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** NY BIGHT INSIDER **
>> JUNE 19, 2017 <<A REMINDER FOR THOSE WHO BUSINESS IS.......
Where do you start with blackfish as the Tautog Amendment is now in the final checking all the boxes stage with the various state meetings and the news for most fishermen especially here in the once Empire State is more proposed cuts in the coming year of 2018.
As I was told the other day, it seems the thinking is that cuts in the recreational possession limit is the only way to solve the issue in rebuilding the blackfish biomass in both the NY-NJ BIGHT and L.I. Sound management areas... but haven't we mentioned time and again over the years about other regulatory tools to address the concerns by both those in fishery management along with the for-hire industry who make a living from taking people fishing or permit holders who target blackfish?
Did someone say this has all fallen on deaf ears, or is it more of the regulatory "kicking the can down the regulatory road" over the years where we end up with a fishery crisis where the never ending negative economic impacts to fishermen and fishing businesses have to be made?
I am just tossing these thoughts out there just one day before what will be another contentious meeting at the DEC bunker in East Seatucket where few will walk away with any satisfaction that the issue in rebuilding the blackfish fishery will finally be addressed.
Let me remind all of you of a few dates from the past where various regulatory cuts were made to the recreational sector, and yet this fishery continues on a downward slide (AS PER NYS DEC TABLES):
1998 - OPEN ALL YEAR: 1 FISH 6/1 -10/6 & 10 FISH 10/7 - MAY 31 - 10 FISH @ 14"
2003 - OPEN SEASON: OCT 1 - MAY 31 - 10 FISH @ 14"
2008 - OPEN SEASON PERIODS: 10/1 - 12/20 & 1/17 - 4/30 - 4 FISH @ 14"
2012 - OPEN SEASON: OCT 5 - DEC 14 - 4 FISH BAG @ 16"
2019 - ????????
Notice the constraining recreational regulatory controls on first season, possession and then final TL - Total Length over the past two decades, and even with this we are now upon the cusp of the most restrictive blackfish regulations starting sometime in 2018.
Many questions here, and I am not going to work through them at this point. Many of you should have an idea on where this is going, but one of the most troubling may be with the Long Island Sound blackfish fishery with a possession limit (recreational) of either 1 or 2 fish, along with where the line of demarcation that separates the eastern part of LIS from the MARI and southshore blackfish management region:
Utter regulatory dysfunctional here, or is it just me with what a few of us have been saying on:
- Commercial: Hand Gear ONLY live-fishery
- Differential recreational possession limit between for-hire and private vessel fishermen
- No commercial take of blackfish during spawning period from (May 15 - July 15)
- Recreational possession, ANY LEGAL SIZE FISH onboard a vessel MUST BE BLED
- Extremely stiff fines for sale of blackfish by those without a NYS FFL
So, what is next? Increase the size limit to 17 inches and start the open season at sometime during the last week of October in order to retain the 4 fish possession limit?
As with most fisheries, there are no easy answers especially when a stock is in a severely depleted state especially as with see with blackfish. It has come to the point where the for-hire and those recreational black fishermen may have regulatory controls akin to ARS - American Red Snapper as we see in both the SAFMC and GOMex management regions with barely a few open days and minuscule possession limits.
I can remember the good old days and we are long far from those days of the wild-west fishery we once had. Folks whatever way it plays out in shaping the final Tautog Amendment until it is approved by the ASMFC, there will be a very long period of unrelenting and very harsh restrictions during the few open days in a season and how many blackfish you may legally take during a day of fishing. Truly a colossal failure by those in fishery management to let it get to this point..................
VOYAGER - NANTUCKET 2.0 IS ON SCHEDULE TO GO AT THE END OF THE MONTH
Did anyone see the article in last Friday:
app.com: Voyager fills up on cod, pollock on Nantucket fishing trip by Dan Radel
Or the full story from:
NANTUCKET 1.0 on the VOYAGER
As Captain Jeff noted in his fish-newsletter:
Just a quick heads-up to everyone: We still have spots available on our next NANTUCKET COD WRECK AND JIGGING TRIP. The trip leaves at 7:00PM on Friday June 30. The last trip was great! If you missed our original fishing report you should read the complete story as told by someone on board.
For those of you that cannot make the June 30 trip we have added one final NANTUCKET TRIP for 2017. This trip will be slightly shorter than the first two trips. We will leave the dock at 7:00PM on Thursday night July 27. We will fish various wrecks and the Nantucket Shoals all day Friday and Saturday. We will leave to come home around dark on Saturday night, returning to Point Pleasant between 9:00 and 10:00 AM on Sunday morning. On this schedule virtually all of our major riding time will be while you are asleep. The trip is limited to 30 anglers and the fare is $650.
For those who enjoy catching COD, pollock, white hake, haddock and other bottom fish, these are the trips to go fishing on the:
VOYAGER - PT. Pleasant Beach, NJ
BLACK SEA BASS SEASON - OPEN & CLOSED
NEW JERSEY CLOSES & NEW YORK OPENS AT THE END OF THE MONTH
In reading this line from Oscar Wilde written in a story the other day in the NY POST that applies to this fishery:
“I can resist everything except temptation......”
No doubt with this type of fishing in using a multi-hook rig............
(Thanks to Mel)
So what can we say about the biscuit fishery in the NY-NJ BIGHT at this time of the season?
Last week I spoke with one of the most noted for-hire captains in the region who passed along a story of his family having black and white pictures taken during the 1930's where large catches of BSB were made. Some fishermen would think that all the fish would be BO' sized during that time period, but as he noted to me that this was the fishery right outside and along the Garden State shoreline with biscuits ranging from 8 - 14 inches with a few "big ones" seen during a full day of no catch-limit fishing.
As many of you have either experienced or seen on socialized media, stories of catching 50, 60 or more a man, and yet barely making a 12.5 inch minimum size limit. Yes, there has been some of the fastest drop and lock BSB fishing due to these types of readings on the bottom (and thanks to the two captains who sent these readings in):
The complaining doesn't just stop there with the amount of BSB around that seems to point to another robust recruitment (seems this is from both the 2015 & 2016 year classes) coming into the fishery where fishermen are burning through bait because of the amount of fish in the NY-NJ BIGHT fishing grounds.
There is more to this fishing story as pointed out by a number of New Jersey for-hire captains since the fishery was open in May... as we have said time again, the number of biscuits reaching or above the 15" size limit is pretty limited to say the least....
(Thanks to Captain Steve - LADY M - NJ)
Part of this is due to the voluminous amount of smaller BSB around. The other part is due to fishermen not dropping to the bottom and leaving their rig there but should instead hit bottom then crank up between 5-10 cranks in order to get into the zone where the bigger biscuits lurk. Or you could just go 'bait-less' and use some type of jig and strip teaser combo:
Nonetheless the NYS - BSB season opens up within the week and from what I am hearing that even at a 3 fish possession limit, catching limits on a party boat of 15 inch biscuits is going to be extremely trying for even the best for-hire captains targeting these fish.
A LITTLE NEWS ON THE OTHER INSHORE BOTTOM SPECIES
As someone joked with me the other day with scup, "It was not a 'scuppa' de Mayo" for us here in Sheepshead Bay as the chops came much latter than when they usually show up on the Can and along various jetty bottom grounds. Finally though, the first strong run of bigger scup have moved in to where limits-fishing is in place now and fish 18 inches and larger are being weighted in for the pool. A big relief for the few bottom fishing captains left as the red hake fishery was the most dismal in memory and the winter flounder season which is off to a good start, is now closed to those fishing out of a NYS fishing port:
(Courtesy Captain Jeff of the VOYAGER - Pt. Pleasant, NJ)
For those who are fluking now......
(Captain Steve with a 11.4 lb pool winner - 1 of 2 that won the pool on both days of the HELEN H fluke trip!)
Here is one caught by Captain Steve while fishing out of a fishing port in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A number of New Jersey fishermen made a bus-man's trip to fish with Captain Joe on the Helen H which has started their Nantucket fluke schedule. From the two captains I spoke to, both stated that you cannot believe the amount of doormat sized flatfish which come from the shoal waters surrounding Nantucket.
Around the NY-NJ BIGHT parts......it can be summed up as we are in summer fishing mode. Decent sized fish are seen, but limits are far from the norm due to the 19" minimum size limit.
THE BIGGEST FISHERY NEWS FOR RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN?
(Courtesy of Captain SW who sent this in)
As reported by FISHERY NATION - Continously Updated
The U.S. Commerce Department says recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico will have 39 more days to fish federal waters for red snapper — even though this could add years to the species’ recovery from nearly disastrous overfishing. (Ps, the correct term is exceeding the RHL)
The agreement means private recreational anglers “will substantially exceed” a catch limit designed to prevent overfishing, and “may delay the ultimate rebuilding of the stock by as many as 6 years” past its 2032 goal, according to a notice made public Wednesday.
However, the National Marine Fisheries Service predicts that red snapper numbers will keep growing, just much more slowly, the notice said. It said Gulf states’ economies are being hurt and different approaches to management are “undermining the very integrity of the management structure,” so “the Secretary of Commerce has determined that a more modest rebuilding pace ... is a risk worth taking.”
Read the whole story here: nwf Daily News: (6.15.17) Feds complain new snapper season will hurt species’ recovery
At this point, anglers and fishing businesses are so fed up with fishing regulators with the so called "hurting the rebuilding of a fish stock" that steps are now being taken to go directly to the Secretary of Commerce in order to bring some reasonableness back to regulating our coastal fisheries. Let's see how this plays out with the compliance issues with fluke and sea bass in this region by states now taking this route.
ALL FOR NOW IS WE ARE NOW DONE WITH THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR
(Thanks to Frank who found this old time 'MIKE'S TACKLE fishing patch)
Hard to believe we are roughly a week away from July and our American Independence celebration. The season so far is lagging from what we see in that most species are behind on the traditional fish calendar. As I reported earlier, one of the upsides of an abnormally cold spring is this...and thanks to:
Captain Tom Mikoleski of GRAND SLAM CHARTERS - Montauk:
(Those sure look great to see around here!)
One can hope that the weather has finally settled down, though from the reports I have heard from yesterday and today, it sure isn't 'June-like' out on the ocean right now. It will get better though.
Onto Nantucket 2.0 within the coming week....
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I attended last nights Blackfish meeting and without getting into too much detail it was basically a venting session attended by an angry mob. Although it was at times both entertaining and frustrating it was in my estimation a waste of my time. No surprise here. As a commercial guy I truly hate when they combine both rec and commercial planning in the same meeting. Aside from the venting,[ which is good] not much else was accomplished. They used to do the same thing with the BSB meetings and it was always a fiasco. When they held one meeting for rec proposals and one for commercial we at least got something accomplished on the commercial side. Overwhelmingly people voted for no change in regs. I don't want to burst any ones balloon, but that's not going to happen. Without having come up with something viable, Gilmore and company basically gave up and we will probably end up with what ever gets crammed down our throats. An unproductive meeting in my estimation but they certainly were made aware of people's anger and frustration. And for those few that don't already know, Charlie W----.who sits on the MRAC is a true duchebag!!
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Some embarrassing show put on the NYS DEC bunker yesterday. One can read the very numerous - heated comments on socialized media today, and the individual at the very top of the marine agency should be ousted by the governor of the once Empire State for what transpired at a state fishery meeting last evening.
So what was accomplished?
Once again the use of extremely bad data being put forth and used for harvest estimates once again? I pointed this out on the NY MRIP - Private Vessel estimate which came to anglers fishing everyday during November and December having to harvest over 4500 fish each and every day...yes, at 16".....
When you combine all private vessel Total Harvest the sum is 201,082 blackfish....
Divide that by 44 days open (fishing everyday in Nov. & Dec.) and that comes out to 4570 blackfish caught everyday.
Finally, apply full success with every fishermen catching the limit, 4 blackfish at 16 inches and the requires 1143 fishermen to harvest those 4570 blackfish daily around NY and Long Island. Now start stripping away days for the holidays and bad weather, and the number of blackfish required to be harvest grows figuratively "exponentially."
Questionable science once again on display with what one would think with a juvenile blackfish being ready to spawn, contrary to what is in the official Commission documents.
Besides a federal government employee who showed up very late to the meeting, but I wouldn't blame her or Sandy the NYS DEC biologist or John Mansicalco the Chief there of the NYS DEC enforcement.....No they are not to blame for the debacle that was on display yesterday.
As Fetchedup stated, "it became a pure venting session by an anger mob." These same comments can be found on socialized media, or here with the excellent description written by:
Chris Spies on the Fishery Management Board on NE
How much more can be either written or verbally stated at the meetings that both the fishing industry and most of the fishing public are just disgusted with the management process of various fish stocks?
Those within fishery management have to understand that whatever good work they may be doing is, and has been undermined by such fishery fiascos...in fact, we have two major ones here in this region with Black Sea Bass, and with summer flounder.
What will it take for them to get it...to understand that you are not only destroying fishing businesses and putting people out of the fishing industry, but you are adding to the lawless behavior of the fishing public who see no legitimacy to the regulations?
One continues to ask...how long can this go on here at the NYS DEC where there is a continued lack in making any positive regulatory decisions to allow fishing businesses to somehow operate and people can make a living?
Isn't this about the people where at some point the public can catch enough fresh seafood for a dinner, two or three, and those with permits can make some money by harvesting fish?
I doubt there will be a "happy ending" for those who blackfish, along with what we are seeing with a pattern where fishermen will grow more defiant over time because of the missteps by those on the various levels of fishery management.
It is hard to fathom that we have reached this low point, but I continue to say that it is time to start holding those on the other side of the regulatory accountable............
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Its a shit show, always has been a shit show and always will be a shitshow....no other way to put it. Was the same in the early 90s only then regs were a minor annoyance where as now they are putting an end to many livelyhoods.
Question is, what can be done?
I have always suggested an independent study that takes into account many of the factors that have been overlooked. Its not always about the number of fish caught. Its about the number of fishermen fishing, the number of days they are able to fish, time of year and the areas they fish. I guarantee you that if I spent a night looking at Fetchedups, James Josephs or any other end users log books for the last 20 years, I would be able to tell you the exact state of our local fisheries.
If these scientists were interested in getting things right, they would enlist every captain involved in a fishery and sit down with them and compare all the data sets. They would realize that the algorithm they have been using while very convenient to use is obsolete. Nature doesnt follow statistical models. Perhaps Im oversimplifying things here but thats the point. Lets start over and see what we have.
"When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others" - Chinese Proverb
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Every day I leave the dock I am required to fill out a Vessel Trip Report. The DEC has them from me going back well over twenty years. About a year ago they admitted that they had not reviewed those reports in several years. All that data collected and sitting in a dark room where it is totally useless. Every commercial boat as well as head and charter boats fill out either a federal or state VTR. That's a lot of data going unused.
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A good Thursday morning, and I just want to reply to this thread since this topic is reverberating on socialized media....
Gilmore.... so let me summarize this, with the exception of 'One-way Charlie'.
Thank goodness for smartphone technology.....
Yes there is now a video online with Captain Jimmy Schneider laying out real-life in the fishing industry here on Long Island, and a rattled Director of the NYS DEC tossing his hands up at the end...
This is what was written along with the video by Mike Jacobs:
I went to a DEC meeting last night regarding new regulations being proposed for blackfish. It was chaos,-but it was also comforting to know that it is NOT just me who realizes that the DEC is an organization out of control with extremely flawed data run by a group of people who are self perpetuating their own bullshit numbers in a bureaucracy built on misinformation.
I wish all of you involved in the fishing community could've heard how ridiculous many of the proposals were, not only for commercial fishermen, but also recreational fishermen. This is not a commercial versus recreational problem-it is a problem where the DEC has totally destroyed the pleasure of fishing for young children who spend too much time already on computers and need to go outdoors, but the regulations on fluke, sea bass, and the fisheries in general have gotten to the point where a father and son, mother and daughter, cannot go out and have a reasonable hope of catching some fish together and having a meal on the table that evening of the fish they caught after a wonderful day on the water together.
The DEC not only destroyed that dream, but they are destroying the charter boat business, party boat business, commercial fishing communities,, the wonderful local tackle shops- and if it was done with good purpose and a true need, I could understand it. But if you could listen to people who have been divers for years talking about record numbers of fish being seen, maybe not in the same easy spots, but they are still there-in tremendous numbers.
The DEC has a basic flaw in the misinformation that rods and reels are the perpetrators of tremendous collateral damage to the fisheries. That is not the case. Fishermen with rods and reels are but a small fraction of the ecological problems with fish stock. Dragger bycatch, cormorants and seals in the bay, the ecology in general-and you've heard the rest from me before. But what this post is about is the word PASSION!
Yes, the passion of a guy from Long Island who runs a party boat and is seeing all of his dreams and the ability to pass his business down to his children being wrecked by bad management and bad information. I took this video in a contorted position and it is not the clearest shot of him speaking, but that's not important. What is important are his words, his beliefs, and the way he expresses the outrage many of us feel.
At the end of the meeting I asked him if he would mind if I put it up on Facebook and he told me "Go for it!"-I think if you watch this video I believe you will understand that wonderful people like this guy are the hard-working backbone of America and they are getting screwed by bureaucracies which are out of control-and choking a wonderful group of people to financial ruin. The problem goes so much deeper but I can't keep on going here-it has to do with the fact that there is not one fish packing house left from Brooklyn to Shinnecock - and so many other tragedies by mismanagement of fishing on so many levels. I doubt anybody got to the end of this-but if you did, what's most important is to watch the video.
If you are watching this on your phone, please turn the phone completely upside down for the best view-I will not win any awards as a camera man!
Good fishing to all and rip your kids away from the computer and their smart phones and take them fishing!
Thank you for listening.
What we can we say at this point that has not been said before with the way fishery management along with those who make a living on the taxpayers 'dime' have led to this situation where we have a whole cottage here on Long Island and NYC being put out of business?
This is tragic because it is about the people...and not only about the ones who love to go fishing, but the people who have invested their lives in a small business which is being ripped apart by continued flawed data and the attitude of not taking into account the livelihood of the people who are trying to remain viable each and every year.
If this was an isolated or infrequent case of fishery mismanagement, I would point that out. No, we have this going on at every level...from the Advisory Panel meetings where industry input is disregarded to Council and Commission meetings where we continue to have too many of these members just sitting for one too many hours and just not thinking to themselves, "this could be 'ME' being put out of business and not making a paycheck."
We have tried to learn and speak the fishery language at the meetings....put up with the decorum and rules that go along at fishery meetings where BOTH sides must and should be heard...and as much, taken into account since their always is three sides to a story. Yes, theirs, ours and reality and somewhere the truth should meet.
Someone asked me last night about "what more can be done" and I said directly back to him that we are witnessing the breakdown of hardworking family people who are just so fed up with government and those that work within government. They are failing....time and again, with no good answers being put forth...or attempts to try and be reasonable.
As I was just told by Captain Greg Mercurio of the YANKEE CAPTS - Key West, Fla. this morning,
I am just trying to exist in this business......
How much more time has to be spent upon this, but one can read from Captain Monty Hawkins and a few others in the for-hire industry about trying to remain viable over the years and this includes in having sustainable fisheries. Without the product...the resource itself, there will neither be commercial fishing nor the public who will want to go fishing along our shoreline.
I have to move along now, but think about this...where it is going with taking fish out of our oceans, and those who are within fishery management who should be thinking about serving the people who pay their salaries.
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