Good day everyone.
My name is Shawn Martin; I am a marine biology masterís student under David Kerstetter at the NSU Oceanographic Center in Davie Florida. As part of my thesis project I am gathering stakeholder opinion on including blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphinfish (mahi mahi) into the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) as well as opinions regarding why they are not included in the HMS FMP.
The results of the study are not intended to be used towards changes in the current policies but as this paper will be published this is an opportunity to make your opinions known as combined with public opinion.
The information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for overall statistical results. No information provided can in any way be linked to you, your business, or your vessel by anyone including Dr. Kerstetter or myself. At the end of the study you can even select to have the results emailed to you.
As you likely know the HMS definition varies internationally and domestically with several domestic definitions of the term that are used in scientific, legal, and management circles. For example the Fishery Conservation and Management Act (FCMA) Amendments of 1990 defined HMS as tuna species, marlin, oceanic sharks, sailfishes and swordfish. However, under the same section, tunas are defined only as albacore, bigeye, Atlantic Bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin.
In the end, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and dolphinfish were some of the species specifically not listed within the 1990 FCMA amendments despite similar biological life histories. It is also worth noting that wahoo were excluded in the original UNCLOS as well, and the species has never been labeled as an HMS species, despite co-occurring in every HMS fishery.
You can add your opinion to this subject by taking the quick survey we have designed for this study at https://opinio.nova.edu:443/opinio/s?s=hms. Your participation is greatly appreciated.
Please also share this link with anyone you feel may be interested in voicing their opinions on the topic.
Also please note that, as this is part of a study, we cannot field questions on the forum.