Commercial Gulf red snapper industry sues feds for failing to control rec overages - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 07-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Commercial Gulf red snapper industry sues feds for failing to control rec overages

Here's a lawsuit filed the enviro-funded Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance - it may have been filed by this enviro front group, but I assure you that it is orchestrated and funded by the Environmental Defense Fund. The Alliance has received millions of dollars from EDF to pose as a front group to advance the enviro agenda of privatizing our Public Trust Resource. The Charter Fisherman's Association is likelwise in bed with the enviros and have repeatedly back their commercial brethren's opposition to reallocating quota to the recreational sector - STRANGE, since it runs contrary to their CUSTOMERS' best interests...but then again, it's really not about what's best for the Gulf recreational fishermen, the Gulf coastal communities, or the Gulf fisheries now is it?

Guindon, Werner, and Waters - the fat cats skimming off of our Public Trust Resource (for free) portraying themselves as being "important" but in reality are looking at the millions of dollars on the table with the increased quota. These same guys were at one time saying all they wanted was to get back to the original 51% of the 9.12 mp TAC, and they would support allocating any future increases to the recreational sector. Now that it's nut-cuttin time, they have conveniently "forgotten" that.

What a joke.

A lawsuit needs to be filed all right - to force these jokers to pay the American Public for profiting off of our Public Trust Resource as well as reallocating the fish to what is REALLY best for the Gulf and the Nation.

Capt. Thomas J. Hilton

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [seafoodnews.com] July 2, 2013
Commercial fishermen and associated businesses have filed a lawsuit against the federal government to address its failure to effectively manage the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery according to the law firm K&L Gates.
According to the lawsuit management failures have resulted in overharvesting of red snapper by the recreational sector that harms all stakeholders in the fishery, including commercial and recreational fishermen and fishing communities, and deprives consumers of access to fresh fish.
The suit challenges regulations issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, acting through the National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) governing the Gulf of Mexico (“Gulf”) red snapper fishery. The suit asserts the NMFS has violated the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the law governing federal fisheries.

“The agency’s mismanagement of Gulf red snapper poses a real threat to the commercial businesses – fishermen, fish houses, distributors, restaurants, etc. – that are dependent on red snapper and our ability to meet rising consumer demand for red snapper,” said Buddy Guindon, a commercial red snapper fisherman from Galveston, Texas. “We hoped to avoid litigation, but the agency left us with no choice.”

According to the complaint, the agency has mismanaged the fishery by failing to implement adequate measures to control catches by the recreational fishing sector. Inadequate controls have permitted the recreational sector to routinely catch far more red snapper than it is allocated under the fishery management plan. In 2012 the recreational sector caught 1.8 million pounds of red snapper more than it was supposed to, exceeding its catch limit by 46%. In a recent year the recreational overage approached 90%. By contrast, the commercial sector of the fishery, which operates under an individual fishing quota system (a form of catch share), complies with its catch limit every year.
Wayne Werner, a commercial red snapper fishermen from Alachua, Florida said, “Fresh, plentiful seafood is important to our heritage, culture, and economy in the Gulf. We want to make sure that continues for generations to come. Plus, not everyone has to go fishing to enjoy it. We want to make sure the public has access to red snapper in restaurants and grocery stores.”

“We’ve worked hard to implement an effective, working IFQ program for the commercial sector,” said Donny Waters, a commercial red snapper fisherman from Pensacola, Florida. “We cannot afford to see the agency’s actions on the recreational side undermine the tremendous progress we’ve made. There is just too much at stake for the regional economy.”

The suit was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

Last edited by Tom Hilton; 07-06-2013 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Interesting, wonder if the RFA or another group might sue from a different angle. I can't see this particular suit having a good outcome for Recreational fishers, especially if it is confined to an argument over TAC.

A broader discussion would include a conversation about commercial for profit use of a public resource. Over 100 years ago commercial take of game animals ended, time for the same for fish, IMO.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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This would be funny if it wasn't so ridiculous.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contender View Post
A broader discussion would include a conversation about commercial for profit use of a public resource. Over 100 years ago commercial take of game animals ended, time for the same for fish, IMO.
Bingo
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Jon Pinney View Post
Bingo
Agree
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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The commercial fisherman sue the NMFS over recs overfishing,
when NMFS gifted them what they have now. If I understand correctly, NMFS also has authority to change the IFQ system if they so desire. They better be thankful that I do not work with the NMFS because this whole system would be under the gun.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #7
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I don't see how they can file a lawsuit based on the parameters set forth under which they operate in a LAPP;

(b) NO CREATION OF RIGHT, TITLE, OR INTEREST.—Limited access privilege, quota share, or other limited access system authorization established, implemented, or managed under this Act—

(1) shall be considered a permit for the purposes of sections 307, 308, and 309;

(2) may be revoked, limited, or modified at any time in accordance with this Act, including revocation if the system is found to have jeopardized the sustainability of the stock or the safety of fishermen;

(3) shall not confer any right of compensation to the holder of such limited access privilege, quota share, or other such limited access system authorization if it is revoked, limited, or modified;

(4) shall not create, or be construed to create, any right, title, or interest in or to any fish before the fish is harvested by the holder; and

(5) shall be considered a grant of permission to the holder of the limited access privilege or quota share to engage in activities permitted by such limited access privilege or quota Share.

How can they claim to harmed when the law states they have no right, title or interest in the fish?

These enviro-funded "useful idiots" are really showing their true colors, and that also goes for any CFH captains accepting cash from EDF such as Hickman, Jarvis, Jennings, et al. to do their bidding. They are all in bed together.

They truly believe that we, The American People, OWE them - we do not.

They think they deserve to be gifted a portion of our Public Trust Resource for free - THAT is what a lawsuit needs to be filed about.

it's interesting as to the timing of this lawsuit...just after the assessment shows that they should be raising the quota to 13 mp next year - 51% of 13,000,000 pounds is 6,630,000 pounds x $5/pound = $33,150,000.

That's it in a nutshell - IFQs are, and always have been about the $$$$$$ - nothing more, nothing less.

Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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They made some ole boys fat cats by giving away the red snapper.

What kills me is, if you talk to a commercial guy who got allocation they say they deserve what they got as their retirement. I always argue this point. All small business owners, plummers etc. all have to invest in their retirement, they aren't given freebees.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contender View Post
A broader discussion would include a conversation about commercial for profit use of a public resource. Over 100 years ago commercial take of game animals ended, time for the same for fish, IMO.
Lots of public resources are used for commercial profits: timber, coal, oil, water, etc.

Ending the commercial take of game was necessary at the time, but even this is becoming necessary to control certain nuisance species. It turns out that it is much more expensive to have federal and state employees take out overpopulated wild hogs, resident geese, and urban deer than it is to pay private parties to do it. Allowing the private parties engaged in nuisance wildlife control to sell meat/pelts has (or would have, depending on the specifics) the effect of reducing the cost the government must spend paying the private contractors.

There are a number of fisheries where certain species have the potential to become overpopulated to the detriment of the ecosystem if commercial fisheries are not maintained. There are other fisheries where there is much more commercial than recreational demand and ending commercial utilization is at best wasting resources and at worst damaging the ecosystem.

Consider the black drum fishery in Louisiana. The commercial sector harvests many, many more black drum than recreational fishermen. This harvest is not only reasonable, it is necessary, because black drum eat oysters and would easily destroy both the oyster fishery in Louisiana as well as the valuable ecosystem services provided by living oyster reefs if they were allowed to become overpopulated. Most Gulf states also have much higher demands for sea catfish in the commercial sectors and commercial harvest actual reduces the number of sea catfish that recreational anglers (who consider them a nuisance have to deal with.)

Management should be based on sound science and the impact of allowing various harvests to the commercial and recreational sectors on a species by species basis. There is no room for platitudes or sweeping generalizations suggesting that there is any wisdom in the complete elimination of commercial fisheries in the United States.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:25 PM   #10
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Yes public resources are used commercially and PAID for by the commercial entities. Grazing, timber, coal etc all require payment to the Feds, not sure how individual states do it. Yes there is a license fee but it is not close to the value of the resource taken.

To imagine commercial entities have the best interest of the ecosystem at the forefront of their concerns is not only naive but ludicrous. It is the Tragedy of the Commons being played out over and over. Whether it is oystering (dredges), shrimping (by catch) or ARS commercial take there is little no evidence those engaged in the commercial take of fisheries give a fig. Individually there are likely some individuals that do, as a population not even close.
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