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HMS Amendment 7 meetings

Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
There are public meetings scheduled for Amendment 7 to the HMS rules. This is primarily about bluefin tuna, but the management affects other species. There are issues here that include the possibility to allow long lining back into the closed area off the east coast of Florida. Official comments have to be submitted by Dec 10, so there is a month left to get something in, meetings are the best place to get an understanding of the regulations.

Today in Ft Pierce, tomorrow in St Pete.



Public Hearing November 12, 2013
6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fort Pierce, FL Days Inn Fort Pierce
3224 U.S. 1
Fort Pierce, FL 34982
(772) 465-7000



Public Hearing November 13, 2013
6 p.m. - 10 p.m. St. Petersburg, FL National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office
263 13th Avenue South
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701
(727) 824-5301

Replies

  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Link to the entire document (caution, it is pretty difficult to digest in one sitting): http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/FMP/am7_draft/a7_deis_all_sections_081313_linkable_for_web.pdf
  • Funny how the people most interested in the opening of the closed zone are South Florida recs, but no meetings down here, just up in Ft. Pierce, commercial fisherman's country.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Funny how the people most interested in the opening of the closed zone are South Florida recs, but no meetings down here, just up in Ft. Pierce, commercial fisherman's country.

    I hope there are enough comments to discourage that opening. I know that the idea is to decrease the bft mortality, but the potential to hit the sailfish and white marlin populations is too much risk.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Meeting was interesting. I was the only rec person in the room. The purse seiners were there in force and there was a long liner, a buoy gear fisherman, and several environmental lobby folks.

    Bottom line is that the current legislation is likely to do a few things that directly impact recreational fishermen. One is that there will be some long lining allowed in the florida closed area. Another is that a portion of the current recreational quota will be taken to cover dead discards in the long line fishery. Another is that there is nothiing in the rule stopping NOAA from using the recreational portion of the quota to cover overages on the commercial side that occur in the future. The quota has been moved back and forth in the past, but now that individual shares will be monetized this is a much more dangerous scenario for recreational fishermen. All I can say is that if rec fisherman are going to have a shot at bluefins in the future you need to put your comments in. Let NOAA know that they need to legally separate the recreational quota from the commercial quota. If you don't want long lines to come back into the florida closed area, and everybody I talk to is against it, then you need to speak up. It is a numbers game, put your comments in to NOAA.
  • Thanks for the update Al. I already had one from the buoy gear and PLL guy at the meeting. Sounds like St Pete was much more civilized than the Ft. Pierce meeting.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Sounds like St Pete was much more civilized than the Ft. Pierce meeting.

    I did get that impression. Also an hour and a half shorter meeting. We're just a more civilized bunch on the left coast.

    Were you at the Ft Pierce meeting? Did any rec guys discuss taking quota and giving to commercial? Or the issue of allowing long lining in the FL closed zone.

    Where are you on those issues?
  • Capt EasyCapt Easy Posts: 203 Officer
    Al_hms wrote: »
    Meeting was interesting. I was the only rec person in the room. The purse seiners were there in force and there was a long liner, a buoy gear fisherman, and several environmental lobby folks.

    Bottom line is that the current legislation is likely to do a few things that directly impact recreational fishermen. One is that there will be some long lining allowed in the florida closed area. Another is that a portion of the current recreational quota will be taken to cover dead discards in the long line fishery. Another is that there is nothiing in the rule stopping NOAA from using the recreational portion of the quota to cover overages on the commercial side that occur in the future. The quota has been moved back and forth in the past, but now that individual shares will be monetized this is a much more dangerous scenario for recreational fishermen. All I can say is that if rec fisherman are going to have a shot at bluefins in the future you need to put your comments in. Let NOAA know that they need to legally separate the recreational quota from the commercial quota. If you don't want long lines to come back into the florida closed area, and everybody I talk to is against it, then you need to speak up. It is a numbers game, put your comments in to NOAA.

    Hopefully this will help the longliners get their fair share of Bluefins. Right now longliners catch about 90% of the Swordfish quota, 80% of the Big eye quota and 60% of the Yellowfin quota but are held to just 8% of the Bluefin quota by being forced to have a certain amount of swords on board to land a Bluefin.

    These swordfisherman can land way more of the Bluefin quota without burning 1 gallon of fuel or using one more piece of bait. All they would have to do is bring home the fish they already have on the line.


    It's not the longliners that are getting the fish. The general category gets 47% of the fish. These are basically rec guys that can now sell their fish. Make these guys land 10 swordfish before landing a tuna and the quota would never be filled.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Capt Easy wrote: »
    These swordfisherman can land way more of the Bluefin quota without burning 1 gallon of fuel or using one more piece of bait. All they would have to do is bring home the fish they already have on the line.


    It's not the longliners that are getting the fish. The general category gets 47% of the fish. These are basically rec guys that can now sell their fish. Make these guys land 10 swordfish before landing a tuna and the quota would never be filled.
    (Mark T?)


    Well the idea is to stop the long liners from targeting them at all. The bluefin fishery is supposed to be directed only on the commercial side with long liners only having enough quota to cover a couple fish per year. This amendment is supposed to do the complete opposite of what you suggest.
    As far as gencat being "basically rec guys", they buy their commercial permits and safety gear, and then sell their fish,which makes them completely commercial.
  • Capt Easy,

    Right now, PLL catches about 290 tons of bluefin, mostly dead discards. The quota share is about 75 tons. This amendment is to hold PLL vessels accountable for bycatch.

    NMFS estimates that even with prudent action to avoid Bluefin catches, more than 30% of the vessels will run out of bluefin tuna quota under this new rule.

    If you use your quota and cannot obtain more, you can't even fish that vessel until the following year when you get free quota from NMFS.

    The end result, is now you can fish and cut off all the Bluefin tuna you want and keep the three under the direct catch rule. Under the new rule, if you use your quota, and by rule you have to keep legal size fish that are not alive, you can't even leave the dock to fish anymore. So, is it really going to bring more dead discards to the dock? Maybe on an observer set, but not on a regular trip.

    Boats are proposed to get 1.37 tons, .74 tons, or .47 tons, depending on your past report card. Those who interacted with Bluefin got low grades, those that didn't interact (or didn't report it) are given high grades. Did that reward the honest Captains??or the liars??

    Read some, (at least a little) of the rule then get back to us with an intelligent post.
  • Capt EasyCapt Easy Posts: 203 Officer
    Al_hms wrote: »
    (Mark T?)


    Well the idea is to stop the long liners from targeting them at all. The bluefin fishery is supposed to be directed only on the commercial side with long liners only having enough quota to cover a couple fish per year. This amendment is supposed to do the complete opposite of what you suggest.
    As far as gencat being "basically rec guys", they buy their commercial permits and safety gear, and then sell their fish,which makes them completely commercial.

    Sometimes Bluefin swim in the same waters as yellowfin and Swordfish. In my opinion Swordfisherman should able to keep every Bluefin they catch. Guess what? No more discards. Get it. The only reason swordfisherman discard Bluefin is political.

    Why should some charter guy in Massachusetts land 30 Bluefin to sell while a swordfisherman catching 100,000 pounds of swords a year is limited to a few fish. It's BS.

    If in this new system Purse seiners could lease shares to swordfisherman so they can fish all year I think it would be a good thing. Unfortunately the swordfisherman will have to have cameras or observers on board for this to work.

    Yep, Mark T. whose this
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Allan W from the HMS panel
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Capt Easy wrote: »
    Sometimes Bluefin swim in the same waters as yellowfin and Swordfish. In my opinion Swordfisherman should able to keep every Bluefin they catch. Guess what? No more discards. Get it. The only reason swordfisherman discard Bluefin is political.

    Why should some charter guy in Massachusetts land 30 Bluefin to sell while a swordfisherman catching 100,000 pounds of swords a year is limited to a few fish. It's BS.

    If in this new system Purse seiners could lease shares to swordfisherman so they can fish all year I think it would be a good thing. Unfortunately the swordfisherman will have to have cameras or observers on board for this to work.

    Yep, Mark T. whose this


    That is kind of the idea, LL guys are required to keep all legal size bluefin, but if they can't get quota they can't leave the dock. Right now I think the purse seiners will start using their quota because if they don't use it they lose it. So that might not be available to the LL fleet in the projected quantity.
    As far as 100% observer coverage being 'unfortunate', we aren't going to agree on that. I think 100% coverage is a great goal and I hope they find a way to get there. Nothing wrong with having a system to keep people honest.
  • Purse seiners will have a hard time using their quota for at least two reasons.

    1. No more purse seine vessels! (OK, maybe 1)

    2. Giants just don't run in exclusive packs anymore. For whatever reason, the spotter planes are not seeing large schools of fish without juveniles in the mix. Without that kind of schooling, the discards are going to kill the purse seine fleet.

    OK, there is a #3: The value isn't what it used to be and many fish this year have been sold locally not shipped to Japan for the high dollar.

    OK, an answer to Capt Easy: "Why should a charter guy in Mass. land 30 Bluefin to sell while a swordfisherman catching 100,000 lbs of sword a year is limited to a few fish" This is an easy one, the "Charter guy" in Mass, releases everything undersized ALIVE, while the PLL boat makes mud puppies out of the dead discards! Truth is, the PLL fleet maybe shouldn't even be fishing until they can learn how to quit killing illegal Bluefin, white marlin, blue marlin,turtles, whales, sharks, and everything else except the YFT, Bigeye, and swords!

    The idea that Amendment 7 has is just what Easy wants., keep everything, however you eventually must pay the piper!
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Purse seiners will have a hard time using their quota for at least two reasons.

    2. Giants just don't run in exclusive packs anymore. For whatever reason, the spotter planes are not seeing large schools of fish without juveniles in the mix. Without that kind of schooling, the discards are going to kill the purse seine fleet.


    Those discards will count against their quota right? That's one way to fill a quota.
  • Chester BrewerChester Brewer Posts: 171 Officer
    Ron,
    What I do not understand is how purse seine boats can lease or sell quota to the LL fleet. To do that the purse seine guys would have to own quota ie. a catch share. They do not, to my knowledge, own quota. I am very worried that Margo is slipping yet another catch share program in without admitting what is happening. Chester
  • Capt EasyCapt Easy Posts: 203 Officer
    Purse seiners will have a hard time using their quota for at least two reasons.

    1. No more purse seine vessels! (OK, maybe 1)

    2. Giants just don't run in exclusive packs anymore. For whatever reason, the spotter planes are not seeing large schools of fish without juveniles in the mix. Without that kind of schooling, the discards are going to kill the purse seine fleet.

    OK, there is a #3: The value isn't what it used to be and many fish this year have been sold locally not shipped to Japan for the high dollar.

    OK, an answer to Capt Easy: "Why should a charter guy in Mass. land 30 Bluefin to sell while a swordfisherman catching 100,000 lbs of sword a year is limited to a few fish" This is an easy one, the "Charter guy" in Mass, releases everything undersized ALIVE, while the PLL boat makes mud puppies out of the dead discards! Truth is, the PLL fleet maybe shouldn't even be fishing until they can learn how to quit killing illegal Bluefin, white marlin, blue marlin,turtles, whales, sharks, and everything else except the YFT, Bigeye, and swords!

    The idea that Amendment 7 has is just what Easy wants., keep everything, however you eventually must pay the piper!

    I agree that there will probably be quota from the purse seine fleet available for the longliners to lease.
    That should greatly reduce regulatory dead discards. In order to keep Bluefin the longliners will likely be paying the purse seiners not the piper :grin

    We have been Palagic longlining for over 30 years now and you are spewing the same ole propaganda. Did you miss the HMS meeting where Dr. Kerstetter from NOVA Southeastern university gave the results of his 180 set research fishery in the East coast closed zone. 180 sets 5 turtles caught, 5 turtles released alive. I don't remember exactly but around 160 Tiger sharks caught and like 155 of those released alive. The 5 Tigers killed would have eaten how many turtles in their lifetime? If they would like to save more turtles they could ask the fisherman to land more of the Tigers. There is a size where they are marketable. Don't call it longline gear call it turtle conservation gear. :rotflmao
    According to the SAFE reports American longliners are responsible for about 1% of the North Atlantic Marlin catch and there again would be no dead discards if we allowed to sell them like most of the rest of the world. Alive release them, dead, sell them.

    I don't believe there are no dead discards in the NE fishery. You can't measure the fish till after you Harpoon it. So either they are smuggling fish in or they are releasing ALIVE harpooned fish.

    I just hope in the initial allocation sworfisherman get some of the fish they have been screwed out of in the last 20 years.
  • Capt EasyCapt Easy Posts: 203 Officer
    Al_hms wrote: »
    That is kind of the idea, LL guys are required to keep all legal size bluefin, but if they can't get quota they can't leave the dock. Right now I think the purse seiners will start using their quota because if they don't use it they lose it. So that might not be available to the LL fleet in the projected quantity.
    As far as 100% observer coverage being 'unfortunate', we aren't going to agree on that. I think 100% coverage is a great goal and I hope they find a way to get there. Nothing wrong with having a system to keep people honest.

    I have taken observers out in the shark research fishery 7 or 8 trips a year over the last 5 years. It's not as bad as you would think. I have not been held up from leaving on a certain day yet. I think it is more trouble for the boats but if the observers are high quality and take measurements and samples from a variety of fish and tag fish it would be the cheapest science NOAA could get.
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    Ron,
    What I do not understand is how purse seine boats can lease or sell quota to the LL fleet. To do that the purse seine guys would have to own quota ie. a catch share. They do not, to my knowledge, own quota. I am very worried that Margo is slipping yet another catch share program in without admitting what is happening. Chester

    Chester, it is a catch share program. I don't think that anyone is saying anything other than that.
  • Chester BrewerChester Brewer Posts: 171 Officer
    So the PS folks who have not fished Blue Fin in years will be gifted shares that they can lease or sell to LL. LL will be allocated Rec. quota and the "good" LL will be allowed to fish in the closed areas. I think I'm going to throw up. Chester
  • Al_hmsAl_hms Posts: 200 Officer
    So the PS folks who have not fished Blue Fin in years will be gifted shares that they can lease or sell to LL. LL will be allocated Rec. quota and the "good" LL will be allowed to fish in the closed areas. I think I'm going to throw up. Chester

    That's an accurate nutshell summary. Hopefully we can get some more folks to submit comments.

    Noteworthy that the PS fishermen 'lose' their quota if they do not fish, so there are new incentives for them to set nets. They did set this year on a mixed school and from their own account it was very ugly.

    Additional problem is that there is nothing in the proposed regulation insulating the recreational quota from being redistributed to the commercial side in the future. This is the thing that I've been really banging my head on the wall about.
  • How else can it be managed unless there is money changing hands? We certainly are on the road to Pelagic catch shares, just like the shark fishery!

    If money does not change hands, its a Bluefin free for all!

    My guess is that catch shares, after Bluefin become a "choke species" will go for upwards of $50K per ton, per year. This will make the PS fleet millionaires!
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