Bristol Bay Pebble Mine Rejected
On November 25th, the Trump Administration rejected the permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The Pebble Mine, a proposed massive copper and gold mine, has been a hot topic in Alaska and federally for many years with the EPA prepared to veto the project back in 2014 before it was reversed four years later. In August of 2020, the US Army Corps of Engineers determined the mine would be too degrading to the local environment and could not be permitted under the Clean Water Act. Although an appeal process will continue, the November rejection of the permit by President Trump will hopefully be the final step in preventing Pebble Mine from becoming a reality. This is a major win for the local community of Bristol Bay as well as the multitude of hunting and fishing organizations, including the IGFA, that have worked to prevent mining in one of the most pristine environments in the USA that supports the largest wild sockeye salmon fishery on Earth.
Proactive Measures to Conserve Bullet and Frigate Mackerel
On December 14th, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council approved a motion to implement a catch/possession limit for bullet and frigate mackerel. This motion was advocated by a coalition of fishing and conservation organizations including IGFA, Wild Oceans, Pew, and Saltwater Guides Association among others. The legislation is an important proactive measure to ensure these forage species are available as prey to recreationally and economically important species such as blue marlin, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna. The IGFA would like to applaud the decision by the MAFMC and thank those organizations who worked hard to make this a reality.
Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act Passed
After a multi-year effort by a coalition of sportfishing stakeholders, including IGFA, major progress was made on December 10th by the US House of Representatives in passing the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. The goal of this act is the phasing out of large-mesh drift gillnets in the swordfish fishery off California, the only remaining location in the US where it is still a legal fishing gear. The coalition, consisting of the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association of California, the IGFA and Wild Oceans, was instrumental in advocating for a ban on this unsustainable fishing gear that results in far too much bycatch of game fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine life. With the bill’s passage of the US Senate in July, now the US House of Representatives, we now only await President Trump’s signature to officially enact this ban as a federal law.
Updates to IGFA Great Marlin Race Website
IGFA staff have been working to update the IGFA Great Marlin Race website to bring you the most up-to-date results from our satellite tagged marlin, sailfish, and spearfish. The home page, news section, leaderboard, and billfish tracks have already been updated with more to come soon. Check out the webpage here.