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Discussion Starter #1
You know...I think I spend a lot more money trying to find red snapper per trip than a charter captain does. I do a good job, but i can't hold a candle to what these guys are bringing in. I have to spend more on tackle, gas, bait and probably even my boat after I'm done screwing up something on it. I would like to know what my cost per pound of red snapper is compared to the CFH captain. I'd be willing to bet I spend a heck of a lot more.



Let's assume SOS is enacted. Lets assume the first year the CFH sector still has the same requirements the recreational sector does. Let's also assume that NMFS is overly amazed and now lets the CFH sector have more fish per person or a longer season because the rec sector is still tied up in government red tape and the same BS.



Think about that for a second...they will have longer seasons and more fish per person...



I'll tell you exactly what i would do when I come into port with 4 fish and the local CFH captain comes in with 16 or more. I'm going to sell my stuff and get out. I'm not going to spend all that gas looking for those larger snapper. I'm not going to buy all that bait. I'm not going to buy that tackle. I'm not going to buy that boat or those motors.



I'm not going to have someone tell me that I can't fish because I'm in the wrong boat. I'm not going to sit back and allow someone to force me to pay you money to get my snapper.



I'm going to start sending letters to all of the boat manufacturers, engine manufacturers, boat dealers, marinas, bait shops, gas stations, tackle suppliers, reel manufacturers, rod manufacturers...everyone I can think of.



I'm going to let them know how many $'s are spent on the recreational side and what I would do with my money if SOS becomes a reality.



Sector Separation...coming to a town near you starting with Red Snapper for now...
 

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No No. if sector separation became law, which is very doubtfull, the for-hire boats would not have more days nor would we have larger bag limits. If sector separation happens we all lose days, all recs which includes for-hire. Request the data from the nmfs or the council on the harvest of red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, amberjack, king mackerel, red grouper and ask for it by the way it has been harvested, what amount for pri/recs and what amount for for-hire. Ask for the data from 1990 thru 2006, then pic several years and see what the percent of harvest is for the pri/recs and for hires and then see what happens when you take the percent of each group and see what happens. When you separate the sector we all lose days, period, no matter which years you pick. Red snapper is pretty much a 50/50 split give or take a little depending on the years you choose, gag grouper is 75/25 pri/rec vs for-hire give or take a couple points depending on which years you pick. The rest will vary a little some in favor of for-hire some in favor of pri/rec.

It gets more interesting after the last council meeting because the headboat want heir own sector meaning thatthe total is not split 2 ways but 3, and crabtree threw out the possibility that state licensed boats could be placed into the pri/rec sector which means what they have historically harvested would be added to the pri/recs so that much would be reduced from the for-hire so there is even less percent. No matter how you figure it, unless you are an soser from tx where they apparently learned a different kind of math than most texans and others, when you separate the sector, we all lose days fishing.
 

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How do they get the private rec numbers for the harvest data?

75/25 for gag seems like a bit overdone but you have access to the raw data that I dont. I just dont see how the for hires arent beating the PR's in all species. The for hires go out every day but I guess that the PR boats outnumber the for hires 20 to 1 so it makes sense.

To me as a PR, and I dont get out as much as I want due to work, the number of days isnt the issue to me. Its the number of fish that I can catch and keep. I only went out three times last year, it would have been nice to keep a few more fish for the freezer.

I think that the whole database is jacked, I dont think anyone knows what the fish stock is doing. All I know is that every time that I went to public numbers near shore last year it took me about 30 minutes to limit out on red snapper. Seems to me the stock is plenty fine.

And they said the Earth was warming. Ha!
 

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I understand where you are coming from Bob. We both know that the SOS'ers will be severely disappointed in the TAC they would get if SOS moves forward, but give me a little leeway for a second. Lets say they do get the TAC they pulled from their rears. Lets also say for arguments sake that NMFS the following year wants to give them a longer season and more fish per person because they didn't reach their TAC for that year. It is my understanding that it would then be possible for them to go out and catch more per person and at times when I would not be able to. That means if you want to catch that amount of fish or fish during those months then you have to pay to ride on someone else's boat to do it. I have yet to hear and argument from anyone involved in SOS otherwise.



This isn't just for red snapper. This is a fight for all species. We either stand together and get better data for everyone, or we fall individually and separate and a lot of people lose their jobs. If you don't think for one second that this will affect everyone in the spectrum of offshore fishing, then you have another thing coming. I know too many people that have already gotten out because of red snapper alone. Grouper, Dorados, Trigger fish, blackfin, AJ's, Ling and the rest will be the same way. I won't own an offshore boat in that environment and neither will thousands of others.



If you are in the industry, I suggest you do some research and make your voices heard...before it's too late...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here you have it below from a supporter of SOS...How are you going to feel when you have to pay them to catch your public resource that has been gifted to them. This is just the start. In the end, there will not be any privately owned recreational fishermen...







"We will get our own sector, with our own Allowable Catch Limit, separate from the private recreational boat owners.



We will get realtime reporting systems (ELOGS and VMS) which are accepted as highly accurate by NMFS in the commercial fishery, thus will not significantly overfish our ACL and be penalized year after year for the previous years overfishing.



We will gain some control over our destinies. There are several managment issues (IFQs is one) which must be voted on and approved by a majority of stakeholders ((permit holders) before they can be implemented. We have no such protections as part of the overall recreational sector.



We hope to eventually have the flexibility to fish whenever we want to - when seas are runnable and our customers want to fish, as long as we do not overfish our ACL. I believe we will have to prove our data reporting systems to NMFS before this can happen.



We BELIEVE, and hope, that when we report our catch accurately, the NMFS will be forced to accept that there are more fish and that a large portion of the recreational ACL is NOT being overfished, therefore will not apply huge corrective factors (up to 20%), maybe as small as 5% due to improved data quality. This should result in a lot less overfishing of ACL, which would be of immediate benefit of everyone in the recreational side (private recs and cfh). We also hope that eventually this high quality data would lead to higher TACs (which must really happen, by law, in order to meet the rebuilding schedule).



Once the original ACL split is set based on historical data (or perhaps a trial season or two of more accurate data), it's realistically going to take a really big event or circumstance, a game changer, to see a re-allocation of share. MSA allows this but makes it very difficult.



Some members are hoping to get catch shares implemented for the sector, some want transferable IFQs, some don't some are still trying to find out more about the pros and cons of it."
 

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The quote below is from Mike Jennings. He is a charter captain from Texas. What he fails to mention is that they will also be allowed to keep more fish than you and have a much longer season. All under the guise of doing it for the recreational fishermen. Tell me you would stay in recreational fishing if this happened and spread to all of the different fish species. Trust me, if the foot gets in the door...It is over. Contact the Gulf Council and your politicians. Please also contact all the industries that count on you and your friends. We need there support or we all lose.



"if you have a separate CFH sector , you will have a separate TAC , be it what ever % you want to come up with ,and with the CHF sector already being limited access you have a fixed effort ,then combine that with daily validated reporting.



when you reach your TAC you stop fishing ,again when you reach your TAC YOU STOP FISHING . if you stop fishing before you exceed your TAC , you have effectively stopped overfishing in over half of the recreational sector, under the current management plan . plane and simple .this can be done via several different scenarios , not just with catch shares . that is the difference that sector separation makes cut and dry"
 

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Aces, From what I understand is that all players agree on the following.

1. Overfishing is bad, it sounds like everyone wants to be a responsible steward. Some may be skewed a bit due to personal interests, money,or business but more fish, more days to fish, and a bigger bag limitbenefits everyone.

2. Something has to be done to get a better count of the fish taken so we can get some good data. I think this is the biggest problem,no one will make any headway until there is some real data.

My personal opinion is that I dont care if there is a sector separationas long as each sector has to play by the same rules. If I had to weigh each red snapper and call it in I would have no problem with that.
 

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I'm all for the separation for recreational and commercial fishing. However, I do not think that when the charter fleet is made part of the commercial sector that they should be given any quota out of the recreational TAC. What ever the current commercial TAC is should be then divided amongst the commercial interests. This leaves adequate public resources for the ever increasing numbers of recreational anglers.
 

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weatherman (3/7/2010)Aces, From what I understand is that all players agree on the following.



1. Overfishing is bad, it sounds like everyone wants to be a responsible steward. Some may be skewed a bit due to personal interests, money,or business but more fish, more days to fish, and a bigger bag limitbenefits everyone.



2. Something has to be done to get a better count of the fish taken so we can get some good data. I think this is the biggest problem,no one will make any headway until there is some real data.



My personal opinion is that I dont care if there is a sector separationas long as each sector has to play by the same rules. If I had to weigh each red snapper and call it in I would have no problem with that.


Overfishing is bad - Agreed

It can be reigned in without separation with the plan below. The problem with SOS is that it is being pushed solely for profits, and it will also put a lot of CFH captains out of business. If enacted, it will put thousands of other out as well. Think about it. Together we have been trying to fix the system for years. This small group of rouge charter captains are well organized and vocal. They are not in it to play by the same rules. We are too close with flexibility in Magnusen. We must join to stop SOS and make sure the Gulf Council understands.



The Plan:



A COALITION of FOR-HIRE and PRIVATE

RECREATIONAL ANGLERS FISHING the GULF of

MEXICO



January 1, 2009



This proposal is an extensive plan that provides new management alternatives for the federal

recreational (for-hire ?FH? and private recreational ?PR?) reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico

(GOM). It was developed with input from many individuals (private and professional) to provide

a plan that will encompass the total federal recreational reef fish fishery while dramatically

improving current fishery data collection. This plan is multi faceted which will require several

stages of implementation that will ultimately provide real time data for all reef fish targeted by

recreational anglers in the GOM. The plan should be adapted to the data needs of the National

Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) to be able to better manage the reef fish fishery, to control

overfishing based on improved real time data, to provide realistic fishery effort and catch data to

provide the NMFS the proper tools to address accountability measures, useable catch limits, and

improved stock assessments.

This proposal is not intended to be all inclusive and should be implemented with the ability to

modify the plan to fit current and future regulatory, legal, data needs, and stock assessment

requirements. It is specifically intended to provide new, forward thinking ideas to bring fishery

data, fishery management, stock assessments, angling ethics, and all recreational anglers into the

21st century. The goal of this proposal is to begin the process of implementation upon immediate

receipt of and discussion by the Gulf Of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) so that

some aspects of the proposal will be effective during the 2009 season. We realize that the

management process takes time and has legal requirements but we also feel that the current

process will allow for immediate implementation of some of our suggestions.

THE PROPOSAL

This proposal establishes a new Gulf of Mexico Angling Reporting System (GOMARS1) that will

initially require reporting information on red snapper with a web based and/or telephone reporting

system. Subsequently, a logbook reporting and if demonstrated the need exists a simple

electronic (AIS, mobile phone, web based, or other simple and unobtrusive reporting device)

system to report departing and returning to port could be implemented. The GOMARS will allow

1 Implementation of the GOMARS will require immediate action by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC)

and/or the NMFS to implement a plan amendment to the current reef fish management plan to establish this angler reporting system

with all the legal requirements to ensure the regulation is required. The NMFS will have to also fast track this amendment for

implementation. In order to expedite the reporting system we suggest utilizing the interim rule process. We recommend that all states

be encouraged to require this system within their state waters for anglers wishing to target reef fish.

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for easy expansion to other reef fish species as well as other targeted species. It will also be

simple to use on vessels of all sizes and capacities. The proposal also suggests and encourages

coordination between the federal government and the states in identifying users and collecting

data, suggests angler and/or vessel aggregate harvest limits to reduce unnecessary discards thus

increasing stock biomass, should reduce interaction with other species such as marine mammals,

provides for real time regulatory accountability of harvest, and other improvements to the current

system.

? Immediately establish the Gulf of Mexico Angling Reporting System (GOMARS) as an

endorsement to the Gulf of Mexico Federal Charter/Headboat Reef Fish Permit and

require every For-Hire vessel (FH) landing red snapper to have a GOMARS onboard.

? Immediately begin the regulatory process to require a GOMARS permit for private

recreational anglers or for each private recreational vessel (PR angler or PRV) who

wishes to catch a red snapper.

? Immediately create and implement an automatic telephone reporting system (similar to

the current HMS recreational billfish telephone reporting system) and a web based

reporting system (similar to the state of VA Recreational Assessment Program reporting

system)

? The GOMARS will have an identifying number linked to a vessel (For-Hire, PRV and/or

PR angler) and will require the vessel owner?s and/or angler?s name, address, phone

number (land and/or cell). Optional owner information will be an email address for

contact. The GOMARS will provide the web link and 800 phone number for reporting.

? A condition of the GOMARS will be to require the endorsement/permit to be onboard

any vessel with recreational red snapper on board. The reporting of the catching and

landing of red snapper will be required when returning to a shore side facility either by

telephone call in or web based. (The report will provide the GOMARS number, the

number of anglers fishing for red snapper and where that fishing occurred - state or

federal waters, how many hours ? to the nearest ? hour- fished for red snapper in ? state

or federal waters, how many red snapper were harvested for each angler and location -

state or federal waters, how many red snapper were discarded and location - state or

federal waters, type of gear used (rod and reel, spear, electric or manual reel, and a

confirmation number verifying the report will be provided to the person making the

report.)

? The fee for the GOMARS endorsement/permit will be the same as an additional permit

for the FH vessel owner and shall be consistent with the HMS permit fee ($16.00) for PR

anglers or PRVs.

? The For-Hire Survey and MRFSS will continue to collect data until they are no longer

necessary.

? The current dockside interview system should be enhanced and expanded to obtain

landings data such as size and composition of landings.

? Once the GOMARS endorsement/permit is implemented and required for vessels and

anglers recreational fishing in the EEZ, the NMFS should request all Gulf states to

implement the GOMARS (or compatible state system easily coordinated with the Fed

data collection system for total coverage of federally managed species) in state waters.

There should also be the ability for the GOMARS endorsement/permit to be purchased

when purchasing a state saltwater fishing license as well as the federal web based system.

? While the GOMARS and it?s requirements are being implemented, the council should

begin the process of requiring electronic logbooks for all FH vessels and a similar

reporting system for PR anglers or PRVs. (divers possess a dive log which is water proof,

paper log, web based accessed by laptop or mobile device)

Page 3



? As the logbook programs are being developed, the GOMARS should be expanded to

cover other reef fish species as the logbooks will provide the ability to collect critical data

for all species such as disposition of discards, total number of discards, time spent fishing

for each species, fishing in state or federal waters, depth of water fished, number of hooks

per line, and other data that becomes necessary for stock assessments.

? A pilot program should be immediately designed to study using aggregate bag limits that

will eliminate discards. The program should investigate the possibility of increasing

stock biomass by reducing discards and discard mortality. This type of management will

also help to reverse the current trained behavior of marine mammals which now target

anglers for food. The program should include information to study the current behavior

of marine mammals and the impact it has on the animals and humans.

? We see no need to require VMSs on FH vessels or for PR anglers or PRVs as a VMS will

not report when a vessel is fishing, how many anglers are fishing, how many fish are

caught. This proposal provides mechanisms that accomplish everything necessary to

determine the number of anglers wishing to fish, the date fished, the number actually

fishing and for how long, the species and numbers caught, the species and numbers

discarded and if fishing in state or federal waters, and more. Until a VMS is

demonstrated to provide scientifically sound information necessary for enhanced stock

assessments, it should not be required.

? The NMFS should coordinate with DHS and USCG regarding any electronic tracking

systems.

? Enforcement should be enhanced as vessels harvesting red snapper must have a

GOMARS endorsement/permit on board.

? Last, but most definitely not the least important is outreach and education to publicize the

need for all recreational anglers to participate in providing good fishing data.

CONCLUSION

While this proposal does not provide 100% of the recreational data needs, it is a very positive first

step that will provide much needed data from all recreational anglers. Implementing this plan as

proposed will provide the data necessary to identify the effort, the number of fish harvested, and

number of fish discarded almost immediately. It also provides for full accountability for all

recreational anglers. Technology advances almost daily and any program adopted must be able to

be flexible enough to adapt with ever increasing data needs and technology. With the current and

past requirements of fishery law, we are dependent on accurate and timely data. This proposal

begins that process and we suggest that if all components of this plan are adopted that the

information necessary to properly comply with the law will ensure that the anglers and

communities suffer less harm and confusion. We suggest that the simplest components of this

plan be adopted first while effort continues on the implementation of the more time consuming

proposals.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kim (3/7/2010)I'm all for the separation for recreational and commercial fishing. However, I do not think that when the charter fleet is made part of the commercial sector that they should be given any quota out of the recreational TAC. What ever the current commercial TAC is should be then divided amongst the commercial interests. This leaves adequate public resources for the ever increasing numbers of recreational anglers.


Kim,



Recreational fishermen are already separated from the commercials. The CFH (charter for hire) captains take recreational fishermen fishing and are therefore part of the recreational fleet. We need to keep it that way. United we stand, divided, we fall. It's already being discussed with the Gulf Council who has the final say. If SOS goes forward, it's basically already decided that the CFH captains will get a portion of the recreational allowable catch and not from the commercial. Personally, I fee like the CFH sector would get raw end of the deal if they go by the book. They would get a share that would put about half the fleet out of business. The only way to keep everyone employed is with the plan above. You will not be able to find anyone who would say otherwise of the plan above.
 

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Brief and hopefully simple explanation on rec data collection.

Pri/rec, currently effort is derived from telephone intercept surveys where less than 1% of the population is reached that actually rec fish. Questions are asked about any fishing done in the previous 2 months. Data is reported for all recs, including for-hire in 2 month waves, jan/feb, mar/apr, etc. All that is asked is about effort, number of trips, hours fished, location fished, etc.

Fish data is recorded by dockside surveys where a person, in FL it is an fwc person, surveys predetermined fishing sites on randomly selected days. This person will interview some anglers, will try to measure and weigh and identify species.

The catch and effort data is then combined and extrpolated to determine the pounds of fish harvested along with numbers of fish discarded.

The for-hire group has their effort collected each week by a fixed percent of all for-hire boats, either fed permitted or state licensed with the same type questions as the rec questions. Our catch data is also collected the same way thru dockside surveys and the data is combined for a total picture.

Both ways are not good and changes are coming. The for hires will be using a pilot logbook system, hopefully by june 1 and the new federal registration system will reduce the number of phone surveys to those people who have a fishing lic/registration rather than the entire citizen population. The dockside surveys will increase in numbers and als be specific to for-hire catch and rec catch so the theory is we will have better data in the far future, that being if all pilot programs and new systems show better data collection efforts then they could become effective in 3 to 5 years.

You can go to http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/recreational/index.htmland click on program overview and it will provide you all the info.
 

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Aces, The GOMARS plan is sound. It does make more sense for the FH and PR to stay in the same group. I have no issue with calling in my catch. I would take issue with having to put something on my boat to send an electronic signal or something. Just for the issue of cost.
 
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