Ben T

Understanding the PID about Stripers

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2 hours ago, Ben T said:

I am trying to decipher the email I received by MA on the upcoming web meetings about the future of Stripers. I see all of the charts, etc. Can someone let us know in PLAIN language what they are trying to do?

 

http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/StripedBassAm7PID_PublicComment_Feb2021.pdf

 

Thanks

Ben, 

 

You sure do ask a lot. :b:

 

I'll try and make it easy for everyone to understand but I'll also add my personal feelings, In Bold, on these isses although I can't cover all of the issues trying to be addressed in the Amendment.

 

So:

1) Changing the Biological Reference Points(BRP) - This is the level of where managers want to bring the stock biomass to. How many fish should be in the fishery.

The movement has been to reduce this threshold to something lower than what was used to bring the stock back form the colapse in the 70's and 80's. Some folks feel that it is way too high and they should not as many fish as we saw in the early 2000's. This number was created using the 1995 Stock amount that was where ASMFC said the stock was fully rebuilt.

         I personally feel this is a huge mistake that will lead to increased harvest before we actually get the stock back to where we were in 2006. Leave the BRP as is. It worked before it will work again especially if we allow the menhaden fishery to come back.

2) management Triggers - ASMFC is asking if the current managment triggers should continue to be used. Problem is they don't adhere to the management triggers they have in place now and need to actually live up to their own management rules.

3) Rebuilding Schedule - They're trying to find out if we would accept huge changes to the fishery to rebuild the stock as quickly as possible or if a slower rebuilding strategy is more acceptable.

     My opinion is that we should do everything we can to rebuild the stock(any stock) as fast as we can.

4)Regional Management - ASMFC is asking, and this is the direct quote- "Should separate regional management programs be pursued for the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean region, which includes the Delaware Bay/Hudson River stock complex?

     I think that all regions need to adhere to the same mortality rate(F)

5) Conservation Equivalency(CE) - CE is basically the ability of each state to develop different measures to meet the target of the Fishery Managgement PLan even if the measure is different from mthe Coastwide Measure develpoed by the Striped Bass Board and the Technical and Scientific folks at ASMFC. These CE measures can lead to a state being able to harvest different size fish or increasing bag limits.

      I am not in favor of CE for Striped Bass as we have seen over thge past few years states will try and circumvent what the ASMFC has come up with. I think we need to do away with CE in the SB FMP so we're all fishinig on the same set of regulations.

The last issue I'll cover in the PID is Rereational Release Mortality

Simply put are too many fish dying after being released and what if anything should be done to reduce this release mortality?

    This one is sticky but I feel that if we reduce harvest the stock will come back. I'm not opposed to certain things like the use of circle hooks with clam bellies or chunked baits fished stationary on the bottom or snag and drop bunker but I don't think that it will make a huge difference in the release mortality. Consider if less than 4 million fish died when they were released compared to almost 40 million fish that swam away and survived after being released. I think we need to concentrate on the 40 million fish that lived.

 

I hope this helps you understand some of the issues that ASMFC is looking to get feedback for on Amendment 7.

 

Bob D

 

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There is so much in this PID that in reality they will probably prioritize the first 4 or 5 issues to be covered in Amendment 7 and the last 4 issues to be handled in later addendums.  If you want to oversimplify it, we are killing too many fish. I do agree with the green giant post above, the reference points should not be moved and the use of Conservation Equivalency has gotten out of control.

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10 hours ago, Catch This said:

There is so much in this PID that in reality they will probably prioritize the first 4 or 5 issues to be covered in Amendment 7 and the last 4 issues to be handled in later addendums.  If you want to oversimplify it, we are killing too many fish. I do agree with the green giant post above, the reference points should not be moved and the use of Conservation Equivalency has gotten out of control.

CT,

 

All of the issues in the PID are DEFINITELY getting addressed in Amendment 7.

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13 hours ago, Catch This said:

There is so much in this PID that in reality they will probably prioritize the first 4 or 5 issues to be covered in Amendment 7 and the last 4 issues to be handled in later addendums.  If you want to oversimplify it, we are killing too many fish. I do agree with the green giant post above, the reference points should not be moved and the use of Conservation Equivalency has gotten out of control.

A lot of the topics are closely related.

 

If you set a particular set of goals and objectives, and in good faith want to achieve them, that will directly impact the reference points and, to a large extent, the management triggers and rebuilding times (because if you don't have triggers that force managers to act in a timely manner, the goals and objectives are only wishful thinking).  Conservation equivalency and accountability are also closely tied to one another.  That leaves a few other issues like release mortality, regional management, and commercial allocations on their own,.

 

It's a lot to address in one amendment.  It can be done, but difficult to do well in the short, 1-year timeline that has been set.  I was deeply involved when the current amendment, Amendment 6, was developed, and that process took 3+ years.  

 

One of the purposes of the PID is to see whether any of the issues don't deserve additional development.  if there's general agreement on the goals and objectives, for example, that might not have to be addressed, and the current goals and objectives will carry over.  However, I think everything will be debated.  Throw commercial allocation into the mix, and the fight may go on and on.  Nothing like an allocation fight to bring out the worst in everyone, with the "haves" fighting to keep and the "have-nots" fighting to get.  Typically allocation debates go on for years, and end up close to the same place where they began.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am not, and was, not attempting to minimize any of the issues. I agree several are related. I also believe the Goal and objectives from Amend 6 should remain in place I certainly hope we do not change the triggers, particularly when overfishing is occurring and the fishery is overfished.  We shouldn't move the goal posts to allow more fish to be killed. Conservation Equivalency has gotten out of hand. The last addendum had 37 CE proposals from 15 states. I believe CE is a states right issue but they need strict guidelines i.e. no more than 1 CE proposal per state. Moreover, I agree Commercial Allocation will be nothing but a fight and I believe that should be held for a later addendum. I would like to see them get it all done, but I dont think it is realistic in the planned time-frame.

Edited by Catch This
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On 2/25/2021 at 10:58 AM, Jolly Green said:

Ben, 

 

You sure do ask a lot. :b:

 

I'll try and make it easy for everyone to understand but I'll also add my personal feelings, In Bold, on these isses although I can't cover all of the issues trying to be addressed in the Amendment.

 

So:

1) Changing the Biological Reference Points(BRP) - This is the level of where managers want to bring the stock biomass to. How many fish should be in the fishery.

The movement has been to reduce this threshold to something lower than what was used to bring the stock back form the colapse in the 70's and 80's. Some folks feel that it is way too high and they should not as many fish as we saw in the early 2000's. This number was created using the 1995 Stock amount that was where ASMFC said the stock was fully rebuilt.

         I personally feel this is a huge mistake that will lead to increased harvest before we actually get the stock back to where we were in 2006. Leave the BRP as is. It worked before it will work again especially if we allow the menhaden fishery to come back.

2) management Triggers - ASMFC is asking if the current managment triggers should continue to be used. Problem is they don't adhere to the management triggers they have in place now and need to actually live up to their own management rules.

3) Rebuilding Schedule - They're trying to find out if we would accept huge changes to the fishery to rebuild the stock as quickly as possible or if a slower rebuilding strategy is more acceptable.

     My opinion is that we should do everything we can to rebuild the stock(any stock) as fast as we can.

4)Regional Management - ASMFC is asking, and this is the direct quote- "Should separate regional management programs be pursued for the Chesapeake Bay and the ocean region, which includes the Delaware Bay/Hudson River stock complex?

     I think that all regions need to adhere to the same mortality rate(F)

5) Conservation Equivalency(CE) - CE is basically the ability of each state to develop different measures to meet the target of the Fishery Managgement PLan even if the measure is different from mthe Coastwide Measure develpoed by the Striped Bass Board and the Technical and Scientific folks at ASMFC. These CE measures can lead to a state being able to harvest different size fish or increasing bag limits.

      I am not in favor of CE for Striped Bass as we have seen over thge past few years states will try and circumvent what the ASMFC has come up with. I think we need to do away with CE in the SB FMP so we're all fishinig on the same set of regulations.

The last issue I'll cover in the PID is Rereational Release Mortality

Simply put are too many fish dying after being released and what if anything should be done to reduce this release mortality?

    This one is sticky but I feel that if we reduce harvest the stock will come back. I'm not opposed to certain things like the use of circle hooks with clam bellies or chunked baits fished stationary on the bottom or snag and drop bunker but I don't think that it will make a huge difference in the release mortality. Consider if less than 4 million fish died when they were released compared to almost 40 million fish that swam away and survived after being released. I think we need to concentrate on the 40 million fish that lived.

 

I hope this helps you understand some of the issues that ASMFC is looking to get feedback for on Amendment 7.

 

Bob D

 

Sounds right 

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Since almost half of the striper removal is due to release mortality I think this has to be at a higher focus. While we may not like some of the restrictions, stopping the continued waste of 2.7 million fish should be important enough to put up with added requirements.

 

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On 2/27/2021 at 11:44 AM, MichaelT said:

Since almost half of the striper removal is due to release mortality I think this has to be at a higher focus. While we may not like some of the restrictions, stopping the continued waste of 2.7 million fish should be important enough to put up with added requirements.

 

The accepted release mortality rate is just 9%, which is lower than the accepted rate for fluke (10%), or for bluefish, scup, or black sea bass (15%).  Thus, it's necessary to put release mortality in context.

 

Biologically, a dead fish is a dead fish.  Release mortality, that sees 9%--1 out of every 11--of released fish die, is no better or worse than harvest mortality, which sees 100% of fish tossed into coolers expire.  In either case, the fish is taken out of the spawning stock.

 

In a fishery like the striped bass fishery, which is overwhelmingly a recreational fishery--90% of fishing mortality is attributable to anglers--and overwhelmingly a release fishery, with 92% of all bass caught between 2015 and 2019 released, release mortality is naturally going to be high, because that's how anglers choose to utilize the resource--emphasizing recreation and catch-and-release rather than harvest.  Yes, some people keep bass--I think that the typical bass angler tends to keep a few fish each year but release the great majority of the catch--but recreation is the generally preferred utilization.  Thus, there will be a high level of release mortality.

 

To put it in another context, think of other fisheries--bonefish, tarpon, trout fisheries in no-kill stretches of rivers, sandbar and sand tiger sharks, etc.--where little or no harvest occurs.  In those fisheries, release mortality accounts for close to 100% of all fishing mortality, yet do we believe that the fish would be better off if release mortality was reduced and harvest permitted?

 

What the striped bass needs is reduced fishing mortality.  Reducing release mortality is certainly a part of it, but reducing landings is no less important; after all, combined commercial and recreational landings account for 50% of fishing mortality, yet when the ASMFC addressed that problem in October 2019, they adopted management measures with a 58% probability of failing to adequately reduce mortality.

 

So why focus on release mortality.  The way to rebuild the bass is focusing on reducing all sources of fishing mortality, because the problem is too many dead bass.

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13 mins ago, CWitek said:

The accepted release mortality rate is just 9%, which is lower than the accepted rate for fluke (10%), or for bluefish, scup, or black sea bass (15%).  Thus, it's necessary to put release mortality in context.

 

Biologically, a dead fish is a dead fish.  Release mortality, that sees 9%--1 out of every 11--of released fish die, is no better or worse than harvest mortality, which sees 100% of fish tossed into coolers expire.  In either case, the fish is taken out of the spawning stock.

 

In a fishery like the striped bass fishery, which is overwhelmingly a recreational fishery--90% of fishing mortality is attributable to anglers--and overwhelmingly a release fishery, with 92% of all bass caught between 2015 and 2019 released, release mortality is naturally going to be high, because that's how anglers choose to utilize the resource--emphasizing recreation and catch-and-release rather than harvest.  Yes, some people keep bass--I think that the typical bass angler tends to keep a few fish each year but release the great majority of the catch--but recreation is the generally preferred utilization.  Thus, there will be a high level of release mortality.

 

To put it in another context, think of other fisheries--bonefish, tarpon, trout fisheries in no-kill stretches of rivers, sandbar and sand tiger sharks, etc.--where little or no harvest occurs.  In those fisheries, release mortality accounts for close to 100% of all fishing mortality, yet do we believe that the fish would be better off if release mortality was reduced and harvest permitted?

 

What the striped bass needs is reduced fishing mortality.  Reducing release mortality is certainly a part of it, but reducing landings is no less important; after all, combined commercial and recreational landings account for 50% of fishing mortality, yet when the ASMFC addressed that problem in October 2019, they adopted management measures with a 58% probability of failing to adequately reduce mortality.

 

So why focus on release mortality.  The way to rebuild the bass is focusing on reducing all sources of fishing mortality, because the problem is too many dead bass.

Good points Charlie,

I couldn't agree more and have tried to get folks to look at release mortality just as you put it but I've not done all that well trying to get folks to readjust how they view RM.

 

Bob

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1 hour ago, CWitek said:

The accepted release mortality rate is just 9%, which is lower than the accepted rate for fluke (10%), or for bluefish, scup, or black sea bass (15%).  Thus, it's necessary to put release mortality in context.

 

Biologically, a dead fish is a dead fish.  Release mortality, that sees 9%--1 out of every 11--of released fish die, is no better or worse than harvest mortality, which sees 100% of fish tossed into coolers expire.  In either case, the fish is taken out of the spawning stock.

 

In a fishery like the striped bass fishery, which is overwhelmingly a recreational fishery--90% of fishing mortality is attributable to anglers--and overwhelmingly a release fishery, with 92% of all bass caught between 2015 and 2019 released, release mortality is naturally going to be high, because that's how anglers choose to utilize the resource--emphasizing recreation and catch-and-release rather than harvest.  Yes, some people keep bass--I think that the typical bass angler tends to keep a few fish each year but release the great majority of the catch--but recreation is the generally preferred utilization.  Thus, there will be a high level of release mortality.

 

To put it in another context, think of other fisheries--bonefish, tarpon, trout fisheries in no-kill stretches of rivers, sandbar and sand tiger sharks, etc.--where little or no harvest occurs.  In those fisheries, release mortality accounts for close to 100% of all fishing mortality, yet do we believe that the fish would be better off if release mortality was reduced and harvest permitted?

 

What the striped bass needs is reduced fishing mortality.  Reducing release mortality is certainly a part of it, but reducing landings is no less important; after all, combined commercial and recreational landings account for 50% of fishing mortality, yet when the ASMFC addressed that problem in October 2019, they adopted management measures with a 58% probability of failing to adequately reduce mortality.

 

So why focus on release mortality.  The way to rebuild the bass is focusing on reducing all sources of fishing mortality, because the problem is too many dead bass.

I was responding to an earlier comment that seem to brush off the need to address release mortality. Remember in the post i commented on they addressed several of the 10 issues in the PID and I was only commenting on one of them.  I did not say it was the only thing to focus on!

 

When release mortality is responsible for almost 50% of the kill we should be looking for ways to reduce it in any plan that is developed. Many of the no kill stretches of rivers have implemented additional rules, such as, barbless hooks to reduce mortality. Release mortality is often used by some of the state representatives to put all the blame on recreational fishing to protect their commercial fishing. So there is also a political aspect to including this in the PID. 
 

To me the most important areas are keeping the 1995 estimates for the management triggers under issue 2 and under issues 3 and 4 to take action quicker with more significant change with less concern for the impact. I think the quicker the recovery the less impact it will have in the long run. 
 

They also need to require the tagging of commercial caught fish at the time of the catch and verification the fish are sold to a licensed broker. In Mass only about a quarter of the commercial license holders sell a fish. Their current process is nothing but a license to steal.

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2 hours ago, MichaelT said:

 

 

When release mortality is responsible for almost 50% of the kill we should be looking for ways to reduce it in any plan that is developed. Many of the no kill stretches of rivers have implemented additional rules, such as, barbless hooks to reduce mortality. Release mortality is often used by some of the state representatives to put all the blame on recreational fishing to protect their commercial fishing. So there is also a political aspect to including this in the PID. 
 

To me the most important areas are keeping the 1995 estimates for the management triggers under issue 2 and under issues 3 and 4 to take action quicker with more significant change with less concern for the impact. I think the quicker the recovery the less impact it will have in the long run. 
 

They also need to require the tagging of commercial caught fish at the time of the catch and verification the fish are sold to a licensed broker. In Mass only about a quarter of the commercial license holders sell a fish. Their current process is nothing but a license to steal.

Agreed.

 

Here in New York, we do have mandatory tagging when the bass are caught, but they don't need to be sold to a licensed fish dock, etc.

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