Deep Sea Coral Amendment 9
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6/2/17Alison Johnsonajohnson@oceana.orgOceanaNGODear Chairwoman Bosarge:
Oceana is writing today to provide written comment on Draft Options for Amendment 9 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico (”Draft Options”). We are enthusiastic about the development of this amendment to identify and conserve corals, especially deep sea corals, in the Gulf of Mexico (“GoM”).
Oceana applauds Action 1 in the Draft Options paper which would incorporate deep-water octocoral species into the fishery management unit of the Fishery Management Plan for Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic (“FMU”).1 Although this is a step in the right direction, we feel that a comprehensive list of all deep sea coral species potentially present in the region must be added to the FMU including all stony and black corals. Further, we commend Action 2 in the Draft Options paper which would establish management benchmarks for octocoral species. Overfishing limits (“OFL”), Annual Catch Limits (“ACL”), Annual Catch Targets (“ACT”) and overfished thresholds must be developed for every FMU. Although the above Actions are a positive stride toward deep sea coral protection, we believe that the Draft Options paper is premature and incomplete. We previously provided oral and written comments on the Scoping Document for Amendment 9 (formerly, Amendment 7).2 Scoping is a critically important part of the environmental review process under the National
Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).3 Oceana’s detailed and thoughtful comments which were directly relevant to the subject of the deep sea coral amendment, have been largely dismissed.In order to comply with NEPA requirements for scoping as well as NOAA policy for conservation and management of deep sea corals under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (“Gulf Council”) must significantly amend and improve Amendment 9. Oceana urges the Gulf Council to incorporate the following recommendations: Amendment 9 should include a mechanism and range of alternatives to conserve deep sea coral under the discretionary deep sea coral authority of Magnuson-Stevens Act Section 303(b)(2) including alternatives that are guided by NOAA’s 2010Strategic Plan for Deep- Sea Coral and Sponge Ecosystems and 2014 Agency Guidance on Deep-Sea Corals.4  Amendment 9 should include a pathway for areas to be considered and managed if and when new science becomes available.
Although the Actions described in the Draft Options paper are a positive step to protecting deep sea coral in the GoM region, Oceana recommends that the Gulf Council include more clarification and additional management authorities to protect deep sea coral in this region. Please see Oceana’s written comments on the Gulf Council website.5 Oceana looks forward to working with and providing additional input to the Gulf Council as Coral Amendment 9 moves forward. Oceana appreciates the chance to provide written comment on this very important issue.
11/28/2016 13:12:58Jeffery DunbarJDUNBAR@SWISHER.COMFernandina Beach, fl 32034Private Recreational AnglerAs an avid king mackerel angler who travels all over the SE to fish, from my point of view, allowing the 'unused' recreational catch to roll over to the commercial fishery is just a bad idea. This proposed amendment does nothing to help the fishery and only places more control of it into commercial hands. This amendment, if passed likely will result sometime in the future in a closed recreational fishery. This has obvious affects upon the local marinas, hotels and other businesses that support us and again does nothing to help sustain the king mackerel stocks for either recreational or commercial anglers.
2/24/2017 16:08:20Felicia Lewisfelicialewis1@hotmail.comPhiladelphiaPrivate Recreational AnglerI urge you to establish strong protections for deep water corals and essential fish habitat. I ask you to use new scientific information to designate new HAPCs. These deep water corals are a national treasure and are essential to a sustainable, healthy gulf and healthy fish that we can all enjoy for generations.
2/26/2017 9:32:06john powellfpowell321@hotmail.com35446Private Recreational AnglerNone of your options for "rebuilding" the trigger fishery are suitable. No matter what the flawed data says, the triggerfish population in the Gulf is healthy. How can fisheries decisions be made when the best available data is known to be corrupt? But once again we go down the same wrong path. This style of "protection" is devastating not only for the fishermen and coastal economies, but also for the health of our Gulf ecosystems. The damaging agenda of The Environmental Defense Fund needs to be removed from future fisheries decisions, because it has become obvious that the health of the Gulf environment is not their concern. Here are four options that the council should have to choose from: (1) Data providers are incompetent. (2) Data providers are corrupt. (3) Data providers are carrying out the radical agenda of the EDF. (4) All of the above.
2/28/2017 15:15:39Cynthia Merkeycmerkey@gmail.comOcalaOtherI support any efforts to protect deep sea corals. We are losing too many of these fragile systems everyday. Restrict fishing that damages these reefs. This will.benefit fishermen in the long run.
2/28/2017 16:39:50Marc AleepAngkorday2@Yahoo.comTallahasseeIn recent years, scientists have discovered corals scattered in dense patches throughout the Gulf, spanning the edge of the continental shelf, primarily at depths of 165 to 660 feet and also more than 9,000 feet below the surface.

These sensitive corals, some of which grow slowly for thousands of years, thrive in the cold, dark depths.

Yet deep-sea corals face many threats and once damaged may take centuries or longer to recover. They are susceptible to warming waters and ocean acidification, and can be harmed by oil spills, underwater pipelines, and communications cables that are dragged along the seafloor and kick up sediment, which can suffocate marine life. Similarly, boat anchors, crab traps, and some methods of deep-water fishing, such as trawling (dragging large nets along the seafloor), may also stir sediment or break corals. Fishing lines and weights deployed on the sea bottom can harm corals, too.

Current policies safeguard only some of these fragile coral hot spots by prohibiting anchoring or the use of certain types of deep-fishing gear in these areas. It’s important to protect more of these ancient jewels.

Please implement tough, long-lasting protections for corals, sea animals, and the entire ecosystem. What we do will return to us in the future.
3/1/2017 11:53:06Barbara Beierlbarbara-beierl@comcast.netNashua, NH 03062NGO, OtherWe must preserve the corals of the world. We are destroying our planet and must stop. It is a self-evident truth. But, selfishly, we act on our own selfish interests and motives and forget about the larger picture. Pleasure-seeking is not the way to live!
3/2/2017 12:10:08Mary Ann Cernakmacernakphd@verizon.netHowell, NJ 07731Private Recreational Angler, OtherAs someone who wants to be able to continuing enjoying fishing and snorkeling I want to express my strong support for actions that will protect, not destroy and jeopardize the coral reefs in the Gulf. The reefs are already under severe stress; failure to take every action possible to save them will result in this vital resource being destroyed.,
3/3/2017 16:52:37Joanie Steinhausjoanie@tirn.netGalvestonNGOComments for Deep Coral Amendment 7

Thank you to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, on behalf of Turtle Island Restoration Network, for giving the public an opportunity to comment on Amendment 7.

Due to the incredible diversity that coral reefs provide, organisms benefit from many things that they have to offer. They are used for feeding grounds, breeding, nursery, and commuting. Deep-sea coral life spans can range from hundreds to thousands of years, maturing at an extremely slow rate, but their vulnerability to human activities puts them at risk of a much shorter life cycle and less time to reproduce.

Deep-sea coral already resides in low temperature, low light, low oxygen water but they are not completely safe from human impacts. The many species of black coral and stony coral are spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico. With human activities such as commercial fishing increases carbon dioxide in the water, the development of coral species slows. When damaged, they may take hundreds of years to recover. There are a few things that can be done to provide these complex systems with more protection which will therefore increase biodiversity, fisheries, and even biomedical research.

By designating new Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, the deep water coral through the Gulf will have less human impact on its growth. Limiting the commercial fishing (bottom trawls, traps, fishing gear) can improve not only the maturation of coral but also increase fish and invertebrate diversity as the coral thrives. The increase in quantity and diversity will improve commercial fishing and the quality of target species used for consumption, increasing their value. This will also help to decrease overfishing.

Habitat Areas of Particular Concern fall under four categories, one of the four being habitat sensitive to human induced degradation. Any and every coral falls under this category. This does not mean every area with coral/coral reefs needs to be designated a HAPC. Redefining an HAPC will provide a better understanding when deciding regulations for protecting these habitats. Although all coral is important, some reproduce slowly and mature slowly (deep-sea coral.) Focus should be placed on coral that is impacted the most and most often by human activities.

Fifteen areas are being proposed to fall under HAPC and eight more to be HAPC’s without fishing regulations. Twenty three total areas are being considered to become HAPC’s, about 621 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is over 600,000 square miles with commercial vessels often commuting hundreds of miles for days at a time so the new proposed HAPC’s of deep-sea coral should only improve fishing conditions. Lastly, reincorporating Octocorals into the Fisheries Management Unit could only benefit the ecosystem, therefore benefiting the organisms affected by them and then fisheries as well.

Turtle Island Restoration Network stands in support of designating all the proposed areas as HAPCs, and reincorporating the Octocorals into the Fisheries Management Unit.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.
3/4/2017 15:51:47Dan Silverdsilverla@me.comLos Angeles, CA 90012NGOThe Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council should protect corals in at least 15 areas by restricting the use of certain kinds of fishing gear that could damage these vulnerable marine animals.
3/20/2017 2:34:53Carol Gliddencarolcg93@gmail.comKalamazoo, MI 49008OtherIn order to survive, the human race needs healthy oceans, which are not possible without healthy, THRIVING coral reefs.

We must hope that it is not too late for us to rein in our shortsighted hubris, and to act AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE to restore the health of our oceans.
3/27/17Breg Southworthgreg@southworthconsulting.comTo whom it may concern, The Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed Deep Sea Coral Amendment 7 to the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council (GOMFMC). The OOC is an offshore oil and natural gas trade association that serves as a technical advocate for companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Founded in 1948, the OOC has evolved into the principal technical representative regarding regulation of offshore oil and natural gas exploration, development, and producing operations. The OOC’s member companies are responsible for approximately 90% of the oil and natural gas production from the GoM. The comments below are provided on the Draft Scoping Document and Scoping Guide for the proposed Deep Sea Coral Amendment 7 and are offered without prejudice to any of our members who may offer differing or opposing views: 1. The Draft Scoping Document does not Offer an Adequate Number of Options for Consideration The three options listed in the scoping document all lead to the conclusion that action is necessary through the creation of new habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC), redefining existing HAPC, or reincorporating deep octocorals into the fishery management unit (FMU). An adequate analysis should include additional options, including an option of taking no action, or the use of the GOMFMC’s discretionary authority to create “deep- sea coral zones” under §303(b)(2)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). The MSA §303(b)(2)(B) gives Fishery Management Councils discretionary authority to protect deep-sea corals from fishing. Under §303(b)(2)(B), Councils may designate “deep-sea coral zones,” including protecting deep- sea corals from physical damage from fishing gear and establishing measures to limit damage to fishing gear from interactions with deep-sea corals. A “deep-sea coral zone” designation would offer additional protection, and should be considered in the Draft Scoping Document and any future proposed actions. A sound decision or recommendation cannot be made if there has not been an evaluation of sufficient options. It appears that the use of an HAPC designation has already been selected as the final outcome. The OOC recommends that the GOMFMC expand the number of options considered under this proposal including evaluation of a “No Action” alternative and the use of “deep-sea coral zones” as a protective designation. 2. Impacts on Other GoM Regulatory Programs The Draft Scoping Document raises questions of how the proposed options will integrate with designations managed by other federal agencies. For example, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is currently considering alternatives for expanding the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary. In addition, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has requirements for the avoidance and protection of LOUISIANA OFFICE 2400 Veterans Memorial Boulevard Suite 206 Kenner, Louisiana 70062 (504) 904-7966 TEXAS OFFICE One Briar Lake Plaza - 2000 W. Sam Houston Parkway Suite 1200 Houston, Texas 77042 (281) 299-5036
biologically sensitive features (water depths < 300m) and deepwater corals (water depths > 300m) that are used when leasing tracts for oil and natural gas exploration, development, and transportation activities. The GOMFMC should consider how proposed Amendment 7 integrates and/or overlaps with the proposals and existing regulations of other federal agencies. Failure to do so will create unnecessary confusion with additional, and potentially conflicting, regulatory requirements that are not well understood, nor easily implemented. The Draft Scoping Document does not outline how the proposed options for creating HAPC’s are different from, overlap with, or are made redundant by, the other federal programs in the GoM. The OOC strongly recommends that the Scoping Document clearly describes how Amendment 7 interacts with other GoM offshore federal and state regulatory requirements/guidance. As discussed earlier, Fishery Management Councils may designate “deep-sea coral zones” under the MSA. Use of a “deep-sea coral zone” designation would provide protection, and would mitigate potential conflicts and confusion with other regulations and activities in the GoM. 3. Economic Analysis is Missing from the Draft Scoping Document The GoM is an environmentally important resource, but it is also a significant economic resource to the nation. Therefore, it is critically important that proposals, such as Amendment 7, also address economic cost/benefits. The Draft Scoping Document, in its current form, does not address economic resources and the potential impact that proposed Amendment 7 may have on those resources. It is also important not to limit economic analysis to only the fishing industry. A robust and thorough analysis must include economic cost/benefit impacts to all industries that rely on access to the GoM. The OOC recommends that any future evaluation include not only environmental impacts, but economic impacts as well. The OOC is a strong advocate for balancing all concerns related to the GoM. We believe that environmental protection, safety at sea, and economic development can coexist and thrive. The GoM is proof that effective management of a national environmental resource and a significant economic and energy engine can be achieved. To maintain an effective balance of all interested parties, including the public, all potential interests must be considered in proposals such as Amendment 7. Thank you for this opportunity to provide constructive comments. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss these comments in more detail, please contact me at Sincerely Greg Southworth Associate Director Offshore Operators Committee
3/28/2017 12:38:07Derek Breauxderek@healthygulf.orgNew Orleans, LA, 70115NGOMarch 23, 2017

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
2203 N Lois Avenue
Suite 1100
Tampa, Florida 33607 USA

Re: Coral Amendment 7 Scoping Document

Dear Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council,

We strongly support the proposed idea of establishing 15 more HAPCs for corals, so long as these protection zones have fishing and boating regulations. Bottom trawls, dredges, bottom longlines, traps and pots, bottom-set nets, and fixed longlines are all directly damaging to corals, as well as anchors latching onto or getting dragged over corals; there needs to be regulations on these in order for protection zones to actually work.

The amendment also suggests creating 8 HAPCs for deep-sea corals that don’t need fishing regulations. Although we support the creation of the HAPCs, the lack of fishing regulations is problematic. Just because corals at far depths aren’t currently being affected by fishing gear doesn’t mean that it’s not a possibility in the future. Deep-sea corals in particular are some of the oldest and slowest growing organisms in the ocean. If damage, they will take hundreds of years to regenerate (if they regenerate at all). Thus, we should be proactive in protecting them against any possible human-induced damage.

Bottom trawls are particularly damaging corals both directly (by physical contact) and indirectly (by drowning them in sediments); the most significant destruction occurs during the initial sweep over the corals. The simplest way to save an abundance of these corals is to create more HAPCs (as suggested in the amendment) and tighten regulations for bottom trawling in these areas. Additionally, instead of completely outlawing bottom trawls, gear modifications could be implemented to minimize coral damage, such as raising the sweeps off the seafloor using disk clusters.^1

We also agree with the proposal to redefine existing HAPCs using new research technologies and information that was not available when these areas were initially designated in 2005. This will allow the Gulf Council to evaluate how effective the current regulations have been in protecting corals, and if the boundaries of the HAPCs need to be broadened or if they can be made smaller.

Lastly, we agree with the final proposal to reintroduce octocorals to the coral and coral reefs fishery management plan. These corals provide structure and habitat at depths that many other species can’t grow in, making them an important species for deep-sea coral conservation.

Respectfully submitted,

Derek Breaux
Fisheries Associate

Grace Newcomb
Intern to Fisheries Associate

1 Ryer, Clifford H. and Rose, Craig S. and Iseri, Paul J. (2010) Flatfish herding behavior in response to trawl sweeps: a comparison of diel responses to conventional sweeps and elevated sweeps. Fishery Bulletin, 108 (2), pp. 145-154.
9/28/2017 14:15:04Alison Johnsonajohnson@oceana.orgNGO
Dear Chairwoman Bosarge,
Oceana is writing today to provide written comment on the Public Hearing Draft for Amendment
9 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico (“Public
Hearing Draft”). We are committed to the development of this amendment to identify and
conserve corals, especially deep-sea corals, in the Gulf of Mexico (“GoM”).
Oceana applauds the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (“Gulf Council”) for their
forward thinking in the plan to protect deep-sea coral (“DSC”) in the GoM. Although this is a
step in the right direction, the Public Hearing Draft continues to be incomplete and does not
provide the Council with the full range of management tools that are available to conserve DSC
in the region.
Oceana previously provided oral and written comments on the Scoping Document for
Amendment 9 (formerly Amendment 7) in March 20171 and on the Draft Options paper in June
2017.2 In each of these comments, Oceana highlights weaknesses in the amendment document.
Yet despite these detailed and thoughtful comments that were directly relevant to the subject of
the DSC conservation in the region, Oceana’s comments have been largely ignored.In order to comply with NEPA requirements to respond to issues raised during scoping, as well
as the NOAA policy for conservation and management of deep-sea corals under the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Management and Conservation Act (“MSA”), the Gulf Council must
significantly amend and improve the range of alternatives in Amendment 9, and the analysis that
supports the amendment, to include both essential fish habitat (“EFH”)-based management and
discretionary action. These options provide different pathways for the Council with different
biological outcomes. They should both be fully developed and considered in the Council’s final
action. Failing to fully consider both pathways will shortchange the Council and weaken the final
outcome of the amendment.
Specific to the range of alternatives in the current amendment, Oceana urges the Gulf Council to
incorporate the following recommendations:
 Amendment 9 should not combine both deep and shallow octocorals into a single stockcomplex.
 Amendment 9 should not include Annual Catch Limits (“ACLs”) for DSC. They should
be managed under the discretionary authority of the MSA.
 In the event that ACLs are set for shallow-water octocorals, Amendment 9 must have
clear Accountability Measures (“AMs”) to prevent overages and a method of payback
should they occur.
Single Stock Complex
Combining both deep and shallow-water corals into a single stock-complex is arbitrary and
problematic. DSC and shallow water coral have completely distinct life cycles, habitats and
stressors and should not be managed as one. This is supported by the most recent guidance on
National Standard One that advised “(w)here practicable, the group of stocks should have a
similar geographic distribution, life history characteristics, and vulnerabilities to fishing
pressure such that the impact of management actions on the stocks is similar.3” This is
clearly not the case for all octocorals in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Council should
carefully consider this and other NS1 guidance related to stock complexes if it chooses to
establish coral stock complexes.
Oceana feels that stock complexes are not appropriate for coral management. All coral should be
managed by species to provide the necessary conservation and management of each species. At
the very least, corals should only be grouped into two stock-complexes (deep and shallow) to
recognize their distributions, life histories and vulnerabilities.Oceana has serious concerns that any data gathered on shallow-water species is not equivalent
and should not be used to set any management metrics for DSC, including ACLs. Misapplying
information across a wide group of species without justification is unacceptable and fails to
satisfy the clear requirement under National Standard 2 that this action be supported by the Best
Scientific Information Available.
Annual Catch Limits
In some fisheries, prohibiting fishing for a particular species has been the functional equivalent
of setting the ACL to zero,4 but this could ultimately open DSC to fishing opportunities in the
future, which is not the intention of Coral Amendment 9. In addition, it is arbitrary to set an ACL
without specific and detailed data on DSC. As outlined above, using information on shallowwater
species will skew the ACL and could lead to overfishing.
Instead, Amendment 9 should include a mechanism and range of alternatives to conserve deepsea
coral under the discretionary deep-sea coral authority of Magnuson-Stevens Act Section
303(b)(2), including alternatives that are guided by NOAA’s 2010 Strategic Plan for Deep-Sea
Coral and Sponge Ecosystems and 2014 Agency Guidance on Deep-Sea Corals.5
Accountability Measures
The MSA and the agency guidance on the use of ACLs has been very clear about the relationship
between Annual Catch Limits and AMs: “AMs are management controls to prevent ACLs,
including sector‐ACLs, from being exceeded, and to correct or mitigate overages of the ACL
if they occur.”6 AMs are not discretionary and are required provisions of the Act.7 However,
despite this clear requirement for AMs and agency guidance on proactive and reactive AMs,
there are no alternatives for AMs in the draft nor is there any description of how the AMs will be
Oceana continues to oppose setting ACLs for deep-sea corals in the amendment and supports
precautionary discretionary management of corals in the region. If the Council does decide to set
ACLs for these species, they must be accompanied by a range of AM alternatives to prevent
overages, and if exceeded, a clear mechanism and timeline for payback.
Oceana is encouraged and feels the Gulf Council has made some positive steps toward
protecting DSC in the GoM region. But the Public Hearing Draft is still lacking and misses anopportunity for the Gulf Council to conserve and manage corals in the region. Oceana
recommends that the Gulf Council include more clarification and additional management
authorities to protect deep-sea coral in this region.
In summary, Oceana urges the Gulf Council to incorporate the following recommendations into
Amendment 9:
 Amendment 9 should not combine both deep and shallow octocorals into a single stockcomplex.
 Amendment 9 should not include ACLs for DSC, they should be managed under the
discretionary authority of the MSA.
 In the event that ACLs are set for shallow-water octocorals, Amendment 9 must have
clear AMs to prevent overages and a method of payback should they occur.
Oceana looks forward to working with and providing additional input to the Gulf Council as
Coral Amendment 9 moves forward. We appreciate the chance to provide written comment on
this very important issue.
Alison Johnson
Southeast Campaign Manager
Oceana, Inc.
10/4/2017 14:14:06dylan hubbard
Madiera Beach, FLCharter/Headboat For-Hire
My family business has been fishing central west coast of Florida for nearly 90 years and four generations. Today we operate 6 federally permitted vessels including two 65+ passenger head boats and four federally permitted charter vessels. On top of these permits, I am also here today to represent the Florida Guides association as their Offshore Director. Finally, I am a CCA life member as well. Coral Amendment 9
We do not want to see any new HPACs established in the gulf especially adding new ones with fishing gear restrictions
11/4/2017 11:59:10Paul Margolispaulmargolis@gmail.comWashington, DC 20016Other
It is the responsibility of political, governmental, corporate and local leaders to protect the marine environment for future generations, the benefit of mankind and because it is the right thing to do to protect wildlife and global biodiversity.
11/5/2017 17:57:33Karen Jacques
Sacramento CA 95811Other
I am opposed to any use of fishing gear such as trawls that could damage deep sea choral. I want a ban on such gear to be extended to as large as possible an area. (In a just, reasonable world such gear would be banned everywhere. We have only one planet and only so many choral reefs and we can't continue destroying them and still have a livable world.) Please act to protect these precious choral reefs.
11/5/2017 18:39:56Diane
Virginia Beach,VA 23451
Private Recreational AnglerCorals take so long to recover, if ever, the damage needs to be prevented.
11/7/2017 13:22:45marilyn evensonlowrider3111@yahoo.comvermilion, OH 44089Other
As a private citizen I am concerned about the environment & its increasing problems. The Gulf of Mexico deep sea corals are beautiful, necessary, & fragile. Some fishing & energy development practices can be very damaging with the corals taking years to recover. The corals have thrived for centuries but man's interference & global warming are quickly endangering them. But you can help protect them from fishing damage. Please take action to save the corals. Once they are gone, they are gone forever. We only have one chance. Thank you.
11/16/2017 15:57:13kai kohlerkaikohler@yahoo.comDenver nc 28027OtherAve the ocean and the coral. Do what's right!!!
11/16/2017 19:47:40Warner Fosterjwkillntime@gmail.comPanama City, Fl. 32405Private Recreational AnglerAsk that the Council not pass this amendment.
11/18/2017 8:15:27Phyllis Miller
I am concerned about the damage to corals that is happening every day. The sea sustains living things, including humans, but only if we take care to protect all creatures. If we destroy the corals the chain of life will be broken and we will, in effect, be destroying ourselves.
11/18/2017 12:59:34Amie L McNeelamiemcneel@mac.com98125
Now Is the time to protect these ecosystems. Everything and anything we can do collectively to ensure the survival of these environments is of the upmost importance. Please persuade and protect the future survival and maintenance and vitality of our oceans.
11/20/2017 16:07:31Laurel Cohenllamalaurel@gmail.comOther
It's worth it to protect these ancient, beautiful organisms from deep-sea fishing, especially because the technology is available for fisherpeople to make a living without using these techniques. If a better solution exists--that honors currently living people, the environment, and future generations--why not do that?
6/7/16Dylan Hubbarddhubbard@hubbardsmarina.comFLCharter/headboatTo start, a little background on us and our company. At Hubbard’s Marina, we operate two federally permitted head boats with 50+ passengers and four charter boats all with federal permits, two of those are multi passenger USCG inspected charter vessels. Hubbard’s Marina carries around 60,000 anglers on average per year for near shore and offshore deep sea vertical line fishing. Typically fishing depths of 10-1,000 foot off the central west coast of Florida as a family owned and operated business since 1928.

The following are our recommendations to the council regarding what has been discussed this far at the meeting.(Tab N – 4) Options Paper – Coral Amendment 9
Chapter 2.1 – Action 1 – We suggest Alternative 1 no action, as to not conflict with the current rules set forth by Florida allowing these octocorals to remain under Florida’s state management.
Chapter 2.3 – Action 3 – We suggest alternative 1 no action, not increasing the Pulley ridge south HAPC with regulations.
Chapter 2.4 – Action 4 – We suggest alternative 1 no action, do not establish any HAPCs on West Florida Shelf
Chapter 2.5 – Action 5 – we suggest alternative 1 no action, do not establish any HAPCs in the Northeastern region
Chapter 2.6 – Action 6 – We suggest alternative 1 no action, do not establish any new HAPCs in the Northwestern Gulf Region
Chapter 2.7 – Action 7 – We suggest alternative 1 no action, do not establish any new HAPCs in Southwest region
Chapter 2.8 – Action 8 – We suggest alternative 1 no action, do not establish any deep-water coral HPACs
Form Responses 1