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"Out of frustration, some area captains signed on as supporters of a Save Our Sector plan. Now they are having second thoughts."

http://www.destin.com/articles/sos-1...men-boats.html

------------------------------------------------</DIV>They just won't quit though. Now the spinthat SOS supporters are trying to get everyone to believe is that it was never about catch shares....</DIV></DIV>Mark W</DIV>
 

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I saw this article yesterday and I am still not sure what to think about it. if I am not mistaken, and I may be, Mike Eller is the president of the Destin Charterboat Association and one of the original captains to draft the SOS plan. Like I said before...I am against any plan that has the potential to take away my right to KEEP the fishI catch.
 

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Somedual permit holders (charter and commercial) and some largerhead boat operators continue to push for "sector seperation" (SOS plan), which would bethe first step towards catch shares. When catch shares are implemented, you will see thatcharter overall incomeand historical pounds caught will be used to force out and "consolidate"smaller charter operators. The smaller operatorswould receivesuch small individual quotas, that they will be forced to sell their shares and leave the business. Look to the commercial snapper fishery as an example.

These actions are right out of the Environmental Defense Fund'sbook. The rest of the private boat owning citizens would continue to receive even shorter seasons and decreased bag limits for reef fish - snapper, amberjack etc.

Mark

<H1 class=marginMidSide>Sending out an SOS ? New movement divides fishermen</H1><DIV class="subhead marginMidSide"><H2></H2></DIV><DIV class="articledate marginMidSide">February 03, 2010 11:30 AM</DIV><DIV id=v_player></DIV><DIV class="byline marginMidSide">Tina Harbuck </DIV><DIV class="source marginMidSide"></DIV><DIV class="newstext marginMidSide">

Out of frustration, some area captains signed on as supporters of a Save Our Sector plan. Now they are having second thoughts.

SOS is a group of for-hire fishermen, including charter boats and head/party boats, which own and operate businesses along the Gulf of Mexico.

?We are concerned about the future of the for-hire industry, and we are exploring how to better serve our customers, count and conserve fish, and build equity in our businesses assets through the development of innovative new management options,? the SOS Web site reads.

?When I first signed up and heard about it ? a lot of it sounded really good,? Capt. Mike Eller told the more than 25 gathered at a recent Destin Charter Boat Association meeting.

?But I?ve had a lot of misgivings in going forward with it,? said Eller, who is co-chairman of the DCBA.

In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk of Individual Fishing Quotas and catch shares, Eller said.

A catch share or limited access privilege program according to the Environmental Defense Fund Web site is a type of system that ?dedicates a secure share of fish to an individual fisherman, community or fishery association. Each year before the season begins, fishermen know how much fish they are allowed to take of the fishery's Total Allowable Catch (TAC).

?Fishermen are usually allowed to buy and sell shares in order to maximize their profit. This helps drive the fishery to an efficient level and rewards innovative fishermen who can lower costs and deliver a quality product that will fetch a good price on the market,? the site states.

If recreational fishermen switch to a catch share system there will only be so many to go around ? and at a price ? before the TAC is reached, said Eller.

?Catch shares work for the ones that hold it,? Eller said. However, he said, ?catch shares are being ramrodded on us.

?Why is anybody?s right more important than my right to make a living in the Gulf,? Eller said.

But SOS isn?t doing the ramrodding, one local representative of the movement said.

?Catch shares are not part of our plan,? said SOS spokesperson Capt. Gary Jarvis in a phone interview. ?It?s just a scare word that is out there. Our goals and objectives are on our Web site (saveoursector.com).?

Jarvis said the main issues SOS is dealing with are sector separation between the recreational fisherman and the for-hire recreational fisherman. They also are pushing for a better data collection system.

?You can?t have a catch share until you have a separate accountable sector,? Jarvis said which would be five or six years down the road.

Jarvis added that talking about catch shares now, before sector separation is like ?putting the cart before the horse.?

Back at the meeting, Capt. Kirk Reynolds, of the SS Enterprise, expressed concern about better data collection in order to raise the TAC. Reynolds said the regulators are counting the fish by the head and limiting by the pound.

Capt. Donnie Dineen of the Sure Lure agreed.

?They?re not counting them right,? Dineen said. ?If we go to IFQ it?s going to put a lot out of business.?

Capt. Eller told the group gathered that if they did nothing, they would most likely get the 74-day red snapper season they had last year. The recreational fishermen went over last year?s TAC, so they will again have a short season.

Capt. Steve Hauseler of the First Light said ?at least we know what we?ve got with the 74 days and can work our business around that.?

After about two hours of discussion, the group took a stance against catch shares in the recreational for-hire sector and made plans to meet with a representative of the SOS to try and reach a middle ground.</DIV>

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