I would take a close read over some of the issues buried within this document:
There are major topics here so as:
- Alternative set 1: black sea bass conservation equivalency
- Alternative set 2: Block Island Sound transit provisions (potentially Council only)
- Alternative set 3: recreational slot limits (Council only)
Here on Alt. set 3, there is this:
Alternative 3.B: modify the Council’s FMP to allow use of a maximum size limit for recreational summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries (would allow for slot limits, split slot limits, trophy and guppy fish measures, and other size limit configurations requiring a maximum size) .
Further there is something that again highlights how 'twisted' those within the TC and MC side are...for a lack of a more appropriate word when I saw this about BSB, to wit:
The Monitoring and Technical Committees have analyzed slot limits in the past. Their analysis and recommendations should be revisited if the Council and Board wish to consider use of specific slot limits in a given year.
For example, given the current status of the summer flounder stock (i.e. biomass is below the target and overfishing is occurring) and resulting low RHLs in recent years, a slot limit would need to be very narrow to prevent RHL overages.
Black sea bass spawning stock biomass is currently more than double the biomass target; therefore, black sea bass may be a better candidate for slot limits than summer flounder at this point in time.
Now..... who has 'ever' mentioned ANYTHING about slot limits for Black Sea Bass?
Is this what we now have coming from the science/regulatory side when you see brain-farts such as this ever being considered...slot limits for BSB?
Finally this is something which could/can have a significant impact on recreational regulations for BSB in the coming years...and one again has to question, why?
The Board adopted black sea bass RHL allocations for 2018, with the possibility of extension into 2019, through Addendum XXX.
However, the states of Massachusetts through New York have appealed this decision.
>>>> MRIP plans to release a revised time series of recreational harvest estimates during the summer of 2018. <<<<<
The NEFSC currently plans to carry out a black sea bass operational assessment using the revised MRIP time series in early 2019. The revised MRIP estimates and the operational assessment could have implications for allocations based on historical harvest.
The FMAT recommended that the Council and Board wait until after the results of the operational assessment are available to consider new allocation schemes under conservation equivalency.
I will report back on how this shakes out...hopefully with positive regulatory news.