coral reefs, reef fish, fish traps, task force, caribbean, petitions coral reefs, reef fish, fish traps, task force, caribbean, petitions

 



Petition For a 20-Year Extension of the Oculina Research Reserve
Request for Gulf-Wide 40% Reduction of Shrimp Trawling Finfish Bycatch
Protest the Planned Sand Burial of 100 Acres of South Florida Reefs
Request Action to Save America's Groupers from Depletion
Demand an End NOW to Coral Destruction by Fish Traps!
Call for a U.S. Phaseout of All Fish Trap Use by 2004!


Petition For a 20-Year Extension of the Oculina Research Reserve

In June 2003, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will decide whether or not to extend the existing Oculina Research Reserve in order to continue trawling and fishing prohibitions designed to protect fragile Oculina coral reefs and rebuild depleted reef fish stocks.  Fishers, eager to regain access to the rebounding fish populations within this area, are pressuring the Council to let the reserve cease to exist after its 2004 sunset date.  We need your sign-on to this petition to show the South Atlantic Council that there's strong public support for the continued protection of this irreplaceable resource.


Request for Gulf-Wide 40% Reduction of Shrimp Trawling Finfish Bycatch

ReefGuardian International (RGI) requests that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) promptly approve Shrimp Amendment 10 Alternative 6.3.3 Option (a) to reduce finfish bycatch in the Eastern Gulf and all other federal Gulf waters by at least 40% via the use of bycatch reduction devices. Further delays and additional scientific studies are not required to justify and implement the use of BRDs in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Documented studies already exist to show that (1) finfish bycatch in the Eastern Gulf is unacceptably high at 420% by weight of shrimp catch, (2) bycatch reduction devices are available now to reduce that finfish bycatch by 40% while keeping shrimp loss down to 4%, (3) the shrimp loss translates to a practicable average loss of revenue of $2118 per year for each vessel that would be affected by an Eastern Gulf BRD requirement, and (4) procurement of two BRDs capable of a 40% reduction in finfish bycatch would cost each vessel no more than $600, which is also practicable.

Request Action to Save America's Groupers from Depletion

America's groupers are in deep trouble. And I'm asking you to help pull them out by signing on to ReefGuardian International's Save Our Groupers petition. Practically all grouper species for which usable data is available are officially recognized to be in BIG trouble. Three federal regional fishery management councils are responsible for 15 grouper species in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and U.S. Caribbean. Of those 15 managed species, TEN have been designated "vulnerable to extinction" by the American Fisheries Society. And red grouper may not be considered vulnerable to extinction (yet) but it IS classified in one or more regions as overfished. In fact, ONLY 4 of the 15 managed grouper species (misty grouper, yellowfin grouper, red hind and rock hind) are not known to be in serious decline in one region or another -- and that may be simply because enough data is not available yet!

Call for a U.S. Phaseout of All Fish Trap Use by 2004!

What would you think if you woke up to huge trenches being dug in your backyard and everyday it got worse? Soon the remaining grass and trees would die because of the destruction of the system. This is what happens daily on the hard bottom of the Gulf of Mexico when fish trappers drag enormous grappling hooks in an attempt to locate their boxes of death. Now we have the chance to stop this!

Demand an End NOW to Coral Destruction by Fish Traps!

The coral reefs of the U.S. Caribbean are one of the wonders of the world, with breathtaking corals, sponges, fish, lobsters, and other marine life. But what took nature thousands of years to construct is quickly being destroyed by harmful fishing practices. Wire mesh fish traps and entangling nets are killing thousands of tropical fish every year. The dropping and dragging of traps is literally destroying the coral reef structure. That is why the coral reefs of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands need your help. We need you and your group to urge federal fishery managers to take action NOW, rather than later, to stop this destruction.

Protest the Planned Sand Burial of 100 Acres of South Florida Reefs

Four beach renourishment projects have been proposed that will literally bury over 100 acres of coral reefs, including burying Breakers Reef! These projects, if approved, would have devastating impacts on the South Florida diving community as beach-accessible nearshore reefs as well as offshore reefs are lost. That is why we are asking for your help by signing a petition to prevent this damage to South Florida's precious coral reefs.

 

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ReefGuardian International
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