Southeastern Fisheries Association
Protecting access to seafood
SFA’s mission is to defend, protect and enhance the commercial fishing industry in the southeastern United States for present participants as well as future generations through all legal means while maintaining healthy and sustainable stocks of fish.
Commercial Closure for Red Snapper in South Atlantic Federal Waters on Aug 30.
The commercial harvest of red snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on August 30, 2019. During the commercial closure, all sale or purchase of red snapper is prohibited. All harvest or possession of red snapper in or from federal waters is now prohibited, as the recreational fishing season is also closed for 2019.. The 2019 commercial catch limit is 124,815 pounds whole weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the commercial catch limit. According to the accountability measure, harvest should close to prevent the annual catch limit from being exceeded.
US lieutenant governors call for more inspections on imported seafood
From SeafoodSource.com News: Lieutenant governors in the United States have put their weight behind a resolution sponsored by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (R-Louisiana) calling for additional inspections of imported seafood.
US California Rep. Huffman Announces Healthy Oceans & Fisheries Listening Tour in
From US Congressman Jared Huffman's Offices: As Chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today announced that he will hold a series of roundtable discussions throughout the United States to engage diverse perspectives, interests, and needs of individuals who have a stake in management of our ocean and fisheries resources.
SAFMC Requests Emergency Action for Commercial Mackerel Fisheries
From SAFMC New Release -After considering public comment and recommendations from its Mackerel Cobia Advisory Panel, the Council approved a motion to request NOAA Fisheries use emergency action to increase the second season commercial king mackerel trip limit from 50 fish to 75 fish in the Southern Zone. The Council made the request with the intention of having the increase in place by the beginning of the October 1, 2019 opening. The Atlantic king mackerel stock is not overfished or undergoing overfishing, and it is not anticipated that the commercial quota will be exceeded with the increased trip limit.
Support The Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2019
SFA is urging member and Florida residents to contact Senator Rick Scott and tell him to support the Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act for 2019. The bill, introduced by Senator Rubio in the Senate as S. 1008 and Representative Daniel Webster in the House as HR. 787, promotes ethical and sustainable shark fishing procedures and allows American fishermen to continue making a living.
Click the link below to download information about the bill and how to Contact Senator Scott, and tell him to support fishermen!
Increase in Atlantic King Mackerel Commercial Trip Limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone March 1-September 30
Effective September 11, NOAA Fisheries has announced an increase in commercial king mackerel trips limits in the Atlantic Southern Zone during Season 1 (March 1-September 30). Therefore, the trip limit will remain at 50 fish for the area south of Volusia County, FL, through September 30.
Commercial Fishermen Rescue Sailors
While on a commercial fishing trip for SFA Members Wild Ocean Seafood Market and Cape Canaveral Shrimp Company, Captain Matt Beedle and Crewmate Jamie Rodriguez rescued two gentlemen 35 miles offshore of Port Canaveral on July 25th. While fishing, Matt heard the radar alarm go off, went in the wheel house and saw a blip on the screen. He went back out on the deck and saw some orange material waving in the distance. He eased over towards the waving flag and found a dingy with two gentlemen in it. Their sailboat had sunk the afternoon before in 100 feet of water off Ft. Pierce. There was no time to send out a Mayday call. They had burned the gas in their outboard kicker and had shot all their flares the previous night when they spotted a freighter in the distance. They were drifting north in the Gulf stream when F/V Top Tuna spotted them. F/V Top Tuna was the last commercial fishing boat that Dixie Crossroads founder Rodney Thompson built with the help of his grandson, Josh McCoy. Josh now owns and manages the Top Tuna in addition to being the dock manager at Wild Ocean Seafood's Port Canaveral facility. The USCG intercepted Top Tuna seven miles off Port Canaveral and placed the sailors on a USCG boat to finish bringing them into shore.
All in a day's work for hard-working commercial fishermen!
Commercial Closure of the Golden Tilefish Hook-and-Line Component in South Atlantic Federal Waters on July 23, 2019
From NOAA: The commercial hook-and-line component for golden tilefish in federal waters of the South Atlantic will close at 12:01 a.m., local time, on July 23, 2019.The 2019 commercial catch limit for the golden tilefish hook-and-line component is 82,935 pounds gutted weight. Commercial landings are projected to reach the commercial catch limit and harvest must close to prevent the catch limit from being exceeded.
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling May Affect Marine Insurance for Commercial Fishermen
According to a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme court may cause insurance rates for some boat owners to decrease. The ruling, which says that employees are not eligible to sue the owner of a vessel for punitive damages, may lower the rates for some owners' P&I rates. According to Isaak Hurst, a lawyer at the International Maritime Group in Seattle, WA, "[It] should, in theory, lower insurance premiums for protection and indemnity [P&I] risks associated with vessels that use SP-23 and SP-38 forms,” Hurst said. “For some of my clients last year, the punitive damage endorsement was upwards of 15 percent of their P&I policy.”
New Law in Lousiana Require Restaurants to Display Origins for Shrimp and Crawfish
The governor of Louisiana signed LA House Bill 335 into law last Wednesday, June 19th, which requires all restaurants to display on their menus whether shrimp and crawfish served at the establishment are domestic or from a foreign country.
Press Release from Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay Condemns Elimination of Proposed Protections
From CFBB Press Release: Today, in an announcement that casts a dark cloud over one of biggest commercial fishing seasons in Bristol Bay, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed protections for wetlands and waterways threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay’s pristine headwaters. “I’m furious. This decision reeks of collusion and politics,” said Bristol Bay resident and commercial fisherman Robin Samuelsen. “Even those who are extremely pro-development have raised concerns about the negative impacts of this mine on Bristol Bay. In the face of those concerns, it is shocking that what few protections remain for this region are being further eroded. It is clear that the Trump and Dunleavy administrations are corrupt as ever and colluding with the mining company directly. Those two will do all they can to push forward a dangerous project that threatens our way of life in Bristol Bay.” “Today’s decision is far from the end on this issue. Our people will continue to push for Bristol Bay’s permanent protection for as long as it takes, even generations - our fight is far from over and we are never going away.”
SFA and Sustainable Shark Alliance Support SSFTA
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Hurricane Irma Relief Funds are Released by NOAA
From FWC: The FWC has received notification from NOAA Fisheries that our Hurricane Irma Fisheries Disaster grant has been approved beginning July 1, 2019. While there are several projects in this grant, payment to fishermen and wholesale dealers impacted by Hurricane Irma is a priority. Available government funds are limited. The Fisheries Disaster Relief Program may not be able to cover fishermen fully for their losses.
There are worldwide efforts to reduce the harvest of seafood and to reduce the number of fishing vessels and fishermen in the industry. One major effort of reduction is in fisheries identified as overcapitalized. Another effort is being made by groups who are opposed to harvesting animals for food purposes.
There is a worldwide concern about seafood safety, so much so that the United States, Canada and the European Economic Union have initiated strict seafood safety regulations. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established 21 CFR 123 in 1996 as the controlling regulations for all seafood and aquaculture products sold at wholesale in the country. SFA is developing new options for those needing to be HACCP-certified.
Manuscripts, rules and regulations show how the seafood industry in the southeast has been transformed from a valuable and respected industry to an industry considered by some groups as no longer needed.
SFA Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board: Peter Jarvis, Triar Seafood
President: Tony Lombardi, Lombardi's Seafood
Vice President: Dawn Aylesworth, Aylesworth Foundation
Treasurer: Sherri McCoy, Cape Canaveral Shrimp Co.
Secretary: Jeanna Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Robert Aylesworth, Aylesworth Fish & Bait
Gary Graves, Keys Fisheries
Dennis Henderson, Trico Shrimp Co.
Tom Hill, Key Largo Fisheries
Jimmy Hull, Hull's Seafood Market
Mike Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Gerald Pack, Safe Harbor Seafood
Eugene Raffield, Raffield Fisheries
Steven Rash, Water Street Seafood