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Pontoon Dan (10/20/2009)Problem this year was thatthe regulation raised the size limit, so we all limited out on one large AJ, thus increasing the pounds caught,not knowing we werebeing set up for the early end of AJ season!


Hit that Nail On The Head same thing with Snapper Couple Hundred more Nails well have it.
 

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For the record, I agree that it is a power trip. However, the inevitable conclusion to this trip is for all of us to have to buy our fish like all the other little socialist minions.

WW2 says it is not Obama. I agree that Obama himself is not personally overseeing this gradual stricture of regulatory noose around our necks. However, he has 100% enough power and authority to make it stop. TODAY. What that means is that he is complicit in the problem. By sitting back and watching it happen, he gives merit to the idea that this fits in with his big picture plan.

I think if anyone asked Obama what he thought about this issue, he would honestly say that he does not understand why we don't just go ahead and buy our fish like "everyone else".

Notice in my previous post where I said I am interested in finding out what the person in office right NOW plans to do? I don't blame Bush, Abraham Lincoln, or whoever the next president will be (please not Obama.....).

I was listening to Glen Beck today (I know..... I know.... it was a long drive to Alabama, so give me a break!) and he made a very good, very valid point. The current health care plan in senate will raise/lower your "fine" for your unhealthy/healthy lifestyle. Smoke cigarettes??? Gonna cost you more. Eat fast food alot and overweight?? Gonna cost you more.

There is supposedly a study being done right now that is exploring the "unhealthy" side effects of gun ownership. The obvious reason for it is to tie it in with the health care regulations, and create more taxes on gun owners. After all, they have "negative" impacts on society, because "guns kill people in society".

They won't outlaw you having guns. Just "nudge" you with a tax and more regulatory red tape. Sound familiar? Sort of like the increasing number of "regulations" on fishing, and the increasing number of licenses you have to have (HMS for starters).

Sounds to me like someone is trying to "nudge" us out of fishing. Thats all I am saying...

Ok. My rant is over now. Resume normal safe operation!:letsdrink
 

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angus_cow_doctor (10/19/2009)I understand your argument, but the flaw in it is that it is retrospective. I am interested in what we are doing about this NOW.... Just like all those meetings on CNN that Obama promised everybody that aren't happening. Just like the ability to keep your insurance plan, when most analysts agree that the insurance itself would change, so you couldn't have the status quo insurance regardless of what you want. Just like that promise to get out of the middle east, which has not happened. Instead of adding enough troops to finish the war andbe done, Obama is going to drag it out and cause more of our soldiers to die in a war that he refuses to make tough decisions in... Don't even get me started on all those "green" jobs that we are supposed to be seeing by now.



Somehow, as soon as anyone says it is the fault of the CURRENT administration that we are facing this CURRENT closure, they immediately want to blame previous people. That is a classic political strategy. It is called Deflection.

By that token, Abraham Lincoln is to blame for Red Snapper season being closed. Listen to how ridiculous that sounds. That is what your argument sounds like to me. It is like blaming the Butterfly Effect.


Yeah becuase Obama is closing Amberjack from harvest right! Can't blame Bush either though...Do you really think the President signs or is even aware of those regs? Seems to me whoever the President is they've got a lot more on their plate to worry about...Blame The National Marine Fisheries Service....

http://myfwc.com/NEWSROOM/09/statewide/News_09_X_AmberjackClose.htm
 

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angus_cow_doctor (10/20/2009)For the record, I agree that it is a power trip. However, the inevitable conclusion to this trip is for all of us to have to buy our fish like all the other little socialist minions.

WW2 says it is not Obama. I agree that Obama himself is not personally overseeing this gradual stricture of regulatory noose around our necks. However, he has 100% enough power and authority to make it stop. TODAY. What that means is that he is complicit in the problem. By sitting back and watching it happen, he gives merit to the idea that this fits in with his big picture plan.

I think if anyone asked Obama what he thought about this issue, he would honestly say that he does not understand why we don't just go ahead and buy our fish like "everyone else".

Notice in my previous post where I said I am interested in finding out what the person in office right NOW plans to do? I don't blame Bush, Abraham Lincoln, or whoever the next president will be (please not Obama.....).

I was listening to Glen Beck today (I know..... I know.... it was a long drive to Alabama, so give me a break!) and he made a very good, very valid point. The current health care plan in senate will raise/lower your "fine" for your unhealthy/healthy lifestyle. Smoke cigarettes??? Gonna cost you more. Eat fast food alot and overweight?? Gonna cost you more.

There is supposedly a study being done right now that is exploring the "unhealthy" side effects of gun ownership. The obvious reason for it is to tie it in with the health care regulations, and create more taxes on gun owners. After all, they have "negative" impacts on society, because "guns kill people in society".

They won't outlaw you having guns. Just "nudge" you with a tax and more regulatory red tape. Sound familiar? Sort of like the increasing number of "regulations" on fishing, and the increasing number of licenses you have to have (HMS for starters).

Sounds to me like someone is trying to "nudge" us out of fishing. Thats all I am saying...

Ok. My rant is over now. Resume normal safe operation!:letsdrink


And had you actually said this I would have agreed with you 100%.



He certainly does have the ability to get this stopped. But you can be sure that it's not anywhere near his plate. They are focused on an economy, a war and healthcare. The only way you could get Washingtons attention for this would be to start dumping AJ on the lawn of the Whitehouse. Since that is not going to happen the only way is to go after the NMFS and NOAA and they are not in the business of paying attention to recreational fishermen....Maybe it's time to start the NFA...National Fishingpole Association. Or convince the NRA that a fishing rod is a gun.
 

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Heller High Water Mate (10/21/

Yeah becuase Obama is closing Amberjack from harvest right! Can't blame Bush either though...Do you really think the President signs or is even aware of those regs? Seems to me whoever the President is they've got a lot more on their plate to worry about...Blame The National Marine Fisheries Service....

http://myfwc.com/NEWSROOM/09/statewide/News_09_X_AmberjackClose.htm[/quote]

This was sent to Shimano American Corp. Now you tell me if Obama was involved?

FEDS TO 60 MILLION AMERICAN ANGLERS:
WE DON?T NEED YOU

IRVINE, Calif. USA
? October 5, 2009 ? A recently published administration document outlines a structure that could result in closures of sport fishing in salt and freshwater areas across America. The White House created an Interagency Oceans Policy Task Force in June and gave them only 90 days to develop a comprehensive federal policy for all U.S. coastal, ocean and Great Lakes waters. Under the guise of ?protecting? these areas, the current second phase of the Task Force direction is to develop zoning which may permanently close vast areas of fishing waters nationwide. This is to be completed by December 9, 2009.
Dave Pfeiffer, President of Shimano American Corporation explained, ?In spite of extensive submissions from the recreational fishing community to the Task Force in person and in writing, they failed to include any mention of the over one million jobs or the 6o million anglers which may be affected by the new policies coast to coast. Input from the environmental groups who want to put us off the water was adopted into the report verbatim ? the key points we submitted as an industry were ignored.?
Recreational fishing generates a $125 billion annual economy in the United States and supports jobs in every state according to government figures. Through the Sport Fish Restoration program, anglers have provided more than $5 billion through excise taxes on fishing tackle to fishery conservation and education for decades.
In addition to the economic aspects, anglers lead the nation in volunteer conservation efforts on behalf of improving fish habitat, water quality and related environmental areas. ?There was no mention of the fishery conservation efforts which anglers have led for over 50 years in every state ? an environmental success story that has no equal in the world?, said Phil Morlock, Director, Environmental Affairs for Shimano. ?The Task Force did not make any distinction between the dramatic differences between harmful commercial fishing harvest methods and recreational fishing, even though we spelled it out for them in detail,? added Morlock.
Claiming to be the result of a public consultation process the report states, ?Having considered a broad range of public comments, this report reflects the requests and concerns of all interested parties.?
The original White House memo and not surprisingly the Task Force report contains multiple references to developing a national policy where Great Lakes and coastal regions are managed, ?consistent with international law, including customary international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea? - a 300-page treaty the U.S. has never ratified.
?We question what implications there will be for state authority and jurisdiction in the Great Lakes and coastal regions if the U.S. adopts the U.N. Treaty,? said Pfeiffer.
The report makes it clear that future authority for implementing the policy for coastal and inland waters will fall under White House jurisdiction with a new National Ocean Council comprised of over 20 federal agencies at Cabinet Secretary or Deputy Secretary level. No reference to Congressional jurisdiction is indicated.
?This significant change in U.S. policy direction is the result of a 90-day fire drill process as ordered by the President that, not surprisingly, lacks balance, clarity and quality in the end product,? said Morlock. ?People who simply want to take their kids fishing on public waters deserve better from their government,? he added.
Shimano is joining with other members of the recreational fishing industry to urge anglers to contact their members of Congress and the administration to request this process be required to adopt the economic, conservation and social contributions of recreational fishing as key elements of the policy. It is critical that we ensure Congressional oversight and state jurisdiction and management continues.
E-letters can be sent to the administration and members of Congress by visiting KeepAmericaFishing.org. The future of fishing is in your hands.
 

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<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">As I understand it, what is occurring here with the closure of fishing for red snapper, amberjack and grouper (coming) is what the government organization responsible for federal fishery management, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) deems is necessary due to a Federal law that governs fishery management, the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA). The MSA requires NMFS to end overfishing by 2010. When NMFS data / science says that overfishing has occurred, or is about to occur NMFS closes down the fishery to fulfill their legal duties under the MSA. I will not debate the science NMFS is using here which I believe is wrong, but the important point is that NMFS actions are covered under the law (the MSA). The other point I won?t get into is catch share allocation between commercial and recreational <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">What I think we are seeing and what we need to be aware of here in terms of NMFS fishery management policy decisions is called ?incrementalism?. In public policy, incrementalism refers to the method of change by which many small policy changes are enacted over time in order to create a larger broad based policy change. Another example would be in small changes that makes way for a bigger overall change to get past unnoticed. A series of small steps toward an agenda would be less likely to be questioned than a large and swift change Incrementalism can be applied in many different ways, such as, economics, politics, and laws. <o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">Imagine if you will how incrementalism could be applied in terms of NMFS policies and regulation of the gulf of mexico fishery during the next 40 years . First recreational red snapper, amberjack, grouper are closed due to overfishing. Next trigger and vermillion snappers. Ok, now a large contingent of offshore recreational reef fishing private boat owners are frustrated and off the water selling boats and gear. Families that used to enjoy gulf reef fishing find other activities to enjoy. Boat builders and offshore fishing gear retailers/companies continue to struggle to stay in business, many close their doors. Next NMFS/government moves to close offshore trolling areas in order to provide Marine Protected Areas (MPA?s) that the government and environmental groups say is necessary to provide a protected sanctuary for all fish. No fishing is allowed in these MPA?s, and they include the 29 Nipple out to the double nipple / spur areas off <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:placeName w:st="on">Orange</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Beach</st1:placeType>, <st1:City w:st="on">Pensacola</st1:City> and East all the way to Destin and south to the rigs off the <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alabama</st1:place></st1:State> coast. Now pelagic offshore fisherman and boat owners are frustrated and off the water selling boats and gear.<o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">30 years goes by, a new generation is now grown up and have started families that live along the gulf coast. The offshore recreational fisherman?s population in numbers and voice is diminished in the governmental process until it is near mute and no one in power pays attention (seems like that is happening now). Grandpa OMEGA (<SPAN lang=EN style="FONT-FAMILY: Wingdings; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-hansi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings"><SPAN style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings">J<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">) is telling stories to his grandchildren about how he USED to troll for wahoo out beyond the 29 edge. A CONAGRA like commercial fishing outfit now controls all the fishery quotas for reef fish off the gulf coast. They are approved by NMFS to go in and conduct the commercial fishing and the catch of all snappers, groupers, amberjack and triggers in areas that Grandpa OMEGA (<SPAN lang=EN style="FONT-FAMILY: Wingdings; mso-ansi-language: EN; mso-ascii-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-hansi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings"><SPAN style="mso-char-type: symbol; mso-symbol-font-family: Wingdings">J<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">) used to fish. If you want to eat a gulf reef fish in 30 years you buy from ?CONAGRA of the Sea? at their retail outlets. <o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">I only see three things that can make a difference at this immediate time to stop the incremental closure of fishing in federal waters, where the decision to close is based off flawed science and the closure is not warranted. <o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">No. 1. <SPAN style="mso-tab-count: 1"> Continue to write and email government officials.<o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">No.2. Immediately join CCA, RFA, FRA, PRFA, XYZ? and any and or all other groups that are working to support recreational fishing in a manner that you consider appropriate. The RFA and FRA are both involved in suing NMFS over their closures of certain fisheries. Suing NMFS seems to be the only way to get their attention.<o:p></o:p>

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">No. 3. Florida Congressman John Mica didn?t like the accuracy of the NMFS fishery data that exists and is the result of the red snapper closures, so he introduced a bill, H.R. 3307, that would prohibit fishery closures under the MSA until the completion of additional studies. I am not sure where H.R. 3307 sits now, but if it is still moving in Congress, believe it to be a positive to prevent closures based on flawed NMFS science. Recommend that when you contact your Congressional Representatives that you encourage support for changes to the MSA similar to what <SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">Congressman Mica has advocated for. If the MSA can be changed to be more flexible, maybe NMFS won?t feel such pressure to act so harshly in future fishery decisions.

Finally, I know it will be hard to do, but f<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">or the Obama haters please stop linking fishery closures to the Obama administration. It will get us no where. It will only serve to diminish the limited points we do have to make a case.Whining in total will get us no where as well. No?s 1-3 above may make a difference in the short term future only time will tell.

<SPAN lang=EN style="mso-ansi-language: EN">Mark W<o:p></o:p>
 

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While we are on here agreeing to disagree among ourselves let me ask you guys this. What you are doing to help change this? I am not accusing but merely asking. The fight for recreational fishing is an uphill battle. The granola crunchers have banded together, the commercial sector has banded together and we need to as well. Just a quick internet search on this task force the president has created sent me to the white house web page for this task force. On this web page you can leave comments. There are 1600 comments on there and all the random ones I choose to read were from environmentalist. Here is the link. http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans/

I know there are several fishing associations here and there but we need to become one. Any suggestions?
 

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WW2 (10/21/2009)
angus_cow_doctor (10/20/2009)For the record, I agree that it is a power trip. However, the inevitable conclusion to this trip is for all of us to have to buy our fish like all the other little socialist minions.

WW2 says it is not Obama. I agree that Obama himself is not personally overseeing this gradual stricture of regulatory noose around our necks. However, he has 100% enough power and authority to make it stop. TODAY. What that means is that he is complicit in the problem. By sitting back and watching it happen, he gives merit to the idea that this fits in with his big picture plan.

I think if anyone asked Obama what he thought about this issue, he would honestly say that he does not understand why we don't just go ahead and buy our fish like "everyone else".

Notice in my previous post where I said I am interested in finding out what the person in office right NOW plans to do? I don't blame Bush, Abraham Lincoln, or whoever the next president will be (please not Obama.....).

I was listening to Glen Beck today (I know..... I know.... it was a long drive to Alabama, so give me a break!) and he made a very good, very valid point. The current health care plan in senate will raise/lower your "fine" for your unhealthy/healthy lifestyle. Smoke cigarettes??? Gonna cost you more. Eat fast food alot and overweight?? Gonna cost you more.

There is supposedly a study being done right now that is exploring the "unhealthy" side effects of gun ownership. The obvious reason for it is to tie it in with the health care regulations, and create more taxes on gun owners. After all, they have "negative" impacts on society, because "guns kill people in society".

They won't outlaw you having guns. Just "nudge" you with a tax and more regulatory red tape. Sound familiar? Sort of like the increasing number of "regulations" on fishing, and the increasing number of licenses you have to have (HMS for starters).

Sounds to me like someone is trying to "nudge" us out of fishing. Thats all I am saying...

Ok. My rant is over now. Resume normal safe operation!:letsdrink




And had you actually said this I would have agreed with you 100%.



He certainly does have the ability to get this stopped. But you can be sure that it's not anywhere near his plate. They are focused on an economy, a war and healthcare. The only way you could get Washingtons attention for this would be to start dumping AJ on the lawn of the Whitehouse. Since that is not going to happen the only way is to go after the NMFS and NOAA and they are not in the business of paying attention to recreational fishermen....Maybe it's time to start the NFA...National Fishingpole Association. Or convince the NRA that a fishing rod is a gun.


There ya go! A well balanced and thought out argument...
 

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I found an interesting article here: http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/saltwater/columns/story?columnist=gatley_chris&id=4577763

Is this Andy Winer guy's door the one we need to be banging on. I had never heard of his name before. The article is about the Northeast. But the subject is the same. These environmentalist PEW guys or who ever they are, are destroying our rights and ablility to fish no matter where in the country you are. People need to start thinking more about the bigger picture and start, at the very minimum, support the groups that are willing to stand up to NMFS. And that takes money.

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.

Here in the northeast, there has been a ton of talk about fisheries management and the repercussions we all face as recreational anglers. <P sizset="15" sizcache="0">Saltwater fishermen are frustrated and feeling left out in the cold. Long time charter boat and party boat operators are tired of fighting and ready to pack it all in. Tackle shops owners are fearful of shutting their doors forever after the black sea bass season was closed.

All of this not because of tough economic times but because of fisheries policy written in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with fatally flawed data on fish stocks; ultimately keeping fishing boats tied to the dock and anglers looking for other things to do.

Earlier this week, I attended a fisheries town hall meeting held by the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). The RFA brought a couple of dozen stakeholders of the recreational angling community here in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states together to discuss and tackle the issues affecting our community.

In attendance was a very good cross section of folks concerned about our fishery, our futures and the community as a whole. It included a handful of local sportswriters, tackle shop owners and recreational fishing captains.

New Jersey tackle shops such as Scott's Bait & Tackle and Barnegat Light Bait and Tackle spoke their peace in a constructive manner, echoing concerns held by the owners of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle in Delaware and saltwater anglers from the Maryland Saltwater Sportfisherman's Association.

A party boat captain from the South Shore of Long Island represented the views shared by a charter boat association there. Another licensed captain from the DELMARVA coast crossed state lines, in the spirit of unity and the protection of the Mid-Atlantic coastal communities.

Also in attendance were people that you would not think of representing us (everyday anglers and fishing business owners). A gentleman who volunteers his time to interpret MRFFS data shed light on his findings. The RFA found the meat and potatoes of our recreational fishing community from Maryland to Montauk and these concerned anglers came out to talk.

Coming up from the Washington area was Andy Winer, Director of External Affairs for NOAA. He informed us that President Obama's Ocean Policy Task Force will likely address recreational fishing issues and that NOAA would work closely with everyday anglers, tackle shops, and coastal community members to make sure that they had input on the direction of ocean policy under the Obama Administration.

"Andy appears to be a shining light at NOAA listening to the challenges that each one of us face as a result of fisheries management and policies," said Jim Hutchinson, Managing Director for the RFA. Hutchinson added that it was the hope of the RFA that an intimate discussion such as this might put a face on the body of the recreational fishing community for the national decision makers to reconsider in the future. "We're hoping that after listening to the real stakeholders who live and breathe within these vibrant coastal communities every single day, that perhaps Mr. Winer can help us shake a little sense into these Beltway insiders who think they understand recreational fishermen," Hutchinson said.

Winer was not asked why he took this job with NOAA, but he told those assembled.

"I was pleased to accept Dr. (Jane) Lubchenco's request that I serve as a liaison to the recreation fishing community because I saw a lack of outreach and communication between NOAA and the recreational angling public," he said, "and I wanted to take her vision of improved communications and make it reality."

As this fall fishing season progresses, the financial trickledown effect on our coastal communities may be insurmountable. With Winer, everyday anglers, tackle shop and other fishing business owners seem to perhaps have an ally, a voice in Washington.

"If the recreational angling community can put their differences aside and bond together rather than remain divided, we can fix our issues," said Basil Shehady of Barnegat Light Bait & Tackle. "United we stand ? divided we fall, bro. The billions of dollars lost to coastal communities will be nothing compared to the cost of rebuilding a collapsed community."

Moving forward, there is a lot of work to do on everyone's behalf. When asked for some sort of reprieve on this current sea bass issue, no answers could be given at that time.

I am not a betting man, but I truly believe that Winer will take our concerns back to NMFS, NOAA and Dr. Lubchenco. Upon leaving, he fully understood that the sea bass fishery comprises roughly a third of everyone's business here in the northeast. He also learned that shutting a season down just prior to a major holiday weekend is a death sentence for the local economy and recreational angling community as a whole.

Hopefully, as fisheries management policies are written, government agencies will think of the financial ramifications as they lay out quotas and seasons. This meeting exposed the severity of the black sea bass issue (among others) and put it in a way Washington will hopefully understand, in dollars and sense.
 

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The enviros are pushing and washington is listening.:banghead:banghead:banghead Not too much from the rec guys other than, PLEASE LET US IN YOUR PLAYHOUSE.<H1>Gulf of Mexico concerns aired as key federal officials visit New Orleans</H1><H4>By Chris Kirkham, The Times-Picayune </H4><H5>October 20, 2009, 4:55AM</H5>

Several high-level Obama administration officials heard more than three hours worth of testimony Monday from environmental groups, fishing organizations, scientists and the oil and gas industry about development of a national policy aimed at protecting the oceans and streamlining government management.

Comments for the national ocean policy task force reflected the wide-ranging pressures on the Gulf of Mexico's resources: oil and gas pipelines and drilling activity; pollution from the Mississippi River creating a vast "dead zone" in the Gulf; overfishing that puts some species at risk; and the large-scale collapse of Louisiana's coastal wetlands, which provide a nursery for Gulf seafood and serve as the infrastructure for ports and energy production.

"Over the past 20 years or so, we have watched as the dead zone has grown, and no funding has come down to do anything about it. We have watched as our coast has disappeared," said Tracy Kuhns, who lives in the Lafitte area and runs Louisiana Bayoukeeper, a coastal advocacy group. "It's not just a wetlands, it's not just a swamp out there. People live there. When we lose all that we lose our culture, and our livelihoods."

Obama has asked the ocean policy task force to draft an ocean policy plan by Dec. 9. Monday's meeting in New Orleans was one of six the group is holding across the United States. The specifics they will address in their plan are unclear at this point. An interim report from the task force issued last month mentions pollution from rivers and the need to better integrate the way federal agencies manage ocean resources.

"Right now it's pretty obvious the oceans are becoming increasingly crowded places, and we're seeing more and more conflicts across that space," said Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who is on the ocean policy task force, as well as a new federal interagency working group to address Louisiana's coastal land loss. "That will inevitably require doing things differently, but what that is we don't really know."

Although Monday's meeting was tailored to ocean policy, the bulk of the comments focused on coastal collapse in Louisiana.

<SPAN style="DISPLAY: inline" class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-photo"><SPAN class="photo-breakout photo-right small"><SPAN class=byline>Ted Jackson/The Times-Picayune archive<SPAN class=caption>'The nation cannot continue to watch Louisiana disappear,' said Robert Twilley, associate vice chancellor for research at Louisiana State University.

"The nation cannot continue to watch Louisiana disappear. Thinking big and thinking bold is urgent," said Robert Twilley, associate vice chancellor for research at Louisiana State University and a professor of oceanography and coastal sciences. "Supporting aggressive actions that are not paralyzed by conflicting federal policy should be of the highest priority."

Dealing with coastal restoration should not be viewed as an either-or decision by policymakers in Washington, said Denise Reed, a coastal researcher at the University of New Orleans.

"It's not about a choice between navigation and ecosystem restoration, it's about interdependence. We want to do navigation on this river and we want to do oil and gas, " she said. "Louisiana is undoubtedly in a crisis, and we don't need short-term fixes, we need deliberative thinking about what the next century holds."

Many recreational and for-hire fishing groups cautioned they should be included upfront in any plans the federal government has for ocean conservation.

"There's a lot of people who make their living on the water here, " said Gary Williams, a charter boat captain in Mississippi. "Whatever we do, we need to make sure that we can continue to do so."

Jim Grant, a representative with oil company BP America, said any changes should consider effects on the Gulf's energy economy.

"We caution the task force to carefully weigh policies that may set up exclusionary zones, disrupt the (federal government's) leasing program or disrupt opportunities for economic growth."
 
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