bobber

any word on the Bunker meetings at ASMFC?

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hearings/debate on what the Menhaden Committee decided to do were happening today (and tomorrow).... any news??

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from Fissues....

"ASMFC has adjourned for the day in Baltimore. No decision was made on setting the length or size of the Atlantic Menhaden Total Allowable Catch (TAC), re-allocation of quota or any of the other major issues still to be decided. Fissues.org staff will be posting again tomorrow. Please like our FB page and visit our web site to sign up for FREE monthly email newsletters. These are the measuring sticks funders use to decide if we keep this project online in 2018."

 

 

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I read no changes planned to the 200,000 metric tons that are currently allowed, most of which goes to Omega.

The board sided with one corporation instead of the striped bass, whales, porpoise, etc that depend on menhaden. Not to mention the recreational fisheries that depend on a good population of menhaden to support the fish they catch.

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Just now, bido said:

I read no changes planned to the 200,000 metric tons that are currently allowed, most of which goes to Omega.

The board sided with one corporation instead of the striped bass, whales, porpoise, etc that depend on menhaden. Not to mention the recreational fisheries that depend on a good population of menhaden to support the fish they catch.

it seems the fix might be in before the meeting. CWitek had a post on fb regarding the low (no) Omega employees present at the meeting. if jobs were going to be affected one would probably expect a strong showing....

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What I heard so far was that the Management Board went with Option B on ecosystem reference points--that means that they will continue single-species management until menhaden-specific ecosystem reference points are developed, which will be 2019 at best.

 

Today, they voted to increase the annual quota by 8%, from 200,000 to 216,000 metric tons.  However, they were reconsidering that motion in order to increase to 220,000 metric tons, because states with very small allocations wanted to get at least 1% each for their bait fisheries, and Virginia wanted to increase to 220,000 metric tons to keep Omega whole.

 

In addition, while I haven't heard what happened to quotas inside Chesapeake Bay, I did hear that they decided to exempt purse seines less than 150 fathoms--900 feet--long from any Chesapeake Bay quota adopted.

 

Some Management Board members were also apparently concerned that the conservation community's preferred option--Option E--would actually allow significantly increased harvest, because no one had the appetite to manage to the 75% biomass target, and if the managed for the 40% biomass threshold, landings could increase.  That could always be controlled by a set quota, but that wasn't what people apparently wanted to do.

 

In a day or two I'll hear from folks who actually sit on the board, and find out what actually went on.

 

Right now, the dominant rumor is that the Management Board members were afraid that if they didn't take the actions that they did, Omega Protein, apparently with Virginia's implicit consent, would just go out of compliance with their quota, and if ASMFC found Virginia out of compliance, appeal to the Commerce Department, which they expect would give them a pass.  Apparently, the New Jersey summer flounder decision is the gift that keeps on giving, and has effectively emasculated ASMFC's management plans.

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36 mins ago, bido said:

So they increased the quota just to avoid Virginia going out of complaince?  There's sound science. :banghd:

The science is only sound when it allows for more harvest and completely useless when it supports conservation. 

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1 hour ago, bido said:

So they increased the quota just to avoid Virginia going out of complaince?  There's sound science. :banghd:

From what I'm hearing, there were three things going on.

 

1)  Some Management Board members were concerned that the interim ecological reference points weren't menhaden-specific, but instead general reference points broadly applicable to forage species.  They wanted to continue with single-species management until menhaden-specific ecological reference points could be finalized, hopefully in 2019.

 

2)  Some feared that if ASMFC adopted Option E, and then managed to the 40% SPR threshold, harvest would increase substantially, and no one was willing to manage for the 75% SPR target.  However, nothing forced ASMFC to choose only between those two extremes; it could have set a separate quota, just as it eventually did.

 

3)  Some expected that not only Virginia, but also New Jersey, would go out of compliance if they didn't like the outcome of the meeting, and that it they did, it would further and perhaps fatally wound an interstate management process already badly damaged by the Commerce Department's decision last summer to condone New Jersey going out of compliance on summer flounder.

 

The above might be oversimplifying the situation.  Folks who sit on the management board are talking about a very complicated situation, so a number of additional factors may have come into play.  We should get a better ideal in the next few days, as management board members return home and tell us why the board took the action that it did 

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I guess I can understand the reluctance to move on ecological reference points without having species-specific data....  in a logical sense.   with the atmosphere that surrounds all these meetings recently I'm sure that was an easy scapegoat to use to avoid having to make a decision.

 

the whole "Commerce Department will just let this slide" attitude may set a bad precedent for many decisions in the near future

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Omega & Virginia will continue to rape the seas of the little fish the big fish, mammals, birds etc. rely on. What BS.  They need to ban the bunker boats from VA.  Follow the rest of the East Coast States.  Its the only way.

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I hope the pogies/Bunker quota is increased in Mass and Rhody....take em all for all I care. Makes my plugs and plastic that much juicer to the Bass I hunt up here.

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2 hours ago, CWitek said:

From what I'm hearing, there were three things going on.

 

1)  Some Management Board members were concerned that the interim ecological reference points weren't menhaden-specific, but instead general reference points broadly applicable to forage species.  They wanted to continue with single-species management until menhaden-specific ecological reference points could be finalized, hopefully in 2019.

 

2)  Some feared that if ASMFC adopted Option E, and then managed to the 40% SPR threshold, harvest would increase substantially, and no one was willing to manage for the 75% SPR target.  However, nothing forced ASMFC to choose only between those two extremes; it could have set a separate quota, just as it eventually did.

 

3)  Some expected that not only Virginia, but also New Jersey, would go out of compliance if they didn't like the outcome of the meeting, and that it they did, it would further and perhaps fatally wound an interstate management process already badly damaged by the Commerce Department's decision last summer to condone New Jersey going out of compliance on summer flounder.

 

The above might be oversimplifying the situation.  Folks who sit on the management board are talking about a very complicated situation, so a number of additional factors may have come into play.  We should get a better ideal in the next few days, as management board members return home and tell us why the board took the action that it did 

so what is worse - having states throw a fit and go out of compliance and blow the whole thing up or have states throw a fit, threaten to go out of compliance in order to get their way every time?

 

it seems that the result is the same in the end.

 

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