By Jerry McBride
Most kayak fishermen possess too much self-preservation and common sense to take on a giant bluefin tuna, or the willingness and stamina to haul electric reels out deep enough to dredge a snowy grouper or golden tilefish off a 600-foot-deep ledge.
However, those are just three of the species the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is removing from its list of overfished species, and several of them are potential targets of offshore kayak anglers—South Atlantic gag grouper, Gulf of Maine haddock, and North Atlantic albacore. The hope is that removal from the list will eventually lead to longer seasons (Gulf gags are currently off-limits ten months of the year) and/or increases in bag limits.
Of the 41 species named as Overfished Stocks in 2007, 27 have rebounded sufficiently to drop off the list.
“It really is a comment on our fisheries in our country,” said NOAA’s Alan Risenhoover. “They are on a sustainable path for the long term.”