The following was released by the California Pelagic Fisheries Association:
SAN DIEGO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / May 10, 2019 / The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP or 'permit') to allow two U.S. fishermen to test extended hook and line (both deep set and shallow set) fishing gear in Federal waters within the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A primary function of the testing is to determine if the U.S. fishermen can help to increase America's reliance on domestic seafood.
Currently the U.S. imports 90 percent of its seafood. The new permits could increase reliance on local seafood, particularly where swordfish and tuna are concerned. The North Pacific swordfish population, for example, is very healthy and would support a substantial additional harvest according to all international fisheries experts and published reports. Any increase in U.S. fisheries production improves America's seafood security as well as provides for a sustainable ecosystem footprint often lacking in the weak environmental oversight of foreign fisheries.
'NOAA's decision is a huge win for American fisheries, fishermen and ultimately, the environment,' said Dave Rudie, owner of Catalina Offshore Products and President of the California Pelagic Fisheries Association. 'It will greatly benefit San Diego and southern California and our consumers as well.'
The EFP excludes any fishing within 50 miles of the coast or offshore islands and requires that a U.S. Government approved fisheries observer be present during all test fishing. Additionally, it requires a full suite of verified mitigation techniques be used during all test fishing. These techniques are known to reduce or eliminate interactions with sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals.
About the California Pelagic Fisheries Association
The California Pelagic Fisheries Association (CPFA) was formed in 2015 by a group of American fishermen and seafood processors with the function of representing their interests in developing high seas (pelagic) fisheries in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. As a result of CPFA's ongoing efforts at both a local and national level, American consumers have more opportunities to enjoy the very best quality tuna, swordfish and similar species knowing they were harvested by American fishermen using proven environmentally friendly fishing techniques.
About Catalina Offshore Products
Founded in 1977, Catalina Offshore Products was once exclusively a sea urchin wholesaler in both domestic sales and exports. Today the company is one of the largest buyers of local seafood in San Diego, specializing in species found off the West Coast, from Baja and Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. Its business has expanded to include an online store and walk-in fish market and proudly remains family owned and operated. Recognized as an industry leader, Catalina Offshore Products is committed to providing high quality seafood choices from responsible fisheries or farms. For more information, visit catalinaop.com.
SOURCE: Saving Seafood