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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are you *$#@*&% kidding me? Has everybody realized this is what the SOS folks are looking for?

I want the SOS folks to step up to the plate and tell us what it is they are lobbying for - what's the number? What do you think you are entitled to sell such that me, my sons, and grandsons/daughters can't partipate?

Cause anyone of you that think another 600-800 people are going to get 57% of the 49% remaining from what some 120+ folks already stole (51% commercial) better think again. And, if our illustrious government gives it to them, I'm the first to organize a tea party.

So what is it guys? You are obviously making a play so there must be a "fair and equitable" number you're shooting for. What is it?

And then help me understand again why you are "entitled" to it? Aces Full said it some time ago - the world changes, people get laid off everyday. Why should your industry be any different? Because you've made a career of it? I see other people's careers laid off every day, CFH is no different. Do I want to see it, no. But if you're gonna make a "land grab" at my expense, I'll help 'em take you down. My personal opinion is that I'd like to see the commercial guys laid off - I don't see much economic value in what they provide (given total economic impact and alternatives (fish farms and imports)). But, no problem. if you CFH guys want to stick to us too, I've got no problem voting for you're unemployment.

So, here's your chance SOS guys - if 57% of the current Rec TAC isn't the right number, tell us the number. And, then also explain to me again since you make money, and the commercial guys make money, why all the guys all making money aren't all in the same money making commercial sector! Cause you're targeting the path of least resistance?

CFH, SOS - give us the straight poop. What's the end game, the number?
 

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sos plan

bjd76,
Don't look for any of the SOS guys to answer you - they have already put their feet in their mouths so many times on this issue they can't taste anything but leather anymore.

Here's something that NONE of them can answer, yet they push for it anyway;

Show me the data that would allow a charter boat more time to fish than they have now by separating from the recreational sector. Simple question, but there has been no answer - as these guys are in step with the OBAMA administration, they are pushing for change, for better or worse.

It's all about reducing the number of boats on the water - the CFH guys just don't realize they are being used by EDF and other environmental .orgs to get it done, then they themselves will be on the chopping block before you know it.

Tom
 

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bjd,
1. That number seems about right. What I've heard is that 60% of the recreational catch comes from charter/for hire. I've heard as low as 55 and as high as 70 but have not seen where the data comes from or how it's collected.

2. "And, then also explain to me again since you make money, and the commercial guys make money, why all the guys all making money aren't all in the same money making commercial sector! "

Because CFH are not commercial fishermen. The the people who catch and keep the fish are recreational anglers. The captain is just a taxi driver, remember?

The Obama administration? Hahaha. You've gone from the ridiculous to the sublime Hilton. There is no "data" because the charter and for hire guys have been lumped in with the private recs since these stocks began to be managed. However if IFQs were to be adopted, with the attendant controls, participants could probably catch their quota at any time of year. That is one of the goals of existing (commercial) IFQ systems.

You should stay away from the insults and personal attacks, Tom.
 
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historically, it's always been about 1/2 commercial 1/4 private rec and 1/4 for hire

The actual numbers are:
51% commercial
28% for-hire
21% private rec

What SOS is calling for is 27.9% of the total, which can be expressed as 57% of the recreational TAC. That's pretty close to their historical catch, depending upon which range of years you chose and such. It's not really anything new. It's also what they have been asking for since their inception. From an economic standpoint, in terms of impact on the economy, the whole thing is as backwards as a train with the caboose in the front. Reallocating the 51% we are now selling for pennies on the dollar compared to what it could bring in on the rec side would benefit the largest number of people.
 

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sos plan

Levelwind,
Personal attacks? I am pointing to a small percentage of charter-for-hire captains (SOS Guys) who comprise about 10% of the CFH fleet that have allied with Environmental Defense. You lay down with dogs you get up with fleas my friend.

I can point out the multiple misrepresentations that some of you guys have presented on this board regarding the SOS Plan if you like. You need to look at yourself for calling people out personally and insulting them.

Here's a quote from Bobbi Walker (former Gulf Council member) who lays it out pretty well what is going down - she is writing this to the current president of the OBFA. Note that she is pointing out the income requirement and what it will do to the part-time CFH guys and that it REALLY is not about accountability. I'll go a step further and say it's not only about reducing the CFH fleet, but it's about restricting access to the fishery for private rec even more.

All the best,
Tom

Catch shares and sector separation isn't about accountability... its about reducing the fleet. Sure that sounds good until you become the reduction. I would argue that the recreational charter boat sector has already participated in fleet reduction because of our moratorium permits. Stop and think about it we have gone from over 1,560 charter boats to approximately 1,100 since 2004. Dr. Hogarth worked with us so we obtained a five year fixed season, kind of like a time out. Another component that causes our percentages of landings to be lower is the reduction in the fleet since 2004.

Please sit back and pull the string all the way out before you step out there and put us on the line. Can you guess who will be the first to go?
Perhaps those like Ben who don't own their own boat and are running corporate boats for doctors and such?
Then those who have other household incomes that produce more than 50% of the households total income (either through their spouse or retirement income)?
What happens then to those who have been forced to get part-time and full time jobs to make ends meet?
Then will folks have to choose either commercial or charter boat fishing?

This is the reality of reducing fleets. Somebody is always being thrown out of the fishery so that others can try to scratch out a living. There are never enough that leave though, they will always be pushing for larger reductions. Maybe even to the point of showing 75% of your income comes from charter fishing to stay (by that I mean 75% of the whole household income).

Did you read the email the other day from the commercial fishermen on the east coast who was proud she had made the first two cuts, but knew they were going to lose their permit on the third cut. In other words this won't be just one initial cut it will continue and no one should feel safe.

How will the allocation be further divided among guide vessels, 6 passenger vessels, multi passenger vessels, and headboats? The headboats are the only vessels that have had a logbook , which provides some data on their individual harvest. No other vessel has such historical data. We can't start after the fact because people while reporting what they catch will increase their red snapper and grouper catch knowing it will affect their allocation. You can't expect a multi passenger boat and head boat to survive on the number of fish a 6 passenger or guide boat will get. How do you handle that fairly?

I am just saying , I won't step out there and support any plan until I know how it is going to affect my business. Change is a nice fluffy word, but unless you know exactly how that change is going to affect you be aware you could be worse off then when you started.

Dave Festa (EDF heiracrchy) has stated publicly it is all about the money and being able to sell and trade shares by big corporations on the stock market. It doesn't have anything to do with you or me. Here is a quote from the article that I have attached, "Festa explained to the investors at the Milken conference that the plan to create catch shares and open the door for outside capitalization has been longstanding.

Ben, you stated on behalf of OBFA this plan would allow us to plan ahead. There are over 1,100 federally permitted boats that fish the EEZ, however there are thousands of boats that operate in state waters only and to be fair and equitable they will receive a portion of any quota too. Say you run a guide boat in Alabama waters and since there are no records to indicate what you catch the government comes in and asks you if you catch red snapper. Well you know if you say yes you'll get a share so what are you going to say? How will anyone be able to prove you didn't land red snapper?

Lets make it simple and look at just one fishery but all will be similar. Actually in the grouper fishery the private recreational sector will have higher historical landings through MRFSS.
Red snapper...
recreational quota 2.45 million pounds

Now the first battle will be how to split this amount between private recreational and recreational charter boat (remember though charter boats are the platform for anglers to catch their red snapper ,we don't keep the red snapper the recreational angler on the back of our boat keeps them). State licensed boats may or may not play at this level . But, private recreational anglers including those fishing on the back of our boats are going to want their share. There are millions of private recreational anglers and only 1,100 offshore plus a few thousand state only charter boats. We can go to our congressmen and representatives, but how many votes can we deliver? How many votes can the private recreational group deliver? If we end up alienating our customers who are private recreational anglers what have we done to our business? There is no way we are going to look like the good guys when we try to take our "fair share" of the pie.

Now lets talk about dual permitted boats. A small minority of charter boats hold both commercial and charter boat permits. What happens when you have to choose which business to continue in because you will have to prove 51%-75% of your income comes from either or you can't have both permits aboard one boat. Dual permitting has come before the council in the past. Check the records. You will find out how hard it was pushed and also the person who was responsible for bringing it to the table.

In other words there will be NO sacred cows. No guarantees for anyone. Using the MRFSS data 1990-2009 (some of the 1980s data was questionable with MRFSS) and the council generally chooses to use the longer time series you find
for red snapper;
Charter boat offshore 47%
Charter boat inshore <10 mi 11%
Private recreational 42%

I am pretty confident that every charter boat fishing in the EEZ is going to claim that they land red snapper because the stock in my opinion is larger than it has ever been in history. So you are looking at 47% of the quota that will be split by approximately 1,100 boats. Don't let anyone fool you that the quota will be significantly larger in our lifetime because it won't. The most that has ever been harvested annually out of the Gulf is about 12 million pounds with no regulations so at current level

2.45 million pounds X 47% =1,151,500 million lbs. offshore
divided by 1,100 boats = 1047 lbs.
divided by average size of fish (5 lb.) = 209 fish

Those numbers are assuming we will get ALL of the 47%, which is unlikely because the state only licensed boats and the states will want their fair share.

Some people have said they were promised they could have days at sea. I don't know how that would work but you and I both know that anytime we are bottom fishing we are going to be catching red snapper and the discards will be counted against us so days at sea may end up being just that the ONLY days you will be allowed to bottom fish. Let's be conservative and say that our fishing party will be satisfied with 10 red snapper per boat a day. 209 fish divided by 10 gives us almost 21 days at sea. I have heard ludicrous estimates where guys were saying they could live with 160 days at sea&#8230;.well I guess so, but do you see in the data where that will be possible? I don't even see where 30 days will be possible. Discard mortality has to be addressed and there will be discards.

Because of discard mortality and ecosystem management I can foresee all bottom fish lumped into one category where the season is either open or its closed. This is already evidenced in the South Atlantic because the total allowable catch of red snapper will be reached by discard mortality while anglers are fishing for other bottom fish species. In other words red snapper fishing will probably be closed in the South Atlantic Coast for at least 20 years because the discard mortality exceeds the total allowable catch.

I challenge you to show me the data that would allow a charter boat more time to fish than they have now by separating from the recreational sector.

If we end up fighting for more fish how many of those private recreational anglers will want to pay to be on our back decks when the blood letting ends. SOS has argued we only want our fair share, however the only data set that can be used is MRFSS and it has been deemed fatally flawed. The information I gave above is based on numbers of fish through the MRFSS survey, I didn't use pounds because that is even more suspect.

Conflict has already begun in Pensacola, the private recreational groups refused to participate in the Northern Gulf Protest on the water because Destin Charter boat Assn. was the organization that catapulted the protest. They do not support Gary Jarvis or SOS and will fight charter boats taking any recreational fish. Some of them have communicated publicly that charter boat allocation should come from the commercial quota.

Another point I have heard is that SOS is going to give us better data. We are going to get better data whether SOS, GOMARS or anything else is done because the reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act requires NMFS to overhaul the MRFSS. It's going on right now and neither of the above plans were even a concept until after the reauthorization. Now here is the stickler that you are not being told. Logbooks sound great and yes we have been begging for them for years, however if 100% of the charter boats do not participate 100% of the time NMFS will be forced to use correction factors, which is a part of the problem we now have with MRFSS, so we wouldn't have solved anything. I am afraid we won't have 100% participation because CCGF mailed out a questionnaire this year to charter boat moratorium permit holders and of the 41% of permit holders that responded 16% stated they would not participate in a logbook program.

Have you read the letter from the five Gulf Coast Governors including our Governor Riley to Secretary of Commerce Locke opposing any catch shares and outlining problems with the commercial red snapper IFQ? I have attached the letter because it is very important that you understand the implications.

Then there is Environmental Defense Fund that some think are going to be our saviors. Please read the article attached that was published in the Gloucester Times, the authors contact information is there too. After reading it I would like your opinion on EDF and what they stand for.

You have not been at this long enough to know how the system works and how folks play you, hell after 12 years I don't profess to know it all, but I do know this&#8230;you are on a slippery slope and there will be no turning back once you start down it.

Ben your quote in the Mobile press stated,

"Orange Beach Fishing Association President Ben Fairey said such a program is exactly what federal regulators have been saying they wanted.

"The plan will allow us, as a (charter fishing) sector, to know where we are at any given time in the season and it will allow us to plan ahead," he said."

Ben, I am going to ask you again, is this an OBFA decision to support the SOS plan and/or sector separation. If it is I want to know when the vote was taken and when the next scheduled meeting is. Until I know something is going to be better for my business I am not falling on the sword with anyone.

There was a time when OBFA worked together to protect and benefit our industry. We cannot put our heads in the sand and ignore the elephant in the room. I understood that you and the new board were going to stay out of the politics of fishing, however the trip to Corpus Christi and statements you have made to the press and publicly indicate otherwise.

I would like nothing better than to see us all work together with no outside influences and work for Orange Beach charter boats. If they are going to shove catch shares down our throats at least lets try to develop a plan that is best for us and push for it and not allow others to determine our destiny by designing a program that is not in our best interest.

Bobbi
 

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True, I agree that the idea might come as a surprise for the CFH sector, that the political wonks want to reduce the fleet and make it more expensive. This concentrates power in the hands of fewer more centralized companies for fewer permits, which can become quite valuable due to demand. Anyone who thinks that on-going discussions will buy a few more years in the business and keep the status quo are sorely mistaken. Get ya an excursion cruiser for dolphin watching trips and maybe a margarita machine, and make some real money instead of catching fish!
 

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sos plan

bjd,
The Obama administration? Hahaha. You've gone from the ridiculous to the sublime Hilton.
Here you go; ridiculous? sublime? Maybe not, but then again, you be the judge;

"Developed and championed by the Environmental Defense Fund, where Lubchenco was then a board member, the new economic concept (Catch Shares) was converted into policy with Obama's selection and appointment of Lubchenco as the head of NOAA this past spring.

Lubchenco made no secret of her commitment to catch shares and essentially privatizing the fisheries, and she participated in an elaborate campaign to introduce catch shares as the salvation of the fisheries in the transition from President George W. Bush to Obama."

Like it or not, anyone who endorses Catch Shares (As the SOS Plan does) is aligning themselves with the Obama administration's push for "change". Whether this "change" will be better than what the fishery, fishermen, and coastal communities have now is highly debatable - I say it will be worse.

What's wrong with holding the NMFS accountable to develop a better data collection system first? That's what Congress mandated and that's what should be done prior to implementation of any new ACL's or AM's (such as Catch Shares and/or Sector Separation).

All the best,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The way its traditionally been....?

If there is no way to verify the Rec catch, that is not necessarily the way its always been. That's the way they have reported (dreamed) it.

Tom - looks like not a single CFH willing to say what they're trying to take... Just lost a lotta respect from me guys.

BTW, from all the posts I've seen from them about how they're really catching so much other stuff and don't really target RS, why not leave it for us private boats?
 

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snapper

bjd76,
The problem is that they are relying on the fatally-flawed MRFSS data to arrive at these percentages of take. This is a great example of why the NMFS needs to implement the improved data system before considering catch shares or sector separation - after all, the new recreational data system WAS mandated by Magnuson to be in place almost one year ago wasn't it? Catch shares and sector separation are certainly NOT mandated by Magnuson, so why the rush to do these first?

The saltwater fishing effort has been shown by federal census info (independent of NMFS data and in sharp contrast to NMFS claims) to be in a sharp downward trend for the last decade or so. This data needs to be front and center - why the push to fast-track these drastic measures if they are not really needed?

The MRIP (Marine Recreational Information Program) is going to require time to implement. Give it the time required to arrive at the most accurate info and to give anglers and other shareholders confidence in the data, otherwise there will be non-compliance and many other problems associated with this trainwreck called Catch Shares.

Despite claims from the head SOS guy, from what I can see recreational fishing orgs are very interested in accountability - just not Catch Shares or Sector Separation.

Tom
 

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At the Corpus Meeting I mentioned that the CFH group was looking for a job guarantee. Think about it, what other job can you be handed a licence to do your job that can't be taken away and gives you exclusive rights to that position and resources to complete that job?
 

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Think about it, what other job can you be handed a licence to do your job that can't be taken away and gives you exclusive rights to that position and resources to complete that job?
almost every federally appointed position comes to mind :)
 
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