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Old 03-27-2010, 11:49 PM   #1
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Default 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

Folks,
Pay attention to this as this is what we have been telling everyone we are up against. On this link on the left side near the top you will read about 60 fishermen, <U>23 edf staff</U>, and 89 meetings. This is <U>1 edf staff person for </U><U>3 fishermen</U>. There is no limit of money that edf will spend to take you off the water and destroy your lively hood, your communities, and a way of life we have all enjoyed forever. After seeing this, there cannot be any doubt of how edf is working against you. Apparently they will spend their last donated foundation dollar to put you out of business.
For those of you in the Gulf, some of these 60 fishermen were from your area of destin, orange beach, and other gulf locations.

http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=48...chsharesaction

You may need to copy and paste the link to your web address bar.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

Your links provide NO mention of Gulf Coast Captains that I could see...

60 Captains went to DC... I assume 23 staff members escorted these Captains around.

Here's the propaganda about recreational fishermen:

http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagid=48975

WOW!!! SCARY!!!

Not saying they aren't trying to shut down recreational fishing, but there's NO evidence of it in your links.

Jim
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:31 AM   #3
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

when catch shares are the rule, rec fishing will be severely limited along with every other fishery. Look at what catch shares have done to every fishery they have been applied to. The fleets have been reduced, the fish houses have been reduced, fishermen have lost jobs.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

And your evidence is where?

Jim
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:39 AM   #5
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

Jim,

I assume you are aware of edf's work with the charter for hire group (SoS Plan http://www.saveoursector.com/AboutUs/GaryLetter.aspx) that suggests spltting off 58 percent of the recreational snapper total allowable catch in the form of IFQ's/catch shares? Or are you aware of it and you support the concept?

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Below article is from acommercial fishermanproviding his thoughts on IFQ's/catch shares:



<SPAN id=_ctl1_ctlTopic_ctlPanelBar_ctlTopicsRepeater__c tl1_lblFullMessage><H2 class=pagetitle2>Individual Fishing Quota?s ? Background</H2><P class=pagetitle2>
http://fishingforaliving.com/industr...-background-2/ <DIV class=entry sizset="20" sizcache="0">

Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQ), also known as Catch Shares, have now become the bureaucracy?s single most effective tool for the elimination of small boat fishermen. Fishery managers set an annual poundage quota for a given species, and then divvy it up to individual fishermen, based on their past catch history. Fishermen may then work until they reach their allocation limit, at which point they must quit fishing.
<SPAN id=more-454>
For many years, stock protection was mainly facilitated by the use of size limits, seasonal closures, and gear restrictions. With those tools, fishery managers could easily regulate all fisheries, and effectively provide ? what was supposed to be their only goal ? stock protection. Not satisfied with such a limited mission, however, the fishing bureaucracy moved to expand their scope with a new goal ? effort limitation.

Effort limitation opened up a new world for the bureaucracy, by allowing them to enter the realm of controlling a fisherman?s business and his life. In the early stages, fishery managers reduced effort with license reductions, limited entry, and income requirements, all of which slid fishery management into the area of business management. When the Lobster Trap Certificate Program (LTCP) was initiated, fishery bureaucrats gave up the pretense, and came out in the open with their desire to regulate businesses.

The LTCP became the Keys fishermen?s first taste of individual allocation, when fishery managers doled out lobster traps based on a fisherman?s personal catch history. In every study that had been done, our lobster industry was declared to be one of the healthiest fisheries in the nation. Effective rules had long been in place, and the industry had been stable and productive for many years. Frustrated over their inability to find reasonable justification for new restrictions, fishery managers turned to a Duke University professor, who came up with the brilliant conclusion, that our industry was overcapitalized.

Claiming that we were expending too much time and money to catch the lobster, fishery bureaucrats moved forward with a program to make us more efficient. The irony of the most inefficient body in America ? our federal government ? teaching businessmen to be more efficient, apparently went completely over the heads of humorless bureaucrats. Maintaining that fishermen could catch the same amount (they actually claimed we would catch more) with less traps, regulators moved forward with the LTCP and a systematic reduction in the number of traps that each fisherman had been allocated.

Using a monitoring statistic called Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE), managers assured fishermen that they would catch the same amount of lobster with half the traps. As with every promise ever made by the bureaucracy, this one didn?t work either. CPUE remained static, and a fisherman with half the traps he once had, caught half the lobster he once did. With the industry trap number now halved, catch has also fallen by half, and fishery managers are desperately searching for any reason other than trap reduction to explain the drop in production.

The LTCP gives us a perfect example of what happens when government tries to control individual business decisions. If the fishing bureaucracy was interested in healthy and productive fisheries, they would recognize that efficiency comes at the boat level, and they should stick to running their own business, which is stock management. But, since the main mission of all bureaucracy today is the accumulation of power, in no case are they going to give up control once they have it.<P sizset="20" sizcache="0">Meanwhile, federal fishery managers were moving swiftly forward with annual species quotas. Quickly recognizing the power that quotas gave them over fishermen, they moved into the ultimate phase of fishery control ? allocating the allowable catch to individual fishermen. Moving slowly at first, bureaucrats patiently initiated IFQ?s in several targeted fisheries through clever manipulation of the fishermen. Now however, using the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) as an excuse, they are aiming to forcefully implement IFQ?s in every fishery.

Fishery managers are interpreting the MSA as requiring them to set quotas in all fisheries, and their method of choice is with IFQ?s. Fishermen are assured by confident bureaucrats, that when they no longer have to deal with the ?gold rush mentality? of open competition for quotas, commercial fishing becomes as smooth as a country waltz?.No more need to hurry out and get your fair share before the quota is filled?.Catch your share when the price is high, and no longer be at the mercy of the fish houses?.No longer need to risk your life by going when the weather is bad?.Don?t have enough pounds? ? buy more, they?re transferable?.Ready to retire? Sell your shares and have an instant pension?.Wow! Won?t everyone want to be a commercial fisherman now?

It matters not to the bureaucrats, that their quota interpretation takes great liberty with both the wording and the intention, of the MSA. It matters not that thousands of fishermen will lose their livelihoods, and it matters not that IFQ?s will mean the end of traditional, small boat fisheries. It doesn?t even matter that it places a limit on every fisherman?s income, and freezes out young people from ever entering the fisheries. It only matters that IFQ?s are now declared to be effective resource management, and will make life tidier and easier for fishery managers.

Once bureaucratic fishery managers set their sights on an agenda like IFQ?s, they will do and say anything to reach their goal. As one may well imagine, individual quotas garner little support among competitive, hard working fishermen. They are constantly working in a hostile environment to improve both their methods and catch volume, and have no fear of competing with other fishermen for a fixed quota. It would be hard to think of anything more contradictory to the spirit of American capitalism than the competition stifling IFQ?s.

However, as with all other fishery regulations, commercial fishermen are essentially shut out of the rule making on IFQ?s. Fishery managers instituted the first IFQ fisheries by rigging the elections so that of the fishermen ? almost all of whom would have voted against it ? were not allowed to vote. As in the case of Grouper IFQ?s, only those with 8,000 lbs or more of annual catch, were allowed to vote. Then surprise! Surprise! After the perfunctory vote, IFQ?s were implemented, and fishery managers proudly announced another successful joint effort between government and industry.

In truth, public hearings and advisory boards ? the only input venues for fishermen ? are mere tokenism, and useful only for the bureaucracy to fulfill the hollow requirements of public input. The rule making rests squarely within the offices of fishery managers, and their interpretations and agenda are always accepted. The state and federal council members are political appointees who actually have the final vote on everything, but they are primarily made up of college professors, recreational fishermen, environmental advocates, and assorted bureaucrats, who simply rubber stamp the staff?s recommendations.

Commercial fishermen are rarely represented on the councils, and the few that have been appointed, are usually ones who have only a tenuous connection to commercial fishing and show a willingness to go along and get along with the bureaucrats. Yet, we are expected to believe that good fishery law can emanate from people who know nothing about commercial fishing. One can only wonder how many school teachers and firemen are making the rules for the State Board of Medical Examiners, and whether accountants and electricians are drawing up the legal guidelines for the National Bar Association.

Bureaucrats do not ? can not ? understand the life of a commercial fisherman. Even as fishermen cannot understand the complexities of the bureaucratic system without actually working in it, fishery managers cannot possibly understand fishing without spending years trying to scratch out a living from the sea. Yet bureaucrats proceed as if they are professional fishermen, and their laptops computers can direct the perfect rules for fishery management.

If our small boat fishery in the Keys is to survive, IFQ?s must be stopped. Total catch will soon end up in the hands of a few large producers, and our young people will be permanently excluded from the fisheries. Once IFQ?s are implemented, it will be too late to turn back, and the face of our traditional fishery in the Keys will change forever. Hopefully, the recent ?March on Washington? is a sign that fishermen everywhere ? both commercial and recreational ? have had enough of bureaucrats controlling their lives. But for Keys fishermen, if they are ever to fight a battle to the end, it should be over IFQ?s, and it must be now!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------</DIV>

Best post I have seen in awhile on environmental groups work withcharter fisherman etcfrom another board and another writer cut and pasted below:

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At this time, instead of throwing any new information, I would rather sum things up so we can honestly look at where we are.

As the battle for healthcare reform was more a fight within the democratic party other than a dem vs. republican battle, <U>the battle for catch shares in the recreational sector is really a fight within the charter for hire sector and really has little bearing on private boat anglers</U>. And just as healthcare reform is seen as merely a first step towards a single payer healthcare system by many progressives in our government, sector seperation is the first step (and necessary step I will add) towards catch shares in the CFH group.

It is not hard to get to this conclusion if you look at these facts:

1. Environmental groups are running the show in regards to fisheries management.

2. The main push for environmentals has been catch shares. That is indisputable. As soon as Lubchenco took charge of NOAA, a lot of time and resources, energy and time have been devoted towards switching all fisheries to catch shares. Why do they want catch shares? Simple. Because catch shares = greatly reduced fishing fleet and severely reduced fishing pressure is what these guys are all about.

3. You realistically cannot institute a catch share plan to the private boat sector. There is simply no way to quantify who has caught what in the past, so you really cannot assign a share. Improvements can be made in accountability measures, but fisheries managers are very happy with the measures in place currently. At this point, the private boat fishery is such a small part of the equation and we have been marginalized by the current regulations, so the job is done there. It can get worse for us, but I really do not see catch shares in the private boat fleet's future.

4. However, you can institute catch shares for the charter for hire sector. The only problem is that the charter for hire sector is part of the recreational sector along with the private boat guys. Besides, the CFH group is way more productive than the private boat guys, so if you are an enviro and have to pick one group to marginalize, or cut effort down considerably, this is the first place to look.

5. <U>The only way to instill catch shares in the charter for hire sector is to separate them from the private boat guys. Without sector separation, there is no hope for catch shares. </U>

6. Catch shares is a tough sell for the CFH group. Of course some of the larger operators will benefit greatly from catch shares, but a large portion of the charter for hire industry will be forced out of business because their small shares will force them out of the fishery. <U>So you cannot sell sector separation as a gateway towards catch shares, or IFQ's</U>. You have to find a way to make separation more palatable to the rank and file of the CFH. You sell them on accountability measures. Tell them you are saving their way of life. Anybody who disagrees is mocked as someone who is only pushing "status quo". You also enlist the guys who will decidedly be in the "haves" side of the equation to beat the drum to get the other captains to get on board. You never know, you might even have guides who will be put out of business by this action campaigning for your very interests. It is so crazy it just might work. The only problem is that only a few will be left to benefit. If I was a larger operator who fished charter for hire and commercially", I would be counting the days down towards the first season with catch shares. With reduced competition, your likelyhood of increased profitability will be immense. Your cashflow situation will be far improved because you can fish all year, so money will be coming in all year instead of in a 3 month &#119;indow.

Us private boat guys are already screwed, but we really do not matter in this entire effort. The only effect to us with sector seperation is that we lose a large portion of our base and our voice and power with the regulators gets smaller. Of course, the argument can be made that we are already powerless, so losing the CFH guys from our ranks will not matter anyway.

But at least our livelyhoods are not getting yanked out from under our feet. I understand that the CFH guys are being told that the only way catch shares could be implemented is through majority vote. You should really look to Washington and what is going on lately to see that if somebody wants something imposed bad enough, past promises hold absolutely no value, meaning if the enviros want catch shares, manuvering around a vote will not be a big issue. <U>The only way to insure against catch shares is to NOT SEPARATE from the private boat guys</U>.

If you are a smaller guide, your better play is to resist separation and take your chances with things as they are, or try to work with the regulators and get accountability measures installed for the entire recreational sector. Separation is the expressway to death of your business. And besides, what are you missing out on? Accountability? Who is beating the drum for accountability? Enviros and the SOS leaders. That is their sales pitch to ween you over to catch shares. <U>Show me one quote from Crabtree, Lubchenco or Schwaab stating that it is up to us to come up with our own accountability measures. Just one. </U>But on the other hand, you can pull out at least 200 from this message board alone from SOS folks who place the blame on us because we have not come up with a better idea. That is kind of like the postal service telling us that it is our responsibility to deliver the mail. Besides if the perfect mousetrap of fisheries accountability in the recreational sector was put together at the grassroots level, who really thinks that it would see the light of day with the likes of Roy Crabtree and folks like that? If you think so, I have some swampland for sale, but you probably heard that one already.

So from now on, I am not going to complain about separation (okay, so there is something differant), at least not as it relates to the private boat sector. It will not affect me, or any other private boat fisherman. We will still get what we will get, and possibly a little less. It is the CFH in the crosshairs. Separate at your own peril. Any comments from me moving forward will be to reinforce the fact that separation is a precurser to catch shares.

Good luck.

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mark
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

A group of privatebusiness men, want to protect their way of life. I have NO quarrel with that. The problem I see is an equitable division of TAC. How and who will determine that? Then accountability by all groupsis an issue, but that's not a change from today.

The real issue is a FAIR accounting of quotas before the AFH group is separated from the Rec anglers. If the SOS group want more than their fair share I'll oppose that, but I don't oppose the intention to separate themselves.

Jim
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:41 AM   #7
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Default RE: 60 edf fishermen, 23 edf staffers, 89 dc meetings this past week

The council will make the determination of the % split of the rec quota for red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, king mackerel, amberjack, etc. This issue does not end with red snapper. Rec harvest data has been available since 1986 with some disagreement on the validity for the years since. The council will make a decision which years, or combination of years to use. I have looked at the data and played several scenarios and no matter which years or combo I have used the % split for-hire (including headboats and state licensed boats) vs pri/rec is about 50/50 give or take a couple points one way or another. Now there is a request to the council by some headboat owners to separate them from both pri/rec and charter. Historically, the headboat harvest of the total rec sector is about 12 to 15%. If you assume the rs % will be 50% for the for-hires and then take out 15% for headboats, then you have 50% pri/rec, 35% charter, 15 headboat. Now, if the nmfs can figure out the % of state licensed harvest then both the charter and headboat %s change. At this time it ia anyones guess how this will be done by the council.
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