O.K. - so I don't post that much here, usually confine it to a weekly recap of my fishing on the "Reports" board.
But there seems to be widespread resentment of the Commercial's legal ability to keep 14" fish.
Since I am a vendor to the NYDEC @ Seatuket, I get frequent opportunities to pick their brains on the various seemingly strange regs that get produced out there.
The reason that the commercials get to keep the 14's and we do not is because the commercial quotas are poundage-based not individual-fish-counted.
Since the dragging of fluke will result in a high percentage of sub-17" fish caught and killed in the trawl nets, regardless of repeated mesh size increases over the years, the smart thing to do is to allow the commercials to keep those fish and let them count towards the total poundage caught. They would only have to shovel the dead 14-17" fish back over the side for crab food. So logic says, let them keep them and let the poundage limits be achieved all that much quicker. Get them the heck off the fluke sooner and onto the squid or dogfish or whatever it is they fish for when fluke are closed to them. I like that thinking.
Of course the best solution would be to outlaw the trawlers altogether, but that ain't a-gonna happen. The DEC people are actually quite sensitive to this beating that the commercials are alledgedly taking in the media (and of course on post boards like this), and feel that the recs not the comms are the ones overfishing the Fluke, therefore WE bare the most watching.
I must say on reflection, that I agree with the 14" Commercial limit, but disagree VIOLENTLY with the characterization of recs as the abusers. I let them know it in no uncertain terms too. They were quite taken aback and perhaps not at all used to hearing our side presented in such a way. Maybe in ANY way for that matter.
Hmmmm, on reflection, maybe that's why they don't call me all that often anymore.
Anyway, if they would have granted catch limits more in keeping with the actual historical record regarding commercial catches vrs rec, then maybe I could buy the second, rec-overcatch position.
And this doesn't even take into account what I believe is the bad science involved in the fluke bio-mass computations.
But I do understand and agree with the thinking on the Comm 14" size limit.