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The reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act will be voted out of committee in a few days. There is one killer clause for the recreational sector that we need to let all of our Senators know that we oppose.

The language says at Section 303 (15) "specify, in the plan or implementing regulations, annual catch limits, which shall be established by the Council or Secretary based on the best scientific information available at a level that does not exceed optimum yield, and, for the purposes of which harvests exceeding the specified annual catch limit (including the specified annual catch limit for a sector) shall be deducted from the following year's annual catch limit (including that sector).''

We are all well aware of the problems associated with recreational harvest estimates by the MRFSS system. This system samples less than 1% of the recreational harvest and continues to over estimate what we are catching! If the above language is adopted we will continue to see shorter seasons and lower bag limits. Tell your Senator you will support this IF they add a clause stating, " a recreational data collection method will have to be created that provides a comprehensive real time data collection system that will be comparable to the commercial sectors data collection method to insure that the harvest data is correct and not just a guess.

We have listed below all Senators contact information. This needs to be done immediately. Either phone with your comments, fax or an email right now. They will be voting this out of committee within the next few days. You will note that some senators have an online submittal comment area, just cut and paste the address in your web browser and it will take you directly to their comment site. This is extremely important to your future! Please include your full name and address when contacting them.

Please do it for yourself and the entire recreational sector. Pass this email along to anyone you feel will support this and contact their Senators.
Bobbi Walker
Executive Director
National Association of Charterboat Operators

---A list of Senators was attached , but was nationwide & long , so did'nt post -----Felt need for ideas on this--geo.--[q] Mikulski, Barbara- (D - MD) Class III
(202) 224-4654
Web Form: mikulski.senate.gov/mailform.html
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