SAFMC Meeting Notes from last week (Apr 18/19) in Charleston

Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
Just a few notes that I made at the meeting. Thought y'all might find them interesting and hopefully, helpful. :wink

SAFMC Snapper/Grouper AP Mtg 18/19 April 2012

Meeting started with a review of past items and actions taken by Council

Amendment 24 (Red Grouper)
-Still open for comment until April 30th. Looking to finalize by June 12th (Council meeting in Orlando 11-15 June)

Amendment 11 (Removal of 240’ Closure)
-Approved by Council in Sept 2011
-Still under review by SoC
-Awaiting measures to provide protection of Warsaw and Speckled Hind
oMPAs being looked at for South Atlantic

Regulatory Amendment 12 (Golden Tilefish)
-Approved by Council at March meeting
-Increased the ACL
-Approved a second start date for fishing year 2012
-Maintained Sector Allocation of 97% Commercial and 3% Recreational
oChanges to Allocation not discussed

Amendment 20A (Wreckfish ITQ)
-Still open for comment until April 30th. Looking to finalize at June mtg.

Introduction of Ms. Sara Drevenak from PEW.
-Unscheduled, AP Chair asked her to come up and tell us about herself and PEW.
-She gave some background on PEWs interest in fisheries. Not in-depth.
-I asked her about PEW and EDF connection with Catch Shares. She stated that there is none, at least not any longer, that she knows of. Since this was an impromptu introduction, she was in the audience, I didn’t press for any more than she offered as it was apparent to me that she might not be prepared to go on record with comments for PEW on the matter.

Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 3 (CE-BA3) (MPAs to protect Warsaw/Speckled Hind)
-Dr Chris Koenig (FSU) gave presentation on the “Shelf-Edge Reserves”
oMadison-Swanson MPA in Gulf
oVery good presentation, can address this separately.
IMHO, not sure how this will/can factor into South Atlantic shelf edges. Too many environmental differences between Gulf and SA.
Strongest current he faced was .5 kts.

-Roger Pugliese (SAFMC Staff) gave presentation on “Spatial Approach” for site selection
oMay 1st, SSC report due to Council for areas to be suggested
Noted by a SSC summary, they don’t really have any data.
No assessment on either stock.
No data
Looking for input from fishermen
oWe spent a good amount of time looking over some catch data and looking at charts that have catch data placed on them.
oAP had limited input based on limited data given for areas to be targeted as MPAs.

Election of New Chairman/Vice Chairman
-Capt Robert Johnson elected as Chair
-Jim Atak as Vice Chair

Amendment 18B/EA (Golden Tilefish)
-AP selected many of the Council Preferred Actions
-AP also voted and approved to use control date already established to move forward with for Longline Endorsements which would move the qualifying dates back to traditional fishermen in the fishery.
-By choosing later dates, many traditional fishermen would be removed from the fishery while benefitting longline boats that recently entered the fishery.

Several new motions were made during “New business”

1. I made motion to increase the Recreational Sector Allocation for Golden Tilefish to a 90/10 split between Comm and Rec (currently 97/3).
a. I based this upon the ACL being raised (about double) in Regulatory Amendment 12.
b. I feel that any changes to the allocation should be made before the second start date for the Commercial Sector.
c. By making the change now, the Commercial Sector is still gaining in ACL and would not be losing any that they already had with the increase.
d. Was approved at the AP level, with 3 “Opposed” votes.

2. Jim Atak made the motion to increase the Recreational Bag Limit and on Gag Grouper. After we discussed the motion and I pointed out that an increase in Gags wouldn’t help the SoFl anglers, the motion was amended to include Black Grouper in the increase.
a. Based on the years of the 4 month Grouper Closure in the SA, Gags have only been fished to 47% of the allocation. Red Grouper even less and Black Grouper barely 10%.
b. Motion was made to increase the bag to 4 Grouper and allowing 2 to be Black and/or Gag in the aggregate.
c. Approved at the AP level.

3. I moved to have Council Develop a Recreational Federal Snapper/Grouper Permit, like used for HMS.
a. I base this on the need to identify the anglers participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper fishery.
---Will assist in better data collection as it narrows the field on how many anglers are actually participating in the fishery.
b. Approved at the AP level.

4. Jim Atak moved to increase the minimum size limit on Triggerfish and Hog Snapper to 18”.
a. After discussion, this change was deemed too great and the motion modified to 14”
b. Approved at the AP level

5. Mark Marhefka moved to have VMS mandatory for all boats participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper Fishery (Comm and Rec)
a. Was discussed and voted on.
b. Motion passed (approved at AP level), with 3 “Opposed” votes

Meeting adjourned at/about 1:00 on Thursday
We also participated in the MPA public input meeting, starting at 6:00pm Wednesday night after the AP meeting.
www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.

Replies

  • ACME Ventures FishingACME Ventures Fishing Posts: 851 Officer
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    5. Mark Marhefka moved to have VMS mandatory for all boats participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper Fishery (Comm and Rec)
    a. Was discussed and voted on.
    b. Motion passed (approved at AP level), with 3 “Opposed” votes

    $$$$$

    How much will it cost to purchase and install my VMS unit?
    • The cost of purchasing a type-approved VMS unit and having the unit installed by a qualified marine electrician ranges from $3,495.00 (Boatracs and Faria units) to $3,800.00 (Thrane and Thrane unit).
    • Basic annual VMS communication service fees are $480.00 for the Thrane and Thrane unit, $540 for the Faria unit, and $660.00 for the Boatracs unit. These prices exclude email messaging fees.
  • touchngotouchngo Posts: 73 Deckhand
    the com sector has to do it, why not you? It can help with accountability. You should be scramblin' to put one on your vessel.
    $$$$$

    How much will it cost to purchase and install my VMS unit?
    • The cost of purchasing a type-approved VMS unit and having the unit installed by a qualified marine electrician ranges from $3,495.00 (Boatracs and Faria units) to $3,800.00 (Thrane and Thrane unit).
    • Basic annual VMS communication service fees are $480.00 for the Thrane and Thrane unit, $540 for the Faria unit, and $660.00 for the Boatracs unit. These prices exclude email messaging fees.
  • Offshore32234Offshore32234 Posts: 223 Officer
    Pure bs on the VMS requirement, $4,000 initial cost and then an average of $550 a year. Do you know who the three opposed votes were? The average com fishes prob 40-50 more times a year than the average rec, plus you are making money on your trips . I understand the fed permit to see how many participants there are in the fishery but DISAGREE with the VMS requirement.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Do you know who the three opposed votes were?

    Myself, Rodney (Media Rep) and a Charter guy (Robert).

    All Comms were "For".

    I wouldn't worry about the VMS for all. First, the system can't handle that load. Second, all Comms in SA will be required before all Recs/Charters.

    I would expect that in the not too far off you'll see a requirement for Comms to have it. Keep in mind that they also get money from NOAA to install the systems.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    touchngo wrote: »
    the com sector has to do it, why not you? It can help with accountability. You should be scramblin' to put one on your vessel.

    Please try and keep up with the subject. :rolleyes

    In the SA, the Comm Sector isn't required to have it yet except in a few fisheries (Shrimp draggers come to mind). And I've sat in the VMS enforcement briefs... Unless you put shoes on the deck, it doesn't account for anything except where a boat has been. Doesn't tell you anything about what it was doing while it was there.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Long GoneLong Gone Posts: 82 Deckhand
    Among others, I like your #3: "I moved to have Council Develop a Recreational Federal Snapper/Grouper Permit, like used for HMS."
    That is very much needed and will help recs immensely. The pie-in-the-sky rec effort estimates/guesses greatly over-state the rec effort which in turn leads to inaccurate data and inflates rec total catch estimates. If they truly want real rec reef fish effort data, this is a no brainer.
    Similar measures (grouper stamp) have been proposed forever in the Gulf, yet 100% random telephone calls are still regarded as the best available way to measure rec effort by data collectors and management officials.
    The HMS permits are cheap, quick, and easy, not to mention available to anyone who actually plans on fishing those species. People who would never fish those species (ie: "random") would therefore be excluded from the effort pool and the data would be far more "robust".
    Great to hear that the PEW is right there to vote against anything that might actually benefit the fishermen of the South Atlantic.
    Keep up the good work.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Long Gone wrote: »
    Great to hear that the PEW is right there to vote against anything that might actually benefit the fishermen of the South Atlantic.

    PEW Rep (Sarah) isn't on the AP. She was just there observing, and seems like a nice person.

    We have an EDF Rep (Gretchen) that holds a NGO seat on the AP.

    Believe it or not, this is not the first time the Recreational Permit has been brought to the table...just the first time that it passed. Hopefully the Council will listen to the AP on these issues and not just table them as a recommendation.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • touchngotouchngo Posts: 73 Deckhand
    I fish for a living in the gulf, I know a thing or two about the subject. Why not send an email when leaving the dock with info on how many anglers and what the target species are? The system could also in time, let anglers input what they caught. I certainly haven't heard of any other rec plan that would give us a clue as to what is really going on.
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    Please try and keep up with the subject. :rolleyes

    In the SA, the Comm Sector isn't required to have it yet except in a few fisheries (Shrimp draggers come to mind). And I've sat in the VMS enforcement briefs... Unless you put shoes on the deck, it doesn't account for anything except where a boat has been. Doesn't tell you anything about what it was doing while it was there.

    Rob
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    touchngo wrote: »
    I fish for a living in the gulf, I know a thing or two about the subject. Why not send an email when leaving the dock with info on how many anglers and what the target species are? The system could also in time, let anglers input what they caught. I certainly haven't heard of any other rec plan that would give us a clue as to what is really going on.

    It would seem that you are mixing apples and oranges on this subject.

    I've watched for years the way the Commercial Fishery in the Gulf has been bastardized, manipulated and taken over. So please don't try and use the Gulf Commercial Fishery as the example that all others should follow. The fact that you said that recs should be required to have VMS because the comms do tells me you may not know as much as you think you do about this subject. But I'm willing to share what little insight that I have with you as long as you don't try and take the SA down the same destructive path the the Gulf has gone.

    In case you are curious, this is the forth year we "recs" have tried to get this measure of a permitting system approved...and it finally passed. I assure you, it wasn't the Rec Sector that fought against it. And yes, I see this as a building block to getting some sort of solid numbers that hopefully we can finally get NOAA/NMFS to build on.

    I'm willing to bet that once we do get some hard facts about the recreational anglers, the numbers will be found even farther off base.

    At least now you know that when we, Recs, say that we want better science and numbers...we mean it. I'm thankful that we finally got the support that we needed. At least in the SA at the Snapper/Grouper AP level. I just hope that the Council takes the wishes of the AP to heart and acts on it.

    Over in the Gulf you can still be conveining your Ad Hoc Data team while we can be moving to secure a program that will provide better data. At least then I won't have all the so called Tarpon experts that converge on the Keys every Apr and May to drift baits under a bridge counting as Grouper/Snapper anglers. :wink

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • touchngotouchngo Posts: 73 Deckhand
    if you don't need ifq to manage your com fisheries in the SA, so be it. I've stated before that vms could be used in the rec fishery as a data gathering tool. I don't know what else will give us any solid data. I have heard all the talk from the rec sector in the gulf that they want solid data, but every time vms is mentioned, its against their constitutional rights. We disagree on the ifq plan in the gulf, I feel very strongly that it has saved the fishermen over here. We now have a much stronger position. The red grouper and snapper fisheries are as healthy as i've seen them. Ifq has helped manage these stocks, our price is at an all time high. Ifq is not for every fishery, but can work in some. I hope you get some solid rec data in the SA, maybe we can learn something and follow your example.
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    It would seem that you are mixing apples and oranges on this subject.

    I've watched for years the way the Commercial Fishery in the Gulf has been bastardized, manipulated and taken over. So please don't try and use the Gulf Commercial Fishery as the example that all others should follow. The fact that you said that recs should be required to have VMS because the comms do tells me you may not know as much as you think you do about this subject. But I'm willing to share what little insight that I have with you as long as you don't try and take the SA down the same destructive path the the Gulf has gone.

    In case you are curious, this is the forth year we "recs" have tried to get this measure of a permitting system approved...and it finally passed. I assure you, it wasn't the Rec Sector that fought against it. And yes, I see this as a building block to getting some sort of solid numbers that hopefully we can finally get NOAA/NMFS to build on.

    I'm willing to bet that once we do get some hard facts about the recreational anglers, the numbers will be found even farther off base.

    At least now you know that when we, Recs, say that we want better science and numbers...we mean it. I'm thankful that we finally got the support that we needed. At least in the SA at the Snapper/Grouper AP level. I just hope that the Council takes the wishes of the AP to heart and acts on it.

    Over in the Gulf you can still be conveining your Ad Hoc Data team while we can be moving to secure a program that will provide better data. At least then I won't have all the so called Tarpon experts that converge on the Keys every Apr and May to drift baits under a bridge counting as Grouper/Snapper anglers. :wink

    Rob
  • ACME Ventures FishingACME Ventures Fishing Posts: 851 Officer
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    3. I moved to have Council Develop a Recreational Federal Snapper/Grouper Permit, like used for HMS.
    a. I base this on the need to identify the anglers participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper fishery.
    ---Will assist in better data collection as it narrows the field on how many anglers are actually participating in the fishery.
    b. Approved at the AP level.

    Was this an unanimous vote? If not, who opposed? Just curious, Thanks.
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Was this an unanimous vote?

    In my notes, I just have "approved" written. Normally, if there's any voting against something I take note of the who/how many, so as I recall it was unanimous.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • CaptbronCaptbron Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    Will the grouper limit change in May?? Also was it discussed to keep current limits and not have a closed season? Seems like this would be a better option for charter boats since it would give them something to fish for that you can actually keep from Jan-May. When is the VMS nonsense coming into effect?
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Sarah is very nice and knows nothing about fisheries. Her backround is in media. It's a pretty sweet gig for her.

    I ain't putting no VMS on my boat. It is an unreasonable demand.

    And thanks for your hard work and dedication, Rob.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Tom HiltonTom Hilton Posts: 1,572 Captain
    touchngo wrote: »
    I fish for a living in the gulf, I know a thing or two about the subject. Why not send an email when leaving the dock with info on how many anglers and what the target species are? The system could also in time, let anglers input what they caught. I certainly haven't heard of any other rec plan that would give us a clue as to what is really going on.

    I presented the OFS Permit Plan to the Gulf Council a while back - it is patterned after the existing HMS Permit, as it is a boat permit - not individual angler permit.

    The idea is to use today's technology (cell phones and/or iPads) to to text or web hail out/hail in when the vessel goes fishing citing the # of of anglers onboard. The captain/owner of the vessel would be responsible for submitting the information, and the system could encompass ALL recreational anglers in the Gulf - private rec, CFH, and headboats. This information alone would almost real-time, documenting how many anglers are fishing out of what port on which day.

    If a LEO checks them while offshore and the captain has not hailed out, there would a severe penalty assessed to that vessel.

    BEFORE they land at a dock, the captain/owner would be required to hail in, this time with species numbers and species of fish caught. Cell signals can be acquired while well offshore in most cases, and certainly while coming in through the jetties. If a LEO checks them on the dock and they had not hailed in, there would be a severe penalty assessed. He could also check their catch and compare what he sees with what was reported - if it doesn't match, severe penalty.

    The idea is to provide a Plan that covers the entire recreational fishing universe - not just CFH and/or headboats - ALL recreational anglers on that day.

    No need for Sector Separation, Catch Shares, or IFQs.

    Clearly, there is no need to privatize our Public Trust Resource to get almost real-time, accurate data that is groundtruthable.

    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Captbron wrote: »
    Will the grouper limit change in May?? Also was it discussed to keep current limits and not have a closed season? Seems like this would be a better option for charter boats since it would give them something to fish for that you can actually keep from Jan-May. When is the VMS nonsense coming into effect?

    The proposed changes to the Grouper Reg is just a motion made by the AP. While it has the support of the AP, it will have to have the Council take the actions to make the changes. They won't see it, other than those who were present at the AP meeting, in an official format until their June meeting.

    I had thought of recommending (in a motion) to adjust the closed season (my preferred) by going to a 3 month closure vice 4 month based on the unused ACL in the Rec Sector. Based on the lack of current managment via reporting, I believe that if making a recomendation to do away with any of the closed months at this point would leave us unaccountable in actual catch data, leaving us open to overfishing the ACL.

    Obviously, the 4 month closure is what has led to the ACL being underfished by more than 50%. If you opened those months up, you would most likely find yourself overfishing the quota by more than 50%. Then you'd be faced with the "I told you so." proponents.

    I don't see the VMS issue coming into effect in my lifetime. :wink

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • Bam BamBam Bam Posts: 535 Officer
    This VMS and checking in is crap. So I take my boat out;, its "tracked" and I get asked "Did you catch and keep a red snapper?!!"
    "No officer, I was smuggling drugs and illegals into the country."
    "Okay then. Carry on. As long as you didnt bring back a fish."

    This is out of F'n control. I give it 3 years before recs cant keep a fish. 1 year if Bama gets re-elected. After the recs are gone and the commercials are smiling, catch shares at auction to the highest bidder. Then all the commercial guys will be stuck working for peanuts harvesting fish for the HUGE environmentalist fishery conglomerate run by and owned by the wackos we are fighting right now. They see fish as the most lucrative commodity they dont yet own. Much like carbon. They drool at seeing a single tuna sell for 300k. They dream of owning it all.

    Might sound like conspiracy theory but when you follow the money....The science has been bought for years and did you ever think fishing regs would be this harsh with no end in sight? Me neither.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,210 AG
    "Several new motions were made during “New business”

    1. I made motion to increase the Recreational Sector Allocation for Golden Tilefish to a 90/10 split between Comm and Rec (currently 97/3).
    a. I based this upon the ACL being raised (about double) in Regulatory Amendment 12.
    b. I feel that any changes to the allocation should be made before the second start date for the Commercial Sector.
    c. By making the change now, the Commercial Sector is still gaining in ACL and would not be losing any that they already had with the increase.
    d. Was approved at the AP level, with 3 “Opposed” votes.

    2. Jim Atak made the motion to increase the Recreational Bag Limit and on Gag Grouper. After we discussed the motion and I pointed out that an increase in Gags wouldn’t help the SoFl anglers, the motion was amended to include Black Grouper in the increase.
    a. Based on the years of the 4 month Grouper Closure in the SA, Gags have only been fished to 47% of the allocation. Red Grouper even less and Black Grouper barely 10%.
    b. Motion was made to increase the bag to 4 Grouper and allowing 2 to be Black and/or Gag in the aggregate.
    c. Approved at the AP level.

    3. I moved to have Council Develop a Recreational Federal Snapper/Grouper Permit, like used for HMS.
    a. I base this on the need to identify the anglers participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper fishery.
    ---Will assist in better data collection as it narrows the field on how many anglers are actually participating in the fishery.
    b. Approved at the AP level.

    4. Jim Atak moved to increase the minimum size limit on Triggerfish and Hog Snapper to 18”.
    a. After discussion, this change was deemed too great and the motion modified to 14”
    b. Approved at the AP level

    5. Mark Marhefka moved to have VMS mandatory for all boats participating in the Federal Snapper/Grouper Fishery (Comm and Rec)
    a. Was discussed and voted on.
    b. Motion passed (approved at AP level), with 3 “Opposed” votes

    Meeting adjourned at/about 1:00 on Thursday
    We also participated in the MPA public input meeting, starting at 6:00pm Wednesday night after the AP meeting. "


    All of these things sound good to me. Rob, Were you pleased with the results?

    Thanks for taking the time to post this....Mike
  • CaptBobBryantCaptBobBryant Posts: 5,716 Officer
    Mike you are okay with a private individual, pursuing a legal private endeavor to be required to have a monitoring device placed on his vessel?

    Really??????????????????

    And how or what pray tell will the monitoring device show....it does not relay when, where, or how long lines were in the water. It is nothing but an expensive and fancy ankle bracelet being placed on people who have done nothing wrong....

    Cay you say 4th Amendment?
    National Association of Recreational Anglers - Add Your Voice
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  • Got TA GoGot TA Go Posts: 2,608 Officer
    Tarponator wrote: »
    Rob, Were you pleased with the results?

    Thanks for taking the time to post this....Mike

    Mike...I happy with items 1, 2 and 3...Can live with Item 4, since I know that it will help increase the size of the Hogfish in the SoFl stocks making for a better quality fish that is taken. A 12" Hogfish isn't really worth the time to clean (IMHO).

    Item #5 (VMS)...Not so much so, but also not so concerned about it being pushed into the Rec Sector. I would have preferred seeing it as a Comm Only, since they want NOAA to mandate it so that NOAA pays for it. They (Comms) have already researched the availablility of funding through NOAA. I wouldn't have been bothered by it being mandatory for For-Hire either as long as it was tied to some sort of Electronic Reporting system.

    I find it a little troubling, that with all the potential positives that came out of the meeting, that most people are focusing on the VMS issue considering that it has the least possibility of passing. When you start to take into account not only the Rec boats that are located on the coast in the SA, imagine all the boats that get trailored to the SA Coast from points North and West for a week or weekend trip.

    How do you tell all those people that they can't fish in the South Atlantic unless they have a $6,000 device installed that will be used twice a year?

    Personally, I would have hoped that folks would have asked what can they do to help get the other measures through the Council. But that's just me.

    Rob
    www.gottagofishinginkeywest.com


    Hero's Don't Wear Capes....They Wear Dog Tags.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,210 AG
    Mike you are okay with a private individual, pursuing a legal private endeavor to be required to have a monitoring device placed on his vessel?

    Really??????????????????

    And how or what pray tell will the monitoring device show....it does not relay when, where, or how long lines were in the water. It is nothing but an expensive and fancy ankle bracelet being placed on people who have done nothing wrong....

    Cay you say 4th Amendment?

    No, I am not OK with it. However, I got the idea (perhaps incorrectly?) from the post that it was only for people participating in the commercial side of the federal fishery.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,210 AG
    Got TA Go wrote: »
    Personally, I would have hoped that folks would have asked what can they do to help get the other measures through the Council. But that's just me.

    Thanks, Rob. Tell me, what can we do to help get these measures through the Council (and beyond)? :) Thanks again...Mike
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