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Regulators Finally Approve Dolphin/Wahoo Plan

September 21, 2007

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved the Fishery Management Plan for Dolphin and Wahoo of the South Atlantic. The plan caps the portion of the catch allotted to the commercial sector at 1.5 million pounds to prevent expansion of the longline fisheries. The plan limits the harvest in both the recreational and commercial sectors while maintaining the historic shares of the catch, giving recreational fishermen 87 percent of the catch and 13 percent to the commercial sector. However, a number of managers, anglers and sport fishing organizations are disappointed that NMFS did not approve commercial trip limits aimed at high-capacity longline vessels, or permit qualification criteria that would have capped participation in the commercial fishery. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council began work on the plan in 1997. For more information, visit www.safmc.net.

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