DeepBlue85

The asmfc

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The asmfc cares about the table value of these fish, nothing else.  Although the asmfc is tasked with managing sustainability of fisheries, their doing so with political intention.  Local commercial fleets (local business) across the fishery have a lot of clout with their respective politicians who subsequently weigh in on issues within the asmfc.  If anything the asmfc does constrains their constituents in any way, deals are made in fear of "killing local business".  Consider this, if the asmfc were to impose regulations appropriate to fully recover the stock to an abundance not only would the regulations necesary potentially damage the politicians constituents ( commercial fishermen) the resulting abundance would also hurt them by devaluing the fish. This is a mantra by which they manage all other species under their watch, while the benefit of commercial and rec. for hires is a necessary one, the transparency of truth needs to be better understood by those who expect the asmfc to do more in the recovering striped bass to its recent abundance, and why they haven't.

However, an abundance of striped bass will drive price of the fish down essentially paying captains and their crews less, so, to maintain the most profitable biomas of fish whereby striped bass (and all other resources) can sell at a higher price point, this is the "abundance" they continue to maintain.  This is also why their pushing for a bench mark adjustment whereby what was once considered overfishing, can no longer ever be considered overfishing again.  This does two things, it levitates responsibility of the asmfc over the corrupt handling of the fishery and it ensures politicians and their constituents (commercial fishermen, for hires, etc) will have the highest profit per pound. I dont blame the commercial guys, their making a living and I dont expect them to leave anything on the table, if it were my livelihood I wouldnt either.   

The asmfc howver is a corrupt, inept, illusion that like all the rest of politics, should be properly rooted out where necessary.

 

I'm not an expert, I gather information and draw conclusions, my opinion may be different than yours though given historical context within our fishery one fact is proven; striped bass are being mismanaged.

Edited by DeepBlue85

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We used to have the same problems on the regional fishery management councils, which for 20 years failed to rebuild overfished stocks of fish in New England and elsewhere.  Many species, including fluke, bottomed out in the late 1980s and 1990s, more than a decade after the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was passed in 1976.l

 

In response, Congress passed the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, which for the first time required the regional fishery management councils, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to end overfishing, rebuilde overfished stocks, and base management decisions on the best available science.  For the first time, annual quotas would be based on "optimum" yield, defined in part as maximum sustainable yield as reduced by relevant economic, social, and ecological factors.  Prior to 1996, the regional fishery management councils were legally permitted to "adjust"--read that as "increase" harvests above maximum sustainable yield for economic reasons, which is what led to the problems.

 

In 2000 the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided Natural Resources Defense Council v. Daley, which essentially stood for the proposition that Magnuson-Stevens, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, means what it says, and that management measures with less than a 50 percent probability of achieving their conservation goals are legally insufficient.

 

As noted above, you have to expect anyone who makes money off the head of a fish (not only commercial fishermen, but for-hire operators, bait wholesalers, tackle shops, etc.) to vote in their own short-term economic interests, so when you have a panel such as the various ASMFC management boards, it's no surprise that they elevate economics over the long-term health of fish stocks.  So what needs to be done is to fix the ASMFC in the same manner as the problems with the regional fishery management councils were fixed.  We need what might be deemed the "Sustainable Atlantic Coast Fisheries Act of 2021," which would impose legally enforceable standards on ASMFC management actions, and give the federal courts jurisdiction over the Commission (currently, another Court of Appeals decision from the DC Circuit, New York v. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, decided in 2010, insulates the ASMFC from judicial review under the federal Administrative Procedures Act).

 

If the elections turn out favorably next week, maybe we can make that happen.

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Unfortunately they suffer from “right now” vision and lack the necessary foresight for the commercial interests of the future. Which in turn hurts everybody (eventually) and further erodes the fishery as a whole. And obviously the recreational anglers shall suffer at the hands of money making, but the commercial sector will also suffer from the same dilemma given enough time. 

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23 hours ago, Domjolly said:

Unfortunately they suffer from “right now” vision and lack the necessary foresight for the commercial interests of the future. Which in turn hurts everybody (eventually) and further erodes the fishery as a whole. And obviously the recreational anglers shall suffer at the hands of money making, but the commercial sector will also suffer from the same dilemma given enough time. 

True.  I've often said that for most of the non-scientists involved in fisheries management, "the future" is next week's trip, and anyone who thinks as much as a year ahead is a visionary.

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