MAY 3, 2018 - ASMFC POLICY BOARD & NORTHERN BSB APPEAL: 'THE COMPROMISE'

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MAY 3, 2018 - ASMFC POLICY BOARD & NORTHERN BSB APPEAL: 'THE COMPROMISE'

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Thu May 03, 2018 3:55 pm

The latest Debbie Downer news from today's ASMFC - NORTHERN BSB Appeal...

The post Policy Board Meeting minutiae which for Joe Fisherman and the for-hire for all the regional states...and allow me to use and modify a line from the show 'Billions'...

"The MAFMC and ASMFC are like pigs on LSD. You don't know which way they are going to run...."


Oh yes, and I know a few who serve on both these regulatory bodies will be upset with such a description, but what played out this morning and led by a steam-roller presentation by Dr. Pierce, led a few of us listening that this would end up being a bloodbath between three regions on the amount of biscuits taken from two (on paper), and shifted to the region that filed the appeal.

What occurred though and may have been prompted by the not so subtle reminder on reaching an agreement today, as the 'Precautionary Default Mechanism' would be implemented for all the regions, and thus we had an outcome which surprised those listening on the other end of the webinar.

As one can see from scanning over the first group of images, the new recreational BSB regulations were approved with the northern region and as much for recreational sector in New york gaining more than - with an increase in a 'few' more open days and two more biscuits starting on Sept. 1st then was proposed in the original handout at the Stony Brook meeting a month ago.

The staggering part of the Policy Board meeting is that it will create serious implications in the setting of BOTH commercial and recreational measures in the very near future as outlined here:


1- Rob O'Reilly indicating a new direction that fishery management is now taking in using STATISTICAL BASED methods with the new (for management purposes) smoothing techniques that will be used anytime a state discovers data outliers in a Wave estimate.

2- Climate Change...... yes, this is the new 800 lb gorilla in the regulatory room that will now have to be considered going forward as far as allocations, or shall I say, re-allocating fish from the southern regions to the northern region as all major managed stocks have displayed south to north and west to east core biomass shifts. Prepare for major battles here as we currently see with the NYS commercial summer flounder allocation lawsuit.

3- 'White Papers' and the regulatory implications within such legal documents. Once again, the regulatory decision making power of the Councils, and the decisions in making final motions, will and from what it now seems, lessen.


The other noticeable bullet points made is something that I and a number of other people involved in this fishery have previous mentioned about the 2015 BSB cohort, which once again the Dr. of marine fisheries in Massachusetts indicating "that it as robust and maybe more so than the blowout BSB cohort from 2011."

This eliminates the regulatory scuttlebutt we have heard over the decay (mortality) in the time series of these fish (thus the constraining we have seen in specifications for the last two years) as the 2015 cohort is now coming into 'harvestable' range (depending on a state's minimum size) and this year class will not only be with us to harvest, but will make substantial contributions to recruitment for at least the next half decade to come.

There is also something very serious here which GARFO is going to have to immediately consider and that is the use of statistical measurement tools that the states are adapting to correct the serious inaccuracies with MRIP (more on this in a moment), and that is the use of Thompson's tau analysis and then 'Winsorizing' or Winsorization - and the impact on the catch and harvest data estimates we will see now and into the future.

Here the question that can be asked, "did a state catch 10,000 of X species of fish, or was it 100,000 fish," as any state can now use these statistical tools to smooth outliers or more accurately put, "MASSAGE THEIR DATA." Does statistical methods in coming up with a 'number' now 'trump' what we reasonably believe was caught?

Now in the past years, both Captain Monty and myself have posted figuratively, countless MRIP data query's that have turned into our routine of posting the MRIP - follies where we see outrageous landing spikes or where private vessels in one state can harvest an amount of fish that dwarfs what the commercial sector reports, or the average fish size caught by private vessels make long time highliner for-hire captains appear to be pikers who end up catching smaller fish... and the best with the shoreline "reported to be caught" haddock, codfish or BO' size biscuit.

This has to addressed with some framework of rules as we will never have any reasonable indication of what has actually be caught between even neighboring states.

Then after the final motion passed approving the Appeal we had the MRIP presentation and the next reincarnation of the Dr. Frankenstein-like recreational harvest estimate program.

Notice that the wizards within the MRIP program in coordination with other statistical gurus will be coming up with, and as I was the first to report the Jason Didden document indicating this, we see that this come to life within the next few months. The impact to recreational fisheries.............long pause, it will have a severe impact on allocations and more so harvest limits if they believe the private vessel mode estimates are actually 3x higher and shoreline estimates more than 5x higher than what was and has been reported through the years.

Yes this was a mic drop moment where we see those within MRIP and fishery management, proceeding at Titanic-like speed in adopting such nonsense. As a few of us have previously brought up and repeated after the Super Storm Sandy study on the economic and behavioral impact to the region, 1) as their are fewer boats registered, 2) fewer fishermen fishing both in the private vessel and for-hire mode and 3) fishermen fishing fewer days during the season (though in part this could be due to the unstable weather we have had the last few years).

I understand this will be an unending debate on whether anything positive was accomplished here for the northern region which filed the appeal. Going into the NY MRAC meeting next week, we have a good idea on how the King of Mardi Gras will claim that what transpired and the outcome is some sort of a win and is better than what we had before.

Maybe so...... but the implication of opening the door in this fashion on what used to be a structured process, has now lost the bounds of regulatory consistency - that being in what regulatory decisions play out and voted upon in a Council and Commission meeting, could be changed a short time later through a appeals process, and that uncertainty is something that no fishing business should have to deal with as they prepare for a fishing season.

Here I wonder how going non-compliant in NYS as many fishermen and stakeholders have indicated. Well let me point out that Vegas odds will be now set at a sure thing that such dock talk is just that, talk, and the NYS DEC and as much the governor of the once Empire State will proclaim "mission accomplished" and move on to other matters.

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Yes, what you see here as far as the proposed recreational BSB regs, are what you will have to deal with for 2018....and here I shall leave you with, "let your conscious be your guide" as far as following or not following the BSB regulations that NYS has put in place.

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EC NEWELLMAN
 
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