About Fissues.org

News & Opinion By & For Conservation-Minded Anglers

Saltwater anglers care about the health of marine resources, but we often avoid getting involved in conservation and management of recreational fisheries because fishery management has become so darn hard to understand and almost impossible to follow!

Fissues.org is your one-stop hub for information on the species you like to target and how they are managed. We take the complicated fisheries management decision-making process and boil it down to the basics that average anglers can understand. Part news and part opinion, Fissues.org culls out the noise and provides the essential information needed to stay up-to-date on Northeast fisheries management. We also give you tips and guidance to more actively participate in conserving marine resources important to all of us.

We organize information into the four venues for Northeast fishery management:

  • Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)
  • New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC)
  • Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC)
  • Federal Fisheries: Congress, Secretary of Commerce, and NOAA Fisheries

Originally created by Captain John McMurray of New York and Captain Patrick Paquette of Massachusetts in 2017, Team Fissues has evolved to include a small group of well-known recreational anglers spread across New England and the Mid-Atlantic who have over 200 years combined experience interacting with fishery management. Fisheries management is not a spectator sport. We have joined together to protect the sport and resources that we love. We invite you to join us!

Team Fissues:

  • John McMurray

After obtaining an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Loyola College in Maryland, Captain John McMurray served in the US Coast Guard for four years as a small-boat coxswain and marine-fisheries law enforcement officer. He was then recruited to become the first Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association New York.

Up until recently he was the Director of Grants Programs at the Norcross Wildlife Foundation in New York, which has distributed over $20 million in conservation grants since 1982, much of  it directly targeted for protection of marine fish and habitat.

He is currently the owner and primary operator of “One More Cast” Charters.

John is a well known and well published outdoor writer, specializing in fisheries conservation issues. He wrote the Resource Column for Flyfishing in Saltwaters for 8 years,and for 7 years wrote the NY/NJ Fishwire at Reel-Time.com. He is a regular contributor to Saltwater SportsmanSport Fishing MagazineShallow Water AnglerOn The Water,  and the L.I. Fisherman and has had feature articles and/or photography published in Saltwater Flyfishing, Tide Magazine, Nor’east Saltwater, Newsday and the New York Times.  He also wrote a weekly conservation blog for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Reel-Time.com, and currently writes one for the Marine Fish Conservation Network.  He is also one of the administrators forFissues.org.

Capt. McMurray also sits on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Advisory Panel, and is the Legislative Proxy at ASMFC for State Senator Phil Boyle.  He also served as one of New York’s recreational reprehensive on Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council from 2008 to 2017.

In 2006 John was awarded the Coastal Conservation Association New York Friend of Fisheries Conservation award.

  • David Monti

Dave grew up on the water and has been shell fishing, fin fishing, sailing and power boating all his life.  He held a scallop license on Nantucket for 15 years, where he scalloped recreationally during the fall and winter months.  Dave holds a masters captain’s license and works as a charter fishing captain and guide.  He is a communications consultant and semi-retired partner of the RDW Group marketing, public relations and digital marketing firm.

Dave writes about the environment, fishing policy, regulations and ocean issues such as spatial planning, wind power, climate change as well as fishing tactics, strategy and conditions.

In 2011 Dave was appointed by the Governor of the State of RI to serve on the RI Marine Fisheries Council where he serves as vice chair.  The Council makes recreational and commercial fishing regulation recommendations.  He understands ocean and fisheries management issues and polices as they relate to the environment, fishermen and fishing communities.

Dave serves as a vice president and chair of the legislation committee for the RI Saltwater Anglers Association (the largest recreational fishing association in the northeast with over 7,500 affiliated members) and is an active member of the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association participating in the “RI Fish for the Future” summer flounder pilot. He was twice appointed to the NOAA Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee’s (MAFAC) Recreational Working Group as a New England representative.  He also serves on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic menhaden Advisory Panel.

 Capt. Monti is often a guest speaker at fishing associations and conferences including the New England Saltwater Fishing Show and was a featured local captain at the Salt Water Sportsman Magazine National Seminar Series hosted by George Poveromo of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing on NBC Sports

  • Charles Witek

Charles is a lifelong recreational angler, who lives on the South Shore of Long Island, New York.  Although he most frequently fishes his local waters, pursuing everything from weakfish and summer flounder to sharks, billfish and tuna, he has fished on every coast of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as in the Caribbean.

He has served as a bluefin tuna technical advisor to the U.S. ICCAT delegation, and has held a seat on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.  Today, he sits on New York’s Marine Resources Advisory Council, and on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Winter Flounder and Coastal Sharks Advisory Panels.