A Point on the Home Page article about Longline Permits - Page 2

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #11
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    Dr. Dave:

    Welcome to the forum. Please perform your swordfish longlining 'research' operations outside of the area in which swordfish longlining previously destroyed the swordfish population to the point that it took decades to rebuild to where it could sustain viable recreational and buoy gear fisheries again.

    No matter what conclusions you derive from your results, suffice it to say we alraedy know what happens when longliners enter the Florida Straits closed zone - a handful of individuals profit, and the entire remaining South Florida fishing community loses an entire fishery.

    Couldn't be more black and white. Longliners belong elsewhere.

    Everyone (save a handful of short-sighted profiteers) would be better off if you focused your scientific talents elsewhere.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mackeral Snatcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Gone View Post
    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?
    Good question.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.

  3. #13
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    The answer to Long Gone's question is found in the report. The proposed study would be a "prerequisite to a public reopening of these areas to commercial (read long line) operations". The prior study was to determine if an argument could be made to reopen the conservation areas. The study was inconclusive and so Dave wants to try again. I would very much like to know who is funding this. Dave? Chester Brewer

  4. #14
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    I concur.

    Dr. Dave - who is funding this?

    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton

  5. #15
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    I see. Well Im going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it appears likely that Dr. Dave has been hired by the longline lobby to craft some "science" to get longlining opened back up in the conservation areas where it once wiped out the swordfishery.
    Certainly an individual (or NOAA) would question the objectivity of a study funded by a group that only benfits from one particular outcome. Its called bias. I mean really, what are the odds your "study" is going to publish results that show that longling kills juvenille swordfish, sailfish, marlin, and turtles? Wouldnt that cut off your own cash flow?
    In more direct terms; How objective is a longline "study" going to be that is being paid for by longliners?

    If Im wrong please let me know.
    Last edited by Long Gone; 12-24-2012 at 04:52 PM.

  6. #16
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    Dave, You invited questions. You've gotten several. Care to respond? Chester Brewer

  7. #17
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    Thanks for the questions, folks -- apologies for the slight delay, but we DID just have Christmas... Hope everyone had a chance to spend some time with friends and families as I did the last few days.

    The research would be to collect data on the catch rates of pelagic fishes within the northern portions of the FEC time-area closure. The primary goal of these data is to include them in a predictive model to reduce bycatch in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery by further identifying the specific oceanographic conditions when bycatch occurs. I've been asked to look at this proposed work because a) my lab has done this in the past, b) we already have a starting database for these questions, and c) I value the communication between me, my lab, and the various South Florida fisheries, even if we don't always agree on our conclusions.

    Since the questions were proposed to me in this way, I'll answer them in turn:

    1. Why is it that you want to conduct this longline by-catch research within this specific closure area?

    The proximity of this closure area to ports serving the fleet make them logistically easily supportable in terms of fisheries observers, as well as decreasing the operating costs for the vessels. Doing so offshore in the northern part of the closure with a limited number of vessels also functionally eliminates the interactions between recreational and pelagic longline fisheries. The logistics make it possible to plan for a higher "bang for the buck" regarding number of sets in a limited amount of time to collect data on a number of important species. Additionally, the limited bycatch mortality in the prior work suggests that the proposed research could be done with similarly low rates of bycatch mortality.

    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.)

    Actually, for all the offers I've heard like this over the past eight years, both at docks and at fishing club meetings, not a single angler has actually sat down with me and their logbooks to chart out their catches over the years. As with prior research that I've conducted with the offshore recreational fisheries down here in the Straits, there's a lot of talk about willingness to help, but when the rubber-meets-the-road moment happens, folks decide not to fish, they forget to keep samples, and/or we find that their catch data isn't specific enough for research use -- and that's even when some compensation is included. I don't blame anyone per se for these problems in the slightest, as the data collection needs for a recreational angler and research scientist usually differ. I'm always happy to discuss with anyone other possible options for research with them and their boats, but it's not as if I've not tried this option before.

    Having the fisheries observer pelagic longline data from NMFS (pre-closure) would also be helpful, although the agency's restrictions on data access to protect vessel confidentiality have limited opportunities for non-agency researchers. Even if we could get them, those datasets are only for J hooks, not the current requirement of circle hooks. Since catch rates are hook-type specific, as well as variable based on underlying stock status, these data wouldn't provide as accurate an assessment of "hot spots" as circle hooks.

    3. Would assessment of such hot spots be considered a precursory move to getting longline gear reintroduced back into these areas?

    The main reason we're looking for these "hot spots" is to develop predictive models for avoiding bycatch in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery as a whole. I expect to be working with other researchers to develop protocols for the collection of various oceanographic data as well as the catch data; these additional data are not taken during the normal NMFS pelagic observer program process.

    As for a reconsideration of the closures or their boundaries, these data could be used for that purpose, but that's not my call -- I personally will not propose that move at this point. I also don't have any pre-determined conclusions, regardless of what folks on this forum have suggested. I have no pro-longline bias, and if the data suggest that there's a high rate of bycatch or bycatch mortality, then I wouldn't support additional fishing in the area. The reason that I don't have a problem going back into the northern part of the current time-area closure under the proposed limited conditions for the EFP is that the data from the prior study (again, freely available on-line) didn't show a high rate of bycatch and/or bycatch mortality.

    4. Would I be out of line asking who the private money funding your research would be?

    No, you're not out of line in asking, but that's a decision from the funder. I'll ask and see if they would mind. Regardless, the source of the funding would be included in any application for an EFP to conduct the research. As I've previously stated, any EFP would be subject to a broad set of restrictions regarding bycatch, and there could also be additional ones not listed on that prior comment.

    If others have questions, or follow-ups to these ones, please let me know.

    Dave

  8. #18
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    Dave,
    I do have some follow up questions and observations.
    You claim that there was a low level of by-catch and yet we see that the by-catch of juvenile swords was 4x in the conservation areas than that in the open areas. Also your report shows locations for by catch of several species but not juvenile swords. Why is that?
    What is an interaction between long liners and recreational fisher persons? Why is this important to the study? Is this just so someone could argue "out of sight, out of mind" to NMFS?
    You totally dodged the question on funding. If the identity has to be revealed in the application, why is it a secret? I can guess two logical candidates. Blue Water and EDF would be the only entities that could benefit from your efforts. Is the funder one of these or perhaps both of them? Chester Brewer
    Last edited by Chester Brewer; 12-26-2012 at 05:31 PM. Reason: grammer

  9. #19
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    OK, fair enough. We asked you answered. Thank you.

    Could you clarify this answer a bit for me?

    3. Would assessment of such hot spots be considered a precursory move to getting longline gear reintroduced back into these areas?
    "The main reason we're looking for these "hot spots" is to develop predictive models for avoiding bycatch in the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery as a whole."

    Im still not grasping why there is a legitimate and urgent need to longline in a closed area to "develop predictive models for avoiding by-catch..in the longline fishery as a whole"
    Isnt the outright ban on longlining predictive enough to avoid longline by-catch? A closed area has no longline by-catch.
    If you are looking to develop longline avoidance models for the fishery as a whole, why do it where no one longlines? It would seem that to me that, to be valid, longline data should be collected where longlining takes place regularly. That is unless there is a plan to try to get longlining allowed back in at some point.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ProfessorO's Avatar
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    Ron, have U lost it? Trashing good people and spreading BS is not what our fishing rep should be doing on the internet. Your energy might be very misplaced; the GC permit is a real Pandora's box. cheers, O
    The goal of scientists is to maximize what we know of the real world by using the mathematical world to optimize the information from the observed world.

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