Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2013

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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In Conclusion The ultimate goal, of course, is to manage our marine resources into abundance so that everyone can share in the bounty. It's a lofty, idealist view, but there are many examples—black sea bass, goliath grouper, swordfsh, red snapper and the list goes on—in which mankind has skirted the Dodo bird scenario and actually helped a species to prosper. And, the whole point is, recreational anglers—who have a fractional impact on fsheries—have led the charge and funding of marine conservation over the past 40 years or more. In the fnal analysis, we simply want to catch fsh and not be encumbered by regulations that go too far or unduly target recreational fshers. Local Solutions in Long Island Daniel Cartwright has been a commercial fsherman on Long Island for 23 years, but in the last several years, he has supplemented his income by guiding recreational anglers. He and his fellow fshermen have seen a once-rich resource dwindle. In fact, larger commercial fshing operations now travel 50 to over 150 miles away to reach productive grounds. This reality has created a welcome attitude among many commercial and recreational fshermen for the establishment of a new MPA, locally called a Marine Management Area (MMA). "The proven success of the Exuma Cay Land and Sea Park is a good example of how conservation eforts work to restore an area," says Cartwright. "I believe the same would occur with the Long Island Marine Reserve eforts." That sentiment is also being fostered by a very localized approach to designing Long Island's proposed 480,000-acre MPA. Still in the development stages, the intent isn't to restrict recreational fshing but to provide enforcement of the already established national regulations. In fact, the MPA would even allow some commercial fshing, with proper licensing and enforcement. The project is part of the larger Caribbean Challenge Initiative, which seeks to protect 20% of important coastal waters in the region by 2020. The Long Island MPA is being supported by a number of groups, including the non-proft Ocean Crest Alliance (OCA). "They have generations of ocean knowledge and experience," says OCA Director Joe Ierna Jr., "and it is their livelihood and heritage that are at stake." The OCA is currently busy developing scientifc monitoring programs and a regulations manual. Programs include protecting Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Sites (SPAGS) and restoring conch and lobster fsheries. The group is also designing an environmental facility to be shared by multiple parties that would help support the proposed MPA fnancially. "Dedicated and sustainable funding is perhaps the most critical part of the MPA operations," says Eleanor Phillips of The Nature Conservancy, which has been involved in the Long Island project. Eric Carey, of the Bahamas National Trust agrees. "Without adequate long-term funding, the [Long Island] MPA created will just be a 'paper' MPA," he says. For Long Islanders, establishing and maintaining such an MPA should mean a long future of fshing. For detailed maps and information about the Long Island MPA and the OCA facility, visit www.oceancrestalliance.org. —GHM Staf

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