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Should blackfin, wahoo and dolphin be included in the Highly Migratory Species FMP?

shallow runnershallow runner Junior MemberPosts: 13 Greenhorn
Good day everyone.

My name is Shawn Martin; I am a marine biology master’s student under David Kerstetter at the NSU Oceanographic Center. As part of my thesis project I am gathering stakeholder opinion on including blackfin tuna, wahoo and dolphinfish (mahi mahi) into the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) as well as opinions regarding why they are not included in the HMS FMP.

The results of the study are not intended to be used towards changes in the current policies but as this paper will be published this is an opportunity to make your opinions known as combined with public opinion.

The information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and will be used only for overall statistical results. No information provided can in any way be linked to you, your business, or your vessel by anyone including Dr. Kerstetter or myself. At the end of the study you can even select to have the results emailed to you.

As you likely know the HMS definition varies internationally and domestically with several domestic definitions of the term that are used in scientific, legal, and management circles. For example the Fishery Conservation and Management Act (FCMA) Amendments of 1990 defined HMS as tuna species, marlin, oceanic sharks, sailfishes and swordfish. However, under the same section, tunas are defined only as albacore, bigeye, Atlantic Bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin.

In the end, blackfin tuna, wahoo, and dolphinfish were some of the species specifically not listed within the 1990 FCMA amendments despite similar biological life histories. It is also worth noting that wahoo were excluded in the original UNCLOS as well, and the species has never been labeled as an HMS species, despite co-occurring in every HMS fishery.

You can add your opinion to this subject by taking the quick survey we have designed for this study at Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Please also share this link with anyone you feel may be interested in voicing their opinions on the topic.

Also please note that, as this is part of a study, we cannot field questions on the forum.

Thank you! :beer:


  • reel stamasreel stamas Senior Member PanhandlePosts: 6,153 Admiral
    I'll voice my opinion right here & now... "NO !!!"
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • Long GoneLong Gone Member FloridaPosts: 82 Deckhand
    Anglers can keep a reasonable amount, theres is no data to suggest overfishing, and the stocks- appear healthy and sustainable as managed. So unless theres some issue Im not aware of Id reccomend not fixing it if it aint broke. My opinion.
  • Long GoneLong Gone Member FloridaPosts: 82 Deckhand
    To my knowledge nobody has any problem with those species not being on the HMS list. Blackfins, dolphin, and wahoo are not listed in the Magnusson Act as HMS either.)
  • GT FishGT Fish Senior Member J-TownPosts: 9,448 Officer
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Senior Member up a creek without a paddle tampaPosts: 13,428 AG
    Not only NO but HELL NO!!!!
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Senior Member Posts: 1,595 Captain
    Same thing was said about the iSnapper program - that the results were not to be used for management purposes, but in fact is THE tool that will allow changes to our fisheries management plans to incorporated "market-based" solutions.
  • Chester BrewerChester Brewer Senior Member Posts: 171 Officer
    Hello Shawn,
    There is a very good reason that dolphin, wahoo and blackfin are not managed by the HMS division. These species are not managed by ICCAT. MSA has a specific provision that exempts species that are managed by an RFMO to which the US is a party. So ICCAT sets quota and regulations for species like bluefin, swordfish the BAYS tunas etc. and HMS implements those quotas and regulations domestically. The other species like wahoo are not managed by ICCAT are not exempt and are therefore managed through the council system set up in MSA. Sorry if I have disrupted your thesis but your Prof. should know all this. Chester Brewer
  • Long GoneLong Gone Member FloridaPosts: 82 Deckhand
    Hmmm. Maybe you should include the question: Would you like ICAAT, an international group, to be in charge of your recreational bag limits on dolphin and blackfins here in Florida, instead of the US management?
    Whats next semesters big thesis idea? Allowing pelagic longliners special access to fish in a closed conservation area off the coast of Florida? Oh wait.....
  • testerman28testerman28 Senior Member Posts: 1,329 Officer
    I sent you a message about this .. anytime I hear "stakeholder opinion" it usually means $ and regulation.. I will say 'no' to any of it ..we already have enough regs.. giving someone more rules and costs are not an option. the survey is also biased as you cannot skip a question even as early as are you rec or commercial or both or were you commercial before.. some of us meet all three..
  • shallow runnershallow runner Junior Member Posts: 13 Greenhorn

    As I stated previously I cannot really address any questions regarding the study topic directly as it can be seen as influencing the process. However I would like to clear up some concerns if possible.

    Please understand that this study is NOT funded by anyone but me nor is it associated with any agency, organization, etc. The only intended outcome of this project is my ability to complete my thesis and graduate. :banana

    Furthermore, as a life long fisherman growing up on the Florida waters I understood the volatility of this topic going in; this is what really made me want to take it on as a thesis project. In fact I counted on it creating discussion, debate and making as many people as possible want to voice their opinions. My hope was that it would be voiced through the survey.

    Any redundancy in questions, seeming overlap or contradiction in questions is all by design for purposes of analysis and for my thesis defense once the project is done.

    The results of this will be published and if you are for or against the inclusion this will serve as just one instance of a unified voice stating that opinion. The end of the survey even includes a section for you to voice your opinion on the HMS permitting process overall.

    Thank you for your time and cooperation.

    Tight lines! :fishing
  • shallow runnershallow runner Junior Member Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Thank you for all of the responses on the survey and the input here on the forum. I still need a lot more completions so if you are willing to share the link with others please do so. And remember all, you are just helping a fellow fisherman graduate. Gracias, thank you, cheers, and as always, tight lines. :beer
  • gill nettergill netter Senior Member Posts: 236 Deckhand
    Commercial fishermen are required a federal dolphin wahoo permit to catch and sell. Not sure why these species do not get the highly touted classification of a HMS, but the landings are definately monitored on our side. For some reason I remember a discussion about Spanish and King mackeral making this classification.
  • Ron@.38 Special[email protected] Special Senior Member Posts: 6,921 Admiral
    Commercial fishermen are required a federal dolphin wahoo permit to catch and sell. Not sure why these species do not get the highly touted classification of a HMS, but the landings are definately monitored on our side. For some reason I remember a discussion about Spanish and King mackeral making this classification.

    HMS species are internationally managed species. Do you guys want Japan, Spain, EU and China to tell us how to manage our wahoo???????
  • Ron@.38 Special[email protected] Special Senior Member Posts: 6,921 Admiral
    Someone state just one problem with GOM, and SAFMC managing these species?
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