CWitek

ASMFC Striped Bass Tech Committee offers suggestion to end overfishing

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17 hours ago, stripergene said:

I question their ability manage fish stocks. We've had many regulations for over 30 years. When will the experts get the job done?  If they worked for me, I'd terminate them. They are impersonating scientists.

The problem isn't the "experts," but the amateurs.

 

When ASMFC rebuilt the striped bass a generation ago, all of the decisions were made by professional fishery managers; the governors' appointees and legislative appointees were effectively advisers, allowed to cast a single collective vote that was unlikely to affect the outcome of any management decision.

 

But in 1998, ASMFC instituted a pilot program, which was adjudged successful and incorporated into its charter in 2000, which changed the voting structure.  Instead of decisions being made by trained fisheries professionals, each state's vote would represent the majority view of the three state reps--the professional fishery manager and the two political appointees or their proxies.  At that point, the amateurs--the political appointees and proxies--could overrule the professional judgment of the state fisheries manager, and replace it with a vote based on a desire to protect industry income, or based on a belief that the bass are eating all the crabs, or a desire to let people have "at least...one fish to take home."  (And yes, as you may have surmised, all of those comments come right out of management board transcripts.)

 

ASMFC has been largely unable to end overfishing or rebuilt overfishe stocks ever since that change occurred.

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15 hours ago, John P said:

I have attended a number of meetings 5 yrs ago to deal with this same issue.  It was obvious to everyone attending that the people making the decisions didn't have a clue as to what they were talking about.  Everyone attending walked out with the same conclusion,nothing is going to be done.  Here we are today. Pretty sad state of affairs.

There is a wonderful email, sent by a New York striped bass fisherman (who is also a long-time SOL member), included in the meeting materials that expresses the same feelings that you express here.  I'm going to quote a portion of it, because it really does set out what I think is one of the biggest problems.

 

In looking for a root cause to the problems we now have with Striped Bass, there is compelling evidence of the need to better clarify Board roles, in order to strengthen the overall decision-making capabilities at the Management Board level.  ASMFC Guiding Documents clearly spell out the educational/technical qualifications for those conducting stock assessments, and assessing management options.  There does not appear to be a similar list of qualifications for Commissioners.  The end result can be (has been) Commissioners who have the power to caucus to dismiss or veto the science, even in the absurd case when they admit that they do not fully understand it.

 

To be more direct, science-based decisions on biological reference points, or levels of fishing mortality needed to adhere to those reference points, should not be made or influenced by political appointees who have no relevant background or training

 

That really puts it all in a nutshell.

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57 mins ago, stripergene said:

I deal with scientific facts. You haven't provided the data. Please prove it. I release my fish as do many others. Just because the regs allow 3 fish doesn't mean you catch them. Look at the 2018 LBI Surf fishing classic results. 40 bass with 688 anglers.

You haven’t provide a single fact yet. 

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This website has 20 years of people posting and encouraging conservation.   Too many fish being killed.  Too many spawners not being released.    “We are killing the golden goose”.  

 

Many comments and concerns falling on deaf ears of Charter-come-lately’s claiming fishing is good as it gets, best they have ever seen, when they started fishing 3 years ago.  Just tryin to make a living ya know.   The regs say it’s legal.    Party boats filled with 30-40 Lbers day after day.   Get yer bonus cards here.   Tackle shop heroes.   Personal bests on the fillet tables, headed for the freezer burn.   The fish just keep coming and coming.   They were just suicidal.  Blah, blah, blah....

 

Well, for the first time in 30 years  the SSB is now officially overfished.    A very, very bad assessment.   

 

Turns out we were right all along.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, CWitek said:

There is a wonderful email, sent by a New York striped bass fisherman (who is also a long-time SOL member), included in the meeting materials that expresses the same feelings that you express here.  I'm going to quote a portion of it, because it really does set out what I think is one of the biggest problems.

 

In looking for a root cause to the problems we now have with Striped Bass, there is compelling evidence of the need to better clarify Board roles, in order to strengthen the overall decision-making capabilities at the Management Board level.  ASMFC Guiding Documents clearly spell out the educational/technical qualifications for those conducting stock assessments, and assessing management options.  There does not appear to be a similar list of qualifications for Commissioners.  The end result can be (has been) Commissioners who have the power to caucus to dismiss or veto the science, even in the absurd case when they admit that they do not fully understand it.

 

To be more direct, science-based decisions on biological reference points, or levels of fishing mortality needed to adhere to those reference points, should not be made or influenced by political appointees who have no relevant background or training

 

That really puts it all in a nutshell.

Has anyone ever presented this directly to the ASMFC and received a response from the commissioners? Has the ASMFC/commissioners ever been directly challenged with how they operate and been forced to respond? At the meetings?

 

I would love to hear their response.

 

 

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19 mins ago, bido said:

This website has 20 years of people posting and encouraging conservation.   Too many fish being killed.  Too many spawners not being released.    “We are killing the golden goose”.  

 

Many comments and concerns falling on deaf ears of Charter-come-lately’s claiming fishing is good as it gets, best they have ever seen, when they started fishing 3 years ago.  Just tryin to make a living ya know.   The regs say it’s legal.    Party boats filled with 30-40 Lbers day after day.   Get yer bonus cards here.   Tackle shop heroes.   Personal bests on the fillet tables, headed for the freezer burn.   The fish just keep coming and coming.   They were just suicidal.  Blah, blah, blah....

 

Well, for the first time in 30 years  the SSB is now officially overfished.    A very, very bad assessment.   

 

Turns out we were right all along.  

 

 

We need a total shift on how we treat our resources. We can’t continue with the same failed policies and mindset. Decisions are being made for political and economic reasons and disregarding the good science that exists.  The science and the people that provide is good. The problem is some don’t want their gravy train to be impacted and I’m not sure why that is remotely tolerated. 

 

Some large corporation has issues and they cut 10k jobs in the blink of an eye. No crying, no whining, it happens. Virtually every single industry/profession/economy is subject to ‘down’ years. You tighten your belt and deal with it. But not when it comes to fishing. The for-hires and the commercials whine and cry an ocean full of tears about their livelihood being impacted. Why are they spared the same consequences that the rest of the world deals with everyday? Every time there’s fewer fish in the ocean these groups fight any and all attempts to address the issue. 

 

 

 

Edited by Drew C.

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13 mins ago, browndrake said:

Has anyone ever presented this directly to the ASMFC and received a response from the commissioners? Has the ASMFC/commissioners ever been directly challenged with how they operate and been forced to respond? At the meetings?

 

I would love to hear their response.

 

 

It was sent to ASMFC's Executive Director, and to the FMP coordinator for striped bass.  It has been distributed to all ASMFC Commissioners on the Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board, and is available to the public on the ASMFC website, as part off the bass board meeting materials for April 30.

 

Not aware of any formal response yet, but given that I know the person who wrote it pretty well, if there is a response, I'll hear about it.

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sorry boys nj regs. say 1 fish at 28" or above second fish has to be above 43"  don,t know ware you get a bonus tag from  that program has stopped   nj has no commerical fishing but we are surrounded  by states that take million of pounds and no one says a dam thing so f off with nj takes to many fish

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15 hours ago, CWitek said:

35" is what has a 50-50 chance of getting us back to Ftarget.  36" would increase the probability, but that's not what the Technical Committee was charged to do.  They were asked by the Management Board to use 50%.

 

Why we kill immature fish is a good question.  The Chesapeake has always killed small fish--at one time the size limit was 10 inches down there.  So that tradition continues.

 

Again, running the numbers, 17% has a 50% chance of reducing F to target.  A greater reduction would have a greater probability.  But note that 17% won't rebuild the stock.

Thanks.  I don't love the 35" and think we probably should push for 36" since that is what worked once before and because it also increases the probably of getting back to target.

 

What are your thoughts on addressing the Chesapeake?  It makes no sense that the size limit there is so small especially when we are depending on these fish to sustain the population.  They should at least have the ability to spawn before they are culled.

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3 hours ago, Drew C. said:

Seriously? - look at your regs. That should explain things quite well. NJ is the only state that allows its rec anglers to keep 3 fish. THE ONLY STATE. NJ lets you keep one between 28-43 and one over 43. Those fish are 100% female. You also have your bonus tag fish for an add'l fish over 24" - almost of those fish on the coast are female. Not one shred of conservation in that state, not one bit of giving a damn about a limited public resource. But hey, as long as there's fish in the cooler today it's all good!

 

As far as I know, the Jersey regs are 1 under (28-42) and 1 over (43+), and the Bonus tag fish has been for a slot (24-27).

 

But what do I know.

 

PS - 1 at 36+ is not good either imo.  If anything, it should be one UNDER 36.

Edited by JoeyZac

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3 mins ago, JoeyZac said:

 

As far as I know, the Jersey regs are 1 under (28-42) and 1 over (43+), and the Bonus tag fish has been for a slot (24-27).

 

But what do I know.

 

PS - 1 at 36+ is not good either imo.  If anything, it should be one UNDER 36.

I had chosen 1 @ 36" not on a whim but based off of what had worked the last time.  During that time there were also countless conversations on how to resolve this same problem.

 

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29 mins ago, jps1010 said:

Thanks.  I don't love the 35" and think we probably should push for 36" since that is what worked once before and because it also increases the probably of getting back to target.

 

What are your thoughts on addressing the Chesapeake?  It makes no sense that the size limit there is so small especially when we are depending on these fish to sustain the population.  They should at least have the ability to spawn before they are culled.

The Chesapeake is a tough call, as it's where science and politics and traditions all clash, and complicate the policy-making process.

 

In a perfect world, fish shouldn't be harvested until they have been able to spawn at least once.  That would suggest a Chesapeake size limit no lower than 28".    

 

On the other hand, killing little bass has always been the rule in the Bay.  At one point prior to the collapse, I believe the limit was 10" (it MIGHT have been 12).  So the current 19" Maryland/20" Virginia, is certainly a step up from that, and 21"/22" would be an improvement from there.  Do I think that is enough?  No.  Do I think it might be the best we get?  Very possibly.

 

And given the perversity of human hature, if you took the little fish away, I could see the Maryland charter fleet, "OK, if we have to kill big fish, we're going to start the season earlier so we can fish on the big females coming in to spawn.  We need to make money somehow."  Which would be legal if the Bay rules and coastal rules were made the same.

 

Having said that, even if political reality forces us to live with smaller Bay size limits, I think that there are things that could be done to reduce fishing mortality.  Close the season during the summer when high water temperatures, lower dissolved oxygen and, often, lower salinity reduces survival of released fish.  Impose a 36" maximum size, as they used to have, as an offset to killing the small fish.

 

And most of all, hold the Bay fishermen accountable if they fail to make required reductions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JoeyZac said:

 

As far as I know, the Jersey regs are 1 under (28-42) and 1 over (43+), and the Bonus tag fish has been for a slot (24-27).

 

But what do I know.

 

PS - 1 at 36+ is not good either imo.  If anything, it should be one UNDER 36.

Aka - 3 fish....

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2 hours ago, sonny two said:

sorry boys nj regs. say 1 fish at 28" or above second fish has to be above 43"  don,t know ware you get a bonus tag from  that program has stopped   nj has no commerical fishing but we are surrounded  by states that take million of pounds and no one says a dam thing so f off with nj takes to many fish

NJ doesn’t have a commercial fishery, yes. But NJ took that quota and still uses it. Ya might as well have a commercial fishery...  a fish is just as dead whether it was caught recreationally OR commercially. You can’t claim the high road by eliminating the commercial fishery and then harvesting those fish recreationally. 

 

NJ consistently and chronically fights any attempt at regulations that attempt to help any resource. When this plays out NJ will be paired up with MD looking to keep harvest levels the same. And if by some chance I’m wrong and NJ does the right thing - I will be pretty happy. But, I won’t hold my breath. 

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2 hours ago, sonny two said:

sorry boys nj regs. say 1 fish at 28" or above second fish has to be above 43"  don,t know ware you get a bonus tag from  that program has stopped   nj has no commerical fishing but we are surrounded  by states that take million of pounds and no one says a dam thing so f off with nj takes to many fish

The program stopped effective 1/1/19 . . . and may reopen.  NJ, as well as others, do take too many fish.  We not only slaughter the Chesapeake biomass, but pound the Hudson as well.  There is an absolute massacre occurring as I type of breeder fish being taken, mishandled, etc.  NJ is beneficiary of 2 great biomass's and have done an outstanding job in participating in the depletion of those fish.   Not to let neighboring states off the hook, but there is absolutely no defense of NJ and our ASMFC rep, Fote.

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