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Old 04-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
chicapesca
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Texasflag4 Perry Urges Review of Idle Iron Policy

6919 Portwest, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77024
Email: twvenker@joincca.org Website: www.joincca.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2012 CONTACT: Ted Venker, 1-800-201-FISH

Perry urges review of Idle Iron policy

CCA applauds Texas Governor’s call to protect Gulf rigs, artificial structure

AUSTIN, TX – In a letter to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Texas Governor Rick Perry is calling for a review of the federal government’s "Idle Iron" policy that threatens to dismantle what is regarded as the largest artificial reef system in the world. In the letter, Perry says that the policy, which orders non-producing oil and gas rigs and other structures in offshore waters to be removed within five years of the issuance of the directive, will have profound negative implications for marine fisheries and the local coastal communities and businesses that rely on the fishing opportunities that these structures provide in the Gulf.


"I understand the factors that may have influenced the decision to order the blanket removal of these structures in the aftermath of the tragic oil spill of 2010," Perry states in the letter. "However, a more balanced, reasoned response is required in light of irrefutable evidence that these structures are the basis for thriving ecosystems that harbor and sustain an immense diversity of life above and below the waterline, including seabirds, fish, turtles, marine mammals and corals."


"We are grateful to Gov. Perry for weighing in on this issue on behalf of recreational anglers, divers and everyone who cares for a vibrant marine environment," said Pat Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. "A more reasoned process is exactly what is needed to preserve these structures that form the basis of thriving marine ecosystems off Texas and all over the Gulf of Mexico."

Perry’s letter is the latest effort to counter the federal government’s misguided removal policy. At its April meeting, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council moved to begin the process of classifying rigs and other vital artificial reefs as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). If artificial reefs are eventually designated as EFH, all federal agencies would then have to consult with NOAA Fisheries on federal actions that may adversely affect them. Additionally, Sen. David Vitter (R-La) and Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Ms) have filed legislation that would prevent rigs and other structures from being summarily removed from the Gulf of Mexico, and the issue continues to generate a high level of interest from other lawmakers.


"Gov. Perry has shown again that he is a true friend to Texas’ recreational anglers," said Mark Ray, chairman of CCA Texas. "We greatly appreciate his leadership in elevating this important issue and standing up for the best interests of our fisheries and the coastal economies that depend on them."

This can be found here: http://www.joincca.org/media%20room/...ulfhabitat.pdf
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:41 PM   #2
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Nice, see my thread too, I'm sure EDF will try to insert it long, environmental *&^* in our asses, but at least the rigs may have a chance.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Louis Rossignol View Post
Nice, see my thread too, I'm sure EDF will try to insert it long, environmental *&^* in our asses, but at least the rigs may have a chance.
Hey Louis, I know what you mean! Good timing on the article.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:07 AM   #4
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So does this mean that they (NMFS) will now begin to include the snapper around these rigs in any current or future stock assessment? My understanding is that these rigs which they now call (justifiably so) essential fish habitat EFH, have NOT EVER been included in any stock assessment. (how many rigs are there in the GOM?) (some enviromental clap trap about artificial structure, not natural)..anyway surely the NMFS will begin to look at the number of fish in the ocean and not just the pressure we evil hook and line guys do the the fishery!!!..I know this is probably expecting way to much cause it certainly make more sense to have a basic idea of what the bio mass is so that we will then have a better understanding of what we can take from it. Is this idea just to basic??? Ok you cant drain the gulf and count every fish but you can include obvious habitat! I have said from the first time i went to a fisheries meeting in Galveston over 10 years ago. They have NO IDEA how many fish there are, and the studies are so skewed that they never have included the EFH that now seems to have been given a reprieve from removal. We will see.........November 2012 cant get here fast enough.....
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
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Yep
All the fish killed in the rig explosions aren't really counted at the moment.

The instant these puppies become essential fish habitat the fish will be counted.
Though perhaps this will encourage oil companies to perhaps cut them instead of blow the jackets.

Hence EDFs interest in this is worrisome.

Second, because they are essential fish habitat things like endangered coral and sea turtles come into play.

While this seems like a good idea, it could easily come around and screw us.

no good deed and all that....
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Capt. Blood View Post
So does this mean that they (NMFS) will now begin to include the snapper around these rigs in any current or future stock assessment? My understanding is that these rigs which they now call (justifiably so) essential fish habitat EFH, have NOT EVER been included in any stock assessment. (how many rigs are there in the GOM?) (some enviromental clap trap about artificial structure, not natural)..anyway surely the NMFS will begin to look at the number of fish in the ocean and not just the pressure we evil hook and line guys do the the fishery!!!..I know this is probably expecting way to much cause it certainly make more sense to have a basic idea of what the bio mass is so that we will then have a better understanding of what we can take from it. Is this idea just to basic??? Ok you cant drain the gulf and count every fish but you can include obvious habitat! I have said from the first time i went to a fisheries meeting in Galveston over 10 years ago. They have NO IDEA how many fish there are, and the studies are so skewed that they never have included the EFH that now seems to have been given a reprieve from removal. We will see.........November 2012 cant get here fast enough.....

Capt. Blood, from what I understand, the next red snapper assessment will include fishery independant data, like video from the rigs (EFH) and such, which will be a first. Previous assessments have over relied on fishery dependant data mostly from commercial boats and that has greatly skewed the picture of this fishery. The next assessment could be quite revealing, but it remains to be seen if NOAA will let even that interfere with how they insist on running the fishery. Fixing the models is the first step, fixing how NOAA manages recreational fisheries is next.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Liz,
Right on.

There is a House Panel drafting Magnuson reforms as we speak;
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/fishi...gnuson-reforms

What is interesting is the repeated references to NOAA Fisheries' "misinterpretations" of the law as being a large part of the problem.

"Along with rewriting parts of and writing inserts to Magnuson, the committee is reported to be struggling with the problem of trying to fix misinterpretations of the overriding fisheries management law by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Crystal Feldman, the committee press secretary, said some problems with fisheries management have been created by NOAA's interpretation of the law and not necessarily by the law itself, and that is harder to fix legislatively."

In other words, NOAA Fisheries/NMFS/EDF are brazenly defying Congress by ignoring the law and doing whatever they please - the lady is being nice when she says they are "misinterpreting" the law. They know exactly what they are doing, as the lawyers have taken over the process.

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