SlackTideBri

New bluefish limit for 2020

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Recreational bluefish limit will be slashed to just 3-per-day starting in 2020

December 19, 2019 | Fishing | By: Sam Walker | From The: OBX Today | 1
Donnie-Cummings-Big-bluefish-Jennettes-1 Donnie Cummings with a bluefish caught in April 2019 at Jennettes Pier.

The number of bluefish recreational anglers can keep per day along the entire Atlantic coast will be significantly cut in 2020 after projections that total catches will exceed an annual harvest limit set by regulators.

Last week, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council recommended and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved a three-bluefish daily limit per person, when fishing from a private boat or the shoreline, and a five-bluefish per person daily limit when on a charter boat.

Bluefish are popular among anglers because of their aggressive fight, both on light-tackle targeting smaller Taylor blues, and the larger Choppers caught on heaver rods.

The new limit’s implementation in North Carolina waters up to 3 miles offshore is pending a proclamation from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries that will be issued by the end of January.

The Mid-Atlantic Council, which is made up of representatives from multiple states, will forward their recommendation to the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval for federal waters of 3 to 200 miles offshore.

The current daily limit of 15 fish had been in place since 2000. No minimum size limits apply to bluefish.

“The Council and Commission are fully committed to the effective conservation and management of this stock, but we also recognize that a sudden change in regulations could have severe socioeconomic consequences for some stakeholders,” said council chairman and ASMFC board member Mike Luisi.

“After evaluating a wide range of options and considering numerous comments from the public, we feel that this approach is the most fair and effective way to achieve the necessary reduction in harvest next year,” Luisi said.

According to a news release, the most recent operational assessment of the Atlantic bluefish stock concluded that the stock is overfished but not experiencing overfishing.

During their joint meeting in October, the Council and Commission adopted a recreational harvest limit of 9.48 million pounds for 2020 and 2021, which is an 18-percent decrease compared to the 2019 limit.

Using the current regulations, the recreational sector is projected to land 13.27 million pounds, which would exceed the harvest limit by 28.56 percent.

The Council and Commission considered several combinations of bag limits and minimum size limits, including options to set a single set of regulations for all fishing modes or different regulations for shore/private modes and the for-hire mode.

Although the Council’s Bluefish Monitoring Committee recommended a coastwide 3-fish bag limit, the majority of comments from the public and Bluefish Advisory Panel (members expressed opposition to this option, noting that it would have severe economic consequences for the for-hire sector, which was only responsible for 3.6 percent of coastwide landings from 2016 to 2018.

Additionally, advisory panel members and the public emphasized that these proposed reductions come at a challenging time for for-hire stakeholders as they are also facing new restrictions on striped bass, black sea bass, summer flounder, and scup.

After an extensive discussion and thorough consideration of public comments, the Council recommended and Commission approved a 3-fish bag limit for private and shore modes and a 5-fish bag limit for the for-hire mode.

The Council and Commission said they are continuing to work on development of a rebuilding plan as part of the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment. Additional information and updates on this action are available at http://www.mafmc.org/actions/bluefish-allocation-amendment

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Wish they could move as quickly for Striped Bass!!  But this is good news, maybe we will still have something to catch from shore in the future.

 

I dont understand why the charter folks get to play by different rules......... :dismay:

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1 hour ago, GarbageFish said:

fkn laughing over here at the commercial guys bitching about the 5 bluefish limit.

Im sorry but commercial fishing is no better off than the coal industry.

??? Sorry I don't understand. The commercial fishermen don't and won't have a five fish limit.

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Correct. The 5 fish limit is for rec charters or for-hire vessels, not for commercials catching blues for sale.

 

I havent looked at the comm landings of blues in ri lately but, considering the low wholesale prices, id guess that comm fishery isnt worth their time compared to other species. 

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2 hours ago, bdowning said:

Correct. The 5 fish limit is for rec charters or for-hire vessels, not for commercials catching blues for sale.

 

I havent looked at the comm landings of blues in ri lately but, considering the low wholesale prices, id guess that comm fishery isnt worth their time compared to other species. 

I don't know what the landing were/are, but I do know they keep upping the trip landing limits.

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So a subsistence fisherman can go down to the shore and keep three bluefish if fortunate enough to catch three.  Buuutt if he pays a for a charter he gets the opportunity to keep two more?  Just because he dumped a few hundred dollars into some captains pocket?  Something just sounds wrong with this.  Always has.  

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19 hours ago, DZ said:

So a subsistence fisherman can go down to the shore and keep three bluefish if fortunate enough to catch three.  Buuutt if he pays a for a charter he gets the opportunity to keep two more?  Just because he dumped a few hundred dollars into some captains pocket?  Something just sounds wrong with this.  Always has.  

There is absolutely something wrong with this.  

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20 hours ago, DZ said:

So a subsistence fisherman can go down to the shore and keep three bluefish if fortunate enough to catch three.  Buuutt if he pays a for a charter he gets the opportunity to keep two more?  Just because he dumped a few hundred dollars into some captains pocket?  Something just sounds wrong with this.  Always has.  

Proof that regulators are for sale...

 

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On 12/20/2019 at 10:59 AM, SlackTideBri said:

According to a news release, the most recent operational assessment of the Atlantic bluefish stock concluded that the stock is overfished but not experiencing overfishing.

Can someone explain this to me?  Does it mean that they were overfished in the past and that we're still seeing the effects of that?

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Besides it being a potential Festivus Miracle, it MAY mean "Ooopppps, we screwed up the population estimates in the past, but if we officially call it overfished we have to really clamp down with very tight restrictions so let's leave it as not being overfished..."

 

The one thing I can say with confidence is that statement is the Poster Child Oxymoron for the current state of Fisheries (Mis)Management...

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2 hours ago, fishinbill said:

Can someone explain this to me?  Does it mean that they were overfished in the past and that we're still seeing the effects of that?

Overfished= biomass is below the minimum biomass for the species.

Overfishing = fishing mortality is above the targeted mortality.

 

despite sounding similar they are two very different things.

 

overfishing may lead to a stock being overfished, but it’s not an inevitable consequence. Overfished may or may not be caused by fishing, it could be caused by other factors, like a disease.

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I never ever thought I’d see this in my lifetime. My entire life bluefish have always seemed more than plentiful. I recently relocated back to New England after three years. Boy a lot has changed while I was gone. 

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The regulations on bluefish have been dumb forever.  NY had a 15 fish limit which is crazy, plus there is no minimum size in almost every state.  Makes no sense that you are allowed to keep 5" bluefish..

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