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Saltwater stamp surcharge funds program

736 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mont
Just got thru reading an article on how we recreational fishermen who buy a saltwater stamp are funding the buy-back of shrimp, crab, and finfish licences. I know this is not a new issue but everytime i see it and how it's handled it just chaps my *****. I am all in for the reduction of these commercial guys dreging the bottom of all life. The wastefull discard of by-catch is unexplainable when the ratio is something like 1-10. 1 pound of shrimp for 10 pounds of by-catch ( snapper, flounder, croaker, sea trout, redfish, turtles...ect). I am sure I read that somewhere. As stated in the article in Mariners log (September)and a Quote from Larry McKinney TPWD Costal Fisheries director, "All three fisheries, shrimp, crab, and finfish are currently being overfished, over capitalized (too many vesels), fully exploited, or a combination of all three. We want to stabalize the fishery socially, economically, and biologically. Our least-disruptive management tool available has been the licence buyback program, which has been sucessfull thanks to the contributions from the recreational anglers in Texas".
Maybee someone can enlighten me on this a bit more. When the red fish was in trouble I don't recall having to buy back any permits or licences. The limits were set and the recreational angler adjusted to the new regs. When the new trout regs came out this year, again the recreational angler accepted the regs and went fishing. As I understand it the commercial guys are fishing a state (Texas) resource, governed by laws and regulations. The state should adjust and set the regs on shrimp, finfish and crabs just like the recreational anglers get them. Why would the state continue to deplete a recource that is in so much trouble by not adjusting or managing that recource? What makes the commercial fishery so special, that the recreational anglers have to spend over 7mil to buy back licences from someone who is abusing the recource. As I see it the commercial guys have been abusing a resource from the begining. Since the recreational angler just swallows what we are given, the state gets away with the Least-diruptive management tool (our money). I say put limits on the commercials and use the money spent on giving them another hand out, restoring and managing the recource they have depleted. Ok, off my soap box. just had to get that out.
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I think the redfish issue was different as commercial fishing wasn't banned. Red Drum and Spotted Seatrout were given gamefish status (flounder is way overdue for that status) and that made the commercial fisherman to look elsewhere. No one had their lively ripped from them, they just had to adjust.

The buy back program was brought up by the commercial industry. Our Webmaster can tell you more about that. It sucks that I have to pay to it, but it is making a difference. And www.SCATexas.org is slowly but surely adding to that reduction. But yes, it takes money.

I hope you'll come hang out with us on October 16th. We can put another dent in them with your help...

the very short answer: redfish and trout are gamefish and therefore cannot be kept by commercial fishermen.

the fact is, inshore commercial fishermen catch them, shrimpers catch them as juveniles with their bycatch. Any license off the water is good for us as recreational fisherhmen. If I have to give $3 a year to do so - it's $3 well spent.
why wait till October? There is an SCA meeting tonight in Seabrook/Kemah area and one in San Antonio.

Come on out and find out what we are doing to help our fisheries.
Without making this long and drawn out, if we want the commercial fisherman off the water, then we have to buy their licenses. The majority of the funding to buyout shrimpers has come from $3 surcharge on saltwater stamps.
More money has come in from private groups, including SCA Texas. There is also an push underway to accelerate the buyback, called Texas 2007 initiative. All of this is being paid for by me and you, the recreational guys.

The timeline on commercial fishing traditionally has been overfishing>limited entry>buyback We may be seeing this happen to the Gulf Shrimp fishery soon.
Thanks, for the responses guys. I guess what really got me going was the way the article was worded. Least disruptive seems to be an easy solution to a bigger problem. I understand about the trout and the redfish being classified as a game fish. It mostly came as a result of overfishing and they were granted a sport fish status, if I remember correctly. Seems like the snapper fishery is going thru the same managemment problems. I definately have a lot of Questions and will certainly try and make some of the meetings. Tonight is a short notice but will look into seeing you soon.
according to testimony given by a state biologist in Galveston at a NMFS meeting, snapper will remain overfished until shrimping in the Gulf ends. It's slowly boiling down to commercial fisherman becoming fish farmers.
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