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Discussion Starter #1
I want to start this by saying that I have fished all of my life. When I started out at four or five years old with a cane pole I had no idea what a "sector", "quota", or "closed fishery" was; I just wanted to catch a fish. Over the years I have fished in every sector. From the very beginning I have always been a recreational fishermen, and while I am still rather young, I have both fished and worked charter vessels, andran commercial boatsas well asworked on other's. To me personally, each type of fishing is completely different, but in the end we are all pursuing fish and obeying the laws set forth for the fisheries we are utilizing.

After constantly seeing the commercial flag thrown out in every red snapper thread, I felt the need to point something out. Most commercial fishermen in this state aren't allowed to fish for red snapper, or any other reef fish. The average commercial fishermen in this state mullet fishes with a cast net and tongues oysters. In order to commercially fish for any reef fish you must hold a federal reef fish permit (just like the charter boats), on top of that you must have a red snapper quota assigned to your permit which is the % of the commercial TAC your vessel will be allowed to catch in a given year.

Now, there was a time when you could just buy one of these license over the counter. You had the choice of buying a 200 lbs license or a 2,000 lbs license which enabled your to keep either 200 or 2,000 lbs of red snapper per trip, with the first 10 days of each month being the only time you can fish.

When they started reducing the snapper catch, the first thing they did was do away with the 10 day season open fishery and went to a set quota for each vessel. They set the quota's so small on the 200 lbs licenses that it virtually shut down all small vessels, the ones that would be more apt to sell their fish locally were the first ones to go. They consolidated the allowable catch to the larger vessels with larger catch records, these are the guys who have to ship most of their catch out of state because the local market wouldn't absorb the catch. The fish would rot at joe patties because it wouldn't all be sold. This may sound strange, but trust me, establishing a market and being able to turn your product is the number one problem most fishermen have. Now we have a small number of large boats that controlthe commercial sector and carry snapper quota's, and from what I have heard even their quota's have been drastically cut from where they were a few years ago.

Please keep in mind thatjust because I posted these facts, don't assume I am in support of the current system or of the large boats with 100,000 pound quota's. In all honesty they are reducing the commercial catch, at least marginally, by eliminating vessels and restricting TAC's. My problem with the whole things is there is no equality in the system. A few guys get it all while the small commercial guys and the entire recreational sector get the shaft. My only intent with this post is to inform, not argue in favor of commercial snapper fishing or commercial fishing in general.
 

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the problem is snapper counts must be drastically wrong because as we all know, :hoppingmad they're all over the place.. to the point of running off all others.. especially grouper... :banghead:banghead.. recreational season should be at least 2 at least 6 or 8 months..same with grouper.. maybe April thru Nov. for both.. 2 is plenty..
 

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thanks for the info. we do need commercial fishermen for sure to get fish to them that are not able or don't want to fish. not to mention jobs. your statement at the end is what sums up the whole snapper mess.EQUALITY AMONG THE FISHERIES,LARGE AND SMALL!!! THERE ARE TOO FEW PEOPLE WITH TO MUCH POWER.
 

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In the case of the ARS, if they are so endangered, shut the whole show down, both commercial and rec till they are recovered. Period. Don't hem haw, don't make excuses. If they are truly endangered, why in Gods name are ARS allowed to be taken by ANYONE?!?! Shut it down!
 

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Downtime2 (12/28/2009)In the case of the ARS, if they are so endangered, shut the whole show down, both commercial and rec till they are recovered. Period. Don't hem haw, don't make excuses. If the are truly endangered, why in Gods name are ARS allowed to be taken by ANYONE?!?! Shut it down!
Because we all know that that is a bunch of bull cooked up by NOAA and the NMFS to take the focus off the real problem. The real problem is the PEW org is shutting every thing down and our legislators are having their pockets lined with a bunch of money. And now Jane Lubechenco ( head of NOAA ) just appointed the head of PEW for facts and stats gathering on species to come up with real scientific data that they can trust.

That my friend is like installing a screen door on a submarine. You can not ask an organization that is 100% anti hunting and fishing to gather the stats and they not be seriously flawed. People ( everybody ) needs to rise up and let the numbskulls involved in these decisions know we are not going to stand for this kind of mularky. Vote all the fools out of office in 2010 and 2012 and start from scratch. Including NOAA and NMFS and all other corrupt politicians
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Downtime2 (12/28/2009)In the case of the ARS, if they are so endangered, shut the whole show down, both commercial and rec till they are recovered. Period. Don't hem haw, don't make excuses. If the are truly endangered, why in Gods name are ARS allowed to be taken by ANYONE?!?! Shut it down!
I agree completely.

The regulators probably think what they are doing is right. They said hey, what we will do is give one sector 49% and one 51% and that is almost fair right? Well no, it is completely wrong.

Personally I would like to see our resources used in a better way. If it was up to me the only commercial reef fishing (or commercial fishing in general)would be done on a small scale with small boats in order to appease the local markets. Basically what the local restuarants and seafood houses on the coast can absorb, which isn't a whole heck of a lot. This keeps everything in the community; the fishermen, the fisheries, and local businesses (restuarants) would all benifit. More and more it is turning into a large scale wholesale of seafood on the world market, and has gotten away from catching only what the community needs and doing so in a way that guarantees sustainibility and equal access.

Our fisheries have evolved in away that keeps this from happening, but I'm willing to work to change the situation. I'm just not sure what needs to be done.
 

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Downtime2 (12/28/2009)In the case of the ARS, if they are so endangered, shut the whole show down, both commercial and rec till they are recovered. Period. Don't hem haw, don't make excuses. If they are truly endangered, why in Gods name are ARS allowed to be taken by ANYONE?!?! Shut it down!


yep, thats what Ive been saying. But that would be logical and this is not about logic, its about money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
choppedliver (12/28/2009)
Downtime2 (12/28/2009)In the case of the ARS, if they are so endangered, shut the whole show down, both commercial and rec till they are recovered. Period. Don't hem haw, don't make excuses. If they are truly endangered, why in Gods name are ARS allowed to be taken by ANYONE?!?! Shut it down!
yep, thats what Ive been saying. But that would be logical and this is not about logic, its about money.
Yes, but the money isn't coming from where you think it is. The environmentals are pushing for tighter regulation, not the "commercial fishing lobbyists". The wholesalers like Frank Pattie and the big corporate fishing outfits have access to lobbyists, butthe average commercial fishermen does not.
 

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I'm almost afraid to even touch this one. What we need more than anything else at this point is an accurate assessment of our fisheries to determine what's actually out there. From there it should be a lot easier to set bag limits and season lengths to maintain a sustainable resource rather than guessing with questionable data.



The mess with the SE Atlantic fisheries could have been avoided easily. The problem they have stemmed from their 2007 assessment of fishery resources. In 2007 they knew that they had some serious over fishing of some species. The fly in the ointment was the number of people on the council that are tied to commercial fisheries. When it came time to vote on what to do about the situation, the responsible actions were voted down and the vote carried to continue business as usual. In 2010 a lot of recreational anglers won't have much to fish for. a fair number of charter people are going to go under and even the commercial fleet will feel the squeeze because of the regulations that are necessary to ensure the recovery of over fished stocks to a sustainable level.



The most important thing that we can do is to avoid repeating the bad decisions that were made for the SE Atlantic region here in the Gulf of Mexico.
 

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pcola very informative, thank you

kim as usual you arehard to follow, first you say the data is flawed, then you suggest weshould use the flawed data to reduce overfishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kim (12/28/2009). When it came time to vote on what to do about the situation, the responsible actions were voted down and the vote carried to continue business as usual. In 2010 a lot of recreational anglers won't have much to fish for. a fair number of charter people are going to go under and even the commercial fleet will feel the squeeze because of the regulations that are necessary to ensure the recovery of over fished stocks to a sustainable level.
We are are pretty much saying the same thing, except I don't agree that the fisheries are overfished. At least not our local reef fish, palegics and reef fish in other areas are a whole different ball game.

Look at the red snapper right now. Not only are they all over every piece of structure in the northern gulf, they have beengetting bigger every year since the restrictions. Right now the fishery is more than sustainable, just not nearly equitable. I have a recreational offshore boat and fish charters a lot, I would love nothing more than to regain our previous level of access.
 

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P-cola_Native (12/29/2009)
Kim (12/28/2009). When it came time to vote on what to do about the situation, the responsible actions were voted down and the vote carried to continue business as usual. In 2010 a lot of recreational anglers won't have much to fish for. a fair number of charter people are going to go under and even the commercial fleet will feel the squeeze because of the regulations that are necessary to ensure the recovery of over fished stocks to a sustainable level.
We are are pretty much saying the same thing, except I don't agree that the fisheries are overfished. At least not our local reef fish, palegics and reef fish in other areas are a whole different ball game.

Look at the red snapper right now. Not only are they all over every piece of structure in the northern gulf, they have beengetting bigger every year since the restrictions. Right now the fishery is more than sustainable, just not nearly equitable. I have a recreational offshore boat and fish charters a lot, I would love nothing more than to regain our previous level of access.


+1
 

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Hello again! I don't believe wanting an accurate assessment of our fisheries (scientific data) to determine season length and bag limits is a bad idea at all. As a matter of fact it will take the "guessing" and "inaccurate data" out of the equation. If it's based on science and math they can set the maximum seasons and bag limits. Then they would just have to figure out a system that would be fairly accurate to determine what is actually caught. If the Gulf Council would do that in 2010, I could live with holding to the existing law because then in 2011 the seasons and bag limits would be based on known scientific facts.



One fact that I had pointed out to me is this, our area of the Gulf may be over run with Red Snapper but other areas are not. The season lengths and bag limits have to take the entire Gulf of Mexico into consideration. On the up side, Snapper Bob at NOAA has already said that it looks like season length and bag limit may be increased (most likely next year). A couple of guys here have presented data of sorts to the Gulf Council, the data they have may very well provide a scientific reason why there are healthy Red Snapper populations in the areas where they gathered the data. This may provide some insight for consideration on why some areas are more healthy than others.



There is a dark side to this as well. The Gulf of Mexico is going to be the sole American source of Red Snapper for the consumers in our country and we better include Canada too. The SE Atlantic region closure is going to have an impact on our fisheries weather we like it or not. I'm not sure how the regulation of commercial Red Snapper fishing works. If the regulations are written to prevent serious over fishing then we don't have to worry about it unless it allows them to do it this year and take it off the top of the next year's TAC. If that's the case, it's possible that it could cause a problem for us next year. We will also see some recreational anglers that normally take their fishing vacations in the SE Atlantic region, how many I can't even guess, much less try to calculate the impact that it will have on the fisheries. Monitoring the commercial catch doesn't appear to be a big problem but it kind of looks like it is for recreational anglers, the last time FWC stopped me to check my catch was in the year 2000.



As much as I would like to say that there is an easy solution to fishery management and regulation, I can't because there isn't one. The red tide of 2005 threw a monkey wrench into the whole works, it was an act of nature and you just can't schedule it into a management plan. Again all I can say is to be proactive, join national organizations that support and defend recreational anglers. Write your elected representatives and express your views (repeatedly) and present them in a rational civil manner. Some of you are going to Washington DC in February I believe and that may do some good even though the main thrust for that is coming from the SE Atlantic commercial sector. Have a great year fishing!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Kim (1/2/2010)
There is a dark side to this as well. The Gulf of Mexico is going to be the sole American source of Red Snapper for the consumers in our country and we better include Canada too. The SE Atlantic region closure is going to have an impact on our fisheries weather we like it or not. I'm not sure how the regulation of commercial Red Snapper fishing works. If the regulations are written to prevent serious over fishing then we don't have to worry about it unless it allows them to do it this year and take it off the top of the next year's TAC. If that's the case, it's possible that it could cause a problem for us next year. We will also see some recreational anglers that normally take their fishing vacations in the SE Atlantic region, how many I can't even guess, much less try to calculate the impact that it will have on the fisheries. Monitoring the commercial catch doesn't appear to be a big problem but it kind of looks like it is for recreational anglers, the last time FWC stopped me to check my catch was in the year 2000.
The commercial snapper catch will not increase because of the closure in the SE atlantic, that is one of thefew good thingsabout the IFQ system. The boats that were snapper fishing over there will switch species or go out of business. I don't think they are even allowed to fish in the Gulf, I believe the permits are different (I may be worng on that one though). The ones that already fish our waters will not catch more snapper here because they are already restricted by their IFQ, they aren't allowed to catch more snapper to make up for the dropin supply. Supply will go down and prices will come up, but an increased harvest from the gulf to make up the difference (which is what I think you are suggesting) will not happen.

I also doubt we will see a huge increase in charter boat customers who use to fish the east coast of Florida. Red Snapper is only a small part of the charter industry over there, it is a lot different than destin or orange beach charter fishing, or at least what it use to be.
 

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The OLE Red Snapper Parahna.

All I hear is using Scientific Data. Science? How bout real time observations, Scientists fishing to collect Data? Numbers here andnumbers there to come up with the data. In the end you end up with a computer model to guess to mate the stock of a fishery. I hear ,well our computer models say this and that.I would love to see the field surveys,fishingthe structure themselves. Turn the folks lose with all kinds of tackle from 9/0 to Penn 4500 spinning reels. All sizes of weights , leaders and various types of hooks. It would be interesting to just see want type of tackle is being used when making the field surveys?? NMFS Gulf Council, and FWC officials have been invited to fish on many vessels here in the Northern Gulf. Not one , that I know of has contacted folks on the Free fishing trip. Bob Shipp has been on several trips out of Dauphin Island.

One post says that the Northern Gulf has plenty of Snapper while other areas are not as populated with RS. Artificial reefs have alot to do with this. Florida is so strict on reef material it is sad. Habitat equals fish. How bout regionalizing the Gulf waters. How far is it from bouy 14 here in P'cola Pass to Key West Fl.? How bout 524 miles , now take that same distanceand circle the SE US. See just how far 500 miles is. The state of OK.,IL. can be reached within the 500 miles. How bout 189 miles off the coast of Jacksonville Fl. from Bouy 14 in P'cola. Pass. 524 mls. will almost put you in Pt. Lavaca, Tx. which is located in Matagorda Bay, Tx.

Ok, I don't think this has anything to do with the thread topic. Sorry don't mean to derail if I have. All I hear is Scientific Data.
 
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