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  #46  
Old 10-07-2011, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Opinion split on bunker solutions

Written by
Dan Radel | Staff Writer
CentralJersey.com

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) held their public comment hearing for menhaden in Toms River on Thursday, Sept. 29. Overall it was a colorful evening with two giant bunker billboards parked out front, fishermen from the commercial and recreational industries and one author who “gently” threw his book at the Commission. What was on the table were possible reductions in landings for menhaden, a decision the Commission will have to make in November, due to drops in the fish’s population. The ASMFC stated in their Addendum that the menhaden population has declined steadily and recruitment has been low since the last peak was observed in the early 1980s. The Addendum also stated that overfishing is occurring in the fishery.

At the meeting, the Commission recognized that 80 percent of menhaden landings are coming from the lone bunker reduction industry on the East Coast run by Omega Protein, Inc. Omega Protein is based in Houston, Texas, but their one reduction plant is on the Chesapeake Bay in Reedville, Va. The rest of the landings come from commercial bait boats and the recreational industry.

The ASMFC has pretty reliable statistics for both the reduction and commercial bait boats. However, the Commission stated it is least confident in its knowledge of landings coming from recreational fishermen.
That is understandable. In the reduction industry captains have to fill out a Captains Daily Fishing Log (CDFR) every time they set a purse seine. The CDFR gives the location of the fishing grounds and the poundage of each haul. The CDFRs are then handed over to the National Marine Fisheries Service for review.

Recreational fishermen are just snagging bunker with hooks or throwing a cast net for a bucket full of bunker to use to catch striped bass. The only statistics the AMFSC has on recreational anglers have come from dock surveys which the Commission recognizes has some major faults.
Between 1991 and 1993 the surveys indicated recreational fishers harvested nearly 700 tons of menhaden but caught none in 2009. There was a big zero for that year on the chart presented to the public at the meeting. The Commission noted, however, that the recreational take typically is very minimal, accounting for .04 percent of the total harvest in 2010 for example.

During the public comment period most of the recreational fishermen who spoke asked for reductions in landings of menhaden. Capt. Paul Eidmann, speaking on behalf of the organization Menhaden Defenders who brought the billboards, asked for the most possible reductions the ASMFC was considering, lowering the catch to 40 percent of the 2010 landings. “This is not about small boats, cast netters. It’s about big business and the reduction industry. The bunker population is at a low level and we can’t allow strip mining of the ocean,” Eidmann said.

Commercial fishermen from Cape May and the Garden State Seafood Association on the other hand asked for the status quo to remain until the next stock assessment in 2012, believing the call for reductions was premature and could hurt the families of fishermen economically.

The ASMFC also addressed the ecological importance of menhaden to the ecosystem, stating that menhaden’s importance as a filtering agent to cleanse the water was debatable. H. Bruce Franklin who wrote The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden countered by calling the studies presented by the ASMFC falsifications.

“The fishery is fishing itself out of existence,” Franklin said and later threw a copy of his book on the table for the Commission to read.

Public comments can still be submitted until 5 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011.

Click HERE for the template email to send in!!
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  #47  
Old 10-07-2011, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done! Good work Jake!!!
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  #48  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:22 AM
ch613 ch613 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done deal... hope we win this fight for our children
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  #49  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:38 AM
Dr. Gooseman Dr. Gooseman is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done. Thanks for the information and for taking the time to set up the replies for us.

-Glenn
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  #50  
Old 10-07-2011, 03:34 PM
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Arrow Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done. Thanks for your efforts on this important issue.

Tim
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  #51  
Old 10-07-2011, 07:44 PM
nip13 nip13 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done, Thanks for the heads up.
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  #52  
Old 10-07-2011, 09:10 PM
Gary_G1 Gary_G1 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done and thanks
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  #53  
Old 10-08-2011, 09:30 AM
jd371 jd371 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done, thanks Jake.
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  #54  
Old 10-08-2011, 09:47 AM
steven steven is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeF View Post
I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for YOU to take a moment to send in your message of support for these conservation measures.


The public comment deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM (EST) on November 2, 2011 and should be forwarded to:
Toni Kerns
Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Management
1050 N. Highland St.
Suite 200 A-N
Arlington, VA 22201;

703.842.0741 (FAX)

or by email to [email protected](Subject line: Menhaden Draft Addendum V).

Here is a draft email that you may copy/paste. All you have to do is add your name and location. PLEASE do so immediately! I urge every single member to send this in. Please post in this thread after you have sent it, so that I can keep track of how many comments have been sent in by our membership.

Subject line: Menhaden Draft Addendum V

Hi Toni,
I am a recreational fisherman from _____ , and am concerned about the overfishing that is occurring in the Atlantic Menhaden fishery. Studies show that this fishery has been over fished in 32 out of the last 54 years, and the menhaden population has declined by at least 88% in the last 3 decades.

It is time for the ASMFC to take a proactive approach to the management of this fishery and uphold its mission statement of achieving "Healthy, self-sustaining populations for all Atlantic Coast fish species, or successful restoration well in progress, by the year 2015."

With regard to Addendum V, please register my support of the following options:

Management Options:

A. Thresholds
Option 1: Status Quo F Threshold (harvesting to a threshold of 8% of Maximum Spawning Potential (MSP).
Option 2: 15% MSP as an F Threshold (leaving a larger percentage of the spawning stock unfished, and lowering the threshold that determines whether or not the stock is considered 'overfished'.

I strongly support Option 2.

B. Targets
Management Options for changes in the F target Reference Point
Option 1: Status Quo F Target - Current target is a Fishing Mortality (F) target of 2.28, which exceeds both the threshold and the target, and has resulted in the current determination that overfishing IS occurring.
Option 2: 20% of MSP as an F target - This would result in a 27% reduction in harvest from 2010 levels
Option 3: 30% of MSP as an F target - This would result in a 37% reduction in harvest from 2010 levels
Option 4: 40% of MSP as an F target - This would result in a 45% reduction in harvest from 2010 levels

I strongly support Option 4.

2.3.2 Proposed Management Tools Options (These are the proposed options for tools that could be used to result in the reduction in harvest asked for above)

2.3.2.1 Recreational Fishery
Option 1: Status Quo - No recreational management measures
Option 2: Size Limits
Option 3: Bag Limits
Option 4: Seasonal Restrictions

Given the way that Menhaden are fished for and used recreationally, (i.e. snag and drop fishing, fishing to use for bait on site, etc.) neither size limits nor possession limits would be effective or enforceable, in my opinion. The ONLY measure that could actually stand any chance of being effective and enforceable is a seasonal restriction. I support Option 4.

2.3.2.2 Commercial Fishery
Option 1: Status Quo - The only harvest restriction currently in place is an annual quota in the Chesapeake, no quota limits elsewhere)
Option 2: Trip Limits - Catch is restricted using a maximum poundage allowance per trip or day.
Option 3: Gear Restrictions - Gear modifications (i.e mesh size, overall net size, etc) are used to reduce the amount of catch.
Option 4: Seasonal Closures - Season length is restricted to certain time periods.
Option 5: Area Closures - Fishing is prohibited in certain areas (i.e. spawning grounds, etc.)
Option 6: Quotas - limit on total amount of fish allowed to be harvested coast-wide.
Option 7: Effort Controls - Restriction on days at sea. Vessel size & capacity.
Option 8: Limited Entry - a limited number of participants would be permitted to fish commercially for Atlantic menhaden.


I support a suite of options including, but not limited to, Options 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7.


I also feel that it is imperative that the ASMFC work with NOAA to develop comparative management measures for Federal Waters.


Thank you for your time and dedication to improving the health of this fishery.
Sincerely,
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  #55  
Old 10-08-2011, 09:50 AM
steven steven is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

done I have sent out my replay so yopu can count on my support
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  #56  
Old 10-08-2011, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Thanks for doing this guys!!

Keep em coming!!
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  #57  
Old 10-08-2011, 11:07 AM
riverman47 riverman47 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done.
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  #58  
Old 10-09-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeF View Post

In other words, "We don't understand the significance of this, and really don't think you would care anyway."
That couldn't be further from the truth.

Upon some more research and networking I have found a different story.

The NYS DEC does support Addendum V. In fact it will be pushing for the 15% Threshold and the 30% MSP F Target. They won't be pushing for the 40% F Target because the scince doesn't back it up.

The reason there wont be a meeting is that the turnout for such meetings, even Striped Bass meetings, in NY is historically very low. Due to limited funds they thought a meeting would not make much of a difference as they know how most recreational fishermen will be thinking.

Another reason is that the NY commercial fleet will be for status quo. The NY Commercial Fishermans Assoc. has already stated that as their preference. too much input from that side may force the DEC into leaning that way. That also goes for tackle dealers in NY. There is no consensus on how they will react as of yet but for some whose bread and butter is bait sales they may not be all for these reductions either.

That said, since this is just a numbers game right now the DEC will accept letters on this issue. When this addendum is being drafted and management issues come to play there will be a meeting held in NY.
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  #59  
Old 10-09-2011, 07:59 PM
mikg679 mikg679 is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done
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  #60  
Old 10-09-2011, 09:17 PM
pinesboi pinesboi is offline
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Default Re: ASMFC - Hearings on Atlantic Menhaden reduction

Done
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