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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's an e-blast from the FRA on the closure of the fishery to all fishing in January 2010....

Red Snapper fishing in South Atlantic federal waters will be closed effective Jan. 10, 2010 through an interim rule signed by the Secretary of Commerce today.

Check the FRA website, www.joinFRA.org for more details as they become available.

The FRA sharks will review the rule when it is officially published to determine the counts to be included in an FRA lawsuit.


Fighting for your fishing rights,

Dennis "Denny" O'Hern
Dennis O'Hern
Chief Executive Officer
Fishing Rights Alliance, Inc.
www.joinFRA.org
 

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They don't have a clue. I know we have all said it before, but geez. We are only just starting to see good numbers of snappers in Carolina. Really more than I have ever heard of. Some guys really got them on Sunday, which was one of the few days we have had.

I'm just a dumb fishermen, but doesn't that mean there are more of them, not less.
 

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Closure

From what I understand, the closure is for 180 days but can be extended. It covers both recreational and COMMERCIAL fishing. Now that the commercials will no longer have a 365-day season, they may now change their tune a bit.

Mike
 

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This is a link to a letter sent to Dr. Crabtree in November of this year concerning the possible closure of areas of the South Atlantic to bottom fishing.

http://www.joincca.org/press releases/2009/Brewer - snapper - 111709.pdf

And this is CCA's stance on Amendment 17 to the SAFMC Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan:

CCA Comments on Amendment 17 to the SAFMC Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this contentious and unprecedented issue.
We recognize that the members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council have been put in an almost impossible position. This is a fisheries disaster that is 40 years in the making, and yet this Council has been tasked with fixing it in just two years. The federal government has conducted exactly one full, modern stock assessment on South Atlantic red snapper, leaving this Council with few options to find a way out of this unprecedented mess, and no one is happy with any of the options currently before us. That is unfair to the members of this Council, to the fishery and to the angling public. Seldom if ever have we seen a more neglected fishery than South Atlantic red snapper. As CCA's general counsel said recently, if a corporation was managing this fishery, we would recommend that the entire management team, and especially the CEO, be fired.
It remains CCA's position that the current red snapper stock assessment be reviewed again by a panel of stock assessment experts. We are well aware the assessment has been peer reviewed through the SEDAR process and judged to be the best available science, and that the Council's SSC has concurred in that finding. However, in this special instance where the potential economic ramifications are so severe, we believe there must be another review of the assessment to make sure we are indeed using the best available science.

If further review indicates less stringent management measures could be implemented to end overfishing and meet the rebuilding target, that would be a simple matter within the current amendment process and would help ameliorate some of the impacts being encountered by anglers in this fishery.

We would like to draw special attention to the mention of the need for fishery independent surveys in this fishery. CCA views fishery independent data as critical to the establishment of a better assessment process that is not solely dependent on recreational and commercial catch for data. CCA commends the Council for identifying the need for such surveys in the future. We encourage the adoption of such survey methods as quickly as possible.
In closing, CCA is fully aware of the tenets of the Magnuson Act that are forcing this issue, yet we do not believe that closing down fishery after fishery for recreational anglers was what Congress had in mind when it reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 2006. Large-scale closures should always be the last option explored by fisheries managers, not the first.
With that in mind, CCA at this time is not able to come to a consensus to give its support to any of the alternatives before this Council. We support ending overfishing and rebuilding this stock, but urge the Council to continue searching for an alternative that avoids closures.
 

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it's a hard point to understand and even harder to express, but Magnuson has very little to do with economic dynamics in any fishery. Sure, it's part of it, but the part is very small and really not important in the bigger picture. Until you can wrap your mind around what a "fishery independent survey" really is, you really can't understand the process. In lay terms, such a survey is gridding off a particular area, doing research in random grids (regardless of whether they have structure on them on not), and doing that research the same way, for a minimum of 5 years.

Once again though, we have a unique opportunity in this area in April to raise awareness of this problem. Lining the Seawall with boats for the afternoon that public testimony will be accepted at the Gulf Council meeting to be held in Galveston would do wonders for getting the word out. It would be nice to see the alphabet soup of conservation orgs work together for one day to make it happen.
 

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Comments on the CCA letter

See my comments in blue.
Mike

This is a link to a letter sent to Dr. Crabtree in November of this year concerning the possible closure of areas of the South Atlantic to bottom fishing.

http://www.joincca.org/press releases/2009/Brewer - snapper - 111709.pdf

And this is CCA's stance on Amendment 17 to the SAFMC Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan:

CCA Comments on Amendment 17 to the SAFMC Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this contentious and unprecedented issue.
We recognize that the members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council have been put in an almost impossible position. This is a fisheries disaster Where is the disaster in Texas? We have more snapper than any time in the past ten years. Admitting a disaster without supporting data was a concession that was unwarranted. that is 40 years in the making, and yet this Council has been tasked with fixing it in just two years. The federal government has conducted exactly one full, modern stock assessment on South Atlantic red snapper, leaving this Council with few options to find a way out of this unprecedented mess, and no one is happy with any of the options currently before us. That is unfair to the members of this Council, to the fishery and to the angling public Wow, a step in the right direction from CCA. Seldom if ever have we seen a more neglected fishery than South Atlantic red snapper. As CCA's general counsel said recently, if a corporation was managing this fishery, we would recommend that the entire management team, and especially the CEO, be fired. Will the head of the CCA be stepping down too?
It remains CCA's position that the current red snapper stock assessment be reviewed again by a panel of stock assessment experts. Another step in the right direction. We are well aware the assessment has been peer reviewed through the SEDAR process and judged to be the best available science by whom?, and that the Council's SSC has concurred in that finding. However, in this special instance where the potential economic ramifications are so severe, we believe there must be another review of the assessment to make sure we are indeed using the best available science.

If further review indicates less stringent management measures could be implemented to end overfishing and meet the rebuilding target, that would be a simple matter within the current amendment process and would help ameliorate some of the impacts being encountered by anglers in this fishery.
We would like to draw special attention to the mention of the need for fishery independent surveys in this fishery. CCA views fishery independent data as critical to the establishment of a better assessment process that is not solely dependent on recreational and commercial catch for data. CCA commends the Council for identifying the need for such surveys in the future. We encourage the adoption of such survey methods as quickly as possible. I like their stance on this issue.
In closing, CCA is fully aware of the tenets of the Magnuson Act that are forcing this issue, yet we do not believe that closing down fishery after fishery for recreational anglers was what Congress had in mind when it reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act in 2006. Large-scale closures should always be the last option explored by fisheries managers, not the first.
With that in mind, CCA at this time is not able to come to a consensus to give its support to any of the alternatives before this Council. We support ending overfishing and rebuilding this stock, but urge the Council to continue searching for an alternative that avoids closures. A little weak, they should have recommended THE ALTERNATIVE.
 

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Fine Line

Mont, I agree that the rec fisherman can catch and release but the commercials are shut down.

No offense to Denny, but the email is mis leading a bit.
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/bulletins/pdfs/2009/FB09-065 S Atl Red Snapper Final Rule.pdf

is the rule, and "harvest of and possession of" are prohibited, not "fishing for".

I realize that to some this may seem like a fine line, but in my book, it's a major difference. Fishing is still allowed. Keeping fish isn't.
 

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NOAA Fisheries Service filed and will publish a final
rule implementing interim measures to reduce
overfishing of red snapper in the South Atlantic. The
final rule will publish in the​
Federal Register on
December 4, 2009, and becomes effective January 4,
2010. The interim rule will be effective until June 2,
2010, and could be extended for another 186-day
period.
The final rule establishes a prohibition on recreational
and commercial harvest of red snapper for 180 days
in federal waters off Florida, Georgia, South Carolina,
and North Carolina. However, provisions specified in
the interim rule would also apply to a person on board
a vessel for which a federal commercial or
charter/headboat permit for the South Atlantic
snapper-grouper fishery has been issued, regardless of
whether the fish are harvested or possessed in state or

federal waters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
snapper

Will the Atlantic commercial guys be looking to the Gulf now to make their living?

I bet Mr. Guindon wouldn't take $15 million for his government bailout-welfare-reparation IFQ's now.

Tom
 

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Mike,

1. Yes, in the GOM we have more snapper than in the last 10 years say you, and I'm not disagreeing. The lack of timely data collection in the past 20 years in the SA is what this comment was about.
2. CCA has always been in that direction.
3. I doubt it. You could ask him.
4. I agree
5. Not sure.
6. I do too.
7. As in not closing? At this point, I'm not sure what other alternatives there were.
The recreational fisherman is made to pay the price and that is why I am interested in the comments that the CCA South Atlantic Fisheries Committee made and thought some on this board might be interested as well.
 

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No offense to Denny, but the email is mis leading a bit.
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/bulletins/pdfs/2009/FB09-065 S Atl Red Snapper Final Rule.pdf

is the rule, and "harvest of and possession of" are prohibited, not "fishing for".

I realize that to some this may seem like a fine line, but in my book, it's a major difference. Fishing is still allowed. Keeping fish isn't.
No offense taken, Mont! I was just coming out of a three day run of the flu and my head was not very clear.
AND, the date is Jan 4, not 10.

As to the fine line, I don't think of the RS as a catch and release fish. I surely would not go offshore just to catch and release RS. No way.

This is a temporary rule which Dr. Crabtree, at his sole discretion, can extend for an additional 186 days. By then, the SA will have closed all bottom fishing out past 92 feet and shut down RS fishing for some time to come. In the meantime, NMFS will be shutting down al grouper in the GUlf come Jan 1, 2011.

It is hard to deny that the RS stock is quite healthy and appears to be expanding in the Gulf, yet the latest RS stock assessment update results in a 25% 'uncertainty' reduction in allowable landings. This TAC is now set in stone. The Council is bound by the new MSA to manage tot he SSC's new number, regardless of what the Council members or anyone else thinks.

This is one of the next major battles: Putting balance back in the MSA.

Texas has the cajones to tell the Feds to stuff it. The rest of the Gulf pays for it when Crabtree takes additional months off of the fed RS season due to this. I am pleased that Texas does not submit to the threats and intimidation methods employed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Congress will begin to see this for what it is.

It is, quite frankly, time for EVERY angler to stand up and say 'ENOUGH'.

The apathetic and the armchair warriors need to get engaged. April in Galveston? I'll be there. So will some legislators. The whole thing will be broadcast live around the world on FRA's FISH EYE TV.

Season's Greetings, y'all.
 

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How's old Buddy Guindon doing these days? He must have caught a million pounds of snapper by now. Used to unload them at Clark's Landing in POC during a norther, turn around and go right back out in 12-foot seas. Wouldn't even grab a cup of coffee for his crew in the restaurant. They had 1,000 pound trip limits in those days, and he was determined to fish (and limit out) every day.
 

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Give 'em hell Denny. Litigation is the only language they understand.
I fear that the only language NMFS will understand is a clear change in the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act.
How many of you realize that the current MSRA is not as restictive as NMFS and PEW want us to believe?

The Lubcheco/PEW initiative has formed the MSRA discretionary language into the swords that will cut fishing activity to shreds. This agenda is getting some exposure in congress now. Hopefully, the lights will come on so EVERYONE can see where the roaches are. Somebody has been busy stealing our pie. I aim to get mine (and yours) back.

I won't back down from what is right. Friggin' EVER. :flag:

My friends call me 'Denny'

Thanks for the support, my friends
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
snapper

Denny,
Thanks for your dedication on shining the light on these issues.

Speaking of language, I believe what needs to be looked at is the way the terms "overfished and undergoing overfishing" are being (mis)used.

To quote the RFA; "The ultimate thrust of Amendment 17A comes from the findings of SEDAR 15 where the red snapper stock was assessed and determined to be overfished and undergoing overfishing. RFA and many others in the fishing community have little confidence in SEDAR 15 determination of the red snapper stock. For such an important fishery as red snapper, the quality of data used to assess the stock is disproportionally poor. To illustrate this point, SEDAR 15 notes that in many years less than 100 fish are sampled through MRFSS for length frequency data on recreational landed red snapper.[1] This sample size is far too small to be of statistical significance and not adequate for catch-at-age models. Yet, this data is used to make overfishing and overfished determinations and drives the management concern that focused on the lack of older fish in the population."

[1] SEDAR 15, SAR 1, Sec. II, pg 68

"RFA can identify only 5 of the 18 NRC recommendations as being fully or partially implemented since the release of their findings back in 2006. Just as ACL and AM are mandated in MSA, so are recreational data collection improvements, but there appears to be selective implementation of MSA and specifically with red snapper, moving forward with AM and ACL before improving the primary data collection source for which to monitor this fishery. RFA is troubled by this selective implementation of the law and believes that unless balance is achieved, the recreational fishing community will be severely impacted."

" The use of poor information is not only a concern with the assessment and monitoring of important recreational fisheries but also with the evaluation, or lack of evaluation, of socioeconomic impacts on recreational fishing businesses in response to regulatory changes. In most cases, a suite of regulatory options is put before a regional management council with accompanying analysis of the associated conservation impact of each. What is often absent, is detailed economic and participation analysis to indicate the social response to each option. MSA clearly states in Sec. 301 (a)(8)(B) minimize adverse economic impacts of such communities and yet, dismal, if any, effort is put into determining what the actual impacts on the community will be when taking action. In the case with red snapper, RFA does not believe that these impacts are clearly explained in 17A. From a business standpoint, it is pretty easy to determine the outcome of a 86% reduction in activity would result in that business going out of business. For red snapper, NMFS is citing MSA as the need to reduce fishing mortality by this amount but minimizes the negative socio economic impact on the fishing community. It should be apparent that reducing one of the most important recreational fisheries in the South Atlantic by 86% is reckless and incompatible with the promotion of a healthy business environment for the longterm as mentioned in National Standard 8. RFA notes that this is just one of the many contradictions in MSA where NMFS has chosen to unilaterally enforce provisions that hurt the fishing industry while disregarding provisions to promote and protect it."

Tom

 

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Tom-
Thank YOU for all you have done.

You are right about the misues of Magnuson. That is the thrust of the three FRA pending lawsuits against the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The time for Congress to intervene is now.

Denny
 
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