I am a commercial jellyfish fisherman, and I represent the North Florida Jellyfish Harvesters Association, a group of 20 jellyfish fishermen in the Florida Panhandle. After having reviewed the draft Jellyfish Fishery Management Plan, the NFJHA is opposed to the proposed alternative for a daily trip limit on commercial jellyfish harvest.
The jellyfish fishery is a very small fishery, and it is having no discernable impact on the jellyfish resource at current harvest levels. This is a new and developing fishery. It's emergence as a stable industry will provide an alternative for fishermen who have been displaced from other fisheries or who are currently targeting other overfished and overcapitalized fisheries. But in order to evolve and to create a market for our product, this fishery needs time to develop without being hindered by unnecessary regulations.
We recommend that no harvest limitations be enacted at this time, but that harvest levels be monitored on an ongoing basis. If at some future time a biological assessment shows that harvest is at or above maximum sustainable yield, then the appropriate measures to control harvest should be implemented at that time.
President, North Florida Jellyfish