Swordfish Landings Grow to 102% of basline quota!!

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
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    Swordfish Landings Grow to 102% of basline quota!!

    OK guys, it has now happened. The commerical landings for swordfish in the second half season have now for the first time in many years, hit 102% of the baseline quota. While first half was slower, the overall year we reached 80% of the baseline quota. The adjusted quota included an allowable carry forward of unsued quota but this will be gone fast and ICCAT is not likely to allow any greater carry forward of unused quota.

    So here is exactly what I have warned about during the Swordfish Revitalization efforts. This is why I have preached reporting of recreational landings.

    If we go over quota here is the likely scenario. First, recreational fishing may be stopped. PLL effort with directed permits will still be allowed to keep 15 fish per trip. incidental permits may go to 5 fish, I will check. Buoy gear is very selective for swords only so they may be restricted.

    A some point in the future, we will have to fight for recreational specific quota. Maybe 300 to 500 tons or something like that. Not sure.

    The past reporting will be our ownership of the shares of this quota.

    This won't hit us today or tomorrow, but in the coming years, with the direction of landings increases, at some point we will have to fight for our right to recreational swordfish.

    The bright side is we should not take any more hits on our quota at ICCAT negotiations, we now catch our quota of swordfish!
    Stay tuned.
    Due to the Current State of the Economy,

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off!

  2. #2
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    Ron:

    Do you think the landings will continue to increase? Were there any anomalies that increased the yield, such as better weather?

    Seems like a double-edged sword - underquota=reduced quote, overquota=no fishing.

    A lose-lose proposition.

    If landings do continue the increase, won't the US have to burn through the 2013 quota before anything is done? I guess your point is the need to report landings because of the possibility of losing access starting perhaps late this year, but I suspect that many of these 'recreational' landings are being sold, so those individuals wouldn't report as they don't want any attention.

    Something in the grey-market has got to change. What 'accountability measures' (to use one of NOAA's favorite terms) are in place at fishhouses to confirm that each fish was purchased from a licensed commercial fisherman? Perhaps if law enforcement got on this we might see the reporting increase.

  3. #3
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    WD,

    My personal opinion on illegal sales is that it mostly originates from sales by recs to permit holders who then bring them in and have legal trip tickets. There is the occasional back door sales to end users, but i think this is minimal. This makes "accountability measures" near impossible.

    Double edged sword for sure, but we now need to think like recs and keep up our reporting. The recreational fishery has saved many a tackle shop in recent years.

    I do not think it is an anomaly because there has been a constant increase year to year in landings. Part may be effort, part may be abundance.

    What could change things in the future? two things I see. One being the proposal for a general category permit for rod and reel catches. That could greatly increase landings. The other is the ongoing work by PEW to buy PLL permits in the gulf of mexico. That could curtail landings.
    Due to the Current State of the Economy,

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off!

  4. #4
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    Ron:

    So the illegal sales are then reported under commerical, no?

    Maybe those tackle shops should offer some incentives to their customers to report?

    The sad thing is, like most fisheries issues, most recs will do nothing to help their sport, then cry and whine when it gets taken away. I'm about to start targeting swords this year (manual daytime and night drift), but I've been involved in the issues for many years.

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    Ron: One other thing - wouldn't these latest landings numbers be good ammo against the GC permit?

  6. #6
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    Or special permits to longline in conservation areas.........

  7. #7
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    The wack job up Ft. Pierce is not going to get the research permits he wants.

    And yes, landings close to and above the TAC could affect the General Category permit issue.
    Due to the Current State of the Economy,

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron@.38 Special View Post

    A some point in the future, we will have to fight for recreational specific quota. Maybe 300 to 500 tons or something like that. Not sure.

    The past reporting will be our ownership of the shares of this quota.


    What could change things in the future? two things I see. One being the proposal for a general category permit for rod and reel catches. That could greatly increase landings.
    Are you indicating that rod and reel landings will increase rec. landings?

    The recreational sector is already allocated 300mt within the incidental category of which they caught 16mt or about 5% of the total last year. Even with all other incidental catches combined including tuna longliners with swordfish incidental permits only 9% of that quota is being used. Can't see why HMS would allocate 300mt or more to a sector that historically leaves their quota on the table.

    Ron, You have made it clear that you support a general category swordfish permit. My understanding and I am fairly certain that a GC category will be a commercial permit with commercial vessel requirements and the fish caught "will not" be included in the recreational harvest. Being a directed fishery those fish will be added to the commercial total that includes the figures you stated of 102% in the second half. There are no logical grounds to develope a new swordfish fishery at this time.
    Last edited by broadbill-pro; 02-08-2013 at 01:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    I have been very clear that a commercial rod and reel fishery is needed to replace the PLL fleet!

    And we do not have a dedicated quota for recreational, only put in the incidental category because they didn't know what to do with it.

    As Pew buys up GOM pll permits, buoys, handgear and rod and reel will be the logical replacement.
    Due to the Current State of the Economy,

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off!

  10. #10
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    Ron... Are there any indicators that point to the "new" method of Elec reels and the daytime fishery? Also, any correlation as to the number of swords taken?

    I have noted a trend in the daytime fishery to be the bigger brood stock of Swords in my area. Just wonder how that impact is being related in the overall condition of the fishery.

    If the comms are catching the same number of swords, but they are just bigger...we are messing up the future catches by removing the big breeders from the stock. IMHO

    Rob
    Largest Private Charter Vessel in the Lower Keys
    www.easyridercharterskeywest.com

    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.

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