Florida Longline Threat Halted
A federally permitted longline research project that threatened swordfish, sharks, turtles and other marine species off Florida’s east coast is defunct.
Less than two months after NOAA Fisheries announced the issuance of a controversial exempted fishing permit allowing Dr. David Kerstetter, an associate professor at Nova Southeastern University, to conduct longlining in the name of research in the East Florida Coast closed area, Nova has brought said research project to a halt.
In a recent letter to Dr. George L. Hanbury II, president of Nova Southeastern University, The Billfish Foundation brought to his attention the threat that longlining in the closed zone posed to billfish, sharks and other marine life, plus the negative impact it would also have on the reputation of the university, which has garnered high acclaim for its research and its community engagement.
Soon after, TBF received a message from Dr. Richard Dodge, a respected scientist at Nova, stating that the university would not continue the pelagic longline research.
In a recent press release, TBF applauded the decision. “Our respect for Nova University and its president is reinforced with this decision; Dr. Hanbury continues to adhere to high standards in science and community relations,” stated TBF President Ellen Peel.
BROADBILL: Latest longline menace is aborted, boding well for Florida swords.