Well if you truly want the real answer...... it would be a bit long. I'll attempt a summary.
The first thing you have to do is understand how the fishery management process works. It can be categorized by the international regulatory bodies, the US Federal body which is the PFMC (Pacific Fishery Management Council), and the state bodies.
The international bodies are focuse primarily on commercial fisheries. Our PFMC focuses on both commercial and recreational. So most of our (sport) influence at this time is through the PFMC.
The PFMC has a "triangular" structure with (1) the primary council which has VOTING authority (i.e. the final decision makers); (2) the specific management teams, which focus on the science related to the particular fishery (and are non-voting), and (3) the advisory subpanels which represent the constituents, and provide guidance / input to the management teams (non-voting).
Albacore fall under the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) management advisory bodies. There is an advosory subpanel:
HMS Advisory Subpanel
and a management team:
HMA Management Team
The chairman of the advisory subpanel is Mr Bob Fletcher. He is very well respected, very knowledgeable on fisheries management, and very influential this subject of HMS. He is also the head of the Sportfishing Association of California. Mr Fletcher's Bio:
I have it on good authority that Mr Fletcher has publicly taken a stand that....the US should unilaterally (voluntarily) initiate a sport limit on tuna; that this would send a good-faith statement to the international fisheries management community, and give the US a "leg-up" in future negotiations. He has also stated / suggested that a limit of 5 - 10 fish be "considered."
One of my reactions to this is that....as well-respected as Mr Fletcher is, he has a very close allegiance to the charterboat industry....and specifically the southern California charterboat industry. And if you look at it from their perspective, the (non-6-pack) boats take 20 - 40 people at a time, and rarely get more than 3-5 tuna per rod. And the boats fishing out of San Diego often fish in Mexican waters, where there is a 5 fish limit.
WHAT TO DO?
Please attend the tunaholics convention in Newport on Feb 18th...and participate in the panel discussion. We will have Bob Osborne in attendance, who is on the HMS Advisory Subpanel. You can ask questions, and learn how to effectively participate & lobby for your beliefs.
We really need to get a united front on this.....and send a consistent message to those who are making the decisions. The recipients of these messages would include:
- various members of the PFMC
- the ODFW Commission
- various US congressmen & senators
- various state legislators