96 inch minimum for sharks?

FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 370 Moderator
Some of you who enjoy keeping a blacktip or spinner now and then for the grill should know that NOAA Fisheries is floating a proposal to raise rec shark minimum from 54 to 96 inches. Purpose, they say, is to protect dusky shark and a few other imperiled species from possible landings by mistake. (No min. proposed for commercial sector, though they're discussing some additional longline closures). Public comment period open till Feb. 12, 2013. Public hearings January 15 in Madeira Beach, Jan. 17 in Vero Beach (I'll be at that one), and conference calls Jan. 9 and Feb. 5. I'll try to post locations for the hearings and numbers for the calls in a few days when we get 'em.

What do you guys think about shark limits? I personally prefer to keep small ones, if I'm going to cook one--not that I do it very often.

If you have the time, here's full text of the proposal:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/26/2012-28056/highly-migratory-species-atlantic-shark-management-measures

I'm currently finishing in-depth coverage of the shark fishery for the February issue of FS, but thought it worthwhile to chime in here to gauge your feelings.

Editor out.
Jeff Weakley

Replies

  • Triple Threat 33TTriple Threat 33T Posts: 18,657 Admin
    FS Jeff wrote: »
    Some of you who enjoy keeping a blacktip or spinner now and then for the grill should know that NOAA Fisheries is floating a proposal to raise rec shark minimum from 54 to 96 inches. Purpose, they say, is to protect dusky shark and a few other imperiled species from possible landings by mistake. (No min. proposed for commercial sector, though they're discussing some additional longline closures).

    And that where the problem lies, they should be focusing ONLY on the commercial sector. How many recreational fisherman do we see that ever even keep a shark let alone a fish in the 54 inch range? Very few.

    If NOAA wants to protect the dusky shark and a few other imperiled species from possible landings by mistake, they should concentrate their efforts on the commercial fisherman. Raising the minimum on recreational fisherman would be another useless reg.
    "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."
  • Ron@.38 SpecialRon@.38 Special Posts: 6,703 Admiral
    Apparently this is important enough for the HMS division to fly all of the AP members up there for a one day meeting on just Amendment 5. We all go up for a Jan 8th meeting. As I have tracked this, it seems to me that recreational regulations are made with the (probably correct) assumption that recs can't identify different species of sharks. So the reason for no limits on commercial size, takes into consideration that those fisherman have attended a mandatory shark ID workshop. An of course that is the reason for such a high size limit when our coastal sharks are smaller than that at times.

    I also can tell you that FWC always fights for the recreational fisherman when it comes to shark fishing. I have seen them do it in scoping meetings. There also would be the likelihood that FWC can't change it but may not support it with in kind state regulations.

    In the recreational swordfishery, Makos and Threshers are common bycatch when night fishing. Those waters would be affected by this rule since all swordfishing is cone in Federal waters.

    I will watch here for comments and I will bring them to DC on Jan 8th.

    If you read the rule, remember that the only options available now are the alternatives listed in the proposed rule. Too late for new ideas.
  • Long GoneLong Gone Posts: 82 Deckhand
    Closing, (essentially) one species to protect another is poor management plan. Should we close black grouper because they might resemeble gags to some? Red grouper to save nassau? All tuna to save Bluefins?
    A minimum shark of 8 feet?! For the weekend angler? Could I sue NOAA for forcing me to attempt to land something I shouldnt so I can have a shark steak? Making landing a shark too dangerous is again, poor, really poor, management and a slap in the face to the everyday American recreational fisherman.
    This really is nothing more than a backdoor attempt at banning recreational shark harvest. Almost certainly enviro-driven. Shark peril is GREATLY overstated. In the actual ocean the US shark population is exploding due to severe restrictions and limits on commercial and recreational harvest. Sand bars are 100 percent closed to all harvest. Duskys too. Caribbean reef shark... completely closed to everyone. Sand tigers- closed to all. Is this really not enough protection that now we need to make it illegal for a guy to take home a 3 foot black tip to eat? Come on NMFS....
    8 foot minimum, how exactly would this reduce dusky harvest? Duskys do exceed 8 feet. In fact 8 feet would exclude blacktips, spinners, sharknose, and many others and would, under this theory result in a greater dusky harvest.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Long Gone wrote: »
    Closing, (essentially) one species to protect another is poor management plan.

    Its simply bad science and presumption.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Ron@.38 SpecialRon@.38 Special Posts: 6,703 Admiral
    You guys know sharks aren't my deal. I am up there as a rec swordfish rep. Normally I wouldn't even go to a meeting for this, but I feel like I need to be there to highlight the bad science that leads us again to restrict recreational fishing of any kind. Especially when the regs are because NMFS doesn't think Recs can identify a fish.

    Long gone is right, probably result in increased kill of Dusky sharks if anything else.

    This is taking the recreational fishery out of the market solely due to misidentification between spinners and blacktips.
  • Ol MuckyOl Mucky Posts: 5,471 Admiral
    FS Jeff wrote: »
    Some of you who enjoy keeping a blacktip or spinner now and then for the grill should know that NOAA Fisheries is floating a proposal to raise rec shark minimum from 54 to 96 inches. Purpose, they say, is to protect dusky shark and a few other imperiled species from possible landings by mistake. (No min. proposed for commercial sector, though they're discussing some additional longline closures). Public comment period open till Feb. 12, 2013. Public hearings January 15 in Madeira Beach, Jan. 17 in Vero Beach (I'll be at that one), and conference calls Jan. 9 and Feb. 5. I'll try to post locations for the hearings and numbers for the calls in a few days when we get 'em.

    What do you guys think about shark limits? I personally prefer to keep small ones, if I'm going to cook one--not that I do it very often.

    If you have the time, here's full text of the proposal:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/26/2012-28056/highly-migratory-species-atlantic-shark-management-measures

    I'm currently finishing in-depth coverage of the shark fishery for the February issue of FS, but thought it worthwhile to chime in here to gauge your feelings.

    Editor out.


    Eliminating us one species at a time.
    I have a much bigger and more powerful button
  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 370 Moderator
    Public hearings schedule:


    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/newslist/2012/12-11-12_a5_proposed_rule_public_hearings_schedule.pdf


    Conference call /
    Webinar
    January 9, 2013
    1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
    To participate in conference call, call:
    (888) 469-2979
    Passcode: 2809363
    To participate in webinar, RSVP at:
    https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/
    74030603
    A confirmation email with webinar login information will be sent after RSVP is
    registered.

    Public Hearing January 15, 2013
    4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Madeira Beach, FL Gulf Beaches Public Library
    100 Municipal Drive
    Madeira Beach, FL 33708
    (727) 391-2828

    Public Hearing January 17, 2013
    5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    Vero Beach, FL Vero Beach Community Center
    2266 14th Avenue
    Vero Beach, FL 3296

    The comment period for draft Amendment 5 ends on February 12, 2013. Written public
    comments can be submitted electronically or by mail. Submit written comments to Peter
    Cooper, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, please mark the outside of the
    envelope “Comments on the Draft Amendment 5 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP.” Submit
    all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the “submit a comment” icon, then
    enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0161 in the keyword search. Locate the document you wish to
    comment on from the resulting list and click on the “Submit a Comment” icon on the right of
    that line.
    This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the
    fishery. For further information on these proposed measures, contact Peter Cooper, Guý
    DuBeck, Michael Clark, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503. The information will also be
    posted on the HMS website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms.
    Jeff Weakley
  • MattDMattD Posts: 168 Officer
    Why would I want to keep an 8 ft shark? I don't keep sharks offshore when I do keep sharks it is normally a 3-3.5 ft blacktip on the flats. That is more than enough shark for me and my family. If I kept an 8 ft shark, I have no idea what I would do with all the meat.

    Don't they have to look at boater safety at some point? can you see a weekend angler trying to measure/boat an 8 ft shark? Then gut and ice it down immediately, in whole condition? I think were gonna need a bigger cooler.

    Give me a break NOAA some of these guys have really gotta go.


    thanks for making the trip for us Ron.

    Matt
  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 370 Moderator
    FYI I commented on this today via the portal mentioned above. Watch for the February 2013 issue of FS for complete story about blacktips and other similar species.



    Comments Regarding Amendment 5 to the Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (Atlantic Shark Management Measures)
    NOAA-NMFS-2012-0161

    Respectfully Submitted by
    Jeff Weakley, Editor
    Florida Sportsman Magazine
    Stuart, FL
    jeff@floridasportsman.com
    772-219-7400

    In Florida, a 96-inch recreational minimum for sharks will amount to a de-facto, unnecessary prohibition on landings for the recreational fleet. For a number of reasons, explained below, I respectfully ask the HMS Division to strike this proposal and either leave the recreational shark minimum at 54 inches or consider alternative measures.
    Blacktip sharks, by way of example, are popular to catch, good to eat, and according to the latest assessment, fully recovered in the Gulf of Mexico (the status of Atlantic blacktip is unknown, but anecdotal reports among sportfishermen indicate a robust fishery). While they don’t command the same popularity on the table as, say, dolphin or snapper, blacktips are nonetheless an important gamefish and highly regarded among Florida anglers as a rare treat for the grill, much as are mako. Nurse sharks are also desired by many.
    Blacktips rarely, if ever, reach 96 inches—but even for sharks which do, as the mako, a fish of that size is undesirable in the eyes of modern sportfishermen. From a practical standpoint, most anglers aboard the typical 20- to 30-foot private vessel do not have the icebox capacity to properly store a 96-inch shark. Fish that size are also dangerous; most anglers would prefer to release anything larger than 4 or 5 feet. The harvest of trophy sharks for display or taxidermy, having long been supplanted by a photo-release ethic, is now an anachronism relegated to a few charterboats—hardly a priority of the vast majority of fishermen.
    From a public health perspective, the Florida Dept. of Health advises against consuming sharks larger than 43 inches, due to unsafe concentrations of methylmercury. These advisories are published by sportfishing and general media with sufficient frequency as to engender a public attitude discouraging retention of large sharks.
    For these reasons, as well as continuity with existing regulations, I recommend leaving the 54-inch minimum in place. Alternately, HMS Division should make a size-limit exception for blacktip, the closely related spinner shark, and the unmistakable nurse shark. In Florida state waters, there is already no minimum for blacktip shark.
    As to the issue of misidentification with overfished species listed in Amendment 5, Florida state regulations already prohibit the retention of scalloped hammerhead, as well as the similar smooth and greater hammerhead. The dusky shark is readily distinguished from blacktip and spinner, due to the fact that it has no conspicuous markings on the fins. Also, the dusky has an interdorsal ridge, whereas the latter two do not. Blacknose shark is identifiable by name alone.
    Finally, I can assure you Florida Sportsman Magazine and website would eagerly assist with educating anglers as to the status and identifying characteristics of shark species in need of special protection. Among existing sources that could be used as a model, I submit the following ID sheet from the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo: www.mississippideepseafishingrodeo.com/Shark/shark-id-book.pdf. Also, the NOAA Field Guide to Requiem Sharks: www.spo.nwr.noaa.gov/tr153.pdf.
    Jeff Weakley
  • Ol MuckyOl Mucky Posts: 5,471 Admiral
    good letter
    I have a much bigger and more powerful button
  • Capt EasyCapt Easy Posts: 203 Officer
    FS Jeff wrote: »
    Some of you who enjoy keeping a blacktip or spinner now and then for the grill should know that NOAA Fisheries is floating a proposal to raise rec shark minimum from 54 to 96 inches. Purpose, they say, is to protect dusky shark and a few other imperiled species from possible landings by mistake. (No min. proposed for commercial sector, though they're discussing some additional longline closures). Public comment period open till Feb. 12, 2013. Public hearings January 15 in Madeira Beach, Jan. 17 in Vero Beach (I'll be at that one), and conference calls Jan. 9 and Feb. 5. I'll try to post locations for the hearings and numbers for the calls in a few days when we get 'em.

    What do you guys think about shark limits? I personally prefer to keep small ones, if I'm going to cook one--not that I do it very often.

    If you have the time, here's full text of the proposal:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/26/2012-28056/highly-migratory-species-atlantic-shark-management-measures

    I'm currently finishing in-depth coverage of the shark fishery for the February issue of FS, but thought it worthwhile to chime in here to gauge your feelings.

    Editor out.

    It seems like a maximum size limit makes more sense. Eat the small ones. If there are a lot of juveniles of endangered sharks in one area then it should be closed to landings while those sharks are there.

    I never thought recs kept that many sharks, then again like most rec fisherys, who knows how many are kept.
  • Ron@.38 SpecialRon@.38 Special Posts: 6,703 Admiral
    To All:

    I am heading to DC this afternoon for the first public hearing which will be held after a mandatory presentation to the Advisory Panel. I will forward information after the meeting tomorrow.

    Ron Coddington
  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 370 Moderator
    Bumping this topic back to top--today, Feb. 12, is the last day to comment on the shark issue.

    Hope you've had a chance to read the February issue of FS--I poured everything I could into this shark management issue. Blacktips are excellent eating, so are nurses, spinners, and lots of others. If the 96-inch minimum passes, good bye shark steaks. BUT--The commercial fleet will be SELLING MORE sharks than in recent years--no minimum size for them!!!
    Jeff Weakley
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,302 Captain
    Little by little they want to shut down retention by recreational fisherman. Once this is done they will turn to the commercials through catch shares. Once the catch share program is in place for all fisheries, the allotments will be "bought up" by environmental groups and held on to eventually putting the commercial fisherman out of business too. Wake up America!

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,279 Admiral
    FS Jeff wrote: »
    Bumping this topic back to top--today, Feb. 12, is the last day to comment on the shark issue.

    Hope you've had a chance to read the February issue of FS--I poured everything I could into this shark management issue. Blacktips are excellent eating, so are nurses, spinners, and lots of others. If the 96-inch minimum passes, good bye shark steaks. BUT--The commercial fleet will be SELLING MORE sharks than in recent years--no minimum size for them!!!

    How can that be when they are restricted by a set # per trip? Spin, spin spin, pinhead.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    Please remind "Them" at the meeting that 'Science' has proven that sharks mature and have little sharks later in life and "IF" "They" .. (again) would use "Science" as a guideline and make a book / pamphlet with: 1. Fish Identification , Shark Identification sections. 2. 'Rules' and 'Size Limits' for each 'Species' on each page along with the 'Species' pictures..! 3. A Breakdown of our Coast, by regions with writing that anyone over 40 years old can read. 4. "Useful Information Section" .. 'How to Measure Fish' (length overall, fork length , pinched tail, etc..), reef-balls, 'closed areas..???..( scary stuff), Licenses and stamps, Piers, Tackle Shops, Ramps,
    and "If" they do the part of adding each fish tiles, sea bass, mullet all of them.. people are smart enough to read and understand more.. but not having a good guideline to go by on a black tip or sandbar shark vs a dusky or silky shark with a huge jump in size is crazy to say the least and it confuses people..
    we have science and pictures in 2013 to tell us whats going on some and to make life easier.. the $..? didn't they charge you for a fishing license and stamps/ didn't they just get 100 million..?? registrations, etc they put out a fishing rules book every year just make it a good one.. and let people know what we have and what we can take..
  • FS JeffFS Jeff Posts: 370 Moderator
    How can that be when they are restricted by a set # per trip? Spin, spin spin, pinhead.

    Freely admit I'm a pinhead on some subjects, and you're right to ask for clarification.

    For the record, the commercial shark fishery is indeed tightly managed and under tons of pressure by HMS to comply with a spectrum of regulations--everything from obligate dehooking systems to ID courses for crewmen.

    That said, the present plan by HMS would be to implement a recreational-only minimum size limit of 96 inches. A commercial fisherman fishing right next to you could retain a 36-inch blacktip (good-eating size)..heck he could keep up to 33 of them depending on his permit. A recreational guy would have to release fish of that size. This is a legitimate complaint.

    And as to the commercial sector selling more--that is in fact the current plan: raising the allocation of blacktip based on the new stock assessment. The recreational "allocation" would be rendered meaningless by the minimum size (good luck finding a 96-inch blacktip).
    Jeff Weakley
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,757 Captain
    Very well written Jeff... I commend your efforts. A few years back I was chartered by folks from Mote Marine Labs that were studying and tagging juvenile blacktips in the areas along the coast of the Everglades between Cape Sable and Lostman's river. I was quite surprised to learn that there's a definite commercial fishery for blacktips here in Florida ( something I wasn't aware of...).

    I can second all of your points as written. Hope the good guys win this one since the only time recreationals kill blacktips is an occasional one for the grill and every one is a small one since the bigger fish just can't be kept properly and spoil very quickly... Keep up the good work.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    I have kept exactly 1 shark (to eat) in the last ~10 yrs, (b/c 1 of my guests caught it & said he loved shark steaks). I can't imagine keeping a shark that won't fit in ~150gt cooler. Personally, I'm OK w/stopping ALL shark harvesting, but I'm beginning to believe that they're trying to slowly eliminate all Rec. fish harvesting...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,279 Admiral
    FS Jeff wrote: »
    Freely admit I'm a pinhead on some subjects, and you're right to ask for clarification.

    For the record, the commercial shark fishery is indeed tightly managed and under tons of pressure by HMS to comply with a spectrum of regulations--everything from obligate dehooking systems to ID courses for crewmen.

    That said, the present plan by HMS would be to implement a recreational-only minimum size limit of 96 inches. A commercial fisherman fishing right next to you could retain a 36-inch blacktip (good-eating size)..heck he could keep up to 33 of them depending on his permit. A recreational guy would have to release fish of that size. This is a legitimate complaint.

    And as to the commercial sector selling more--that is in fact the current plan: raising the allocation of blacktip based on the new stock assessment. The recreational "allocation" would be rendered meaningless by the minimum size (good luck finding a 96-inch blacktip).
    I apologize for the pinhead. I haven't commercial shark fished in ten years and I held a directed permit. The money wasn't in the meat it was in the fins, a 36" blacktip didn't provide much money and still won't.
    If the TAC isn't rasied then your concerns of increased commercial catch are unfounded.

    Just more sensationalism to promote your struggling magazine/flyer.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • This proposed rule is about as ridiculous as the Red Snapper closures are. While virtually closeing Shark retention to
    the Recreational Sector, Who rarely retains shark when compared to the number of angler days for all speceis, and
    on the other hand allows greater access for the commercial sector by decreasing the size requirements, effectivly
    opening up harvest possibilities on certain shark stocks.

    The arguement of shark misidentification seems to be their rationale for this absurd proposal, and yet what is it
    really going to accomplish? Well they will basically close Recreational Harvest, and allow Commercial a greater number
    to be retained (notice I said Number not pounds), but still, greater access for commercial harvest. Sure seems like
    commercial interest were being considered as a priority in this. Wonder if it flies, if the Rec ACL which will likely be
    all but dried up, will be transferred to commercial?
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 8,279 Admiral
    You are allowed 33 fish per trip, not lbs but individual number of fish, so your point is moot.
    ACME, with the price of fuel and bait I would target the larger fish, I don't want cull thru 50 small fish to catch a big one, not very cost effective.

    BTW, I love reading the rec posts on catching/killing hundreds of small trout just to fill a limit.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • stokesstokes Posts: 324 Deckhand
    This proposed rule is about as ridiculous as the Red Snapper closures are. While virtually closeing Shark retention to
    the Recreational Sector, Who rarely retains shark when compared to the number of angler days for all speceis, and
    on the other hand allows greater access for the commercial sector by decreasing the size requirements, effectivly
    opening up harvest possibilities on certain shark stocks.

    The arguement of shark misidentification seems to be their rationale for this absurd proposal, and yet what is it
    really going to accomplish? Well they will basically close Recreational Harvest, and allow Commercial a greater number
    to be retained (notice I said Number not pounds), but still, greater access for commercial harvest. Sure seems like
    commercial interest were being considered as a priority in this. Wonder if it flies, if the Rec ACL which will likely be
    all but dried up, will be transferred to commercial?

    I agree with this post. How this proposal was even elevated to discussion level, let alone a legitimate possible regulation is preposterous. I know the proposal has been discarded (and hopefully discredited with consequences for the originator), but if this is the kind of regulation we have to actually comment on, there is obviously no rationale being applied to our fishery science. How about proposing a 96" limit on spotted unicorn dogfish in May? Let's waste some time and money discussing that...

    It makes about as much sense. Absurdity should be identified and labeled as unexceptable by our policy makers.

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