From July 24 - 26, 2019, the Oceanic Fish Restoration Project team held a series of meetings in Panama City, FL; Gretna, LA; and Pompano Beach, FL; with 2019 participants and pelagic longline vessel owners interested in participating in the 2020 season. Project team members from NOAA’s Restoration Center, Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center, as well as partners with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, were all in attendance.
During the meetings, the group recapped successes and discussed improvements for the 2020 project year. Possible changes to the project—including an option to renew the contract for participation every year, insurance requirements, and a modified bidding process—were discussed in detail. In addition, Cody Rewis from the Southeast Fisheries Science Center Miami Lab presented catch data gathered from observer reports. (Amy Piko)