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Commercials are taking all the flounder – period!

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noreast
Noreast.com Club Member

Moderator
Fisheries Management

Joined: 08/02/2000
Posts: 1913
Location: Commack, NY
 posted 03/31/2002 08:04 PM  

I have read a lot recently on the condition and fate of winter flounder in our waters, and I agree with most of it. But no one will ever convince me that this is a recreational problem or that we should be the ones to take the brunt of severe measures to bring them back. Especially when you consider that we are currently fishing at about 26.5% of what we were back in 1990, while the commercial are about 50% over what they were the same year.

In 1990 recreational anglers in NY State took, 1,106,590 – pounds of winter flounder while at the same time the commercial fishery took just 640,445 – pounds, basically giving us about 65% of the catch. It is actually higher than that if you average from 1980-1990, but I didn’t want to go back too far and make this seem like ancient history.

Then just 10-years later in the year 2000 things made quite a turnaround! Commercials took 960,122 – pounds while recreational anglers took a mere 293,472 pounds! That’s right we’re fishing at 26.5% of what we were in 1990 and the commercials are fishing at 150% of what they had in 1990. And people want to know where all the flounder are going? It’s not the cormorants or the seals or the bass, it’s the inshore and offshore draggers. They’ve gotten so good at what they do that they are now catching the flounder we use to catch before they even get in the bay. And those that they miss, they get them when the flounder head out to sea in the fall.

The numbers don’t lye and they speak for themselves, the problem with this fishery is the commercials and unless we do something to address it they will be the only ones catching them. I’d be the first one to say close it down for everybody, but the fact is we aren’t putting a nick in this fishery.

The series of events that led to this commercialization of the winter flounder have been played out over and over again. We need a commercial moratorium, just like we did when we needed to bring back the bass, but the truth is we will never see one. Do you know why? It’s simple, because the commercials are catching more today than they were before, so to them there really isn’t a problem.

Think about it, – in those ten years we took recreational anglers from no-bag limit and no season – I can still remember fishing on some January and February days for flounder – to what is now essentially a 4- month season with minimum sizes and bag limits. While at the same time doing nothing to curtail the commercial catch.

So please folk’s don’t let anyone fool you, if you took every single recreational angler out of this fishery it would do nothing more than allow for more fish to be caught in the commercial fishery. Just as it has over the past decade.

Hook and Line Only!
George R. Scocca
Publisher



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

Joined: 11/28/2001
Posts: 93
Location: Wethersfield, CT
 posted 03/31/2002 08:26 PM  

Go George!

George:

Great post. Personally, I agree with you.

Let the debate begin! Where are all the Comm's?

SF
 
Sounddevil

Joined: 09/04/2001
Posts: 32
 posted 03/31/2002 08:46 PM  

Good point George.

But why can't we be responsible for part of the solution. Because the truth is if this continues it's not worth me opening the shop in march. I would rather bite the bullet now and hope for better management in the future.

If we start cryin about the commercial guys, and arent willing to take steps ourselves then we are part of the problem. As you stated in your post that at a point we took more flounder than the commercial fleet. So the point is that the fishery is in trouble. Because if these fish arent making it to the bays where they spawn, then this is going to be a bigger problem.

So the next time someone catches a good flounder, before you throw it in the bucket ask your self. Do you really need that fish. If we all chip in then the commercial guys don't have a leg to stand on. They will not be able to point a finger at us and say what about them.

Like I said in my other post, I am willing to not open the shop till later. I would love nothing more than to see it bounce back.

Just a thought,
John


 
trophyfsh

Joined: 09/13/2001
Posts: 15
 posted 03/31/2002 09:20 PM  

Good work George

I couldn't agree with you more. As President of the Atlantis Anglers Association, I come in contact with many inshore fisherman, both from my club, and from other clubs on Long Island. To a man they all say that they don't even want to bother floundering. This has been the sentiment for the last 5 years or so. There hasnt been much success , so the fishery from a recreational standpoint has quickly dropped to a last resort thing. The commercials continually rape the ocean of all species, and the equipment is so efficient over the last 10 years, it aides them in doing so. Shut down the commercial netting of winter flounder , and we may see some come back around. Keep them rod and reel only. Give the fish a fighting chance!
 
bertrb

Joined: 01/16/2002
Posts: 2
Location: Swansea
 posted 03/31/2002 10:14 PM  

commercial draggers and winter flounder

When are the Marine Fisheries people going to notice the real problem with winter flounder. I see the same 4 small draggers pounding Mount Hope Bay(off of Narraganset Bay) every day. The blame for the shortage of flounder is put on a power generating plant that uses bay water for cooling. While I know the plant isn't blameless, it isn't the total problem. These small draggers smash and kill more fish than they keep, just watch as they cull their catch before pushing the crushed and smashed fish over the side.
 
workhorse

Joined: 03/30/2002
Posts: 1
Location: Emmaus Pa 18049
 posted 03/31/2002 10:46 PM  

i have traveled to shore points from emmaus,penna.since 1954 trailing a boat
on must trips average round trip milage
230-280miles.regarding flounder/fluke
regulations,until we enlist the direct
help of the legislators/politicians we
are p------ into the wind.we are all
aware of the unfair situation resulting
from numerous hearings/meetings held each year with the same results each year,heavyly favoring the commericals.however,in spite of it all
i'll make another32to35 trips this year
mostly for fluke,can hardly wait to get
there.thank you lord for the opportunity
and health to enjoy my stay on this earth
c.b.hallman


 
LkyLindy


Joined: 11/12/2000
Posts: 3296
Location: StonyBrook
 posted 04/01/2002 12:29 AM  

Flounder

Ok George-

What should we do? I belong to the RFA and have sent many petitions to politicians regarding different species,but the winter flounder issue has never been addressed.Do we have a leg to stand on if the public demands flounder in the fish markets?We need a grass roots campign to inform the public of the crisis in the flounder fishery to gain support for closure.I don't particularly care for the green groups-but they have us on the ropes with fluke-Maybe they need to be informed about this situation. We need allies to fight the commercials.Basically we have to put our money where our mouths are to restore the winter flounder


got health?
WANT HEALTH?
www.thenaturalonline.com
 
MakoMike
Noreast.com Club Member


Noreast Writer

Joined: 12/28/2000
Posts: 71023
Location: Pt. Judith
 posted 04/01/2002 08:56 AM  

Guys,
I'm not a New yorker, but I fishied from Montauk since I was old enough to get on a boat. I'm still amazed that NY state lets the draggers work right up on the beach. If you guys could get them pushed two or three miles off the beach all the species would benefit.



====MakoMike=====

Click here for The Makomania Sportfishing website

Makomania out
 
schoolman


Joined: 03/07/2001
Posts: 2993
Location: 1000 Nautical Miles West of the Flemish Cap
 posted 04/01/2002 10:18 AM  

If we can put the haulseiners out, like we did a decade ago, and impose a striped bass moratorium like we did, why can't we do something organized with the flounder? Heck, Billy, Cristy, Arnold (not Schwartznaggar) and the all the organized commercial efforts were not able to stop us before. If enough people, partyboat owners, tackle shop owners, you, me, all the recs, especially NYSFF, etc. are p.o.ed about it, there's no reason we can't win the battle.


Capt. Jerry - SPORTFISHING ON LONG ISLAND Instructional Classes
sportfishingadventures
 
topaz4kylo

Joined: 12/30/2001
Posts: 28
 posted 04/01/2002 04:33 PM  

Winter Flounder

I think we need to get some regs on those commercial boats. The netters have to be controlled or they will destroy any fishery that they are allowed to go after freely. They are like a virus that just consumes until there is nothing left.
What do we do to get something started to slow them down?
 
bucktail

Joined: 02/17/2001
Posts: 1764
Location: In God's country, protected by the Dongan Patent
 posted 04/01/2002 05:35 PM  

The draggers DO HAVE REGULATIONS on them. There are trip limits, seasonal closures and minimum mesh size laws.The commercial group that have the least limits are the guys fishing fykes in the bays in the winter. The powers that be do not seem to see the same problem with the fishery that we are now enduring. That is where you should focus yer efforts, educating the law makers about the recreational fishery, and the smaller number of fish being taken.But when you look at it, we have a lot less restrictions on us than do the commercial guys.We are all part of the problem, dead fish are dead fish no matter how we kill them. LATER


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