A Point on the Home Page article about Longline Permits
A point about the lead in articles on the home page of FS regarding comments on Exempt Fisheries Permits comment period.
This is not a blanket permit to go after longline "research" in the closed zones. This notice is a yearly notice that allows NMFS to issue non-controversial exempt fisher permits which include a lot os minor permitting which can be done without a draft EIS. These include things like allowing Aquariums to take a few sharks, allow specific EFP for scientific research, etc. This is done every year and most of us at the AP level have quite commenting on this specific permit.
i can assure you that any EFP issued for any large scale longline research in closed zones or other areas would require a draft EIS or at least update a draft EIS before issuing the permit and public hearings would be required.
This is simply a yearly administrative notice to allow very small and specific scientific sampling only. For instance a full EIS would be expected if anyone tried to fish in conflict with the rules during Bluefin Tuna spawning season in the Gulf. Also, NMFS know there would be a riot in South Florida if anyone tried to move forward with additional research fishing in the closed zone. I am regularly in contact with the Longline Lobbying group, Bluewater Fishermans and I consider Terry Bideman, president, a friend. They would discuss with me if they planned an attempt to fish our closed zones.
It is not the procedure to be used for longline "research fishing" like was proposed, but scaled down a few years ago. It was done but was a fiasco in the Florida Straits closed zone. Vessels would not fish there, and the bycatch and juvenile discards were way beyond that predicted by the initial EIS. Vessels preferred to fish the Tuna schools north of the Bahamas rather than fish the closed zone full of rat swords.
Trust me, all I really do at HMS and ICCAT is look out for the recreational Sword fishery and watch longlines. No way I would let this slip by without a full public hearing by NMFS.
Feel free to comment on the rule, but do not be concerned that this is a back door attempt to change the procedure from what has been done at NMFS in the last 10 years while I have been on the HMS AP panel.
The above was my original comment.
Lesson to me? Do Not Trust NOAA even HMS they do not have your interests at heart. This is what NOAA/NMFS has come to , back door approaches to changing things and making it look like everyone is going along with the flow.
Dave Kerstetter is the lead researcher and his head is so far up the longline industries butt, that he can't even recognize real science when he sees it.
The last time he did this, he presented a plan with 13 longline boats and I don't even remember how many total hook sets. He said at the time this was the minimum effort to have statistical accuracy. Then he modifies it to two vessels and a fraction of the original sets, with a new statistical analysis on the number required for accuracy. Then in practice, he cant' ge the vessels to fish the closed zone (nothing but smaller than market fish and no tuna), so he cuts the effort to about 50% of original proposal on second round. By the time he writes his report, they have had a small fraction of the effort he stated was minimum for statistical purposes, and ignores that reduction in his report. The report results??? They had more bycatch and juvenile interaction than the EIS proposed for a much higher volume of hook set. Darn, talk about massaging the science to make your points. And the funny thing is if you ask him, he will tell you the results were great and we shlould be fishing in the closed zone with renewed longline effort.
Last edited by Ron@.38 Special; 12-19-2012 at 01:38 PM.
WOAH!!! THIS IS AN END AROUND MOVE BY CERTAIN SPECIAL INTEREST TO DO FISHING WITHIN THE CLOSED ZONE OFF FLORIDA ND THE CHARLESTON BUMP!
THERE ARE NEGATIVE COMMENTS FROM IGFA,CCA, TBF, ETC.
THIS IS AN END AROUND MOVE TO CIRCUMVENT EIS PROCEDURES AND PROMISES MADE BY NMFS HMS DIVISION TO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT REAL PUBLIC COMMENT ON ALL EFPS WITH LONGINE RESEARCH IN CLOSED ZONES.
THE END AROUND MOVE IS PROBABLY ORCHESTRATED BY OUR LOCAL NOVA UNIVERSITY RESEARCHER KNOWN FOR HIS SUPPORT AND LOVE OF LONGLINES. HE IS THE SAME GUY WHO GOT PAID FULL PRICE TO DO REAEARCH THAT WAS ONLY ABOUT 50% OF HIS ORIGINAL PROPOSAL THAT GOT FUNDED BY NMFS. TRY TO FIND THE REPORT ON THE CLOSED ZONE RESEARCH. IT HAS BEEN BURIED .
THIS IS PROBABLY TIED TO THE SHARK AMENDMENT 5 WHICH MAY RESULT IN CERTAIN SPECIFIC NEW CLOSED AREAS TO LONGLINING DUE TO SHARK BYCATCH. THE PLAN CALLS FOR COMPENSATION FISHING, IE LET THEM IN CLOSED ZONES SINCE WE ARE CLOSING NEW ZONES.
Closed zone research was a fiasco based on minimal science by a researcher who proposed certain numbers of hook sets as a minimum for statistical purposes then justified getting paid to do only half the research.
How many of you have gotten paid a full day for a half days work? Well NMFS does it with researchers like this Nova Professor, Dr Longline. Half the set, half the trips, and most of them were in the open zone which is the only economical place for them to fish. Sword boats need tuna in the Southern regions to survive and there are few tuna in the closed zone compared to the open zones.
LOOK AT THIS TACTIC, I HAVE BEEN AN HMS AP MEMBER FOR 10 YEARS, I HAVE READ THIS SAME KIND OF PERMIT NOTICE AT LEAST 9 TINES INTHE PAST AND THEY TRY TO SLIP ONE BY US.
THANK YOU CCA FOR BRINGING THE SMALL PRINT TO MY ATTENTION.
SHAME ON YOU NMFS!
Last edited by Ron@.38 Special; 12-19-2012 at 02:14 PM.
My email to Margo.Schulze-Haugen head of HMS division at NMFS:
I am appalled and feel like HMS has breached the trust of the recreational swordfishing community by putting closed zone research into the normal yearly EFP notice without having a heads up to those involved in this fishery.
Normally your office would have given me a courtesy call before a back door approach like this is attempted.
Here we go again bowing to the personal interests of Dave Kerstetter and his half hearted research. We all know last time he did this, he got funded for a certain amount of effort that was justified by statistical purposes, then when he finds he can't get it done. we give him twice the time to do half the effort and write a half arsed report that no one can find or refer to, its so hidden.
Given time, I could have generated the interest to provide nearly 10,000 comments on this proposed action but now we are left with just a few hours to get it done.
This action scare the heck out of me and please do not make a decision based on the small number of comments you will receive on this action. CCA, IGFA, TBF, RFA, The governors of Florida, GA. SC, NC will all come together to complain about how this process was handled.
To me, this is one of the most horrendous actions by HMS in the years that I have been involved in the process. It is a breach of our trust in the process and should have been brought to my attention with a phone call.
I still hold you to your promise years ago that no action like this will take place without a full public hearing in my area. Make sure you have a large venue for those hearings in Ft Lauderdale as there is not enough parking in downtown Ft. Lauderdale public library for the crowd we will bring to this meeting.
A disappointed Ron Coddington HMS Ap Member
We have less than 36 hours to respond. Anyone who recreational swordfishes should follow the links from the FS home page and write a comment
The truth about longline effort in the Florida Straits.
Bycatch, dead discards, too concentrated effort. Effort not needed.
We cannot revitalize the PLL industry. We can keep it at present effort and survive.
We are very close to catching 80% of our baseline quota with current restricted effort and closed zones. When swordfish was called fully rebuilt, the PLL industry jumped on the bandwagon and claimed in part it was due to the closed zones. These zones are a success.
We are about to enter an era of tended gear for swords, buoy gear, and rod and reel. The new general category plan will increase effort and may very well put us at full utilization of the US quota.
But some researchers are more interested in their own personal research funding than the fishery. We must stop this abuse of our fisheries.
One thing we know, is don't let the Nova University folks fool you . They rarely are the recreational fisheries friend. Their primary researcher is friends with every single longliner in the US fleet and they all look to him to give them the data and "science" they need to survive. I guarantee this researcher has many more hours on a commercial vessel than he does on a recreational vessel.
Please follow the link and post a comment on the proposed Exempt Fisheries Permits. This is a plan that does only one person any good and that is the researcher mentioned above. His approach to this research should be questioned by all of his peers.
As far as I am concerned this give Nova University a bad name.
Last edited by Ron@.38 Special; 12-19-2012 at 02:14 PM.
Ron is correct that the notice was buried in the usual yearly notice about EFPs. The notice was also very non-specific as to what the long line EFP application would entail. So we are left to comment on the very idea that long liners would be allowed back in the FEC conservation area under the guise of "research". There are still 24 hours left to comment on this idea so let the NMFS know what you think. A request will be made to extend the comment period but it only takes a few minutes to send an email so please do it now. Chester
[I]Dave Kerstetter is the lead researcher and his head is so far up the longline industries butt, that he can't even recognize real science when he sees it.
Really? I'm wondering why he is doing research in the Gulf with the Green Stick. Pew wants to replace longlining in the Gulf with buoy gear and the Green Stick. Is Pew a true friend of longliners also?
The facts are the facts. His research in the closed area showed 160 sets. 5 turtles caught and released alive and 160 Tiger sharks caught with about 5 dying. Those 5 Tiger sharks would have eaten plenty of turtes in their lifetime. Enviroes still can't wrap their mind around it and you can't either. We should quit calling it longline gear and start calling it "Turtle conservation gear". :
We can eliminate bycatch simply by repealing the laws that make selling small swords, Marlin, and Bluefin illegal. Yea, sell them for food just like the rest of the world.
Thanks for your informed input Ron. Keep up the good work.
It sounds to me like the administrative folks at Nova U need to hear from a lot of people about what exactly thier guy is up to and his apparent support for the use of highly destructive fishing gear in a conservation zone. I doubt thats a popular program at a modern day University.
Sounds as if NMFS may need some requests for a more unbiased researcher to listen to as well. I mean whos interests are being represented here? Thousands of recreational anglers (the majority) and some tended gear commercial guys or a tiny handful of longliners looking to damage a recovered fishery for thier own profit?
You are right, there will absolutely be a full scale war in South Florida if this thing moves forward. Perhaps an outright riot-which NMFS would completely deserve for such a monumental kick in the nuts to the sportfishermen of the SE.
And "COMPENSATION FISHING"? Are you freaking kidding me? Sorry you cant string miles of longline gear here anymore, so you can fish in this other closed zone. Id like to see the recreational anglers precedent for "compensation fishing".
Sorry for the delay, folks, but the it took a while for the admin folks to get back to me on my forgotten password.
First of all, let's stop the complete fiction that the results from the prior work I did was "buried" somehow by NOAA. That's just ridiculous. The report on the time-area closure work in the FEC and Charleston Bump from 2007-2009, including the summary PowerPoints given to the HMS AP, is available free from NOAA at:
The issue of the number of sets was also exhaustively addressed in the PowerPoint to the HMS AP meeting, at which I believe Ron was an attendee. The original number of sets proposed was based on the expected variation around catch rates, which was itself based on fisheries observer data from before the closure -- a higher level of variation would mean that a higher number of sets would be required to make it statistically significant. As it turns out, for most of the species caught in the project, the variation around the catch rates was much lower than expected, which meant that the required number of sets to see the significance was also lower than expected. That's not "massaging" or "fixing" the data, but rather straight-forward statistics.
Second, your colleagues are correct in that I'm currently talking with NMFS about conducting additional research within the FEC time-area closure during 2013-2014, which would be funded to my fisheries research laboratory here at the NSU Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach through private monies (i.e., not NOAA). It would focus specifically on identifying "hot-spots" of bycatch within only a section of the current closed area (i.e., NO ONE is talking about opening up the waters off the Keys or off Dade/Broward). All of this proposed work within the time-area closure would be monitored using NOAA Pelagic Observer Program (POP) protocols by at-sea fisheries observers trained by the POP in (probably) February 2013. It would also be subject to stringent NOAA reporting processes and very likely bycatch caps, which would require an immediate cessation of the fishing activities pending a NOAA review. I would provide updates on the research at all HMS Advisory Panel meetings, as I did in the prior time-area closure work.
The HMS Management Division put this note in their annual Federal Register notice regarding 2013 Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) because they knew that a) I would probably be submitting a proposal for an EFP for this research, and b) it would likely generate some attention from the recreational fishery, and potentially also the environmental community. It's well worth noting, however, that in the prior time-area closure work -- almost 200 sets worth over three years! -- we stayed below the NOAA-expected levels of both bycatch and bycatch mortality, as well as not having a single commercial-recreational fishery interaction.
Third and finally, since "Long Gone" raised the issue about compensation, most of this prior pelagic longline work was not compensated, nor would the work being discussed in the time-area closure. Actually, the research we just did with the recreational nighttime drift swordfish fishery did have some compensation offered to all the boats for fuel and bait. There are compensation precedents on both sides in numerous projects, if folks would simply bother to ask.
I like discussions as much as the next guy, especially about fisheries, but let's please stick to facts and science. I don't do this research, both here and internationally, to make myself money (ask my wife: she sees my paychecks!), but rather in my view to increase the sustainability of all fisheries. If anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I teach on Tuesday nights this spring, so I won't be at the January 8th special HMS Advisory Panel meeting, but I'll certainly be at the usual Spring AP Meeting in a few months.
Thanks for stepping up and responding David. It appears you are the man to talk to here and Im all for getting the facts from the people involved. Ill probably contact you after the holiday to discuss more at length however I do have a couple questions Id like to ask which I think many others would also like to know.
"I'm currently talking with NMFS about conducting additional research within the FEC time-area closure during 2013-2014, which would be funded to my fisheries research laboratory here at the NSU Oceanographic Center in Dania Beach through private monies (i.e., not NOAA). It would focus specifically on identifying "hot-spots" of bycatch within only a section of the current closed area (i.e., NO ONE is talking about opening up the waters off the Keys or off Dade/Broward).
1. Why is it that you want to conduct this longline by-catch research within this specific closure area?
2. Who would benefit from knowing such longline by-catch "hot spots", since they are already in areas off limits to longlining? Im sure there are 100 sportfishermen who are already allowed to fish here, that would be happy to help you gather such information and who have a far lower discard mortality than longline gear.)
3. Would assessment of such hot spots be considered a precursory move to getting longline gear reintroduced back into these areas?
4. Would I be out of line asking who the private money funding your research would be?