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LonglinesComing to Florida Straits

Well I just got the call I did not want to get.

Margo at HMS has let the fox into the hen house and has approved the Exempt Fishery Permit to let a nearly unlimited group of longlines back into the closed zone of the coast of Florida North of Stuart.

Sorry you East Coast guys, probably will see a significant decline it tuna, dolphin, marlin, swords, etc

This is clearly opening the zone as it is a three year permit.

Thank you Margo Schulze-Haugen at HMS for giving in to commercial interests.

This is what happens when we don't pay attention

Tell her what you think at [email protected]


  • hunterjwhunterjw Posts: 463 Deckhand

    pre-written letter to voice opposition.
    "He who hoots with the owls at night will not soar with the eagles at dawn"

  • This proposal was clearly voted against by the HMS panel, but Margo, Scott Taylor of Day Boast LLC and Dave Kerstetter, (the worst fishery researcher on the planet) met privately with Margo, cut some kind of inside deal and now we have 6-12 boats fishing in the closed zone under the BS of research.

    This isn't research, the "scientist" is paid by the longline company so he will train the crew as observers and call it fake science.

    This guy Dave Kerstetter has produced some of the worst research anyone has ever submitted.

    This guy is a joke and the "science" is BS!
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,595 Captain
    Best "science" money can buy! Enviros/commercials use their foundation $$ to fund bogus "science" to bolster their agenda.
  • surfmansurfman Posts: 6,017 Admiral
    There's no corruption, nothing to see here, move along.....
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 2,010 Captain
    surfman wrote: »
    There's no corruption, nothing to see here, move along.....

    I have a nice piece of bottom land I have been holding onto but I think it might be time to let it go. It`s about 40 miles west of Clearwater. Are you interested?
  • From discussions I have had over the last week, and while a pack of longline boats are already fishing in the closed zone, this isn't over yet.

    Remember, you can't have the fox guarding the hen house and Dave Kerstetter has done nothing much but research FOR the PLL fleet.

    Some heavy hitters are on this and a meeting was held with Dept of Commerce last week that may put the Scott and Dave show to bed for good!

    I hear FS is doing an article and I am doing one for Florida Sportfishing.

    So the three musketeers may have a short lived fishing trip! (third party of this group used to post here)
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 2,010 Captain
  • Interesting now that we have a copy of the EFP we find out only a small percentage of the sets have an observer on board. So in other words, Dave Kerstetter of NSU is dumb as a rock to sanction this with his stamp of "research", and now we find he let Day boats off for very few dollars and will sanction Captains and Crew recording their catch.

    Now if thats not the Fox guarding the hen house, what is, in other words, Margo Schulze-Haugen doesn't think we need observer anymore.

    Honestly, the kind of research Dave does, observers aren't necessary since he doesn't report anything anyway.

    This guy is a frgging Joke of a "scientist"

    I promise you this fight is far from over. FWC will have alot to say at the next HMS meeting(which is also a joke of an organization, HMS AP does nothing!)

    In other words, HMS is a waste of time as they will do whatever they want regardless of the comments. Comments are to meet a regulatory requirement and they mean nothing.

    Its time for Margo and HMS to go as they have outlive their usefulness!

    Write Dept of Commerce and NOAA and tell them Margo needs to be put out to pasture!
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,736 Captain
    So, Dave Kerstetter hOlds the permit and works at Nova Southeastern in the marine biology department with Guy Harveys name on it. GH is an outspoken conservationist. Where is he on this?
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 3,536 Captain
    So, Dave Kerstetter hOlds the permit and works at Nova Southeastern in the marine biology department with Guy Harveys name on it. GH is an outspoken conservationist. Where is he on this?

    Guy Harvey is making money. He doesn't care. Need to get this to all the marlin and other organizations Harvey "works" with to make sure his fame only grows.
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 15,346 AG
    I agree. Guy Harvey is the Al Gore of fishing.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Ok great news for the East Coast guys!

    Those longlines can fish as shallow as 400' of water!!!! at least in the Canaveral and a bit South of there.

    Bycatch will be sails, Dolphin, Tuna, Marlin, and heck if the current is slow they may catch a few tiles! LOL!!

    This isn't over yet for sure, mark my word, this one will be cut short. Its made its way to the White House and past Dept of Commerce!

    FWC will be in DC for the AP meeting and they will give HMS a word from the Governor and Head of FWC.

    This is a farce to call it research, only a fraction of the sets will be observed with independent observers as they call them, But trust me nothing about Dave Kerstetters research is independent! He was put thru grad school by the longliine industry!
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 2,010 Captain
    This Kerstetter sounds like a real dill-bag of a scientist. Doesn`t say much for the University and their Board...........
  • Last time we endured this, while over a thousand set were planned and Dave justified that many as being required for statistical accuracy, only 186 were made. When asked by SAFMC if this was accurate and acceptable research they answer in the positive.

    OK so if 186 is good, why isn't 600 a year for three years just fishing for profit at the expense of a billion dollar sportfishing economic impact??? So we let Day Boats catch a few hundred thousand dollars of fish and risk our sportfishing for BS science??? How does that make sense??

    The permit recoginzes the possible negative impact to Dusky Sharks, so if any one boat has more that three dead Dsuky's do they stop fishing, NO they have to scale back soak time to 10 hours. What does that mean?? it meas they time the last hook set to the first hook pulled at 10 hours. Of course with that, depending on set time and haul back time, it is unlimited if they set slow and haul slow, so it means nothing.

    Also remember that only a fraction of sets are required to have an observer, BUT all dead sharks must be biologically sampled by a trained biologist. But wait only a fraction have a biologist on board! Oh and all live sharks must have a fin clip taken?? OK by who the crew??

    This is such a frigging joke, it is unbelievable that NMFS and HMS would allow it! Oh but remember the AP has no say, NMFS and HMS only holds AP meetings to meet a regulatory requirement and Day Boats gets private meetings with Margo to cut the real deal behind closed doors.

    Trust me you can see the sparkle in Margo eyes when she talks to Scott from Day boats. They think he is the creates thing since PLL was invented! Not only does this has to stop to protect our valuable resource, but Margo and Head of NMFS must be replaced.

    You all do realize that almost none of HMS has even seen a live sword, shark, tuna, marlin or sail!

    Its time to drain the SWAMP, and we need to start with HMS who has devastated the commercial and recreational HMS fisheries for years.

    Sam Rauch and Margo Sulze-Haugen have to go!
  • While there are a bunch of great researchers at NSU especially in the coral reef fields, I can tell you one thing, The good ones sit in the Guy Haarvey Oceanographic Bldg,

    I will try to find a link to Dave's last research in the closed zone so you can see it says nothing.

    Oh but remember one thing, 3-4 dead juveniles for every legal swordfish!
  • waldnerrwaldnerr Posts: 1,040 Officer
    Here's some good news:

    NOVA Halts Longline Research
    Press Release Courtesy: The Billfish Foundation | September 27, 2017

    The Billfish Foundation (TBF) respects the wisdom of Dr. George L. Hanbury, II, President of NOVA Southeastern University for the decision to no longer continue the federally permitted pelagic longline research now underway inside Florida's east coast closed zone.

    TBF recently brought to the attention of Dr. Hanbury threats the longline closed zone research could have on the university's fine reputation in the area of science and community relations (see TBF’s letter to Dr. Hanbury at The university has received high acclaim from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a High Research and Community Engagement University, recognition given to only 37 universities.

    Yesterday TBF's president Ellen Peel received a message from Dr. Richard Dodge, a highly respected scientist at NOVA, stating that the university will not continue the longline research in Florida’s east coast closed zone. Peel says "her respect for the university and its president is reinforced with this decision; Dr. Hanbury continues to adhere to high standards in science and community relations.”
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,809 AG
    That is awesome news.
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 15,346 AG

    I am not anti-commercial but I want to see it done the right way, in the right places and at the right time with the right methods.
    No smoke and mirrors.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Ellen and I spoke first thing this morning. Right now, since the Exempt Fishery Permit was issued to Kerstetter and Nova, it looks like this thing is done for now.

    Kudos to both Nova and Billfish Foundation and especially Ellen Peele. If you want to thank her, renew your TBF membership. Oh and there are plenty of projects at NOVA that you can donate to and help especially in the coral science field.

    So without a university and/or approved researcher, it looks like Day Boat won't be fishing any time soon. That is not to say HMS will not find another way to put Day Boats out there, but it looks like it would have to be an entire new application for an EFP.

    And I CAN assure you that people very high up are watching this to make sure HMS doesn't find a way to back door us again!

    Thanks again Ellen for bringing this to the eyes of the right people at NSU and thanks to NSU for recognizing there action was the right thing to do. That is one classy University if you ask me!
  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 2,010 Captain
    Good News. Glad to hear it!
  • You guys want to thank Ellen and TBF???

    Renew your membership to The Billfish Foundation!

    TBF is the only entity that worked in the direction that produced success.

    A lot of others worked hard, but TBF thinks outside of the box and found someone who would listen.

    Renew your member ship, but a hat or Tee shirt, do something to help keep this great resource available to us. TBF is great and Ellen works very hard for all of us!
  • pjepje Posts: 769 Officer
    I just received this email from CCA   

    Longliners target billfish in conservation zone, again
    Controversial exempted fishing permit benefiting a single company back from the dead

    Conservationists won a victory late last year when an exempted fishing permit to allow longline gear into a closed conservation zone was declared invalid after Nova Southeastern University insisted that its name be removed from the permit. The East Florida Coast Pelagic Longline Closed Area has been closed since 2001 after it was determined that longlines were killing too many juvenile billfish in this known nursery area. However, industrial harvsesters are again targeting the conservation zone with indiscriminate longline gear.

    The three-year permit application has been re-filed and the details are alarming:

    • Nova Southeastern University has been replaced as the affiliated institution on the permit by something called Florida Fisheries Solutions LLC, created in December 2017, by the same person who filed the permit. No other individuals are listed on the corporate paperwork.
    • The co-applicant on the permit is Day Boat Seafood Inc., which owns or is associated with all of the longline boats that would be authorized to fish in the conservation zone. Day Boat Seafood would be allowed to sell all the legal fish caught under this permit.
    • Other longline boats could be able to fish in the conservation zone if they are approved by Day Boat Seafood and Florida Fisheries Solutions and are willing to pay them a "fee to support the project." 
    • The permit proposes to make 22 times as many longline sets as that which was deemed necessary to be scientifically sufficient for a similar permit in 2008.
    • In this effort targeting a known nursery area, thousands of marlin, sailfish and swordfish are projected to be discarded dead over the term of the permit.

    Efforts are well underway to reform the federal law that makes it too easy to manipulate the exempted fishing permit process - the gaping loopholes in the EFP program that would allow a fleet of longliners into the East Coast Closed Zone must be eliminated - but until then, action must be taken now to turn back this attack on the conservation zone.

    Click HERE to send a message to your representatives on the South Atlantic Fishery Management and urge them to send a strong message back to NOAA by rejecting this permit. The public comment session for the upcoming South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting will be March 7 at 4:30 p.m., at the Westin Jekyll Island in Georgia, and will be the only opportunity conservationists in the region will have to voice their opposition.

    Industrial harvesters will go to any lengths to plunder the gains made in the conservation zones and it is up to concerned anglers like you to turn them back. Please make your voice heard today and make plans to attend the South Atlantic Council meeting in person, if possible. Coastal Conservation Association will be there to make the case but we need the support of our members to defend these conservation gains. Thank you.

    Click the link below to log in and send your message: 

  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,250 Officer
    Regardless of what you might hear, the average size of swordfish currently being caught off S. FL is very small, with most fish under 100 lbs whole weight.  This included daytime fish which are supposed to be bigger, or at least they were when the daytime fishery first started.  The average size of the fish we caught on longlines in the 70s was close to 200 lbs whole weight.  Big difference.  Allowing longlines to come in and fish at night is going to kill a huge number of small fish before they realize it's not viable.  I don't think we need any research to tell us that.  It's imperative that we point out the size issue, since the biggest concern over longlines is their threat to small fish.  It will be a slaughter like nothing we've seen yet.
  • Another attempt by one researcher who isn't very good, and a greedy fish house who thinks the closed zone was established for him to fish in.

    Bigger picture is Margo Shultze Haugen should be stripped Of her authority to even review a proposal like this. she absolutely has TO GO!
  • Very good news coming out of HMS these days.

    First, this new attempt by Dave Kerstetter and his new venture Florid Fishing Solutions, LLC. WILL NOT HAPPEN!

    HMS will be reviewing the entire EFP process and looking at other options on how closed zones should be studied.

    So, thankfully it seems the new business venture by Dave Kerstetter was a waste of his time.

    Looks like we won round 2!

    The new presentation on what HMS is looking at will take place at the HMS AP meeting

    This was my post in the other swordfish/longlines thread. A deal will be harder for Dave Kerstetter to get this time.

    But we must fix whats broke, we need to strip Margo of her authority to even issue these permits.

    Anyone that thinks this is research and no full scale fishing is a stupid as HMS division looks in this matter.

    Trust me I will take a lot of heat for my comments but its time to change HMS from a reactive and archaic lost entity to something that works and what we have now DOES NOT WORK!!!

    Oh, but if you are an NGO and you file suit, Margo and her bosses wake up and kiss butt. 

  • surfmansurfman Posts: 6,017 Admiral
    Besides a few commercial fishermen hitting the lotto on this, what exactly do the "researchers" expect to learn?
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,809 AG
    surfman said:
    Besides a few commercial fishermen hitting the lotto on this, what exactly do the "researchers" expect to learn?
    how much more money they can make by decimating a nursery 
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • pjepje Posts: 769 Officer
    Ron , have you heard anything from that meeting on March 7th ?
  • pjepje Posts: 769 Officer

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) considered over 600 written comments and heard public testimony last week, before voting to send a letter to NOAA Fisheries expressing their concerns on an Exempted Fishery Permit (EFP) request to conduct research and evaluate pelagic longline catch rates in a portion of an area off the east coast of Florida currently closed to longline fishing. The majority of the comments received, including those from recreational fishing organizations, were in opposition to the permit, citing concerns about discards of recreational and commercially important species, impacts to protected resources, increased landings of dolphin fish, and other concerns. The Council will submit its formal recommendations and a copy of all comments received on the Exempted Fishery Permit to NOAA Fisheries, the agency responsible for making the final decision on issuance of the permit.

    TBF submitted comments in opposition, as did its members. It is regrettable that the FMC did not specifically recommend against the EFP. Following last week’s meetings of the SAFMC and the NMFS Highly Migratory Species Advisory Council, no indication of a decision time frame has been announced by government officials.

    TBF will continue to follow this issue and report on any updates.

  • pjepje Posts: 769 Officer
    Just got this email today 

    April 17, 2018/in AdvocacyFeaturedNews

    The Billfish Foundation objects to the goal of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to revitalize the pelagic longline (PLL) fishery.  Instead, TBF is calling for options that continue to reduce marlin and bluefin bycatch in the PLL fishery, as well as options that revitalize the recreational billfish fishery.

    NMFS’ preferential treatment of the pelagic longline fishery comes at the expense of marlin, the recreational billfish fishery, and bluefin tuna. For one, aiming to reduce the regulatory burden on the PLL fishery while striving to reduce bycatch of Atlantic bluefin tuna are contradictory objectives. The severely overfished Atlantic bluefin tuna, along with white marlin and blue marlin, are in need of further reductions in fishing pressure from PLL gear, not increases.

    It seemed that the 2006 NMFS Consolidated HMS plan was created to provide a more comprehensive approach to these fish that interact with both commercial fishing gear and recreational gear. However, the options proposed in NMFS’ Scoping Document primarily focus on stimulating the U.S. PLL fishery, a fishery that is partly responsible for driving marlin and bluefin tuna to an overfished status. Revitalizing the U.S. pelagic longline fishery will be at the further expense of marlin and bluefin tuna.

    While one measure, the implementation of the required use of weak hooks by pelagic longline vessels in the Gulf of Mexico was for the benefit of bluefin tuna, it resulted in an increase of white marlin bycatch. And although a listing under the Endangered Species Act was decided to be unwarranted for white marlin in 2002, the report stated that unless the mortality of the species was reduced significantly and quickly, the species abundance could continue on a downward trend until an ESA listing was indeed warranted.

    Two measures were included in the Consolidated HMS plan that NMFS thought would benefit Atlantic marlin. One requires all anglers fishing in tournaments with a billfish category to use non-offset circle hooks when using natural bait. The other was the implementation of an agreed upon international landing cap of 250 marlin (blue and white combined) for the U.S. recreational billfish fishery. The agency summed up the inclusion of these two measures as “providing a balance between conserving living resources and maintaining a robust recreational fishery.” This declaration of robustness in the recreational fishery, when in fact Atlantic marlin were severely overfished, makes it clear that the agency’s goal will never be to reinvigorate the recreational billfish fishery.

    The current Scoping Document provides options that do not further fish conservation or stock recovery. For example, options directed at the Northeastern Pelagic Longline Closed Area (closed 1 month a year for a duration of 20 years), the Gulf of Mexico Gear Restricted Areas (prohibited for 1 month a year for a duration of 17 years), and the Cape Hatteras Gear Restricted Area (restricted 5 months a year for a duration of 17 years, with modifications to include vessel performance metrics) would benefit the pelagic longline fishery. Authorizing longline vessel access based on “performance metrics” would do little to keep fishing pressure reduced. Authorizing bycatch “triggers” without an observer on each vessel would likely contribute to high grading, whereby part of the catch is discarded in favor of more valuable fish. Mandatory observers on each vessel would be essential for triggers to be effective. Regardless, both approaches would increase interaction with marlin and bluefin tuna.

    At a minimum, the “No Action” option should be taken, maintaining current closures and restricted areas. Increasing “spatial and temporal parameters” to capture current interaction with bluefin and marlin would achieve greater conservation, as would expansion of the use of buoy gear in lieu of longline gear.

    To continue the recovery of Atlantic marlin and bluefin tuna stocks, further restrictions on the U.S. pelagic longline fishery are needed. A plan to reinvigorate the U.S. recreational billfish fishery could return greater conservation and economic benefits. The recreational fishery and associated marine industry contribute significantly to the U.S. economy and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs. Alternatively, if the pelagic longline fishery is the focus of NMFS’ reinvigoration plan, increased pressure from the gear will lead to declining stocks and losses in the industry and the economy.

    Submit your comments to NMFS in opposition of bolstering the U.S. pelagic longline fishery by May 1.

    For your convenience, below is a statement that may be used in the comments section. Simply copy and paste where the form says “Comment.”

    Dear NMFS,

    As an angler, I am opposed to plans to revitalize the U.S. Atlantic pelagic longline fishery. This goal comes at the expense of bluefin tuna, marlin, and the recreational fishing industry, which generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes billions to the economy. Many of the options put forth in the Scoping Document do not further fish conservation or stock recovery. 

    I ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to, instead of bolstering the fishery responsible for closures and gear restrictions, take action to bolster bluefin tuna and marlin fish stocks. At a minimum, the “no action” option should be taken to maintain current closures and restricted areas. Please consider management options that achieve the greatest conservation benefits for our national marine resources.

    Thank you,

    Your Name

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