Chris McCaffity

SAFMC Regulatory Amendment 14 Public Comments

I am Chris McCaffity, a commercial fisherman who has been offering simple solutions that would almost eliminate the MILLION+ pounds of dead regulatory discards currently being deducted from our quotas every year. This waste has gone on for years as the council drags its collective feet on solving the problem while rushing unnecessary amendments. This waste helps EDF advance their catch share agenda as they lobby to stack the council deck with supporters of their scheme to privative our public resources. Fishermen should have final approval of who represents us on the council and any new regulations with a 2/3 majority vote of participating permit holders in the affected fishery. Here is how most fishermen want our fishery managed.

A multi-species fishery needs to be managed so everything is legal at the same time as we target fish with higher limits. Since May 1 is the end of a four month closure for shallow-water grouper, that should be the opening date for bottom fish. Most fish like those in RA 14 should have their annual quotas split into two seasons. Most possession limits should start at 1,000 pounds until 75% of a quota is landed, then step down to 100 or 200 pounds so the quota is filled without a long closure. Fish with lower quotas should have lower limits. Red Snapper could have a 1 fish per person by-catch allowance during the shallow-water grouper season instead of allocating half a MILLION pounds of the quota to dead discards every year. A reduced possession limit should not be high enough for fishermen to target that species while allowing us to keep most of those caught accidentally. Reverting back to science-based size limits would also greatly reduce regulatory discards. These common-sense solutions would allow consumers to access 90% of the seafood currently being wasted.

The Congressional hard deadlines have been met. Now we need to start MANAGING all quotas to avoid extended closures and excessive regulatory discards. If some want to do that through catch shares, then let’s have the debate and allow permit holders to decide how we want our quotas managed with a 2/3 majority vote of participating permit holders. The mismanagement of our fishery has gone on for far too long. It seems almost as if the mismanagement has been intentional at times in an attempt to advance agendas like catch shares, sector separation, fleet consolidation, and area closures. Whatever the reason is for this mismanagement, we need to fix the problems NOW.

I will gladly explain this Fishery Management Plan in greater detail to anyone interested and my invitation that has been extended for years to debate any supporter of catch shares still stands. The fact that NOBODY will defend or explain catch shares in a debate is very telling about just how bad a scheme it really is.

Thank you for considering my comments. Please email me if you have any questions or would like to schedule a debate.


I set up this radio show to give fishermen and fishery advocates a way to inform the public about how our fisheries are being mismanaged and how we are losing our freedom to access American seafood. You can listen whenever you want and each episode is only 30 minutes long. You can call in to live shows or ask questions in the comment section. You can even be a guest if there is an issue related to harvesting natural resources you would like to discuss. Thank you for participating and I hope you enjoy the show! Click the links below to listen to archives and see scheduled episodes. The latest shows are at the bottom. Find the links here


Subject: SAFMC March meeting

I posted this on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council FB page after reading the March council meeting agenda tonight. Will you post it on fisherynation? I am not happy at all about this. The council is playing games with our lives and resources. I know NONE of them will have the honor or courage to debate me. They are spineless cowards!

Why is Kate Quigley getting ANOTHER chance to pitch her/SAFA/EDF catch share scheme to the council?

8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Catch Shares Committee/Ben Hartig (TAB 11)
1. Presentation on a voluntary catch share program/Kate Quigley
2. Council discussion and action as appropriate – ACTION”

What kind of action is the council plotting to take?

Why isn’t the council even discussing Regulatory Amendment 14 at the March meeting?

Why does the council REFUSE to take SIMPLE steps to properly MANAGE quotas with split seasons and possession limits to avoid multiple extended closures and the tons of resulting Regulatory Discards? This would achieve any honorable goals of catch shares without all of the well documented negative impacts associated with allocating private ownership of public resources.

It seems like Kate Quigley (a former council staff member) and the SAFA are getting special privileges due to their connections with the council and EDF. I would like a chance to give a presentation to the council about managing quotas with split seasons and possession limits. I would like to see catch shares and the split season/possession limit plan put to a vote with permit holders after both presentations and/or debate between myself and anyone willing to defend catch shares. To date NOBODY has had the courage to debate me about this and I have challenged many people to one including Chairman Cupka.

I once again issue a public challenge to every catch share proponent to a public debate about catch shares and other alternatives. We can do it right here on this FB page or a website of your choosing as long as an archive of the debate remains public.

I would like answers to the four questions in this post.  Comments