CWitek

Party Boat Poachers--It's about what we thought

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Posted (edited)

Was that part of his overall catch: 240 porgies, 167 fluke, 45 Sea Bass, 67 ocean pout, 1 flounder, 34 Cape Shark, 2 mackerel and a partridge in a pear tree? Still illegal but any chance the undersized where going towards a staff members commercial food fish license to sell? 

Edited by brushfly

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Been on that boat a few times. They catch but the shenanigans were a turnoff. Im sure the fine will equate to the fare of the 6 passengers who are forced yo fish the pulpit.

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4 hours ago, brushfly said:

Was that part of his overall catch: 240 porgies, 167 fluke, 45 Sea Bass, 67 ocean pout, 1 flounder, 34 Cape Shark, 2 mackerel and a partridge in a pear tree? Still illegal but any chance the undersized where going towards a staff members commercial food fish license to sell? 

Even shorts that are properly returned go into that recital.  My wife and I were fishing a couple of 15-fathom wrecks yesterday, and it's pretty clear how the numbers have to be pumped up with shorts to sound impressive.  Legal fish, whether sea bass or porgies, were few and far between.  Loads of sea bass, but many were some of the smallest that I've ever seen offshore; definitely young of the year.  If they survive the winter, the 2022 year class should be a very good oine.

 

But no, the impression I got was that the fish were hidden among passengers' gear.  About a year ago, I was talking to a mate on a Montauk party boat, and he told me that even when the captain--who had been invovled in a very messy DEC boarding a few years ago--tried to prevent passengers from keeping shorts, they were trying to hide them everywhere, including in their pockets, in order to take them home.

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49 mins ago, rollincoal said:

I'm surprised; 19 fish? It doesn't sound like the operation was worth the effort.

Depends on how many individuals were involved.  And the deterrent value of an at-sea boarding.

 

It's tough to get to the shorts before they're filleted.

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2 mins ago, CWitek said:

Depends on how many individuals were involved.  And the deterrent value of an at-sea boarding.

 

It's tough to get to the shorts before they're filleted.

Unless it is demonstrated that the poaching is completely egregious on these vessels, it seems like a small price to pay to keep what seems to be keeping a dwindling industry afloat.

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Nowadays it seems like many businesses can't stay afloat for whatever reason, the biggest ones even requiring the government to step in to prop them up.

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4 mins ago, rollincoal said:

Nowadays it seems like many businesses can't stay afloat for whatever reason, the biggest ones even requiring the government to step in to prop them up.

I don't agree with that sort of government support.  They can go out into the capital markets and exchange a share of the business ownership in return for funding.  It's just that the CEOs don't want their interest diluted.  We saw that with the airlines during the worst of the COV:ID epidemic.

 

Having worked for Lehman Brothers when it collapsed, because the government was trying to make a political point after bailing out Bear, Stearns, I have little sympathy for corporate problems.  This is largely a capitalist nation.  And capitalism allows companies to fail if they can't make a profit.

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Thanks for sharing this and I’m glad to see the name of the boat mentioned. Even though this offense wasn’t a major bust, it’s enough to keep me off this boat for good and tell friends to do the same. Hope DEC/USCG will put the same pressure on 6 pack-charter boats, especially those fishing Raritan Bay in Spring…
 

The Laura Lee “counts” never matched up to what I ever experienced fishing onboard…

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2 hours ago, CWitek said:

I don't agree with that sort of government support…

So, no bailouts?

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As much as we'd like to blame party boat captains for this type of thing, I think you've got to place the responsibility for following the regulations on the customers themselves with one big caveat: that the customers are properly educated by the captain & crew.  Let me explain.  Picture a full boat trip in the middle of the summer.  You've got customers shoulder to shoulder at the rail with fish coming on board constantly.  The captain is busy running the boat & crew.  The crew is busy helping customers, netting fish, untangling lines, etc.  Is it reasonable to expect the captain & crew to insure that every fish kept in this situation is a legal fish?  It's nearly impossible & very easy for short fish to end up in customers' coolers undetected. 

 

Now, do the captain & crew bear any responsibility?  Yes they do.  They should spend time during the ride out thoroughly explaining the regulations.  It should also be explained that boats are regularly checked by the DEC & that they will risk heavy fines should they be caught with illegal fish.  Or better yet, maybe the DEC could provide them with a statement that must be broadcast before any lines go in the water.  Additionally, the pertinent regulations should be posted throughout the boat & easy to read along with the potential fines.  Tape measures/rulers should be readily available as well.  And lastly, the crew should refuse to clean/fillet any & all illegal fish.

 

I suspect that very few (if any) party boats utilize these procedures.  They're likely afraid to lose customers if they're perceived as "too strict".  But instituting these procedures would go a long way toward shifting responsibility from the captain/crew to the customers where it really belongs. 

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4 hours ago, CWitek said:

they were trying to hide them everywhere, including in their pockets, in order to take them home.

C'mon Charles... we are all guilty of taping an undersized porgy or two to the inside of our thighs to get past DEC :howdy:

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