MakoMike

NOAA Fisheries Announces 2019 Bluefish Specifications

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54 mins ago, CWitek said:

That’s what we’re about to find out.

 

Amendment 6 says that if the stock becomes overfished, the Management Board “must” rebuild it to target in a period not to exceed 10 years.  

 

So the question is whether the Management Board will stand by what it has written, or whether it will interpret “must” to mean “may, but only if they feel like it.”

 

Oh my lord 

 

trying to rebuild just to get back to threshold is one thing

 

to rebuild to Target is something entirely more difficult 

 

i feel much much more confident saying ASMFC needs to declare emergency measures.  No way they can get there unless they do something drastic 

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1 hour ago, i07nyc said:

Are most commercial bluefish caught a product of bycatch?

I believe that they are targeted. I've seen guys out in Montauk, trolling them up with down riggers and planers. Doing it that way you can catch a couple of hundred pounds in day, but they aren't worth much.

 

Interesting stat I Have never seen before, even after the transfer of 4 million pounds from the recs to the commercials, the commercial quota is far less than the recreational quota. The total commercial quota is 7.71 million pounds while the rec quota is 11.62 million pounds.

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What exactly is quota? Pounds caught?

How can they possibly come up with a 

number for pounds caught by recs? I can

see a pretty accurate number for comms

as their catch is regulated.

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1 hour ago, MakoMike said:

I believe that they are targeted. I've seen guys out in Montauk, trolling them up with down riggers and planers. Doing it that way you can catch a couple of hundred pounds in day, but they aren't worth much.

 

Interesting stat I Have never seen before, even after the transfer of 4 million pounds from the recs to the commercials, the commercial quota is far less than the recreational quota. The total commercial quota is 7.71 million pounds while the rec quota is 11.62 million pounds.

That's why I asked. Doesn't seem worth it to even start the engines for such a low value fish. Imo if its primarily bycatch I don't see much of a problem with the quota being raised. 

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1 hour ago, yosco said:

What exactly is quota? Pounds caught?

How can they possibly come up with a 

number for pounds caught by recs? I can

see a pretty accurate number for comms

as their catch is regulated.

The quotas I cited in my previous missive, were stated in "millions of pounds."  The way they do it for bluefish is the way they do it for every fish, It's called the MRIP, google it if you want to learn more about it.

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17 hours ago, i07nyc said:

Are most commercial bluefish caught a product of bycatch?

No.  For example, there's a big May gill net fishery on the East End of Long Island.  Usually ends up with too many fish for the market to handle, and bluefish selling for $0.20 to $0.25 per pound.  60 pounds to a box gets you $12.00.  Costs $14.00 to pack the box and ship it to market (these numbers were provided by a pinhooker who I know, and the Mid-Atlantic Council fishery performance reports for the prices, so they should be good).  So they lose $2.00 on every box, plus the costs of running the boat, etc., keep landing thousands of pounds, then complain that they don't have enough quota later in the year when demand is higher and prices break $1.00/pound.

 

Never seemed like the best way to maximize the value of the resource.

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16 hours ago, yosco said:

What exactly is quota? Pounds caught?

How can they possibly come up with a 

number for pounds caught by recs? I can

see a pretty accurate number for comms

as their catch is regulated.

The quota--more properly the annual commercial and recreational catch limits--are caps on harvest determined to be biologically sustainable by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

 

The overall annual catch limit is allocated between the sectors, with 83% allocated to the recreational side, and 17% allocated to commercials.  However, there are provisions in the management plan that allow transfer of up to 10 million pounds (it has never been close to that) of "unused" recreational quota to the commercial sector.

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43 mins ago, CWitek said:

No.  For example, there's a big May gill net fishery on the East End of Long Island.  Usually ends up with too many fish for the market to handle, and bluefish selling for $0.20 to $0.25 per pound.  60 pounds to a box gets you $12.00.  Costs $14.00 to pack the box and ship it to market (these numbers were provided by a pinhooker who I know, and the Mid-Atlantic Council fishery performance reports for the prices, so they should be good).  So they lose $2.00 on every box, plus the costs of running the boat, etc., keep landing thousands of pounds, then complain that they don't have enough quota later in the year when demand is higher and prices break $1.00/pound.

 

Never seemed like the best way to maximize the value of the resource.

Charlie, once again thanks for all your hard work and input here. I must disagree about the scenario above, no commercial fisherman will intentionally target a species that will COST him money to ship. After monkfishing wraps up in late April / early May a lot of gillnetters will switch over to fluke, jumbos for the sushi market are pricey at that time. The first few days of bluefish pay well and as the market gets flooded the price drops, when it's no longer profitable they stop fishing them until the price gets back . A few days of big SW wind shuts down the fishing , the market clears and it's time to go again. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 3/12/2019 at 4:39 PM, hydraman said:

This year Long Island we had a limited run early spring of some mid size to gorilla blues. But I haven’t seen the fall blues in years  I used to be able to get a good run of some big ones in December but have not seen them in over 5 years. 

We have had Alligator sized bluefish show up for our spring run consistently the last 5 years and it is fun!! No shortage of snapper size bluefish in the inlets and on wrecks during summer months.  15" bluefish make a great shark bait....

Edited by BullRake

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2 hours ago, CWitek said:

The quota--more properly the annual commercial and recreational catch limits--are caps on harvest determined to be biologically sustainable by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

 

The overall annual catch limit is allocated between the sectors, with 83% allocated to the recreational side, and 17% allocated to commercials.  However, there are provisions in the management plan that allow transfer of up to 10 million pounds (it has never been close to that) of "unused" recreational quota to the commercial sector.

There is no absolute statistical data on recreational landings.... think about it surveys are only taken at boat ramps randomly.  No recreational fisherman are polled 7 days a week to give data on bluefish landings.  Commercial fisherman have to submit landing reports that the National Marine Fisheries manages.  Now I am not arguing that NMFS properly manages all states and all fisheries to the best of their ability, but I will say that being a charter captain myself and also a commercial licensed gill netter in 2 states, I fill out a ton of landing reports on a monthly basis that has it broke down exactly by the pound on every day of the month.  Now I am not sure what every fisherman reports, but I know what I submit.  I will just say this, the commercial bluefish landings in the states that I am referring to does not put a dent in the harvest of the bluefish as a whole.  With that being said, Yes I would love to see the bluefish stock increase.  Do I think that the bluefish presence close to shore is typically related to over harvesting or do I honestly believe that it is more closely related to the bluefish staying further out in the ocean because there is a higher abundance of bait in deeper water further out from the shoreline???? I am going to side with option #2 in that argument...  Just my 2 cents.  I personally think this concern is more closely related to the Omega 3 fishery than what most people can conceive....

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1 hour ago, pakalolo said:

Charlie, once again thanks for all your hard work and input here. I must disagree about the scenario above, no commercial fisherman will intentionally target a species that will COST him money to ship. After monkfishing wraps up in late April / early May a lot of gillnetters will switch over to fluke, jumbos for the sushi market are pricey at that time. The first few days of bluefish pay well and as the market gets flooded the price drops, when it's no longer profitable they stop fishing them until the price gets back . A few days of big SW wind shuts down the fishing , the market clears and it's time to go again. 

Pakalolo, I agree with your reply to Charlie.  No way that I am packing out a fish that cost me more money to catch and sell than I receive in return.... I have never seen $0.20 a pound in the spring fishery.... it is normally over $0.60 a pound in the spring fishery.  If it drops below a profitable margin, then I set crab pots or switch to a different mesh size.... just saying

That would be like a farmer planting every field in sweet corn, once the harvest is complete, he/she has nothing else to sell.... if he diversifies his crops then he will have a more evenly spread variety in order to market to farm markets and produce venues throughout his/her industry.

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3 hours ago, CWitek said:

No.  For example, there's a big May gill net fishery on the East End of Long Island.  Usually ends up with too many fish for the market to handle, and bluefish selling for $0.20 to $0.25 per pound.  60 pounds to a box gets you $12.00.  Costs $14.00 to pack the box and ship it to market (these numbers were provided by a pinhooker who I know, and the Mid-Atlantic Council fishery performance reports for the prices, so they should be good).  So they lose $2.00 on every box, plus the costs of running the boat, etc., keep landing thousands of pounds, then complain that they don't have enough quota later in the year when demand is higher and prices break $1.00/pound.

 

Never seemed like the best way to maximize the value of the resource.

Not the way it used to work and I doubt that's the way it works now. No one in the right mind ships fish to loose money. Used to be that to ship a carton, that holds 50 pounds of fish, cost $10. 50 pounds of fish @ .30 is $15, So they would make $5 a carton. Basically with that price it was limited to a by catch fishery. As you said no one will make money if they had to pay for the costs of running a boat, but the you're out there anyway, it's something to help pay for the fuel. I'll agree that's not the best use of the resource. When the market isn't so saturated, then the price goes up.

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On 3/15/2019 at 8:45 AM, pakalolo said:

Charlie, once again thanks for all your hard work and input here. I must disagree about the scenario above, no commercial fisherman will intentionally target a species that will COST him money to ship. After monkfishing wraps up in late April / early May a lot of gillnetters will switch over to fluke, jumbos for the sushi market are pricey at that time. The first few days of bluefish pay well and as the market gets flooded the price drops, when it's no longer profitable they stop fishing them until the price gets back . A few days of big SW wind shuts down the fishing , the market clears and it's time to go again. 

Apologies for the slow reply--was out of town for a while.

 

I never believed that fishermen intentionally target fish that will be sold at a loss.  But what I've heard is what you noted, that "as the market gets flooded the price drops."  What I've long wondered is whether there is any way that the price drop--which seems fairly predictable--can be prevented by fishermen setting less gear, setting less often or otherwise limiting their output, so that they can essentially keep prices higher and make the same money by working less, while leaving some quota for the summer months when demand is higher, more fish might be sold to restaurants serving the tourist trade, etc.

 

I know that fishermen tend to be fairly independent, and that getting everyone onto that page would be slightly more difficult than herding a few hundred cats, but if there is a way, it would seem to be a win-win.

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On 3/15/2019 at 10:17 AM, BullRake said:

Pakalolo, I agree with your reply to Charlie.  No way that I am packing out a fish that cost me more money to catch and sell than I receive in return.... I have never seen $0.20 a pound in the spring fishery.... it is normally over $0.60 a pound in the spring fishery.  If it drops below a profitable margin, then I set crab pots or switch to a different mesh size.... just saying

That would be like a farmer planting every field in sweet corn, once the harvest is complete, he/she has nothing else to sell.... if he diversifies his crops then he will have a more evenly spread variety in order to market to farm markets and produce venues throughout his/her industry.

I pulled that $0.20 price right out of the Mid-Atlantic Council's Market Performance Reports, which are supposedly compiled with the help of fishermen on the Bluefish Advisory Panel.  $0.20-0.25/pound prices have been quoted for the past few years.  The 2018 report (they come out in August) says, in part, 

 

"NY--During the run of larger fish at the end of May, price dipped to $0.20-$0.25 per pound, but with the current run of 3-pound fish the price seems to stay at $0.50-$0.70 per pound."

 

You can find that statement here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/511cdc7fe4b00307a2628ac6/t/5b636f1170a6ad2d9f3ae347/1533243157865/Tab11_Bluefish-2019-Specs_2018-08.pdf  Similar statements are made in the materials provided for the August 2016 and August 2017 Mid-Atlantic Council meetings.

 

You know better than I do what you're shipping for, and if you say that you don't get less than $0.60/pound I believe you, but either someone is getting far less, or someone isn't reporting good numbers to the Council.

 

One of the problems that I've heard some gillnetters talk about is that they just don't know what the price will be when they ship.  They think the price will be good, then find out that it had crashed after they receive their check.

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