Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Outdoors Notes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Outdoors Notes

Article excerpt

SHARK FISHERY CLOSURE URGED

Citing a federal government report, the National Coalition for

Marine Conservation is calling for a closure of the large

coastal shark fishery in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico in

1997.

Large coastal sharks include the blacktip, hammerhead, great

white, sandbar, dusky, whale, basking, bull, tiger, lemon and

nurse.

The NCMC, a nonprofit conservation organization based in

Leesburg, Va., is urging the National Marine Fisheries Service

to shut down the fishery. The National Audubon Society has

joined in the call for closure.

The groups are acting in response to a NMFS report released

last summer that said sharks are being caught at double the rate

they can reproduce. The report went on to say that fishing

mortality must be reduced by 50 percent or more to stabilize the

numbers of large coastal sharks.

"Cutting the quota by 50 percent will at best stop the decline

of these sharks, but our main goal must be to rebuild

populations to their historic abundance," said NCMC president

Ken Hinman. "To begin that process, which may take decades, we

must be more conservative, so we are asking for a complete

closure of the directed fishery."

The Shark Evaluation Workshop report, produced by NMFS

scientists, included information on landings and fishing effort

in both the commercial and recreational sectors. The NMFS is

expected to issue a proposed rule on the fishery.

The public can direct comments to William Hogarth, Highly

Migratory Species Division, Office of Fisheries Conservation and

Management, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West

Highway, Silver Spring MD, 20910.

GOOSE ON THE LOOSE

The second phase of Georgia's Canada goose season runs from

Jan. …

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