I'm sure you have heard about the ridiculous federal season this year.
These fish are OUR Public Trust Resource, much like our federal highways were paid using OUR federal $$ - we OWN them. Today's federal fisheries management debacle is like the Feds' saying that if you drive your own car, you can ONLY use the federal highway system 3 days per year. However, if you pay a taxi driver, you can access the highways 49 days per year. And, if you own a commercial truck, you can use the highways 365 days per year. Total and complete insanity.
It looks as though the Gulf Council/NMFS/EDF are encouraging OVERFISHING BY THE FOR-HIRE SECTOR, using fish taken from the private recs - isn't that illegal? Doesn't the Magnuson state that they must PREVENT overfishing, and certainly NOT encourage it? Doesn't the Magnuson state that they must provide fair and equitable access?
With all of their convoluted models and so-called scientific analyses, they need to explain how the for-hire boats are NOT going to overfish their allocation (anyone remember here that there is a poundage limit for the for-hire boats, not just season days?) Tom Ard - are you going to keep your customers' red snapper limit at the 3 fish per day average for the season?
This year's for-hire quota is 2,278,000 pounds of red snapper. Assuming that the for-hire quota is split 67% for charter boats and 33% for headboats, that equates to;
CFH - 1,526,260 pounds
HB - 751,740 POUNDS
There are over 1,200 federal reef fish permits out there - assuming that 10% are not being used, that equates to 1,080 permits.
1,526,260 pounds / 1,080 permits = 1,413 pounds per permit / 49 days = 29 pounds of red snapper per day per boat. 29 pounds / 10 pound average = 2.9 or 3 fish per day, per boat per day.
With all of their convoluted models and so-called scientific analyses, THAT is what the Gulf Council/NMFS/EDF has projected to happen this season?
3 red snapper per charter boat per day in a 49 day season?
THAT is what their "best available science" projects will happen
Did I mention that these professional captains average closer to 16-20 pounds per fish for their customers (not just 10 pounds)?
Did I mention that these overfishing numbers are even worse for the headboats?
How are they going to enforce that 3 fish per boat average when the charter captains will be putting their customers on probably 4 TIMES that amount (2 fish per person for 6 people)? Did I mention that the Alabama / Florida panhandle boats run 2-3 trips per day, putting their customers on 8 to 12 TIMES that amount?
It looks as though the Gulf Council/NMFS/EDF are willing to cast a blind eye to the VERY probable (as in 100%) chance that the for-hire boats will be egregiously OVERFISHING their quota in order to sell the concept of Sector Separation. In addition, the paltry 3 days private rec season is also designed to sell the idea that they need to go to Catch Shares for the private recs (fish tags). Look for that soon enough.
And remember, this has never been just about red snapper - greater amberjack, triggerfish, gag grouper, and red grouper are next up to be privatized for the exclusive use of the for-hire sector via AMs 41 and 42.
Next in line are cobia, dorado, wahoo, and tuna.
It's time to expose these people for what they are; corrupt, greedy, and dishonest bureaucrats that need to be fired and sent to prison.
But I would use a different analogy.
At least a commercial truck pays out the nose thru a myriad of taxes, fees and other charges to use the road. Comm. Fishermen pay what?? Other than political contributions , nothing!
My question is when did we fall under a monarchy?
The king grants me, a free man, to take MY boat onto the sea to catch for my self a couple of fish a couple of times a month for my own consumption, not to sell or catch a box full but for myself.
Now only 3 days a year!
This is one of many reasons we revolted.
It ain't the commercial folks fault, they were backed into a corner and worked with what hand they were dealt.
Did they work it to their advantage? Sure.. Take a pounding from the feds and the sporties for years and get a chance to better yourself?
3 days? Y'all knew the feds would count the state seasons against you, don't act so surprised..
Ole Mustang here is sitting pretty and still *****ing all the while screwing over the rest of the west coast of Fl with his 78 day state water season..
Talk about Brer Rabbit and the briar patch, mustang got it down pat.. lol
PS, if you don't get Brer Rabbit and the briar patch, just move back north.
Man, I love your simple math. How many boats in FL with reef fish permits have no real access to red snapper?
I just pulled the permit page from NMFS SERO; obviously the majority are from FL (over 700), AL (over 300), TX (over 200). I cut out all but FL, then started sorting for panhandle homeports. Folks on the peninsula, and especially in south FL and the Keys, can't access red snapper, for the most part - but they can sure target grouper etc. I wound up with about 250 boats in FL that can fish for red snapper on a normal charter trip - a reduction of more than 500 boats of all FL permits. Which reduces your estimated 1080 boats fishing for red snapper by half.
How many boats permitted in other states may or may not actually be used to fish for red snapper? I know the AL guys say a bunch of boats have permits, but no history whatsoever.
I suggest you re-estimate your 10% non-usage. But then again, you're not really into actually using data and analyzing it in any effort; just overall simple math and alternative facts.
Besides that........ you made your own argument.... the for-hire fleet didn't hit its catch target the last two years. They didn't make it. Private recs and bad reporting (and bad state reporting) by private recs led to private overages. I'm sure you've seen that NFMS is getting ready to accept LA Creel reporting because its accurate with NMFS numbers. And AL is working to get their reporting up to snuff; they missed a bunch of people the way they did theirs, as I understand it (i.e. voluntary reporting).
all Fl. has a 78 day state water season..
There are no ARS in state waters of PC?
I think you fibbin, or trippin.
Just because we can go out a couple of miles and catch what we want why should we be lumped into the rest of the state ?
While the rest of the state was building theme parks and retirement villages we were building reefs and trying to preserve the bays and estuaries.
There was lots and lots of cash only, under the table commercial fishermen before the IFQ went into effect and since they were screwing the government out of all that tax money they got them back. Same thing happen around here after BP, everyone had their hand out and they said fine show me how much money you make. It left a lot of people out.
I don't know Jeffery - why don't you tell us how many boats fish for red snapper in Florida? Where is the data that parses out which permits catch only grouper and no red snapper? How many latent permits are there? It's ridiculous that this information is not crystal clear to us or the regulators. You have no clue.
You claim the for-hire fleet underfished its quota the last 2 years - right. There is no mechanism in place to make that call. Sorry.
The problem here is our federal fisheries managers colluding with commercial/enviro interests to steal our fish via Sector Separation / Catch Shares.
The Gulf Council/NMFS are required by law (Magnuson-Stevens Act) to follow the National Standards when formulating our fisheries management plans. It seems that they have ignored many of the National Standards when they formulated the 49 day for-hire and 3 day private rec red snapper season for 2017.
Let’s look at a few of the National Standards;
1) Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.
2) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.
4) Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different states. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (a) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (b) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (c) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privilege.
10) Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea.
Let’s make an attempt at making some reasonable calculations here;
There are over 1,200 federally permitted reef fish charter boats in the Gulf. The exact number of how many are active is (for some reason) unknown, but I believe it is reasonable to estimate the number to be around 1,080 permits.
I believe it is reasonable to estimate that these professional captains can put their customers on larger than average red snapper and believe (conservatively) that they put their clients on 10-15 pound fish (average 12.5 pounds).
Most charter boats are “six packs” and there are many boats classified as charter boats that carry as many people as headboats, so I believe it is reasonable to estimate that the number of fishermen that the charter boats carry on average is 6.
How many red snapper will the land? I think it is reasonable to assume, considering the abundance of red snapper out there, that these professional captains will have no problem whatsoever putting their customers on 2 fish limits each.
How many days can they fish during their 49 day season? I would say it would be unreasonable to say that they could fish all 49 days due to inclement weather, although I’m pretty sure there will be charters fishing all 49 days. I believe it is reasonable to estimate that they will be able to fish 40 out of the 49 days - they have to make hay while the sun shines.
So, let’s make some reasonable calculations (as required by Magnuson) based on the best scientific information available;
1080 boat x 40 days = 43,200 trips x 12 snapper/trip = 518,400 fish x 12.5 pounds = 6,480,000 pounds.
Let me repeat: 6,480,000 pounds.
Jeffery - cut the permits in half, and the charter boats alone are still overfishing the entire for-hire quota by over 1 million pounds.
The above figures do NOT include the landings for the Gulf headboats which are also part of the for-hire sector, which further exacerbates the egregious overfishing probability inherent in the for-hire 49 day red snapper season this year.
Considering that the ENTIRE for-hire quota is 2,278,000 pounds, I would say it would reasonable to say that there is a very distinct (as in 100%) chance that the 49 day season does NOT prevent overfishing, does NOT promote conservation, is NOT based on the best scientific information available, is NOT fair and equitable, but DOES give particular individuals, corporations, or other entities an excessive share of the fish.
I believe it is therefore reasonable to assert, based on the reasonable calculations above, that the NMFS/EDF/Gulf Council are negligent in their duties and are in fact violating the law here and should be held accountable. And they claim we are unaccountable - what a joke.
3-5lb fish will be more the norm here.
Have you actually put a line to the bottom in 120 feet of water off west central Florida in the past 5 years? I have and I can assure you that there are plenty 10 lb ARS to be caught without going to 200 feet. The 3-5 lb fish are now common inside 80 feet.
I you need more proof I will be happy to take you fishing. I will buy the gas you bring the nattie lites.............
Plenty of 2-5lb fish in 50' here but that's still 35 or so miles off Crystal River 1A.
Yeah, the guys in Naples sure can't reach them either, nor can all the Keys boats (although there are apparently some in S. Atl. waters way out by the Tortugas).
btw Tom, I'd guess the vast majority of FL permits I culled were from south of Tampa Bay, including the Keys. But, A#1 is right; its a long way off NW peninsular FL too. Point being, your 1080 is way high for an estimate, based on boats permitted outside the area red snapper can be reached in a 4hr or 6 hr or even 10 hr trip, plus as you note, there are inactive permits. And I'll also suggest that ON AVERAGE, they don't land 12 lb snapper; size is dependent on location; they are, ON AVERAGE, smaller off the panhandle than off LA, for example.
And actually, the charter survey is a much more accurate survey than MRIP. Its 20% of all boats reporting on a cyclic basis. Oh, and headboats are included in a for-hire permit count; there isn't a "headboat permit".
I suggest you read the 2017 season document to see how it matches with your numbers:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/red_snapper/documents/pdfs/gulf_red_snapper_rec_season_2017.pdf Pay especial attention to Figures 3-7 for mean weights, remembering that most fish (and poundage) are caught in the eastern Gulf.
It's amusing that you refer NOAA numbers to justify your stance. It's kinda like when Jane Lubchenco claimed "scientific evidence is compelling that catch shares can also restore the health of ecosystems and put fisheries on the path to profitability and sustainability." The sole reference, however, was a non-peer reviewed policy paper by EDF.
If you insist on using NOAA's numbers, then please explain how THEIR numbers for state water landed red snapper averaged 26% for the last several years, but is now 81%. How is that possible? (Answer: it's not possible but was needed to make their numbers work to justify the ridiculous 3 day season).
One interesting fact is that there are over 1,200 federal reef fish permits - that is 1,200 possible permissions to access the red snapper resource each day of the for-hire season.
* Please cite the source for the specific number of inactive permits.
* Please cite the source for permits that don't fish for red snapper and just fish for grouper or other reef fish.
* Please cite the source for the number of permits leased out between fishermen so that they CAN fish for red snapper.
* Please cite the source for the number of charter boats that can make 2-3 charter trips per day in the Gulf.
If there are 200 charter boats in Alabama/Florida panhandle that can make 2-3 trips per day, that's 400 to 600 trips per day - not 200.
There is an unregulated market on leasing of permits between fishermen - nobody really knows how many permits are leased.
If permits are inactive, then why doesn't our federal fisheries management know this exact number?
Fact is, they rely on vague, inaccurate information in order to be able to manipulate the numbers at will. Fact is, the 49 day red snapper for-hire season encourages overfishing by the for-hire sector, while the 3 day private rec season encourages dangerous derby conditions.
I don't believe the data derived from the upcoming CFH elb program will be made public due to "proprietary" concerns, correct?
How many boats in OB make multiple trips/day Capt. Ard?
That was one of the reasons for IFQ's on the commercial side.:applause
Art, I don't really have a problem with commercial IFQs - they just need to pay the nation for the privilege like any other industry that profits from the harvest of OUR Public Trust Resources. They also need to pare down their % of allocation to 4.65 mp.
Going to have to change all that in Congress Tom. Head to DC
Tom, I see your point, more fishing allowed on higher biomass; but I doubt you could sell it east of the river.
You are correct, you will never sell state management based off biomass to the state of Florida. They need about %65 of the fish to stay where they are now but will get about %15. Will never fly, you guys remember that when State management and the Graves act gets thrown around like its going to save the world.
I don't see where the argument could be made that they should be allowed to overfish their ecosystem at all, even if that is being subsidized by LA/TX anglers.
Each state has unique situations: AL has their great artificial reefing system, LA has the large majority of oil platforms, TX has oil platforms, artificial reefs, and lots of natural snapper habitat, FL has lots of natural habitat, etc.
Give the states fisheries managers the authority to manage ALL fisheries (both rec and comm) for the best return for their state based on what that state's ecosystem/effort will support sustainably. I don't understand how you can endorse an argument saying otherwise.
Most red snapper fishing is done in western Gulf by IFQ shareholders from eastern Gulf. Current system is biased against western Gulf rec fishermen.
Lastly, the NMFS/EDF/Gulf Council say we caught 81% of our snapper from state waters - increased from an average of 26% over the last several years to 81% due to MS/LA/AL extending their state boundaries to 9 miles. TX/FL have ALWAYS had 9 mile boundaries so are being unfairly punished due to actions by LA/Ms/AL.
There are over 1,200 charter Reef fish permits in the Gulf and hundreds of boats out of AL/FL panhandle take 2-3 trips per day.
What in-season mechanisms are in place to ensure they don't overfish their quota?
A lot of charters here are switching over to big center consoles from the older slower inboards, thus able to run more trips. But there are more cancellations on rough days.
I'm my opinion being able to do reliable catch surveys would be like herding cats.