Sunday, September 24, 2017

Lemon Sharks: This has happened in Florida!

Bingo, and I cite,
This Final Amendment updates Atlantic HMS essential fish habitat (EFH) based on new scientific evidence or other information and following the EFH delineation methodology established in Amendment 1 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS FMP (Amendment 1); updates and considers new habitat areas of particular concern (HAPCs) for Atlantic HMS based on new information, as warranted;
In addition to identifying EFH, NMFS or Regional Fishery Management Councils may designate HAPCs where appropriate. 
The purpose of a HAPC is to focus conservation efforts on localized areas within EFH that are vulnerable to degradation or are especially important ecologically for managed species.

EFH regulatory guidelines encourage the Regional Fishery Management Councils and NMFS to identify HAPCs based on one or more of the following considerations (§ 600.815(a)(8)):

  •  The importance of the ecological function provided by the habitat; 
  •  the extent to which the habitat is sensitive to human-induced environmental degradation; 
  •  whether, and to what extent, development activities are, or will be, stressing the habitat type;
  •  and/or, the rarity of the habitat type.
Amendment 10 creates (a) new HAPC for juvenile and adult lemon sharks off southeastern Florida between Cape Canaveral and Jupiter inlet.
The new HAPC for juvenile and adult lemon sharks is based upon tagging studies and public comments received that expressed concern about protection of habitat in locations where aggregations of lemon sharks are known to occur.
Dated: September 1, 2017. 
Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
Remember the whole drama back then in late 2015?
Whereas the clamoring by the troglodytes and the shark girl  has achieved nothing other than pissing off the fishing lobby and the authorities, and has led to the introduction of a Federal Shark diving ban by the Florida Senators as a consequence, other people have been quietly looking for a solution - not for camera or applause or perceived fame but only for the sake of the animals.

This may well be that solution.
The Lemon Shark aggregation happens mostly within protected State waters but extends to unprotected Federal waters, and this designation as habitat area of particular concern can now hopefully lead to a temporary fishing ban during the aggregation season from December to April - along with hopefully, less disturbance by pesky divers!

I say, well done ladies and gentlemen!
You know who you are!

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