some controversial ones. I can’t really say I totally agree with all of its recommendations, but I suppose it’s a good first effort to get the recreational fishing

Posted in Conservation

Striped Bass C&R in the EEZ

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Capt. John McMurray discusses the possibility of a catch and release fishery in the EEZ

Posted in Conservation

At ASMFC Last Week, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Capt. John McMurray provides a recap of what happened with summer flounder, striped bass and winter flounder at last week’s ASMFC meeting, and touches on the larger picture.

Posted in Articles

Of Striped Bass, the EEZ and the Same Old (Expletive)

Photo by Capt. John McMurray

Capt. John McMurray talks about the winter striped bass fishery in Virginia, and the ridiculousness of opening up the EEZ.

Posted in Conservation
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