Latent Moratorium Shrimp Permits
The environmental community, including the Ocean Conservancy, has launched a new campaign to eliminate what they refer to as “latent” permits in the Gulf shrimp fishery—meaning those permits associated with vessels that have not made shrimp landings in recent years for whatever reason. Amendment 13 to the shrimp fishery management plan established a 10-year moratorium on the issuance of shrimp permits and set rules for permit eligibility and renewal which did not require fishermen to land shrimp in order to maintain the legal validity of their permits. This campaign is designed to unfairly take advantage of the shrimp industry while it is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its history by trying to keep shrimp fishing effort held down to its historically-low level. Part of the environmental community’s motivation is to achieve further reductions in sea turtle bycatch by permanently capping the number of permits and shrimp fishing effort at these unacceptably low levels. The SSA is working on all fronts to strongly oppose any efforts to take valid permits away from Gulf shrimpers for any reason.