The fundamental purpose of Blue Water Fishermen’s Association (BWFA) is to advance the common interests of U.S. fishermen, vessel owners, fish dealers, service and supply companies and others with an interest in the sustainable hook and line pelagic longline harvest of Atlantic swordfish, tunas, pelagic sharks and mahi-mahi. Our members recognize that their futures depend on the continued viability of Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) stocks. Therefore, BWFA provides an effective medium to promote our member’s rights to participate in domestic and international fishery conservation and management plans and agreements.
For more than twenty years, our membership has aggressively promoted effective international and domestic conservation programs to ensure the sustainability of the fish stocks that our future depends upon. The domestic fishery has worked diligently and cooperatively with scientists and fishery managers to address incidental catch issues and to develop practical solutions that satisfy U.S. statutory mandates – mandates which impose higher conservation standards on this fishery than are imposed on any other domestic or international Atlantic HMS hook and line fishery. In addition, BWFA often engages in contracts with scientific branches of NOAA Fisheries Service and leading academic facilities to carry out cutting edge fishery gear research to make pelagic longline fishing as ecosystem-friendly as possible.
Since 1990, Blue Water Fishermen’s Association has offered our industry the opportunity to be much better informed about potential threats to our fisheries. Our members provide healthy and nutritious seafood to the general public; fish that are sometimes caught several thousand miles from U.S. coastal waters. BWFA members have the advantage of being “in the loop” and “in the know” concerning pertinent issues affecting their livelihoods, and being part of a unified, professional effort to ensure our way of life.