Great article and thank you Tom Swatzel for all your hard work on the SAFMC the past six years.
The way I read this Tom was thrown out so an EDF catch shares advocate can insure that the plan will advance . The head of the snake needs to be cut off. Its hard for me to fathom how political fishing has become - from MPA’s that have no proven value except for giving enviros warm fuzzies to such ridiculous limits.
Thanks for being our friend Tom. We need many more like you.
Letter I sent to Sec. of Commerce. TheSec@doc.gov
Please consider allowing Tom Swatzel to serve a third and final term on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He has honorably served two terms and represents fishermen well. I believe Chris Conklin?s appointment was a mistake by the acting Commerce Secretary before you were confirmed. Chris Conklin is a good man but he is closely affiliated with Environmental Defense Fund and the South Atlantic Fishermen?s Association that EDF provided funding to set up. The SAFA hired a former SAFMC employee to promote a Catch Share scheme that gives private ownership of our public resources to permit holders. Catch Shares have pushed most of the small independent fishermen out of every other fishery where they have been tried. Chris?s appointment would not be so troubling if Captain Swatzel was not seeking a third term and Jack Cox had not been appointed in NC. Jack and Chris are part of the same small group of permit holders that has aligned themselves with EDF to seize control of our fisheries.
Please allow Tom Swatzel to finish representing his fellow fishermen. Please also consider allowing commercial fishermen to pick who represents us on the council with a 2/3 majority vote of participating permit holders. You hold the power to help fishermen have representation on the council that actually represents the views of a vast majority of permit holders. The views of Chris Conklin on many issues are contrary to those of most fishermen.
I would be happy to discuss some of the South Atlantic fishery issues with you or an assistant. There are simple solutions that would achieve the honorable goals of Catch Shares without all of the well-documented negative impacts.
May God bless and guide you in your new position as the Secretary of Commerce.