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Panel to investigate illegal Blackfish Trade



  Discussion Boards > General Fishing Forum
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JackFish56

Joined: 04/12/2001
Posts: 28
 posted 02/27/2002 11:05 AM  

The following appeared in the Atlantic City Press on 26 February 02.

Concerned that the illegal trade of live blackfish is contributing to the fish's decline, coastol regulators have directed a internal committee to assess the magnitude of the problem.

Also last week, the Atlantic States marine Fisheries commission voted to reduced a proposed 63 percent cut in the blackfish catch to 48 percent, effective next year.

Blackfish, alson called tautog or tog, is overfished, and the live market trade may be aggravating the problem, said Heather Stirratt, the commission's tautog management-plan coordinator.

During its meeting in Washington, D.C., the commission's Tautog Management Board grappled with the issue of live market trade of blackfish, prompted by articles in The Press of Atlantic City, she said.

"It brought the issue to a head," Stirratt said.

Those articles detailed the seizure of hundreds of live blackfish last month from fishermen aboard the North Star, a party boat docked in Ocean City, NJ. Officials believe the fish were bound for the Asian restaurants, where customers pay premium prices to pick their meal from a tank and see it prepared before them.

The illegal blackfish trade more than accounts for 10 percent of all blackfish caught, Stirratt said.

The tautog board voted last week to ask the commission's Law Enforcement Committee to come up with a better estimate of the live trade and to study how the practice can be deterred, she said.

"It may be something as simple as raising the penalty fines." she said.

A report on the live market trade is expected by November.

Meanwhile, the commission voted to ease up on a proposed cut in the blackfish catch after the commission revised its estimates of how many blackfish are in the sea.

"The science had some real problems." said Michael Doebley, legislative director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

For instance, the commission used a trawl survey to estimate blackfish abundance, but blackfish live near rocks and piers and other hard structures that a trawl cannnot pass over, he said.

"All the counts from the water say the population is recovering quite nicely" Doebley said.

Because of sucn questions, the commission backed off a proposed 63 percent cut that was to take effect this yeard and approved a 48 percent cut to take effect in 2003.

" A 63 percent cut would have incurred significant burdens on the fishing industry," Stirratt said. "This is a little bit less restrictive to give the states more flexibility in meeting the fishery mamangement goals."

Blackfish is primarily a recreational fishery, with only 10 percent of the catch going to commerical fishers. New Jersey's recreational fishermen accounted for more than half the tautog landings on the Atlantic Coast the past two years, according to commission data.

The commission cooperatively sets fishing regulations within the three miles of the coast for 15 Atlantic coast states.

JackFish56 <*)))><
 
HOSENSCHEISER

Joined: 09/19/2001
Posts: 110
 posted 02/28/2002 07:09 PM  

IF YOU THINK THE COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN TAKE ONLY 10% YOU BETTER WAKE UP.
THE PEOPLE THAT WRITE THE REGS DON'T HAVE A CLUE.

THE HOSENSCHEISER.


 
no clue

Joined: 11/16/2001
Posts: 71
 posted 03/01/2002 07:08 PM  

this may be of interest to you, there are currently " so called lobster pots" all along the south shore of long island, located on some wrecks and reefs, i have personally witnessed,several commercial lobster boats dumping hundreds of blackfish and seabass into their large livewells. I have written the d.e.c. and complained. There is actually a law on the books as of two years ago, that prohibits any fish traps within a mile of any wreck, or public reef. but it is only enforced, if some complains, Next time you visit a reef, with lobster buoys on them ,don,t be fooled, these are commercial fishpots that can easily out fish a thousand recreational anglers!


 
tuna bab

Joined: 08/23/2001
Posts: 235
Location: montauk
 posted 03/02/2002 09:03 PM  

only way to help the blackfish stocks is to eliminate the live black fish market. it will not be profitable for a poacher or commercial fisherman to fish for blackfish when they are 50 cents a pound. also i am all for stronger seizure laws that will allow the DEC to take away a poachers boat. that will make them think twice about a 200 dollar payday.


 
trophyfsh

Joined: 09/13/2001
Posts: 15
 posted 03/02/2002 10:06 PM  

That 10 percent take from the Commercials, goes back to 15 years ago when the only gear they were using was rolling gear. Todays commercial take is a lot higher. The pin hooking ,or poaching, that goes on for the live market, is ten percent in itself. The fish traps are so bad that they remain trapping fish indefinitely, should someone lose the pot. Go after the fools who are selling these live fish to asian restaurants, and fine the owners of these restaurants 500 bucks per fish. Let me know how many of them will continue to sell them after a couple of visits from the authorities


 
noreast
Noreast.com Club Member

Moderator
Fisheries Management

Joined: 08/02/2000
Posts: 1913
Location: Commack, NY
 posted 03/03/2002 10:27 AM  

Tuna Bab and trophyfish,

I couldn’t agree with you more. The problems are the pots and the live fish market, and until they’re eliminated recreational anglers will pay the price.

Legislation is needed to make this a hook-n-line fishery period, and separate legislation needs to address the ever-growing threat of the live fish market. Such legislation is, in my HMO, possible as it doesn’t oppose the commercial hook and line fishermen and that might get them to support such a bill. And it will benefit the sportfishing industry as well as both the resource and recreational anglers.

I also agree that fines need to be increased but the fact is there were increases recently and I don’t imagine we could get anyone to listen to that one again any time soon.

I say HOOK-N-LINE ONLY!


Respectfully,
George R. Scocca
Publisher, Nor'east Saltwater


Respectfully,
George R. Scocca,
Founder, Noreast.com
 
noreast
Noreast.com Club Member

Moderator
Fisheries Management

Joined: 08/02/2000
Posts: 1913
Location: Commack, NY
 posted 03/03/2002 10:27 AM  

Tuna Bab and trophyfish,

I couldn’t agree with you more. The problems are the pots and the live fish market, and until they’re eliminated recreational anglers will pay the price.

Legislation is needed to make this a hook-n-line fishery period, and separate legislation needs to address the ever-growing threat of the live fish market. Such legislation is, in my HMO, possible as it doesn’t oppose the commercial hook and line fishermen and that might get them to support such a bill. And it will benefit the sportfishing industry as well as both the resource and recreational anglers.

I also agree that fines need to be increased but the fact is there were increases recently and I don’t imagine we could get anyone to listen to that one again any time soon.

I say HOOK-N-LINE ONLY!


Respectfully,
George R. Scocca
Publisher, Nor'east Saltwater


Respectfully,
George R. Scocca,
Founder, Noreast.com
 
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