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Longline boats allowed to fish Florida’s east coast

After the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced today its approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit that allows longline boats to fish in Florida’s east coast closed zone, Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation (TBF) said, “Florida anglers, all anglers who fish off Florida’s east coast and the recreational fishing industry should be irate at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Highly Migratory Species for not valuing or respecting recreational fishing by their approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit, which allows longline boats to fish inside Florida’s East Coast Closed Zone.

Species like swordfish will be negatively affected by the new laws.

Florida has more anglers than any other state in the nation, 2.4 million, and the related industry generates an economic impact of $7.6 billion dollars (2015/16) and supports 109,300 jobs! This is a slap in the face of all connected to recreational fishing in Florida especially after strong opposition was expressed by the industry and community participants. This decision could have a negative impact on Florida’s wide ranging marine tourism.

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