As many of you know the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is proposing an Amendment to the Dolphin (Mahi-mahi, Dorado, Dolphinfish, etc. same fish different names) regulations. As proposed, Amendment 10 reduces the current dolphin max boat limit from 60-fish to 54-fish. Many Anglers are concerned that we have seen a drastic decrease in the number of Dolphin we are catching today as compared to years past. This concern coupled with the fact that the SAFMC is not managing Dolphin with the same rules across the Atlantic seaboard has many concerned that the Dolphin population is in serious decline and that more needs to be done before it’s too late.
Did you know that North of South Carolina there is no minimum size limit on dolphin, while the rest of us South of North Carolina are required to release any fish smaller than 20″? We all know Dolphin are the nomads of the ocean with no permanent residence and they are on a constant search for food and mates. Shouldn’t they be managed holistically, instead of being piece-milled based on the lobbying efforts of one small group? The reality is a 20″ Dolphin doesn’t yield much more than a sandwich, so something smaller is even less, but if the 20″ Dolphin is released in six months that fish will nearly double in size.
Blair Wickstrom, the Publisher of Florida Sportsman Magazine has started a Save the Mahi petition asking the SAFMC to reconsider their proposed Amendment limiting the number of Dolphin to 30 fish per boat per day. Also not addressed is the minimum size of dolphin caught outside of the Atlantic coast from NC down to Florida. No size limits for dolphin would remain in the Gulf of Mexico and north of NC. We need the entire management zone to have a minimum size limit, twenty inches, for dolphin. Also, not addressed is the implementation of a commercial daily trip limit for longliners. Currently as proposed a commercial longline boat could bring in 10,000 pounds in a single day. There needs to be a limit and we need to have a targeted longline commercial fishery.
If you agree with Blair and want to sign the Save the Mahi petition, click here.
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