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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is a statement from the GOMRFSA supposedly to recreational anglers (although it was only sent to for-hire captains as far as I know). They refer to misstatements by CCA, but don't see where they specifically point out what was misspoken.

This is clearly a pro-SOS Plan propaganda sheet.

They are not looking for better data - they want to ramrod the catch shares into regs before the Congressionally-mandated "better data" is accomplished. Catch shares are not required by Magnuson, nor is Sector Separation. Better data IS mandated by Magnuson before any further actions are undertaken regarding ACLs or AMs whether the SOS crowd likes it or not.

I know of some for-hire captains who are actively looking to buy more federal reef fish permits, as they believe the actions proposed by SOS will drive up the price of the permits. Personally, I believe a lot of this SOS drivel is being pushed for financial gain for the for-hire captains as they have seen how the commercial IFQ holders have reaped huge financial windfalls (to the tune of millions of dollars) from the gifting of IFQ shares by the federal government at virtually ZERO COST to the recipients.

Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders' Alliance
Statement of November 16, 2009

The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders' Alliance helps the commercial fishing industry work cooperatively with regulators, recreational fishermen, environmentalists and communities to revive our valuable reef fish stocks, fishing businesses and coastal communities. This statement is in response to misrepresentations of the Gulf's commercial fisheries presented recently by recreational fishing groups, especially the Coastal Conservation Association.

We understand the frustration of recreational fishermen working under failing management and flawed science in the red snapper and other reef fisheries. But anglers are not victims, and there are no conspiracies by the government, environmentalists or Commercial fishermen to diminish the importance of sport fishing. The recreational sector needs to step-up to the table with new, workable ideas - not just proposals to re-shape the status quo and reallocate all reef fish to sportsmen.

Until recently, the commercial fishery faced severe problems with red snapper under the old derby system. Nothing changed until we came to the table with solutions to stop the waste of fish and economic decline. In the regulatory process, we weathered heated discussions, alternating periods of discouragement and enthusiasm, and years of work.

This wasn't easy, but new management with individual fishing quotas is working. The commercial red snapper season extended from short mini-seasons to year-round. We live within our catch limits, and can keep and count the fish we catch. We time fishing with market demand and can run efficient operations. This sensible management has allowed families and businesses to recover after recent hurricanes and times of financial distress. Regulators have documented positive results, and environmentalists and eco-friendly seafood markets are highlighting our success. We expect the same benefits for the grouper and tilefish fisheries that will be added to the IFQ program in January.

These few important points address recent misstatements.

Efforts by commercial fishermen to conserve fish and improve their livelihoods are not threats to anglers. They are good for everyone because they help rebuild the fisheries we share and strengthen the communities where we all work and live.

Commercial IFQs are demonstrated to help end overfishing and ensure that fisheries are a contribution, not a drain, on communities. Economists and scientists around the world have documented the success of IFQs compared to traditional derby management.

IFQs do not allocate fish between commercial and recreational fishermen. This process is entirely separate, and for red snapper the allocation was set in 1991. IFQs do a better job than derbies of managing fish that are already allocated to commercial fishermen. With or without IFQs, allocation and re-allocation between sectors is always difficult.

The Alliance is open to fish trading between sectors. However, substantial discussions depend on the recreational sector matching the commercial fishery's accountability and management with their own appropriate systems. Otherwise, fish transfers to the recreational sector would violate conservation laws and reverse emerging successes.

We do not buy-into the argument that we must wait for "better data" to fix management. We believe good data and accurate counts of fish can only be derived from fisheries with credible management plans.

Commercial reef fish management is on the right track, but we know the IFQ programs are not perfect. We invite CCA and all fishermen to join our appeal for more on-board observers and video cameras, and increased diligence in reporting illegal activities.

The Alliance is open to all ideas that save fish and provide accountability. There are good reasons to believe that IFQs can improve management of the for-hire recreational sector, and private anglers would be better off with a harvest tagging system. These could be designed to lead to year-round fishing and reductions of discards.

CCA's efforts to use litigation to stop successful commercial management and spread misinformation will not help recreational fishermen or the fish stocks. The stage is already set for recreational fishermen: Gulf region managers have established recreational advisory panels to explore new plans, the federal government has created a high level position to coordinate with recreational fishermen, and new fishery plans are moving through the regulatory process. We urge CCA and other recreational fishermen to contribute constructive action now.
 

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I guess all us recs need to decide which 150 boats are going to catch all the fish and the other 12 million can stay at home.
 

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Tell me one thing ... if all the memo quoted above is about commercial fishing such as for red snapper, as well as perhaps commercial grouper and commercial tilefish sold at the fish house, then how does this affect the recreational or charter-for-hire sector in the least?

The IFQ system cor commercial red snapper has been on-going for over a year now, right? That's a completely separate deal, allocation, and percentage of fish from recreational fishing, of which the charter-for-hire sector is a part. Personally, I don't think it is all that bad if the IFQ system is strictly limited to the commercial sector, meaning selling wholesale fish on the market for "x" many dollars per pound.

I think what worries many is "scope creep" that would make the lives of us recreational fishermen even worse, with the charter-for-hire fishermen being the wild card. This could include things that seem like IFQ, limited access, fish auctions, and many things that we detest and will fight in court to prevent. Perhaps the writer of that memo didn't realize what we meant, or what CCA intended?

But as to just the commercial fishermen, hey, let them have videos, observers, audits, random drug checks, FBI screening, and silly VMS mandates ... I could care less as long as they stay legal and stay under their allotment.

I think I am missing a key link or ingredient here. If that was a slam on the CCA lawsuit, it sure failed to make the least bit of sense to me. I'm talking about the recreational side here. I am beginning to lose patience with the charter-for-hire sector, and if they want to become "commercial," let them go if they want, but I am standing up for my rights.

Oh, and if the charter-for-hire folks want to go commercial, well, go buy you a commercial red snapper IFQ like the other commercials and stop thinking you can take it out of our hide. I am serious. I have seen some permits in the range of several grand to over $10,000. Have at it, gentlemen. Just don't tread on me!
sam wells
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
sos plan

Swells,
A lot of the guys pushing the SOS Plan are dual permit holders...they have commercial IFQs and for-hire permits. They want to expand the financial windfalls received from IFQs beyond the commercial allocation by slicing and dicing into the rec sector via sector separation.

There is no need to force IFQs or Catch Shares upon the recreational sector as the fact is that recreational saltwater fishing participation is WAY down from years past.

The SOS people are upset as CCA has stated that their position no longer endorses concurrence with state/federal regs as stated in this CCA press release;

CCA urges states to resist flawed federal policies in Gulf

Anglers cite lack of faith in federal catch share management of red snapper, grouper

Faced with the unwelcome reality of having two popular recreational fisheries managed by a fundamentally flawed catch share system in the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) has taken the rare step of not supporting Gulf state compliance with federal regulations for red snapper and grouper. The decision to support "non-concurrence" with federal regulations is a sign of growing dissatisfaction with federal management policies.

"We did not make this decision lightly, because concurrent regulations are clearly a positivefor the proper conservation of most fisheries," said Chester Brewer, chairman of CCA's National Government Relations committee. "I cannot recall many times when we have supported non-concurrence, but this is a sign of how little faith anglers have today in the federal government's management of these fisheries."

Catch share systems bestow a percentage of a public fishery resource to a select group of commercial fishermen, based on their catch history, to harvest for their own personal gain. CCA has acknowledged that such programs can be effective in purely commercial fisheries, but present serious problems for recreational anglers when applied to fisheries that have both commercial and recreational participation.

"We have seen the problems in the Gulf red snapper fishery that have developed since catch shares were implemented in 2005, and the lack of any effort to fix those issues," said Brewer. "How can we ask the states to comply with federal regulations that are the product of a dysfunctional management scheme? In fact, CCA has filed a lawsuit to prevent a similar program from being implemented for Gulf grouper. We feel that we have to draw the line somewhere until the government addresses the concerns of recreational anglers."

In a recent joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, the governors of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama joined CCA in its concern over the catch shares concept. In a powerful statement of the states' apprehension in following a flawed federal program, the governors letter states, "Recreational fishing is an important activity in all of our states, and one that we would like to see continue to grow as a healthy activity for the public. However, we are concerned that NOAA policies could frustrate our ability to do that."

"We see a major train wreck coming in the Gulf, and not just in these two fisheries," said Brewer. "We don't think the states should jump on board."
 

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CCA has acknowledged that such programs can be effective in purely commercial fisheries, but present serious problems for recreational anglers when applied to fisheries that have both commercial and recreational participation.
I think that is what you and I were saying too, right? I think the CCA made the right call there, on that aspect of things.

In other words, "mixing and matching" between source sectors would be a horrendous travesty and a violation of the Magnuson-Stevenson Act.

Gotta question - what's the pie chart look like with commercials, recreationals, and the CFH sectors? How much do these CFH folks want?
sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
sos plan

Swells,
Yes - I believe CCA absolutely made the right call here - the proof will be in the pudding however to see if they will stand by it with litigation if necessary.

Here's the percentages of TAC being discussed; - I think the SOS Plan is calling for 57% of the 49% recreational TAC.

51% commercial
28% for-hire
21% private rec

Tom

Method Years Lbs. for-hire Lbs. private % for-hire lbs. @ current TAC % private lbs. @ current TAC

All years
1981-2006 63,214,322 40,410,644 61% 1,494,500 39% 955,500

Years with corrected data
1986-2006 46,866,987 31,054,661 62% 1,519,000 38% 931,000

Recent years
2000-2006 17,065,969 13,088,673 57% 1,396,500 43% 1,053,500

Source: NMFS/SEFSC/SERO - October 2008 Council briefing book Tab B4(d) Landings Data for Rec Red Snapper.xls; 1981-2003 landings from Turner 2005 (SEDAR7-RW-08); 2004-2006 landings from MRFSS, TPWD, and Headboat surveys.
 

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or put another way

79% of the catch has less economic impact than it could have under reallocation
 

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or put another way

79% of the catch has less economic impact than it could have under reallocation
The math looks OK, although I am surprised that the charter sector is so high, after the economic recession, new NMFS regulations, and a whole bunch of large headboats and 6-packs dropping out of the game because it was no longer profitable. Perhaps I am biased because here on SPI and up on Mansfield, many charter outfits have had to drop out of the game, about a dozen boats that I know, while the rec fleet was consistent if slightly off in numbers after the effects of the hurricanes.

What I am saying is, if the CFH guys and gals want a piece of the commercial action, go for it. You can't have our percentage of the catch, which is 49 percent non-commercial.

If you follow the logic, there is no way to balance CFH versus rec snapper fishing because we do not have all the reporting that the CFH and comms do, and therefore THERE IS NO WAY TO "TAKE" PART OF THE REC ALLOCATION AWAY BECAUSE WE DON'T REPORT NOTHING. I am a devious little rascal, huh? :wink:

You know that means that the CFH sector has to compete against the comms, and us recs can go back to 4 fish over 15 inches for 3 months, like the old days. Nice. :p
 

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One of the points SOS wants as well is the ability to sell shares as well. If a storm wipes out their rec season during the summer months, they want to be able to sell thier shares to the commercial sector for that year. Then what happens is the CFH guys can make as much or more money staying at home then fishing offshore. So why all the hassel of boats, crew, fuel and maintenance/insurance when they can sell their shares each year for just about the same amount of money. So now you have someone with the ability to sell a resource they never "owned" before for a profit.
 

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Reallocation has already happened, so the precedent has already been set with regards to that and its ability to happen in a Gulf fishery. The results of doing that would be the most economically beneficial use of the fishery with regards to Red Snapper. Red Snapper are highly prized fish in our purely recreational fishery. In times where we have thousands of people out of work, it would help restore lost jobs and stimulate the economy on the greatest scale. For our regulators and those making decisions, doing anything else should take a back seat to our economic recovery effects in this time of need.
 

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I call BS.....

There is no way in heck that cfh sectors catch 28% of rec. allocation. No way.
So why are they "being talked about" getting 28%?
From some dubious at best self catch estimations?

Tom I believe you are right, the real intent of cfh sos supporters is the potential government giveaway of a public resource. Not much different than food stamps and welfare to folks that don't need it.
 

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Come on Mont, how has "reallocation happened already"?

I am asking honestly, not giving you a hard time.

51% for comms, 49% for recs, sounds simple to me.

The CFH guys can't get any recreational quota because of Magnuson.

You don't agree with that?
 

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I guess I'm trying to make sense out of something that seems so simple to me, but that just ain't going to fly in this business. Everything has to be complicated, vetted by lawyers who never saw a red snapper, and based on phony numbers cooked up by NMFS staff ... even before they are required to get "good data" as required by the recent reauthorization of Magnuson.

Why the rush to judgment? Why not get the best data available and THEN make decisions about the best policy options? Why cook off all these fake numbers and THEN try to patch it all together later?

There again, why not throw everything out the window and start over again, all reef fish, and do it right? I'd rather take a year off from reef fishing than live with bad data and bad policy.

Sorry Mont, I guess I should just get me a couple feet of 2 by 4 from the garage and whack myself upside the head a few good times. :eek:hwell:
 

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Sammie, we all know that fisheries management is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies. We need to be more like old Jim Duggin, the wrestler, and take a 2 by 4 to these fishocrats.
 

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SOS - "save our sector". It may be their sector, but it's all of our fish. If this goes through 80% of the resource is being used FOR PROFIT by a handful, with only 20% of the resource going to 99% of the PEOPLE. This is a fair allocation of resources? That is totally unacceptable.

You guides that are supporting this should be ashamed of yourselves. You are making a living on a public resource that you think you should have more access to than me or anyone else. If the 99% were allowed to vote, they would not give up their share. We are not being heard and our obvious vote is being ignored.

Very depressing. Eventually, all this gets resolved and our offshore fish will get the same treatment as our ducks did in 1918. No commercial harvest, and reasonable, sustainable limits. There's plenty of room on land for Tilapia farms and farmers just as Chicken replaced duck as the fowl of choice 90 years ago. Anyone wanna guess when eventually happens???

Patrick
 
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