The Gulf Council (Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council) is living slap up to the “Snidely Whiplash” caricature so many Gulf anglers already recognize it as. Here we are, one year into Red Snapper Sector Separation (Amendment 40), the ink barely dry, arguments pro & con still ringing in our ears and the Council appears intent on pounding a cob up our backsides because….. well, because they can.
Amendment 40 was hard fought, bitterly opposed and with (only with) the acceptance of a three year sunset provision, barely passed into “law”. That provision was offered to gain the deciding vote. Now, with Amendment safely in the bag, the Council is requesting an additional 5 year sunset provision (Amendment 45) to be added to the, not yet one year old, existing sunset provision. That’s an additional 166% more time the Council now needs to get their work done.
A reasonable person might wonder, what could have precipitated the need for such a long extension so soon after the initial provision was put in place. Apparently it’s “just cuz”. The whole thing stinks of bad faith. A concession was made to get the deal, the deal the Council wanted, done. The rational for the initial provision at least sounded like it was founded in reason. From the Extension of the Gulf of Mexico Sector Separation Sunset Provision (Reef Fish Amendment 45) Frequently Asked Questions:
Why was the three-year sunset provision put in place in Amendment 40?
The sunset provision requires the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) to re-evaluate how sector separation is working.
The three-year sunset provision was considered long enough to allow the Council time to explore other possible management measures, like regional management, that could replace sector separation.
The three-year time period was considered short enough to create some urgency by the Council to consider other possible management measures to improve red snapper management.
With the deal in the bag the stated rational for the new extension (Amendment 45) is not so well crafted…. guess it didn’t really need to be. Again, from the Extension of the Gulf of Mexico Sector Separation Sunset Provision (Reef Fish Amendment 45) Frequently Asked Questions:
Why did the Council vote to extend the sunset provision?
The Council is currently working to develop and approve actions to address the management of the charter vessel and headboat fishing within the federal for-hire component (Amendments 41 and 42 to the FMP, respectively).
These amendments are not expected to be effective until after the 2017 Amendment 40 sunset provision expires.
They couldn’t have put any less effort into justifying this new sunset provision extension if they tried. Gulf anglers have been played, are being played and will continue to be played. What do you think?
Tell NOAA What You Think About Amendment 45 (Comment Period Ends October 24, 2016)
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