Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; RFA Official: D.C. Rally 'Historic'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; RFA Official: D.C. Rally 'Historic'

Article excerpt

Byline: JIM SUTTON

Commercial and recreational fishermen were "standing elbow to elbow" in Washington last Wednesday in a rally on the Capitol steps supporting national fisheries reform, according to the Recreational Fishing Alliance, which organized the event.

Journalists on the scene, the RFA said, estimated the number of participants at between 3,000 and 5,000.

RFA executive director Jim Donofrio called the rally "historic" in the sense that both commercial and recreational fishing interests stood on common ground. Twenty federal lawmakers joined the rally, along with anglers from as far away as Alaska and California.

WHOLE LOT OF WHALE SHARKS

Circuit Court Judge Jeff Morrow had a close encounter of an amazing kind recently on a trip to Isla Holbox off the Mexican Coast.

The island and surrounding waters are part of the Yum Balam Ecological Reserve and are considered the best place in the world to view pods of huge whale sharks that gather from June through September to mate.

Morrow's party saw one of the largest concentrations ever witnessed, numbering in the hundreds.

Scientists from around the world have contacted Morrow about the event, including members of the Costeau family. To see some footage of the whales, go to jacksonville.com/videos.

Morrow has also posted videos of a kayak sailfish landing and a world record marlin off the Galapagos Islands.

Go to YouTube.

SAFMC SET TO MEET

The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council will meet Monday through Friday at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

The big item agenda will be Amendment 17A, which proposes to close down a large stretch of the Atlantic - from North Carolina to Cape Canaveral - to bottom-fishing for 73 species of fish.

There will be discussion on how to enforce the rule.

The SAFMC will also discuss catch limits for Gulf king mackerel stocks and catch share issues for South Atlantic waters. Go to safmc.net for the full agenda. …

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