Breaking news as reported by Jon Hare Director at the NEFSC.....r/v BIGELOW slated to sail *first spring trip tomorrow, with door work (change) done for these upcoming surveys. Noting government shutdown will cause slight delays and squeezing them for completion of their survey assessment work.
Let me just go back to something that was hard to locate within the originally document packages for the March 6th & 7th wonderful Virginia Beach meeting.
Notice the first slide for which those individuals in the Garden State recreational sector should take keen interest in as it was included with the MA and RI fluke regulatory documents package for the 2019 season. As a handful of us heard at the MC and AP meetings, this seems to be in lockstep in what was stated by regulatory people and the blow back by those making public comments during these meetings within the last two weeks.
You may be asking, "what is the difference between the two options presented by the NJ F&W," and I believe you can easily see there is little difference at all!
The next group of ppt. slides essentially focus upon the M-RIP-off scam concerning the use within the striped bass and fluke benchmark assessments, and now which is causing so many questions to be raised on old MRIP and new (re-calibrated) MRIP numbers. Clearly they illustrate a wide divergence between what the old MRIP data were based upon (yes and the recreational regulations during the 2009 - 2018 time period that it then caused), and now the current/up-coming new ACLs and thus RHL will be based upon now and in the coming years.
Anyone who takes striped bass and fluke as well as a number of recreational caught and harvested species, and here we are paying in spades for what the wizards over at M-RIP-off believe is "much greater private vessel and shore bound mode estimates than previous 'mis' calculated."
One of the other common questions brought up with anyone trying to make sense with MRIP, is with the high rate of discards being charged to recreational fishermen, and you can see in the one chart with red arrows. Somehow and very conveniently, this number "pencil whipped" the recreational sector which did not enjoy the 52% expansion in the ABC, with the discards being charged to the recreational sector giving us 'ZIPPO' for 2019. Doesn't this sound eerily similar to what the SSC and MC did to us with Black Sea Biscuits in a few years back?
Two of the AP slide comments which were interesting:
Today's festivities along the broadwalk based VA. Beach Hilton was on the upcoming bluefish - scup and bsb interim measures which will not change now (in 2019) as the Council unanimously voted to wait until such time as the completion of, and material on the various survey updates for these species.
Now to BSB management reform.....the discussion moved to both commercial and recreational BSB reforms (changes from past policies) and once again this sounds as familiar with what is in the ppt. slides, and as one has heard over the past few years. The BSB operational update as one of the ingredients needed to help in assessing what now sets the stage for the technical complexity of combining various data streams and indices on stock status, distribution, catch, harvest, mortality, discards within models...and at this point eyes start to glaze over as this is left for those sitting in a comfortable NEFSC office or state marine office setting, as they go about sipping their Starbucks swill and manipulating data metrics.
Ah, to the Kitty Hawk wind project, and if you thought we were the only region where this is now under discussion. If one listened to this discussion, it is very clear that the plan when the question was asked, "how big will these things be," and the straight answer is that as the technology develops, individual wind turbines will grow much larger (most likely in height and comparable with blade diameter), which will lessen the number of individual turbines and their mounting platforms required in the WMA footprint.
I should make mention that it seems there will be a sort of "casting call" for a wind-fishery liaison as was heard today, and I could only imagine in thinking out loud that the requirements are, "soothing on ones eyes and with the gift of gab."
Finally at 1415 hrs with the ongoing chub mackerel discussion as the new FMP is being developed based upon a fishery with little data (essentially ad-hoc) at this time. It was interesting to hear the ASMFC proxy from NY, Mr. John McMurray, wade into this discussion. I wonder why, and it did bring an interesting comment from the MAFMC Chair on this. John did recover as he then spoke in a private comment instead as the NY ASMFC proxy. I will highly suggest he speak with Meghan Lapp who just intelligently - publicly commented in order to become more informed on this fishery.
Steve EC Newellman