Now yellowtail snapper.

Got some bad news today from a good friend of mine that fishes Yellowtail commercially out of Tarvernier.



NOAA Fisheries Announces Closure Dates for the Commercial Harvest of the Deepwater Complex,the Porgy Complex, Gray Triggerfish, and Yellowtail Snapper in the South Atlantic
NOAA Fisheries Announces Closure Dates for the Commercial Harvest of the Deepwater Complex,
the Porgy Complex, Gray Triggerfish,
and Yellowtail Snapper in the South Atlantic

The commercial harvest of the deepwater complex and the porgy complex will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) September 8, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2013. The commercial harvest of gray triggerfish and yellowtail snapper will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) September 11, 2012, through 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2013. Updated landings data indicate that commercial harvest of these species and species complexes will likely meet the respective annual catch limits established by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council-approved Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan by these dates. As a result, commercial harvest will be closed in federal waters of the South Atlantic.
*
Complex Species
Deepwater Yellowedge grouper,
blueline tilefish, silk snapper,
misty grouper, queen snapper,
sand tilefish, black snapper,
blackfin snapper
Gray triggerfish Gray triggerfish
Porgy Jolthead, knobbed, saucereye, whitebone, scup
Yellowtail snapper Yellowtail snapper
Table 1. Snapper-Grouper species in the South Atlantic which will close to commercial harvest.

The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and that is landing deepwater complex species and/or porgy complex species for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such fish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 8, 2012. The operator of a vessel that has been issued a federal commercial permit for snapper-grouper and that is landing gray triggerfish and/or yellowtail snapper for sale must have landed and bartered, traded, or sold such fish prior to 12:01 a.m., local time, September 11, 2012.

During the closure, all harvest and possession of the deepwater complex species, gray triggerfish, porgy complex species, and yellowtail snapper in or from closed federal waters of the South Atlantic is subject to the applicable bag and possession limits, and the sale or purchase of fish taken from closed federal waters is prohibited. For a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in state and federal waters.

Replies

  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,737 Captain
    I've never heard of yellowtail being closed before. Is this unprecedented?

    Damned near every restaurant in the keys serves YT. Guess there's going to be a lot of Talapia sandwiches showing up.
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,272 Officer
    "Don't you know that yellowtail populations are threatened from overfishing?" What a travesty of justice! What an abuse of power! What a joke! unless you happen to be among the few honest, hardworkimg fisherman who just paid 40k just for a permit to fish for them not to mention all the other business investments they have struggled their whole lives for. The only result of this ruling will be putting Americans out of work, while stimulaing foreign economies , in order to deliver crap to the table.
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
    That's only the commercial sector right?
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  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Captain
    abovebored wrote: »
    "Don't you know that yellowtail populations are threatened from overfishing?" What a travesty of justice! What an abuse of power! What a joke! unless you happen to be among the few honest, hardworkimg fisherman who just paid 40k just for a permit to fish for them not to mention all the other business investments they have struggled their whole lives for. The only result of this ruling will be putting Americans out of work, while stimulaing foreign economies , in order to deliver crap to the table.

    Before everyone gets all bent out of shape, let me provide a little background.

    This is the first time that there has been an ACL (Annual Catch Limit) assigned to Yellowtails. When the ACL was set, it was set higher than the historical catches.

    Something has changed in the fishery that isn't real clear, yet.

    The amount of YT taken (Commercially) is higher right now than the typical annual catch. That trend points to a couple of potential reasons that are being looked into.

    1. Effort shift... More people commercially fishing for YT than normal, could be based on the Mackerel fishermen moving more into YT. Lobster fishermen, that would normally be focusing on the Lobster fishery, that are still spending time in the YT fishery.

    2. Reporting Error... More being reported than were actually taken.

    Personally, I think it has more to do with Effort Shift.

    Considering that this is the first year for an ACL in this fishery, they (SAFMC) may need to do some "tweaking". In the Comp ACL Amendment, the YT catch is shared as a common stock between SA and Gulf. The SA has already reached 87% of it's quota (Gulf is at 55%) and is nearing a level (ACT, Annual Catch Target) to trigger the closure to prevent overfishing. The ACT closes the fishery to give all stations a chance to complete fishing and file catch reports prior to exceeding the quota.

    If the quota is exceeded, the following fishing year faces Accountability Measures (AM) that could reduce the next years quota, as well as give certain enviro groups a chance to say we are "overfishing".

    The stock assessment for YTs was strong and no one thinks they are being overfished. Actions are alrady being taken to implement emergency changes to the ACL to keep the fishery open.

    Keep in mind, that when the initial ACL was set, it was set at the highest recommended level by the Science Committee and at a level not achieved in the past. Hence no reason to ever suspect that it would have a "in-season" closure....ever.

    So you can put your torches and pitchforks back in the barn for now...at least on this issue.

    Personally.... I'm more interested in what is causing the sudden shift in effort. Perhaps there are a bunch of new guys that "paid 40K for a permit". I don't really think that's the case though. While there are a bunch of dedicated Comm YT boats out there, the majority (that I know of) are dual purpose vessels that shift between Lobster/Stone Crabs/Yellowtail/Mackerel.

    As I understand it, the Lobster season is off to a rough start and we may just be seeing the boats that would normally be focused on them back in the YT fishery. I also have been told that the Lobster guys took a pretty big hit as Isaac passed by, and lost between 40-60% of their traps. That doesn't mean they are out there on the bottom somewhere (some are), it also means that the traps were recovered but are just no longer usable.

    The SAFMC and NMFS are already looking into ways to reopen the fishery by Emergency measures.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,737 Captain
    Rob, thanks for the well thought out explanation. Like it or not, your the "expert" on which a lot of us rely. :hail
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,272 Officer
    I guess we can look forward to the commercial mackerel fishery closing early now too because of all the displaced snapper fisherman who are going to fish for the only thing left.
  • GT FishGT Fish Posts: 9,448 Officer
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  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,272 Officer
    GT Fish wrote: »
    That's only the commercial sector right?[/QUOTE Yes, for now, but with the new NOAA scheme, they establish annual total catch qoutas for the recreational sector also, with the ability to impose closures if exceded. How they can pretend to get an accurate count is one of the main problems with this. At least in the commercial sector the poundage is strictly accounted for. In the case of yellowtail, most would agree there is currently a healthy stock.
  • HooganHoogan Posts: 544 Officer
    Rob,

    The closure is 11 days short of 4 months!
    That has to be of great impact to many, and that fishery is not even in danger.
    Like I said " now the yellowtails" ... hope there's no " next" specially for the sport fishing industry.

    Thanks for your explanation nevertheless, glad we have you Rob.

    Art.
  • urbanRenewalurbanRenewal Posts: 395 Officer
    "For a vessel for which a valid federal commercial or charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, bag and possession limits, and the prohibition on sale or purchase, apply in state and federal waters."

    Just be sure, does this say that charter boats can still fish for YT adhering to current possession limits?

    Tom
    Capt. Tom Urban, "urbanRenewal", Cudjoe Key, FL www.LooeKeyReefAdventures.com
  • N2naclh20N2naclh20 Posts: 282 Deckhand
    Regarding the loss of lobster traps, why weren't the traps pulled prior to the storm?

    It is getting virtually impossible for individual commercial fishermen to survive.
    There is no greater passion than that of a fisherman.
    Avatar photo: Grandparents and my Dad at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter 1923.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Captain
    Just be sure, does this say that charter boats can still fish for YT adhering to current possession limits?

    Tom...Yes, Charterboats can still catch/keep YTs as they fish under Recreational Rules.

    Abovebored... It is estimated that the shift to the YT fishery could have come from Kingfishermen not willing to make the long run from the dock to go catch Kings. Instead, they stayed closer to home and fished the snapper fishery. Kings are about to come under fire in the Commercial Sector, so if you have an interest there, you might want to start brushing up on current regs and proposed changes in that fishery.

    There are also Recreational ACLs in the various fisheries, including YT snapper. The Rec Sector gets to be a bit more difficult to track do to MRFSS (now MRIP). Since this is the first time having a ACL in the YT fishery (Rec or Comm), all I can say is that the over ACL was looked at and placed high enough that it was felt it could not be achieved without a major shift in effort.

    Rich... :beer Let me know when you're back down this way.

    N2... I can't tell you why they didn't pull them. As I've been told, the guys up near Key Largo, Isla, and Marathon got hit harder than the Lower Keys guys.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • gatormonroegatormonroe Posts: 198 Deckhand
    I asked the same question about the traps. A friend of mine said he thought it took as long as three weeks to get them all in the water. With maybe a four-day heads up on the storm that leaves a ton of traps in the water. several weeks ago at one of the bridges near Long Key it looked like you could walk across the water using trap buoys. Yesterday it looked like maybe 20% of them were still there.

    As far as yellowtail limits are concerned if there is any science that says the limit is placed at a level where the fishery is not completely sustainable then by all means keep the take below that level. It would be nice to see some reaction in the regulation of a fishery before a complete collapse. However, if that's not the case hopefully they'll work through it and get the quota set at the correct number.
  • hodgie2411hodgie2411 Posts: 244 Deckhand
    I am sure this is a dumb question, will this also eliminate the commercial harvest of Yellow Tail snapper within in State waters for those who have a Florida Restricted Species. I just attempted to see what the commercial harvest limit for YT's via the FWC website and the entire Commercial bag limits section is down for re-evaluation?
    I am not even sure what the bag limit was so I really don't know if this is even a consideration. My family and I have very close friends that are retired in the Keys and this will devastate there already limited income.
  • Fish TailsFish Tails Posts: 164 Deckhand
    Rumor has it that this decision was postponed. Is this true?
  • 2fastlx2fastlx Posts: 407 Deckhand
    I heard that too. Something about their calculations were wrong. What a surprise:rolleyes
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,272 Officer
    hodgie2411 wrote: »
    I am sure this is a dumb question, will this also eliminate the commercial harvest of Yellow Tail snapper within in State waters for those who have a Florida Restricted Species. I just attempted to see what the commercial harvest limit for YT's via the FWC website and the entire Commercial bag limits section is down for re-evaluation?
    I am not even sure what the bag limit was so I really don't know if this is even a consideration. My family and I have very close friends that are retired in the Keys and this will devastate there already limited income.

    State waters is still open to commercial harvest of YT, however it is required to possess a south atlantic federal snapper/grouper permit to do so, not just a state restricted species endorsement.
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,272 Officer
    2fastlx wrote: »
    I heard that too. Something about their calculations were wrong. What a surprise:rolleyes

    It will definately start on 9/11 (what a date for them to pick). But if "new data" contradicts this closure, it could reopen before the scheduled Jan 1.
  • lwrenlwren Posts: 142 Officer
    I never like any closure at all. My crystal ball see a concept called catch shares. This will hurt a lot of locals that I know. Again how about a reduction in poundage instead of a total closure? I
    Thanks Larry
    First Choice Islamorada Fishing Charters
    305-360-4900
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  • This was reversed by NOAA on Sept 10th. No closure
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