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Thread: Latest National Outdoor News Press Releases

  1. Default ICCAT wrapup: U.S. negotiating team holds the line for

    For Immediate Release w/photo
    ICCAT wrapup: U.S. negotiating team holds the line for marlin and swordfish

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    Photo caption: The annual negotiations during ICCAT’s annual fisheries meetings attracted growing global media coverage especially to the U.S. delegation led by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, (center) Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Lubchenco delivered the U.S. conservation message as one, supporting science-based management for sustainable stocks and long term fishing opportunities and jobs for both the recreational and commercial fisheries. Among the U.S. delegation to ICCAT wasEllen Peel, (left) President of The Billfish Foundation, who served as the U.S. Recreational Fishing Commissioner and (right) Russell Smith, NOAA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries and lead U.S. Commissioner. (photo courtesy of Justin Kenney/ NOAA)

    ICCAT wrapup: U.S. negotiating team holds the line for marlin and swordfish
    Emphasis on the value of recreational fishing slowly advancing at the annual meetings

    PARIS, France -- A negotiating team from the United States, which included The Billfish Foundation (TBF), successfully defended existing conservation measures for white and blue marlin and swordfish during 12 days of annual negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which concluded in Paris, November 27.
    ICCAT is an inter-governmental fishery organization responsible for the conservation of tunas and migratory species in the Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent seas which includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea. The 40-year old commission includes nearly 50 member nations.
    As the negotiations opened, intense media attention was directed at the U.S. and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Lubchenco’s presence was a clear indication that the U.S. was increasing its visibility at ICCAT. She delivered the U.S. conservation message as one, supporting science-based management for sustainable stocks and long term fishing opportunities and jobs for both the recreational and commercial fisheries.
    “This was the first time we have heard a clear statement emphasizing the economic and cultural value of recreational fishing being delivered by the U.S. at ICCAT,” said Ellen Peel, TBF
    President, who served as the U.S. Recreational Fishing Commissioner.
    Randi Parks Thomas served as the U.S. Commercial Fishing Commissioner and Russell Smith, NOAA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries, was the lead U.S. Commissionerand negotiator. Dr. Russell Nelson, TBF’s Chief Scientist, represented the organization as an official observer lobbying for conservation and keeping anglers globally informed via TBF’s blog site thebillfishfoundation.********.com .
    Some positive results included a continuing of Atlantic marlin conservation measures requiring release of live marlin from longline vessels and quotas on commercial landings.
    “These conservation measures have resulted in the first positive increase in white marlin stocks in over three decades,” noted Peel. “Negotiating before ICCAT for the conservation of species important for U.S. recreational fisheries is extremely challenging,” she said “but in recent years Brazil has arisen as a very important partner in billfish conservation.”
    “The U.S. successfully managed to extend the North Atlantic swordfish measures for one year, which will likely create more pressure next year to retain quota share,” observed Nelson, “and any reduction in U.S. quota share would trickle down to re-distribution of catch allocations through all user groups in the U.S.
    In other major news ICCAT, which recently began addressing shark conservation, removed oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks from the international market and any take, possession or sale will be prohibited (with some exceptions for small scale artisanal coastal fisheries). On the down side for sharks measures to protect thresher and porbeagle sharks and to require that all sharks be landed with fins intact (to make it harder to fin sharks and discard their bodies) were defeated. Like marlin, sharks are killed as bycatch in pelagic longline gear.
    “A significant step was achieved with the adoption of the agreement to prohibit retention of oceanic whitetip sharks,” said Sonja Fordham, a veteran international shark expert, U.S. delegation member and President of the non-profit organization Shark Advocates International.
    Much needed conservation measures for bigeye tuna and Mediterranean swordfish did not move forward.

    ###

    November 29, 2010


    TBF PR counsel: Pete Johnson, Johnson Communications, Inc.


    Scottsdale, Ariz. -- 480-951-3654 -- Johnsoncom@aol.com
    Saltwater Fishing Articles by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella
    http://jerrylabella.com/forums/
    http://jerrylabella.com

  2. Default gray wolf from the list of threatened species

    Dear RMEF Member,

    Delisting of wolves continues to be considered by the U.S. Congress.

    Please make TWO quick phone calls—and pass this on to every hunter and sportsmen you know around the country who wants to hunt big game in the West and the Great Lakes area.

    Simply call and ask Sen. Tester and Sen. Baucus (both from Montana) to support Sen. Hatch, Sen. Crapo, Sen. Risch, Sen. Enzi, Sen. Barrasso, Sen. McCain and Sen. Kyl, and vote to pass S. 3919 which would delist wolves across the West and the Great Lakes area.

    Both Montana senators currently support delisting that is controlled by the federal government, not the states. Tell Montana’s senators to end federal oversight and grant wolf-management authority to the states. If these two Senators will support S. 3919, most of the Senate will support the same.

    Tell them this is a critical issue to all sportsmen and ranchers in Western and Great Lakes states.

    Call now!

    Sen. Baucus 202-224-2651

    Sen. Tester 202-224-2644




    M. David Allen
    President/CEO
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
    (406) 523-4584




    Title: To remove the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf from the list of threatened species or the list of endangered species published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the “Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Recovery and Sustainability Act of 2010”.
    SEC. 2. STATUS OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN DISTINCT POPULATION SEGMENT OF THE GRAY WOLF AS ENDANGERED OR THREATENED SPECIES.
    (a) Definitions.—In this section:
    (1) Final rule.—The term “final rule” means the final rule entitled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule To Identify the Northern Rocky Mountain Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment and To Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 (April 2, 2009)).
    (2) Northern rocky mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.—The term “Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf” means the distinct population segment of the gray wolf described in the final rule.
    (3) Secretary.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.
    (b) Status of Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment of the Gray Wolf.—
    (1) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective on the date of enactment of this Act, the final rule shall have the full force and effect of law.
    (2) State management plan for state of wyoming.—
    (A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), until the date on which the Secretary approves a State plan for the management of gray wolves in the State of Wyoming, gray wolves located in the State of Wyoming shall remain subject to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
    (B) Authority of secretary.—The Secretary may permit the lethal and nonlethal taking of gray wolves if the Secretary determines that a taking would be appropriate for any reason relating to gray wolves, including—
    (i) to defend private property, including livestock and pets; and
    (ii) to address unacceptable impacts to wild, ungulate populations.
    (3) Entire distinct population segment delisted.—On the date described in paragraph (2)(A), if the Secretary has not carried out any action under subsection (c), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice to remove the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf from the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).
    (c) Monitoring and Subsequent Status of Species.—
    (1) Duty of secretary.—Consistent with section 4(g) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(g)), the Secretary shall cooperate with each State to monitor the status of the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.
    (2) Inclusion of the gray wolf with respect to states of montana and idaho.—
    (A) Determination of secretary.—
    (i) State of montana.—During the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, if the Secretary determines that the population of gray wolves located in the State of Montana does not meet the minimum threshold described in subparagraph (B)(i), the Secretary shall include the population of gray wolves on the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).
    (ii) State of idaho.—During the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, if the Secretary determines that the population of gray wolves located in the State of Idaho does not meet the minimum threshold described in subparagraph (B)(ii), the Secretary shall include the population of gray wolves on the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).
    (B) Minimum thresholds.—
    (i) State of montana.—With respect to the State of Montana, the minimum threshold shall be considered to be a population of gray wolves that is within or above the population range established in the Montana 2003 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.
    (ii) State of idaho.—With respect to the State of Idaho, the minimum threshold shall be considered to be a population of gray wolves that is within or above the population range established in the Idaho March 2008 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.
    (d) Termination; Effect.—
    (1) Termination.—Effective on the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533) shall apply, without limitation, to any determination of the listing status of any gray wolf located within the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.
    (2) Effect.—Nothing in this section—
    (A) applies to any species, or distinct population segment of any species, other than the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf; or
    (B) may be considered to be—
    (i) any precedent for the management of any species, or distinct population segment of any species, other than the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf; or
    (ii) the intent of Congress with respect to any interpretation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (c) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015.
    Saltwater Fishing Articles by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella
    http://jerrylabella.com/forums/
    http://jerrylabella.com

  3. Default Sportsmen: Take the USA Today Gun Owner Poll

    U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
    801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229
    Ph. 614/888-4868 • Fax 614/888-0326
    Website: www.ussportsmen.org • E-mail: info@ussportsmen.org
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Greg R. Lawson (614) 888-4868 x 214
    December 31, 2010 Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 x 226
    Sportsmen: Take the USA Today Gun Owner Poll



    (Columbus, OH) -With a new year getting ready to start, it's important that sportsmen's voices are heard loud and clear. One way to do this is to respond each and every time the mainstream media seeks our opinions on subjects that impact our traditions.
    The Second Amendment is one of these subjects. It's vitally importance to millions of America’s sportsmen. This is especially the case today as all firearm owners constantly face legislation in Washington and state capitals seeking to constrain our constitutional rights.
    This online poll from USA Today, one of the leading news providers in the country, has surfaced a number of times online. Despite being around for three plus years, the poll asks a tremendously important question, “Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”
    Thus far over 7 million people have responded with the overwhelming majority voting yes. As legislators in Congress and the states come back into session, this is a good time to express your opinion about our right to keep and bear arms.
    As such, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance hopes that you will join those that have already voted and make your opinion heard.
    In the meantime, let’s all take a deep breathe and get ready for to continue standing up for our outdoor heritage in 2011!
    Take Action! Click here to vote and add your voice to the USA Today poll.
    For more information, contact the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance at 614-888-4868 or email info@ussportsmen.org
    About the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
    The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
    Saltwater Fishing Articles by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella
    http://jerrylabella.com/forums/
    http://jerrylabella.com

  4. Default longlining restrictions within its waters

    For Immediate Release
    Panama is first Central American country
    to add longlining restrictions within its waters

    PANAMA CITY, Panama and FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., USA – After banning commercial purse seining from its waters in July, the Republic of Panama has taken further steps adding restrictions on longlining for the conservation of its marine life and its socio-economic growth.
    In letters to Panamanian officials, Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation and Chris Fischer founder of OCEARCH, applauded the government for becoming the first of the seven Central America nations to restrict pelagic longline gear within its waters. The practice of commercial longlining in the region uses hundreds of baited hooks attached to short lengths of line spaced at intervals to main lines. The longliners target swordfish and tuna, but also hook bycatch species including sharks, turtles and recreational billfish like marlin and sailfish.
    Panama’s Executive Decree 486 signed by President Ricardo Martinelli on Dec. 28, 2010, prohibits longline vessels of over six tons from operating within the nation’s waters.
    “This action,” said Ms. Peel, “is the latest in a growing trend that makes Panama one of the most proactive, innovative and committed fishery managers in the world and results from the increasing influence of the collective sportfishing community.
    “After prohibiting tuna purse seining in July the signing of these two agreements acts directly on two of the greatest sources of overfishing of marlin and tuna species while creating appropriate sustainable management plans for billfish and other popular game fish vital to growing sportfishing and tourism in the Central America region.”
    OCEARCH’s Fischer who is also on the board of TBF said, “Through this decree the Republic of Panama becomes a global leader in the responsible management of ocean resources and a more established force in the international sportfishing tourism marketplace.”
    In Panama, Dr. Ruben Berrocal, National Secretary of SENACYT (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) added, "The President's decision underscores his commitment to preserving our natural resources for future generations; and the economic and scientific benefits these measures produce are well-established. Through sustainable marine management efforts and the careful consideration of important advocacy programs to maintain our game fish--such as those supported by The Billfish Foundation--we are committed to ensure that Panama remains a world-renowned destination where commerce, science and economic productivity can live in harmony.”
    TBF, through a 2009 agreement with the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Isthmus of Central America (OSPESCA), developed a management plan for sportfishing in the seven nation region assisting each nation in developing appropriate national conservation goals to enhance sportfishing tourism. It includes recreational fishing monitoring and data collecting programs using TBF tags and catch reports to gather vital statistics for decision makers to better understand the dynamics of sportfishing as an important economic tool.
    TBF has been working with the governments of Mexico, Costa Rica and Peru – some for over a decade – to protect billfish, mainly from overfishing coastal fisheries by commercial interests, while implementing tag and release programs for sportsmen.
    Established 25 years ago, The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world. TBF's comprehensive network of members and supporters includes anglers, captains, mates, tournament directors, clubs and sportfishing businesses. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, TBF is able to work for solutions that are good for billfish and not punitive to recreational anglers. Visit www.billfish.org or to reach Ms. Peel, ph. 800-438-8247, ex.108.
    ###

    1/13/2011
    TBF PR counsel - Pete Johnson, Johnson Comm, Scottsdale, Ariz., USA.
    480-951-3654 (ph) -- JohnsonCom@aol.com
    Commercial longlining ships like this Panamanian vessel photographed off Panama will now be banned in the waters of the Central American nation, from setting hundreds of baited hooks to its lines which attract bycatch species like billfish, turtles and sharks. The recent presidential decree is a huge triumph for conservation, recreational catch-and-release sportfishing efforts and for the socio-economy of the region. (Photo courtesy of Elliott Stark, The Billfish Foundation)
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    Saltwater Fishing Articles by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella
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    http://jerrylabella.com

  5. Default Ocean’s “dead zones” expanding;


    For Immediate Release w/graphic & caption

    Ocean’s “dead zones” expanding; billfish more
    exposed to capture says The Billfish Foundation
    Image courtesy of the Journal of Fisheries Oceanography, 19(6), 448-462. 2010
    (Caption): A recent research study by scientists and fishery experts working in the western north Atlantic and eastern tropical Atlantic revealed that billfish and other finfish are becoming more vulnerable to overfishing as “dead zones,” scientifically known as hypoxic zones, expand and shoal closer to the sea surface. This graphic using dissolved oxygen (DO) data from the WorldOcean Atlas shows the depleted levels of DO at 100 meters depths off Africa and the Americas. The black and red colors indicate depressed levels of DO at or below 3.5 milliliters per liter (see scale). The study was composed of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and The Billfish Foundation. Billfish and other marine species become more susceptible to overfishing because they are "compressed" into oxygen rich waters at the ocean’s surface where they are easier to catch, while avoiding waters low in oxygen below the thermocline.
    FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.USA. – With the New Year comes new challenges to fish in our world’s oceans and one of the major concerns is the expansion of hypoxic zones. That’s the scientific name but more recreational anglers are becoming aware of them as “dead zones.”
    They are areas in the oceans with low or non-existent oxygen levels which, according to a recently released research study by scientists and fish management experts, are increasing in size while decreasing the habitats of billfish and tuna. In scientific circles this phenomena is called "habitat compression."
    Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation (TBF) said scientists outfitted 79 sailfish and blue marlin in two strategic areas of the Atlantic with pop-off archival satellite tags which monitored their horizontal and vertical movement patterns.
    “Billfish favor abundant habitats of oxygen rich waters closer to the surface while avoiding waters low in oxygen,” Peel said. The study, composed of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and TBF, found a massive expanding low oxygen zone in the Atlantic Ocean is encroaching upon the fish forcing them into shallower waters where they are more likely to be caught. The research waters included areas off south Florida and the Caribbean (western North Atlantic); and off the coast of West Africa (the eastern tropical Atlantic).
    Hypoxic zones occur naturally in areas of the world’s tropical and equatorial seas because of ongoing weather patterns, oceanographic and biological processes. In the current cycle of climate change and accelerated global warming, hypoxic areas are expanding and shoaling closer to the sea surface, and may continue to expand as sea temperatures rise.
    “The zone off West Africa,”said Dr. Eric D. Prince, NOAA Fisheries Service research biologist, “encompasses virtually all the equatorial waters in the Atlantic Ocean, is roughly the size of the continental United States and is growing. With the current cycle of climate change and accelerated global warming we expect the size of this zone to increase, further reducing the available habitat for these fishes.”
    Dr. Phillip Goodyear of TBF explained that fishery managers should start incorporating oxygen depleted zones into assessing population abundance and making management decisions. “As water temperatures increase, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water decreases, squeezing billfish into less available habitat and exposing them to even higher levels of overfishing.”
    Peel added, “While most recreational anglers are practicing catch and release, sailfish and marlin will become more vulnerable to commercial netters, purse seiners, and longliners that fish the oxygen rich zones. Reduced habitats can lead to higher catch rates of fish not because there are more fish in an area, which is the usual indication, but because the billfish are more densely concentrated near the surface where fishing gear is more likely to catch them.
    “These higher catch rates from compacted habitat can skew estimates of population abundance, producing a false signal of stock size. This important issue is whether the change in habitat will cause a change in CPUE (catch per unit of effort)with no corresponding change in species abundance. This issue will be important for future stock assessments.”
    The findings were published in the Nov. edition of Fisheries Oceanography, where a full discussion of this challenging phenomenon in both the Pacific and AtlanticOceans is reviewed.
    Established 25 years ago, The Billfish Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to conserving and enhancing billfish populations around the world. TBF's comprehensive network of members and supporters includes anglers, captains, mates, tournament directors, and clubs and sportfishing businesses. By coordinating efforts and speaking with one voice, TBF is able to work for solutions that are good for billfish and not punitive to recreational anglers. For more visit www.biillfish.org or phone Ms. Peel at 800-438-8247 ex 108.
    ###
    1/18//2011

    Pete Johnson (PR counsel for The Billfish Foundation -- billfish.org)
    Johnson Communications, Inc.
    P.O. Box 12398
    Scottsdale, AZ85254
    Ph: 480-951-3654
    e-mail: JohnsonCom@aol.com


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    Saltwater Fishing Articles by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella
    http://jerrylabella.com/forums/
    http://jerrylabella.com

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