Dr Longline is at it again

pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
Just got this email from TBF

NOVA Southeastern University Scientist and assistant professor, David W. Kerstetter, who received a federal Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) in 2017 to conduct longline research in Florida’s east coast closed zone, has submitted an application for a new EFP, but this time without including the university.

In 2017, Dr. George L. Hanbury, NSU's president, halted Kerstetter’s project when advised by TBF of the negative impacts the project could cast on the institution’s science and community relations credibility. Following that decision, on November 21, 2017, Kerstetter filed papers of incorporation for – Florida Fisheries Solution, LLC. – in whose name the new permit application is likely submitted.

The issuance of a Public Notice by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), acknowledging receipt of the EFP application and its specific parameters, is expected soon, followed by a public comment period. If the new permit application proposes the longline research to be conducted inside the closed zone, allowing the killing and selling of the accrued conservation benefits is illogical and does not support conservation. Perhaps this time, the proposed research is planned to take place outside the closed zone; we have to wait and see.

Stay in touch with TBF on updates in this situation.
The Billfish Foundation



  • sailfish2sailfish2 Posts: 4,126 Captain
    Hoping for better luck next time......
  • triplehelixtriplehelix Posts: 160 Officer
    Dave Kerstetter does a lot for fisheries research. Part of fisheries research involves, unfortunately, collecting samples (fishing and killing fish for age, growth, gonad, weight data) and evaluating fisheries take methods (by fishing, or in this case, longlining).

    Selling the catch helps pay for the expenses of a fishing/research trip and is an incentive for the commercial captains participating in the research to get hands-on and involved in research.

    Science is what closed the fishery. When they saw numbers dropping, fishing was halted. If the numbers can support it, they'll open it up again, but this time hopefully in a more responsible manner as to not force an emergency closure.

    I like catching fish, too. I've been a recreational guy, a biologist and a commercial fisherman. Everyone has their agenda.
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    This is being done for profit , Scott Taylor of Day Boats Sea Food has been bragging for years that he was going to get it opened back up . Guess who his partner is ?

    It was closed because it is a swordfish nursery . This just goes to show how little they care about conservation .They are going to kill quite a few sword pups for each keeper , and anything else unlucky enough to swim by .

    If you fish out of PC , you should pay attention to this . Because it will directly affect you , unless you are ok with dodging longline sets in the middle of the steam etc .
    No one should be able to profit off of wildlife in any way.
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand

    Application denied ....

    February 13, 2018/in Advocacy, News
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finally announced as “invalid” the Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) issued last year to a Nova Southeastern University (NSU) scientist granting permission to longline within the 16-year closed conservation zone off the east coast of Florida. The research was halted by the NSU president after The Billfish Foundation (TBF) informed him of potential negative impacts to the university’s reputation.

    As TBF reported in January, the same scientist submitted a second EFP application, but only yesterday did the NMFS clarify the application is identical to the first one with the exception that NSU is removed and the name of a corporation established by the NSU scientist in December 2017 is included. The government notice acknowledged the controversial nature of the research and said the research would be discussed at an upcoming Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel meeting and consultation will be sought from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

    The government’s message specifically stated, “obtaining current fishery data from the closed areas can be controversial, difficult, and expensive. NOAA Fisheries intends to work collaboratively with the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel, the ICCAT Advisory Committee, commercial and recreational fishing interests, academia, environmental non-governmental organizations, and others on appropriate next steps to improve long-term management of HMS fisheries.” The State of Florida was not listed as an entity with whom they would be consulting.


  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    I just received this email from CCA 

    Longliners target billfish in conservation zone, again
    Controversial exempted fishing permit benefiting a single company back from the dead

    Conservationists won a victory late last year when an exempted fishing permit to allow longline gear into a closed conservation zone was declared invalid after Nova Southeastern University insisted that its name be removed from the permit. The East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closed Area has been closed since 2001 after it was determined that longlines were killing too many juvenile billfish in this known nursery area. However, industrial harvsesters are again targeting the conservation zone with indiscriminate longline gear.

    The three-year permit application has been re-filed and the details are alarming:

    • Nova Southeastern University has been replaced as the affiliated institution on the permit by something called Florida Fisheries Solutions LLC, created in December 2017, by the same person who filed the permit. No other individuals are listed on the corporate paperwork.
    • The co-applicant on the permit is Day Boat Seafood Inc., which owns or is associated with all of the longline boats that would be authorized to fish in the conservation zone. Day Boat Seafood would be allowed to sell all the legal fish caught under this permit.
    • Other longline boats could be able to fish in the conservation zone if they are approved by Day Boat Seafood and Florida Fisheries Solutions and are willing to pay them a "fee to support the project." 
    • The permit proposes to make 22 times as many longline sets as that which was deemed necessary to be scientifically sufficient for a similar permit in 2008.
    • In this effort targeting a known nursery area, thousands of marlin, sailfish and swordfish are projected to be discarded dead over the term of the permit.

    Efforts are well underway to reform the federal law that makes it too easy to manipulate the exempted fishing permit process - the gaping loopholes in the EFP program that would allow a fleet of longliners into the East Coast Closed Zone must be eliminated - but until then, action must be taken now to turn back this attack on the conservation zone.

    Click HERE to send a message to your representatives on the South Atlantic Fishery Management and urge them to send a strong message back to NOAA by rejecting this permit. The public comment session for the upcoming South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting will be March 7 at 4:30 p.m., at the Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia, and will be the only opportunity conservationists in the region will have to voice their opposition.

    Industrial harvesters will go to any lengths to plunder the gains made in the conservation zones and it is up to concerned anglers like you to turn them back. Please make your voice heard today and make plans to attend the South Atlantic Council meeting in person, if possible. Coastal Conservation Association will be there to make the case but we need the support of our members to defend these conservation gains. Thank you.

    Click the link below to log in and send your message:

    Spread the word, tell all would be and current college students who want to attend NSU that they are contributing to the decline of billfish.  That will end this madness.  Show what the university truly represents!
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    edited February 23 #9
    NSU did the right thing and dropped it a few months ago , Florida Fisheries Solution LLC is a for profit corp set up by Dr Dave Kerstetter so that he can go into business with Dayboats Seafood and pillage the KNOWN Swordfish nursery . I'm thinking they want to go after the YFT , no matter what the cost to the other fisheries . If this were to go through , it will greatly impact the fishing in the East Central region .
    Still I think it will put pressure on the academic community to denounce his so called research
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    Here is an email I just got , with a link to send comments straight to SAMFC 

    Tell Policymakers to Keep Longlines Out of Conservation Zone

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is accepting public comments on the possibility the federal government may issue a second Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to allow pelagic longline research inside the closed zone of Florida’s east coast. The first federally issued permit for the research was invalidated in December 2017 when Nova Southeastern University (NSU) withdrew as a research partner. The NSU scientist remains as the principal researcher, but now in his newly incorporated business name, Fisheries Solution LLC. The research is to confirm that closing the waters for 16 years produced conservation benefits, which the longline vessels could not be permitted to kill and sell. 

    The Billfish Foundation remains unwavering in its position that killing and selling the conservation benefits is illogical. Now that the staff of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the permitting agency, recognizes the project is highly controversial, it is consulting with SAFMC and the NMFS’ Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel before issuing another permit. No mention was made by the agency of plans to consult with Florida’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, which strongly opposes the project.

    Now is your chance to make your voices heard: submit your comment on the proposed longline project

    Tell the SAFMC not to recommend approval of the longline research in Florida' closed zone, established to help conserve billfish, turtles, sharks and other species. 

    For your convenience, below is a statement that can be used in the comments section. Simply copy and paste where the form says "Please type your comments."

    Dear SAFMC,

    I oppose the EFP application that would allow longline fishing in Florida's east coast closed zone. As an angler, I value and recognize the conservation benefits that have been gained, and do not want to see this success wiped out by a short-sighted research project. The zone is still an important area for swordfish, billfish, sharks, turtles, and other species, and should not be opened to longlines - research or otherwise. 

    Considering the science and the potential negative impact the research could have on recreational fishing and the marine industries economy in South Florida, I ask you not recommend the NMFS issue the EFP.

    Thank you,

    The Billfish Foundation

    I like how they say"Considering the science"....

    There is no science here, we know long lining is bad.  What is there to learn, other than how many pounds of fish you can catch after x amount of years without long lining.

    Thank you for the post, I submitted my comments!
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    Thanks ... What kind of science is it , when they set up in a known swordfish nursery ? It's all about profit on this one , no care at all about all of the undersized discarded sword pups that they are going to kill . Not to mention everything else unlucky to swim through there hook sets ..
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 7,030 Admiral
    I don't fish that area, but i still went to the link, copied and pasted the response and added it to the comments.   I see zero reason to introduce longlines into a known nursery or to go after pelagics in that area. 

    Obviously commercial interests are making money elswhere, they can continue to do so.  Maybe someday i'll get a boat big enough to get out there, in the meantime lets keep the longlines out. 
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand
    Thanks ... The EFP they are applying for would allow them to set longlines within 30 miles of Port Canaveral , basically they would be allowed to drop longlines in the gulfstream . It will decimate what has already been a dismal fishery the last few years out of PC and Ponce Inlet ..  
  • pjepje Orlando , FlPosts: 354 Deckhand

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) considered over 600 written comments and heard public testimony last week, before voting to send a letter to NOAA Fisheries expressing their concerns on an Exempted Fishery Permit (EFP) request to conduct research and evaluate pelagic longline catch rates in a portion of an area off the east coast of Florida currently closed to longline fishing. The majority of the comments received, including those from recreational fishing organizations, were in opposition to the permit, citing concerns about discards of recreational and commercially important species, impacts to protected resources, increased landings of dolphin fish, and other concerns. The Council will submit its formal recommendations and a copy of all comments received on the Exempted Fishery Permit to NOAA Fisheries, the agency responsible for making the final decision on issuance of the permit.

    TBF submitted comments in opposition, as did its members. It is regrettable that the FMC did not specifically recommend against the EFP. Following last week’s meetings of the SAFMC and the NMFS Highly Migratory Species Advisory Council, no indication of a decision time frame has been announced by government officials.

    TBF will continue to follow this issue and report on any updates.


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