jason colby

"Public Comments to Ma-DMF"

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There are several current public comment requests current with The MA DMF. The one below I sent is opposing a "proposed"  increase (doubling the per trip quota) for summer flounder, AKA fluke. While it has been my experience that "public comments" are largely ignored, unless they are pro commercial, I feel compelled to do my part anyway. Below is an example of what I sent yesterday to : marine.fish@public.govdelivery.com 

 

Public Comment Sought on Proposed In-Season Increase to 2020 Summer Flounder Period I (January 1 - April 22) Commercial Trip Limits

___________________________________________________________________________________
 
I do not agree with increasing the trip limits for summer flounder and I believe the data shows that the population justifies a decrease in both the daily and seasonal limits and quotas. The same "problem" of not meeting your seasonal quota has been occurring with striped bass for much the same reason and you just kept on trying to find ways to kill as many fish as possible. This is not responsible management and you cannot justify it with the data of stock availability.
Please see attached info from Mr. Tom Smith of the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Marine Council
 
Thank you!

 
 
Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters
 
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Another one I sent in about the proposal to re-open the closed dragging areas that were supposed to protect winter flounder as they are moving inshore to spawn:
 
Recommendation to Temporarily Lift the Commercial State-Waters Groundfish Closure in Massachusetts Bay for April 2020
 
____________________________________________________
 
I very strongly oppose the lifting of the groundfish closure in ANY state waters for April as suggested in the last State Fishery Memo (02/14/20). As we all know, the only thing to catch "arguably responsibly" at this point would be winter flounder and April is the month that they move into the inshore areas, estuary's and bays to spawn. They are full of eggs and having cut millions of flounder I can tell you for a fact that this is the time of the year that flounders fillet at the lowest possible yield (33-36% as opposed to 40-46% after May). By killing additional fish when they are about to spawn for "less than you are counting on" and doing that knowingly is not reasonable, especially considering that Massachusetts would have exceeded it's annual quota allowance for several years running if there was not a quota transfer from the Federal GOM allowance.
Also, with the current situation of cod biomass in The GOM, it would be uncalled for to risk additional cod mortality. Especially considering that the larger, breeding cod would be utilizing the very areas you are considering opening.
I contend that "almost 100% of the total GOM winter flounder harvest for the past 8 years" has been coming from the stock that "formerly" populated Boston Harbor and the surrounding coastal bodies of water. I say "formerly" because those stocks have already been decimated as proven by the fact that recreational catch has dropped off by over 90% in that same time-frame. I am speaking specifically of the waters from Plymouth to the New Hampshire boarder and you can document this yourselves by speaking to any bait and tackle shop along the coast that sells flounder fishing supplies.
Recreational anglers contribute far more to the economy of Massachusetts than all the state waters commercial fisheries do and we deserve at least equal consideration!
 
Thank you!
 
Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters
 
 

Summer Flounder Recovery Plan to Commission_Council (1).pdf

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Perhaps you might add my name to your response as For me it is time to watching out for the resource itself It does not take an biologist to know when each speakeasies are in the middle of reproduction activities . The spring time evolution to continue a thriving flounder population must be closed during that time frame to give all of the breeding fish a chance to produce offspring for the future /

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Just now, Angler #1 said:

Perhaps you might add my name to your response as For me it is time to watching out for the resource itself It does not take an biologist to know when each species  are in the middle of reproduction activities . The spring time evolution to continue a thriving flounder population must be closed during that time frame to give all of the breeding fish a chance to produce offspring for the future /

 

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Good Afternoon Mr. Armstrong and Mr. McKiernan!
 
 
I'm writing today to ask a question which I will preface a little first. This morning I was speaking with a NOAA scientist and my experiences with "public comments" came up. I complained that it seemed to me that the only reason The Ma DMF has public comments is because they are required to and they really mean absolutely nothing to The DMF as they seem to be widely ignored. The NOAA guy said on the federal level, at least with NOAA, they are "required to respond" to the public comments either individually or as a group to explain their position, especially if it means they are, for some reason not going to "go with" overwhelming public support (or opposition) to whatever the public comments are about.
To me, that seems to give the branch of government, in this case The DMF, reasonable accountability which would seem fair, especially to the people who took the time to write public comments. Therefore, the question I have is "why does the state of Massachusetts not have a similar response to the public and why"?
 
Thank you!
 
Jason Colby

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Good points my friend . One reason may be they figure that all they are required to do is hold a hearing as is stated in the law they SHALL do If the other part has not been defined by the legislation they do not feel any obligation to complete the process with any feedback to the public peace

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6 hours ago, jason colby said:
Good Afternoon Mr. Armstrong and Mr. McKiernan!
 
 
I'm writing today to ask a question which I will preface a little first. This morning I was speaking with a NOAA scientist and my experiences with "public comments" came up. I complained that it seemed to me that the only reason The Ma DMF has public comments is because they are required to and they really mean absolutely nothing to The DMF as they seem to be widely ignored. The NOAA guy said on the federal level, at least with NOAA, they are "required to respond" to the public comments either individually or as a group to explain their position, especially if it means they are, for some reason not going to "go with" overwhelming public support (or opposition) to whatever the public comments are about.
To me, that seems to give the branch of government, in this case The DMF, reasonable accountability which would seem fair, especially to the people who took the time to write public comments. Therefore, the question I have is "why does the state of Massachusetts not have a similar response to the public and why"?
 
Thank you!
 
Jason Colby

On the money jason........

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8 hours ago, robc22 said:

On the money jason........

Thank you Rob!

 

Part of the problem is that government in general, and in Massachusetts in particular, they seem to forget who is the boss and who pays the (overblown) salaries. A government of "we the people, for the people" does not have to always do what is most popular but I believe the public should at least be given a reason why...

If there was a response to the position taken in spite of opposition in a public comment issue then the public as a whole would feel their input was more meaningful and then be more likely to participate in future input situations. The way it is now, there is very little public interest to be part of the process because history shows it means nothing to the people receiving the comments as anyone can see by the lack of enthusiasm to the first post in this thread which should be of great importance to all on this regional (Massachusetts) board.

These people in The DMF are not The Pope that "demand" our respect and we are not required to rise when thy enter the room (yet). Respect has to be earned and it is a two way street.

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As a young man I heard stories(in Rhode Island)about fisheries and law makers.

It seamed the trick was to corner them in the State house elevator and press the stop button.

Another trick was to call up Federal hill taxi and take a lawmaker for a ride all day when the bill was on the floor. No broken bones I was told.

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:51 AM, jason colby said:

There are several current public comment requests current with The MA DMF. The one below I sent is opposing a "proposed"  increase (doubling the per trip quota) for summer flounder, AKA fluke. While it has been my experience that "public comments" are largely ignored, unless they are pro commercial, I feel compelled to do my part anyway

 

Looks like you were correct in your thinking. Just opened the emails saying DMF temporarily lifting Mass Bay comm groundfish closure; and DMF to increase 2020 summer flounder trip limits. I am sure those emails were already written before the public comments. 

 

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1 hour ago, CcCstriper89 said:

 

Looks like you were correct in your thinking. Just opened the emails saying DMF temporarily lifting Mass Bay comm groundfish closure; and DMF to increase 2020 summer flounder trip limits. I am sure those emails were already written before the public comments. 

 

YEP:

 

So, in spite of overwhelming public demand that this not happen, they do it (again)!
This "annual closure" actually never happened. It was implemented (for a good reason) in January, 2019 and was "lifted" on 03/27/19. This year the lift is 5 weeks earlier while still in the "public comment period". What is up with that?
The "proposed" fluke trip limit doubling from 1000 pounds/day to 2000 pounds is also approved to commence on 02/23/20, ALSO while still in public comment period. We are getting shafted!
 
JC
 

From: marine.fish@public.govdelivery.com
To: fishinglsister@aol.com
Sent: 2/21/2020 12:29:00 PM Pacific Standard Time
Subject: DMF to Temporarily Lift Massachusetts Bay Commercial Groundfish Closure for April 2020

 
Action approved by Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission at February 20th business meeting.
 

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Commercial Fishing Advisory Image

February 21, 2020

DMF to Temporarily Lift MA Bay Commercial Groundfish Closure for April 2020 

For 2020, DMF is taking action to temporarily lift the April commercial groundfish closure in the Massachusetts Bay portion of state-waters between 42°00’ N (Plymouth) and 42°30’ N (Marblehead) that are west of 70°30’ W (see map). This action is being implemented pursuant to the Director’s declaratory authority (Legal Notice) and was approved by the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission at their February 20, 2020 business meeting.

DMF intends to sample commercial state-waters groundfish trips during this April opening. DMF’s Fisheries Dependent Research Program will be reaching out to active fishermen. These fishermen are reminded that they are required to accommodate state sea samplers.

DMF established this conditional commercial groundfish closure for April in Massachusetts Bay in 2019. The closure was designed to ensure the state-waters fishery does not exceed annual federally allocated state-waters subcomponents for regulated groundfish stocks and compromise federal conservation objectives. Accordingly, the closure is conditional and the regulation allows DMF to lift the closure on an annual basis if it concludes that allowing commercial groundfish fishing in the area will not compromise these stated objectives. For the current fishing year (May 1, 2019 – April 30, 2020), DMF’s analysis indicated that the closure could be lifted. A similar analysis was conducted last year resulting in the closure being lifted also being lifted for April 2019.

This action does not impact existing spawning closures or gear type closures in these state-waters or in adjacent state-waters in the Gulf of Maine. These spawning and gear type closures will remain in effect and will continue to restrict groundfish fishing in certain areas. These closures include the February 1 – May 31 winter flounder spawning closurethroughout the inshore waters north of Cape Cod, the April 16 – July 21 spring cod spawning conservation zone off Marblehead, the February 1 – May 15 Critical Habitat gillnet closure in Cape Cod Bay, and the mobile gear closures off Boston and the North Shore. DMF has published maps on its website depicting how these various closures interact and where groundfish fishing may occur during April based on gear type.

For more information regarding the management of marine fisheries in the Commonwealth please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries


 
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I will say it is nice that we are receiving these emails now, as the DMF email list has been quiet for years, but like the person above stated, I have a feeling the decision was made regardless of public comment. 

 

 

 

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On 2/20/2020 at 3:58 PM, jason colby said:
Good Afternoon Mr. Armstrong and Mr. McKiernan!
 
 
I'm writing today to ask a question which I will preface a little first. This morning I was speaking with a NOAA scientist and my experiences with "public comments" came up. I complained that it seemed to me that the only reason The Ma DMF has public comments is because they are required to and they really mean absolutely nothing to The DMF as they seem to be widely ignored. The NOAA guy said on the federal level, at least with NOAA, they are "required to respond" to the public comments either individually or as a group to explain their position, especially if it means they are, for some reason not going to "go with" overwhelming public support (or opposition) to whatever the public comments are about.
To me, that seems to give the branch of government, in this case The DMF, reasonable accountability which would seem fair, especially to the people who took the time to write public comments. Therefore, the question I have is "why does the state of Massachusetts not have a similar response to the public and why"?
 
Thank you!
 
Jason Colby

You nailed it...the problem is that they generally don't want to be accountable :read:

 

TimS

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Well.... looks like our opinions mean less than we thought.

Increased limits on fluke and springtime CCB groundfish.

 

Great day for commercials....Sad day for MA saltwater sportsmen. :banghd:

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2 hours ago, TimS said:

You nailed it...the problem is that they generally don't want to be accountable :read:

 

TimS

Sorry its science for these guys.. I'm on one advisory

council and to listen to a lot of talking points from our rec experts  without regard to reality is sad.. . No they really should listen to us unless we become more informed...But keep screaming at someone, you'll feel better.

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4 hours ago, mybosox3 said:

Sorry its science for these guys.. I'm on one advisory

council and to listen to a lot of talking points from our rec experts  without regard to reality is sad.. . No they really should listen to us unless we become more informed...But keep screaming at someone, you'll feel better.

Drastically catching less and less fish, while increasing the limits on their harvest is Reality and Science??
I don’t understand :eek:

It's like spending more money than you earn, and wondering why you have no savings.....

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