Yellowfin tunaThe Mid-Atlantic region is building its first Ocean Action Plan targeted for completion by the end of 2016. Recreational fishing is an important part of this ocean planning. Recreational angler Jeff Deem represents recreational fishing interests on a regional stakeholder advisory group and explains below why your help is needed to shape this Plan for our region.

 

Dear Recreational Angler,

 

THE ATLANTIC OCEAN SEASCAPE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. 

 

There are changes coming to the Mid-Atlantic and in order to address those changes there is an increased focus on ‘Ocean Planning’ in the region. Ocean Planning brings together the various ocean user groups to coordinate ocean uses and minimize conflicts. Our goal is to make you aware of the changes that may be coming to your fishing grounds and ask for your suggestions on ways we can protect your interest while accommodating these changes.

 

striper mania reverseYou have probably heard about the pending installations of wind turbines off our coast. There are also plans for seismic testing that may lead to oil and gas platforms, sand and mineral mining, natural gas export terminals, changes in shipping channels to handle the larger ships coming through the enlarged Panama Canal and possibly other interests. As these are added to current uses such as recreational and commercial fishing, shipping, national defense, ocean research, pleasure boating, undersea cable routes, etc., you might see the need for a coordinated effort to get every group to work together.

 

In order for the recreational fishing community to be taken seriously in the planning process, we need to speak up now and not wait until after the decisions are made. So far, it looks like many of the proposed projects will be beneficial for recreational fishing, providing new structure and habitat. It appears that we will have the ability to fish around the new structures as is allowed in the Gulf. This certainly has the potential to be a win for the recreational fishing community. In years to come, as particular areas are proposed for new uses, we will need to know if you fish in these areas, what types of gear or methods you use within the areas or if you transit through them on the way to your fishing grounds. This information can aide in determining the placement of the structures, their layout and in selecting the least intrusive structure types. In the meantime, we would like to hear what areas are important to you, your concerns about these changes and how they might affect your fishing efforts.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Deem

Recreational Fishing Representative

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean’s Stakeholder Liaison Committee

How to Participate and Make Your Voice Heard

 

Recreational anglers are invited to participate in the Mid-Atlantic ocean planning process.

Questions and public comment are welcome anytime by writing to info@midatlanticocean.org or:

 

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO)
Attn: Kaity Goldsmith
580 Taylor Avenue, E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401

 

For further information, recreational fishers are also encouraged to reach out to their fellow anglers on MARCO’s Stakeholder Liaison Committee for Mid-Atlantic ocean planning.

 

Mr. Jeff Deem: deemjeff@erols.com, (703) 550-9055

Captain John McMurray: johnmcmurray@optonline.net, (718) 791-2094

 

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