I never thought recs kept that many sharks, then again like most rec fisherys, who knows how many are kept.
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.
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!!!
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!
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..
Freely admit I'm a pinhead on some subjects, and you're right to ask for clarification.How can that be when they are restricted by a set # per trip? Spin, spin spin, pinhead.
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).
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.
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 or Limits