Thank you CCA! Keep up the good work.
CCA Maryland issued the following news release today:
CCA Calls for Cost Recovery and Equity
The Coastal Conservation Association Maryland (CCA MD) today called upon the State of Maryland to develop a comprehensive process for recovering the costs of managing its commercial fisheries, including the commercial gill net fishery that saw a number of significant violations of marine resources law last year.
All fishing in Maryland—both commercial and recreational—is supported by a combination of license and permit fees, federal angler taxes and direct grants, and state revenue. DNR has determined that 93 percent of the cost to manage recreational fishing is supported by license fees and federal angler taxes. However, only 20 percent of the cost of managing commercial fisheries is covered by license and permit fees, with an additional 23 percent covered by direct federal grants. The rest comes from Maryland taxpayers in the form of General Funds.
“As the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is facing a budget shortfall of $3.2 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, and the cost of managing commercial fisheries continues to rise because of illegal activities, it’s imperative that new ways be found to fund this fishery,” said Tony Friedrich, CCA MD executive director.
“It’s time that the general public is no longer asked to subsidize more than half the cost of managing and enforcing these commercial fisheries,” Friedrich said. “This fishery must be funded by those who are making money from it—the commercial fishermen.”
Last winter and spring more than 13 tons of striped bass were captured in illegally placed nets, resulting in DNR closing the season for a period of time. In developing new regulations to better monitor and enforce the commercial striped bass fishery, DNR identified the massive shortfall and inequity in the amount of money contributed by commercial fishermen towards the resource as compared to recreational anglers.
CCA MD’s Government Relations Committee adopted a position last fall calling for the commercial gill net fishery to support itself or be closed. The position stated, “CCA Maryland strongly believes the user and financial beneficiary of the fishery should bear the responsibility for its management costs. If that can’t be done and taxpayers or recreational anglers are asked to continue covering that shortfall, then we believe the gill net fishery must be ended in favor of other fishing methods that can be shown to be manageable, accountable and enforceable.” Given the massive inequity identified in all commercial fisheries, CCA Maryland believes the same concept must be applied to all commercial fisheries.
“So far, we have not seen any indication that the fishery wants to sustain itself,” Friedrich said. “It’s time to stop asking Maryland’s taxpayers to subsidize this fishery, stop talking about the issue, and start acting in a manner that provides results. The State has a responsibility to all its citizens to assure that costs for the commercial fishery are borne by that industry.”
CCA Maryland has been in contact with many other leading angling organizations and looks forward to the entire recreational community supporting efforts that will result in the commercial industry paying its fair share.
Chair, Government Relations Committee
Coastal Conservation Association Maryland
Last edited by Trent Zivkovich; 01-27-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Corrected reference date for FY2014
Thank you CCA! Keep up the good work.
Good Work CCA MD. Seems fair and reasonable. Keep on it for the long haul. Hope all other MD fishing organizations get on board.
Nothing pi$$es me off more than paying taxes to support something that doesn't benefit me. For example, they raised Bay Bridge tolls to pay for somebody's county connector somewhere. That's wrong. It's not right to ask the citizens of Maryland to support a for-profit industry that can't pay for itself. No more bailouts.
20%? Are you kidding me!
Icing on the cake.
This cannot continue.
We've debated the cost issues before here on the Tidal Fish and pointed out the issues. For a for-profit that is given the privilege to extract wealth from a public natural resource and make money and then only pay 20% of its costs is shameful.
Talk about a broken system... Keep up the good work CCA! I can't imagine other recreational fishing agencies not wanting to hop on board this push for a self sustainable commercial fishery?
sounds like a giant step in the right direction.
let's hope the other user groups step up and support this plan without splitting the movement into small groups.
I agree, Shawn, it is very disheartening to pay taxes to support a for-profit industry that seems to be against helping itself remain sustainable.
MSSA (NW Chapter)
I'll bet the average struggling Maryland taxpayer isn't aware the he/she is subsidizing commercial fishing. Financial aid to a business that cannot regulate itself, stop itself from cheating, and sending most of the fish out of state with no tax benefit to Maryland. NO THANK YOU. Great job CCA.
Ellicott City, Md
Good work CCA.