Do you passively support fisheries mismanagement? - SaltwaterCentral.Com
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:26 am
Please email a copy of this plan to your members of Congress and the SAFMC along with a statement of support in the subject line.
This is a link to members of the U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
This is a link to members of the U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Here is the email address for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. safmc@safmc.net

Sustainable Seafood and Regulatory Discard Reduction Plan

My name is Chris McCaffity. I am a commercial fisherman who has been offering positive solutions that would greatly reduce the amount of Regulatory Discards in our snapper/grouper fishery. Tons of fish are being discarded every year that die and go to waste rather than feeding hungry people. Most of this waste is avoidable. It is very troubling that many fishery managers, environmentalists, and fellow fishermen will not support simple solutions to solve this problem. Some of them have different agendas the Regulatory Discards help to advance. Some people do not support any solutions I offer because they disagree with my view that most size limits do more harm than good. Some people do not like that I discuss fishery issues with PEW and other eco-charities. Some fishermen do not think it matters what we say because the fishery managers are going to do what they want anyway. Their silence and apathy passively supports the gross mismanagement that wastes our resources, destroys our businesses, and denies us access to American seafood. We don’t have to agree on every issue to work together on others. I respectfully ask everyone reading this plan to publicly support it or offer a better solution. A wise Marine once told me this. “If you are going to complain, you need to offer a solution.”

The main source of Regulatory Discards in our commercial snapper/grouper fishery comes from quotas that were drastically reduced based on “fatally flawed data” and are not being properly managed to avoid early closures. The long closures force us to discard thousands of fish and compromise our safety at sea as we must stay longer and in worse weather to catch enough legal fish to pay the bills. Since December of 2009 I have been promoting the idea that quotas should be managed with possession limits that are adjusted after a predetermined amount of a quota has been landed to a level that fills it without a long closure. This common sense plan incorporates suggestions from individuals involved in managing, catching, and selling seafood.

1. Split the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) for commercially important snapper/grouper species into two seasonal quotas beginning in April and October.
2. Manage each seasonal quota with Trip Poundage Limits (TPLs) that are adjusted after half of a quota has been landed to a level that fills it without a long closure.
3. Require fishermen and dealers to file electronic logbooks within 72 hours of unloading.

Here are a few examples of how the TPLs should be set up and adjusted to avoid early closures. Any overages should be deducted from the next season and any remaining quota should carry over. The seasons should start when conditions are best so the TPLs are high during that period.

Gag Grouper and Red Grouper: The first season would begin on April 1st with a 100 pound TPL for each species due to the spawning season. The TPLs would be raised to 1,000 pounds on May 1st. Each TPL would then be adjusted to a level that fills the seasonal quota without a long closure after half of the quota has been landed. This is how the adjustments should be made.

1. The TPL would be reduced to 300 pounds if there are four months left in the season.
2. The TPL would be reduced to 500 pounds if there are three months left in the season.
3. The TPL would remain at 1,000 pounds if there are two months left in the season.
4. The TPL would increase to 1,500 pounds if there is only one month left in the season.

The second season would begin on October 1st with a 1,000 pound TPL. The spawning season would require a 100 pound TPL from January through March to keep fishermen from targeting shallow water Grouper. The 100 pound TPLs for three months should keep the quotas from being filled early and negate the need for further adjustments.

Vermilion Snapper and Trigger Fish: The first season would begin on April 1st and the second on October 1st with a 1,000 TPL for each species. This is how the adjustments should be made after half of each seasonal quota has been landed.

1. The TPL would be reduced to 100 pounds if there are five months left in the season.
2. The TPL would be reduced to 300 pounds if there are four months left in the season.
3. The TPL would be reduced to 500 pounds if there are three months left in the season.
4. The TPL would remain 1,000 pounds if there are two months left in the season.
5. The TPL would increase to 1,500 pounds if there is only one month left in the season.

Black Sea Bass: The first season would start on April 1st and the second on October 1st with a 1,000 pound TPL. This is how the adjustments should be made after half of each seasonal quota has been landed.

1. The TPL would be reduced to 100 pounds if there are five months left in the season.
2. The TPL would be reduced to 300 pounds if there are four months left in the season.
3. The TPL would be reduced to 500 pounds if there are three months left in the season.
4. The TPL would remain 1,000 pounds if there are two months left in the season.
5. The TPL would increase to 1,500 pounds if there is only one month left in the season.

Snowy Grouper: The first season would start on April 1st and the second on October 1st with a 500 pound TPL. This is how the adjustments should be made after half of each seasonal quota has been landed.

1. The TPL would be reduced to 100 pounds if there are five months left in the season.
2. The TPL would be reduced to 200 pounds if there are four months left in the season.
3. The TPL would be reduced to 300 Pounds if there are three months left in the season.
4. The TPL would remain 500 pounds if there are two months left in the season.
5. The TPL would increase to 1,000 pounds if there is only one month left in the season.

Wreck Fish: The 2,000,000 pound quota was not being caught due to a catch share scheme that consolidated that fishery into the hands of two permit holders. The council arbitrarily reduced that quota to 225,000 pounds rather than allowing other permit holders to catch those fish. I propose this compromise. Allocate 775,000 pounds of the Wreck Fish quota to the rest of the snapper/grouper permit holders. This would boost the market for Wreck Fish and take some of the pressure off of inshore species while still cutting the previous quota in half. The first seasonal quota would begin on April 1st and the second on October 1st with a 2,000 pound TPL. This is how the adjustments should be made after half of each seasonal quota has been landed.

1. The TPL should be reduced to 500 pounds if there are five months left in the season.
2. The TPL should be reduced to 1,000 Pounds if there are four months left in the season.
3. The TPL should be reduced to 1,500 pounds if there are three months left in the season.
4. The TPL should remain 2,000 pounds if there are two months left in the season.
5. The TPL should increase to 3,000 pounds if there is only one month left in the season.

This plan would allow fishermen to target species with high TPLs while still keeping the ones we accidentally catch with lower TPLs. It would greatly reduce the number of Regulatory Discards while providing consumers with fresh local seafood all year. This common sense approach to managing quotas would achieve any honorable goals of catch shares without destroying independent artisanal fishermen in favor of large corporate industrial fishing operations.

The hard deadlines to end overfishing in the Magnuson-Stevens Act have been met. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council should not take any further action until they have properly managed the quotas they set using “fatally flawed data” and collected accurate data to use in credible stock assessments. Any future management measures should focus on enhancing our fisheries rather than restricting our freedom to access a dependable supply of safe American seafood. One way to enhance our fisheries is with Artificial Reefs that are the perfect union of aquaculture and commercially or recreationally harvested wild fish.

We should all have a common goal of healthy fisheries that can be responsibly harvested forever with very little waste. We can achieve that goal if we work together using accurate data, sound science, common sense, and remember the Golden Rule.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please send any questions or comments to Chris at. freefish7@hotmail.com I welcome a debate or discussion about TPLs, MPAs, catch shares, size limits, or any other fishery issues with anyone. We need to have open and honest discussions about how our seafood should be managed with as few negative impacts and as many positive benefits as possible. We need to make wise use of our renewable resources and show other fishery managers by example how they can reduce Regulatory Discards, feed more people, and produce more revenue while insuring stocks of sustainable seafood for future generations.
  
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Fyshiefishy
Posts: 90
Location: NMB, SC
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:04 am
Do you really think poly ticians are going to read all that????
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zigzag
Posts: 2069
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:02 am
that was sure confusing  
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:18 am
They will not read it if I am the only one sending it. Our public servants will read the plan if enough concerned citizens send a copy of it with a statement of support. They will pressure the fishery "managers" to implement the solutions if enough people support them. We have power in numbers IF we will just unite. I have publicly supported the bills in Congress to amend parts of the MSA even though they will take years to have any real impact. I am asking RFA members and every American who cares about our fisheries or food supply to support solutions that will help in the short-term as we continue pushing for long-term solutions. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing." Edmond Burke "The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men." Plato

I pray there are enough good Americans who will cast off their apathy and do something before evil bureaucrats destroy our fisheries and deny the public access to fresh local seafood. The fishery management leaders are creating the problem of Regulatory Discards in order to advance catch share schemes, area closures, and other UN Agenda 21 mandates that Congress refused to ratify. Everyone who learns of this and remains silent passively supports it.
  
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:26 am
zigzag, what is so confusing? Do you support derby fisheries or catch shares? Do you have a better plan to deal with the derby fisheries and Regulatory Discards fishery managers have created in order to advance catch shares? Do you care if thousands of fish are discarded during long closures? Do you care if our safety at sea is compromised during dangerous derby fisheries?  
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shane1
Posts: 1109
Location: oak island
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:25 pm
Anyway you look at it you are still conceding. You are comprising with them which is just what they want your giving in so they will ask more and more. How about we push for the removal of the corrupt and agenda pushing mfers instead of working on compromising with them!
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:24 pm
How is properly managing quotas of any level conceding or compromising? Do you suggest commercial fishermen just continue discarding tons of illegal fish and dying as a direct result of the dangerous derby fisheries? These stupid wasteful derby fisheries are financially devastating and extremely dangerous. I do not understand why nobody seems to understand that the Regulatory Discards have been created in order to advance catch shares and area closures. The eco-charities and bureaucrats could not be happier that we cannot work together and most fishermen are content to chase distant goals as they implement everything they want in the mean time. How long do you suggest we wait before offering any solutions? How much seafood must be discarded and wasted before we offer any solutions? How many fishermen must be bankrupted before we offer any solutions? How many fishermen must DIE before we offer any solutions? How many area closures and catch share schemes must be implemented before we wake up and offer our own solutions?

We should be standing united behind solutions that properly manage existing quotas while collecting accurate data to use in credible stock assessments. We should be standing united in our call for Jane Lubchenco to be replaced with somebody like Dr. Rothschild. We should be exposing how the fishery bureaucrats and their eco-charity puppet masters are maliciously creating Regulatory Discards in order to advance area closures and catch share schemes. We should be holding fishermen's rallies at the SAFMC meetings. We should be inviting our elected public servants and the press to attend those meetings/rallies. We should be standing united offering solutions for the short-term and long-term health of our fisheries rather than just complaining.
  
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zigzag
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:16 pm
ChrisMcCaffity wrote:
zigzag, what is so confusing? Do you support derby fisheries or catch shares? Do you have a better plan to deal with the derby fisheries and Regulatory Discards fishery managers have created in order to advance catch shares? Do you care if thousands of fish are discarded during long closures? Do you care if our safety at sea is compromised during dangerous derby fisheries?


As a matter of fact I do, (only since you asked) since the council is dead set to have closures why not pick a couple months that is best guessed at prime spawning for all the species combined and if they have to have a closure just close it all down at the same time for a couple month's, then open it all up at the same time and let us go fishing, win, win for everybody! No more dead discards, no more pressure going from one species to the other, and a couple months for us all to get our maintenance up to date.
  
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Capt_Keith
Posts: 1939
Location: Myrtle Beach SC
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:32 pm
ChrisMcCaffity still not sure what side you are on... I know you are not on the same as the Fishermen in the Southeast North Carolina or the South Carolina fishermen for sure!
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shane1
Posts: 1109
Location: oak island
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Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:06 pm
This is my final input on this! We as fishermen Commercial And Recreational have given enough its time for them to start doing their part sound science and stop pushing the catchshare agendas! No matter what you offer they are still going to push their own agendas regardless! I will not accretion anything they offer till they give back why do we always have to compromise with bullshit! If sound science was used and the three stooges were not in the place they are we would not be in this position period! There I'm done. Good luck spinning your wheels trying to make a pact with the problem makers!
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:23 am
zigzag, I could go along with a total closure for Feb. and March, but we still need to manage the quotas after the seasons open. The TPLs could be higher and we would avoid low TPLs for long periods. I have been begging fishermen to come up with solutions based in the reality of our situation. I am well aware the reality is based on "fatally flawed data" and is totally wrong. I understand the frustration everyone feels with the bureaucrats that rule us with an iron fist and the full weight of the federal government behind them. They want us frustrated and fighting each other rather the real enemy. They want us chasing distant goals as they close more areas and force us to buy Orwellian Vessel Monitoring Systems to keep us out of the closed areas. They want us to ignore the Regulatory Discards as they force a catch share scheme down our throats to solve the problem they maliciously created.

Capt_Keith, what makes you think I am not on the side of all fishermen? Is it because I oppose the catch shares schemes so many "fishermen" in SC support? Do you support catch shares or derby fisheries since you obviously do not support managing the quotas with possession limits that are adjusted to keep the fisheries open. Do you support Regulatory Discards? Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of the UN, global eco-charities, and government bureaucrats or the side of freedom and fishermen who want to responsibly harvest American seafood with very little waste involved?

shane1, I could not agree more that we would not be in this position if the fishery management leadership had used sound science in the first place. Why is it so wrong for us push back with positive solutions? Why is it so wrong to let Mitt Romney know who we want to replace Jane Lubchenco, Eric Schwaab, and Roy Crabtree? Why is it so wrong to expose the corruption and gross incompetence that plagues our fisheries "management", especially during an election year? Why are distant goals of changing a few lines in the MSA the only thing anyone seems willing to support? Why do so many people refuse to have open and honest discussions about what we should be standing united in support of for the short-term and long-term health of our fisheries? We should have that discussion and come up with something most people can support before the next SAFMC meeting. We should try to get at least 300 people to show up to peacefully support those solutions. We should invite the press to cover the meeting and our elected public servants to come out to show their support.
  
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shane1
Posts: 1109
Location: oak island
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:37 am
For the simlpe reason of we have been at this for years and get nothing but more taken away! Why cant you understand the simplest thing? YOU are trying to make a deal with the a holes that are putting US through this when there was no reason to begin with. Your just playing into their hand bud wait and see its gonna bite your whole ass off. By trying to work with them you are in a way admitting they are right in one way or another and where does that get ya??????? Less fishing that's where!
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ChrisMcCaffity
Posts: 1538
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Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:02 pm
shane1, so you do not think we should manage our fisheries with quotas based on accurate data and sound science? Maybe what you guys have been doing for years has not been working if all you do is get more taken away. One of the reasons we got back our freedom to fish on the majority of our South Atlantic seafloor that had been taken in Amendment 17B was because I made 2,000 postcards addressed to the Sec. of Commerce opposing that massive area closure. I gave them out as a way to inform the public of this attack on our freedom and give them an easy way to oppose the Precautionary Principal closure. Did you submit any public comments regarding that closure? If we all said nothing that area would still be closed. If the majority of fishermen continue chasing distant goals, MPAs will close large areas of the most productive bottom while we wait for Congress to change a few lines in the MSA. Many of the same "a holes" that currently pick and choose which MSA mandates they will or will not follow will still be the same ones ruling our fisheries when the changes finally occur. The "a holes" that created the Derby Fisheries and Regulatory Discards in order to advance the area closures and catch shares will force us to buy Orwellian Vessel Monitoring Systems to keep us out of the MPAs as we wait. They will force us to pay some corporation or government bureaucracy to spy on us every time we leave the dock. Why can't you understand that we must expose the corruption and gross mismanagement while offering positive solutions the public can support. We need the support of seafood consumers and the general public if we are going to beat the UN, global eco-charities, and billion dollar federal fishery bureaucracy. Enough people supporting or opposing an issue is the only thing that trumps money or the powerful entities attacking our freedom to fish and eat American seafood. Many "sportsmen" including some on this site support eco-charities like the CCA and are perfectly happy to attack their fellow fishermen if they think it will make their "gamefish" bigger and easier to play with. They would deny their neighbors access to fresh local seafood and divide the fishing sectors that should be united in our fight for a responsible harvest of healthy fisheries with very little waste.  
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Skirts for REEL Men

Do you passively support fisheries mismanagement? - SaltwaterCentral.Com