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I'm not starting a rumor . Just want to know if anybody else heard this, because someone told me that a regulation for 1 black per boat was being considered? I find it hard to believe. This would be the place to find out. Tell me it's not true.
 

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I don't know about the New York regs but in New Jersey, they are talking about cutting back 63% of the catch. There was a meeting last month where there was this discussion, and there is another meeting scheduled for later this month or the next on this topic in Washington. It don't look good!

JackFish56 <*)))><
 

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If it will bring back the fish to good ole days proportions, why not? Moratorium for 2 - 5 years and ban all these **** tog traps. And fine the dickens out of these poachers such as the recent ones on the North Star. Wouldn't it be nice to once again catch bulldogs with consistency on Columbus Day? Or a real pipe dream of Labor Day? The way it is now we have to wait until Veterans' Day to catch them, and by then the weather sucks and most of our boats are getting ready to be hauled. I know that many skeptics will say that the blackfish can't recover like the striped bass did, because they are slower growers. However, something should be done and soon. I am not advocating a permanent 1 or none a day, but the well is drying up and if we keep drinking from it, it is going to run dry.

Capt. Jerry
 

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Hello Capt. Jerry !!
I have been reading all the related threads as well as this one, I read Ken Moran's column in Friday's N.Y. Post. His jist was that Blackfish have been recovering nicely, and he can't understand the need for a 1 fish a day limit. After reading all the threads here, I must agree that this species is in big trouble, and could go the way of Cod + Whiting. I would like to see a moratorium of 2-3 years, immediate outlawing of pots that specifically target Blackfish, and in spite of my own personal feelings, see a permit imposed for fishing this species. Why a permit, when I am so strongly opposed to them ? In this case, ACCOUNTABILITY. Obey the rules, or lose your permit. If fishing from a Party/Charter boat, you would be fishing under boat's permit. This would make the captain of the vessel TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for the actions of his fares. No more turning a blind eye to rule breakers. The captain wouldn't risk his boat losing it's Blackfishing permit.
The fish stock of this species must be stabilized and revived. It is too important to lose !!! Whatever measures are imposed, let's understand it's for the good of the species.

SEAWOLF
 

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I have to disagree here with several things. I am not a biologist, but based on my own experiences, blackfishing has improved somewhat over the past couple of years. IF things are as bad as they say, the stock arrived at it's current condition as a result of commercial overharvesting and poaching by bandits posing as "recreational" anglers. If you remove these two problems, the situation will improve, albeit more slowly than with striped bass. Banning of traps and more intensive enforcement of current regs will go a long way to improving things. I see no reason to further restrict recreational anglers when it was not their doing in the first place. Not to mention that the poachers will continue to poach with the current lack of enforcment and fines that border on humorous.

Another problem that we have is that any time a species is severely restricted or closed, it adds further pressure to other species. In this case, there will almost certainly be an increased effort on stripers, ling and winter flounder. Can these species support this added effort?

As far as making head boat captains totally responsible for the actions of their clientele--NO WAY! I ran head boats down in Florida where captains are held accountable and it is a disaster. No matter what you do, people will cheat and it is unfair burden on the captain. I personally was issued a summons because some guy kept 2 short yellowtails under the ice packs in his food cooler, while the guy went on his way without so much as a warning. Why should a captain pay a fine because some jerk tosses a short blackfish in a food cooler when nobody is looking? Now, if the captain is found to be complicit with ANY violations or fails to properly advise his fares of the rules, than I say hammer him.

I don't know what the answer is, but I am sick of these reductions being shoved down my throat when I had little or nothing do with the cause.

Gamakatsu
 

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a close examination of the laws will show huge disparities for different States. Any changes should be legally challenged, and it is possible the proposals are incorrect or inequitable. 75 fish for rockhoppers in New Jersey should be unacceptable (they also destroy the bottom) and some States have no limits. There should be no further reduction since the blackfishing has been the best it has ever been.
 

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Gama,
I see your point about not holding captains responsible. I have fished in Florida and thought it was a good idea. I dont have to tell you how much cheating goes on aboard Headboats. I do believe the fish stock is in serious decline. I also agree that the greatest part of the problem comes from the commercial side, and I feel the same as you do, in " Why should we pay the penalties for their greed", but it still does not address the problem. Do we go on our merry way until 10 years down the road they are all but extinct in our waters?? When was the last time you caught a cod? When was the last time you had even 1/2 a bucket of whiting?
Sheepshead bay is named for sheepshead porgies, seen any of them lately? A viable solution is need NOW, before we regret not taking any action at all. Perhaps it should be banned as a commercially caught fish, but until someone has the power to make that happen, we all have to tighten our belts and take a step back.

SEAWOLF



This message was edited by SEAWOLF on 2-12-02 @ 3:00 PM
 

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Seawolf,

I certainly agree that something needs to be done, but lowering the limit to one fish will not stop the poachers, but greater enforcement will.

By the way, I caught my last codfish in June of last year and my last bucket of whiting in April of 1994...LOL

Gamakatsu
 

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Not one per BOAT, but one per man, and that's one possible way of implementing ONE of about a dozen different options. (Another way would be to basically close Fall/Winter Fishing in most states for Tautog.)

Hearing is Monday in DC at the Watergate and I'll be there. General impression is that MOST LIKELY there will be no changes this year...it's simply too late.

It's possible the reduction would be put into place for next year...but unclear if it would be 63%...depends on the catches this year.
 

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I read that at best we would see one fish at 14. The other news gets worse. The NMFS is trying to sneak by a complete closure of blackfishing, withing the year, for all recreational, and even commercial fisherman. THey blame the problem on the thriving live fish market in Japan , and the desire of Restaurants here to sell a live small blackfish for 12 dollars a pound. I Have written to congress, and to senators. Check out my editorial on this page:

http://hometown.aol.com/anglerspal/trophying.html

I posted the letter i wrote, and hopefully we can do something to stop this propossed closure! WE are not the people causing this problem, criminals are, why should we be the penalized ones when the crooks will just stay around and do more damaged once they open the season again. New Regualations that are stricter , but fair would be ok with me, not a complete closure! The guilty ones have to do the time, not the innocent!

This message was edited by trophyfsh on 2-15-02 @ 11:37 PM
 

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It never ceases to amaze me how fishermen always point fingers at each other instead of uniting and fighting an arbitrary law. The recreational guys say the problem is commercial fishermen, but everyone knows that l0 fish per man on a partyboat results in hundreds of fish for the boat. A recreational boat with 5 people is allowed 50 fish but a commercial boat with a paid license is only allowed 25 fish for 5 people. So all of the grops have valid complaints -- but they should be directed at the laws, not the groups. I personally would not represent potters or rockhoppers because I think what thet are doing is wrong. Some states have unlimited amounts of fish per boat. None of this proposed legislation is based upon records or landings. Nonetheless, all of the groups blame each other and no one wants to pay anything to protect their rights. This is complex litigation. I have already been approached and requested to consider filing a lawsuit to challenge any adverse change in the laws. The party boats will be devastated by this legislation. I would appreciate any information obtained at the meetings on this subject. Writing letters to politicians is fine but it is usually too little, too late. The discussion on this board misses the point that all fisherman have to protect our fishery.
 

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The Recreational Sector, for the most part wants to preserve our stocks. Time and time again, we take a severe hit and keep going. I dont feel we should be asked to do rebuilding , and then have them allow the same problems to continue. I have no problem doing more, never have, just put an end to the real problem that exists with the blackfishery. As far as I Knew, the commercial Rod and reel guys could keep 25 per person with the license, not for the boat. SO it depends who is out with them. IF they are fishing for the market, then all on board must be fishing for the market. As for partyboats taking upwards of 500 fish per trip, based on a 50 angler trip, I have yet to see every angler limit out on any one trip, but I have seen pullers on board keep pumping them into aerated bucket. That is just wrong. They then preceed to sell the fish live. Thats the problem that the law makers are citing as the main culprit. We need to make sure rules are changed to protect the specie from the people who break the law.
 

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The biggest problem does seem to be the illegal harvesting of BlackFish. How is it that you can walk into an expensive restaurant in Chinatown and see undersize blackfish swimming around in a tank. And in response to the point made by jrgesg about recreational fisherman, when is the last time anyone was on a party boat that limited out on blackfish for all fares? There just aren't that many blackfish out there.
I know that a season or two closure would probably help. It would stop all of us from targeting blackfish, but would it stop the poachers?

Good Luck and Tight Lines
 

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There was a bit of panicky overhype regarding blackfish regs in the fishing media, to a degree.

I was at the ASMFC meeting on Monday in Washington DC. There will be NO CUTS AT ALL THIS YEAR FOR TAUTOG.

And they changed the overfishing definition to something far less restrictive, so while there will be cuts next year (by April 1 2003), they won't be so severe as a 63% cut...and won't require bag limits of one per person.

It's a mortality target and will be based on data that isn't in yet, but my guess is that it will result in bag limits of 3-5 fish, at a 14" size, in most states. One problem is that every year NJ becomes more of the catch..prelim data for 2001 had NJ catching 2/3rds of the total catch from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

At NO time has NMFS suggested that the fishery be totally shut down. No idea where people got that info.
 

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The idea of the complete closure came from a fishing magazine, the site wont allow me to say who wrote the article. However, the one fish per person regulation that was propossed would for all intents and purposes close the fishing down anyway. Who would go out under those circumstances with the costs as high as they run for a run to the grounds for the day. Even if they use a reduction that is less than the 63 percent mortality rate, doing the right thing doesnt last unless there is enforcement in the industry. People will break the law unless they are punished severely for doing so. That is the real issue now. Most of us know that there is a constant pressure on the blackfish since around 10 years ago, when the potting industry took off. Now that is its downfall , not the recreational fishermen who spend their weekends having fun on their boats.
 
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