First nugget of information is on a NYS DEC - MRAC meeting @ 2 PM this Monday; that is TOMORROW. Why a Monday meeting....and why at 2 PM when most in the for-hire industry will be trying to make a living, or should we waste time discussing this time of day for a MRAC meeting?
Supposedly the most relevant agenda item is on the MRIP re-calibration discussion which I have already sat through at the HMS A.P., and which continues the 'Alice in Wonderland' guess-timates on higher fishing effort and the resulting expansion of private vessel and shorebound mode harvest. One ppt. slide which I wonder will be shown at the NYS meeting, and on how the wizards at MRIP can explain/SPIN is with the Bluefish 'Total Catch' slide and the increase now seen with the 2018 re-calibration.
There will be also be the update from what transpired on the MAFMC and ASMFC meetings, and as you can see with the specification cut to BSB in 2019...and I will not waste time here in dabbling with the utter continued buffoonery in the mis-management of the most robust MAFMC stock.
Finally..... if you dig through the MAFMC documents for the October meeting you will find a memo from Jason Didden and the MRIP 'ground truthing' exercise. For those unfamiliar with ground truthing, this was brought up by NJ MAFMC advisor Adam N. when the MRIP re-calibration was discussed at the August Council meeting in whether MRIP did surveys to compare marina fuel and bait sales, tackle shop sales and such tangible economic metrics to see if the saltwater fishing public was fishing as much as MRIP is claiming.
Again I do not want to go down this rabbit-hole in comparing fishing effort in the 1980's and 1990's to this time, as anyone who was around during this time period twenty to thirty years ago will immediately point out that there was much more fishing effort then there is these days. Ps, one can just think about all the row-boat stations that we had in the NY and NJ region alone that are no longer in business!
Moving along to the Joint Law Enforcement Committee, Tilefish Committee, and Highly Migratory Species Committee Meeting conference call which I spent my valuable time listening to....and thankfully someone in the industry got a hold of me to spend my morning hearing this discussion. Take notice of the two documents that start with 'Potential Issues for Further Discussion' starting with bullet point #2 which both Captain Jeff Gutman and I spent time putting together (I have my notes if anyone doubts this).
Needless to say, for-operators MUST get involved in getting public comments in (prior to the next workshop) as this is one of the most serious legal issues that can impact your business and more so, MMD. It seems very apparent that there are those in NMFS who want to hold you directly accountable for what customers retain in their fish holding containers. The question that we continue to raise is on whether operators holding a MMD can act and have the legal powers vested in law enforcement to search a persons private property during a fishing trip. We will continue to stay on top of this troubling issue as it develops.
Some other news, and one I also did hear something about since I did see some images posted upon socialized media. Fishermen, I have long rap-sheet of posting images over the years in the public realm that should not have been posted, and I am giving a "heads up" here to be very careful in posting images of multiple containers holding a certain type of bait that will be used to catch blackfish in the coming month.
Notice the NYS DEC regulation on the possession of the species, and I leave it to you recreational fishing-sleuths to figure out that you can 'possibly' be going home with a colorful piece of legal paper for exceeding the possession limit if boarded by the marine Po-Po... Yes just for having that amount of bait on your vessel (without some bait sale documentation).
There is also an extremely informative seminar put together by Dr. Doug Z. this Tuesday in New Jersey on BSB mortality.
I have been going back and forth with Doug on other fishery issues that he has been involved with (Atlantic cod and halibut tagging and migratory habits) and he is a wealth of information both in the fishery science world, but as well as being a long time fishermen in this region. For those who wish to become more informed on the BSB research project on mortality and the use of venting biscuits (as well as other species), try to make it to this meeting. I did point out that Captain Jeff of the Pt. Pleasant Beach - VOYAGER did try on one winter BSB trip a few years back to see how practical venting during a party boat trip.
PS....I should mention about one of the noted issues brought up at the HMS meeting, and that is with the sale of HMS species by recreational for-hire charter vessels. I would highly recommend for those that target HMS species, make sure that you are well aware of the permits and regulations. USCG will be conducting more on the water boarding's of vessels in and near the canyon due to the increasing number of violations found and complaints being made on this particular regulatory issue concerning sharks, tuna and swordfish (and sale thereof). See the one docx. that I posted on this and then follow up on the >>> HMS website <<<
Anyhow, unless things change in the coming 24 hours, I hope to see some of you at the meeting tomorrow afternoon at the NYS DEC Bunker.....