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Recs getting slammed?

Capt Marc, could you explain to me how the recs are getting slammed? The way I read it is that there isn't much change for them. The size increases to 23" and bag limit stays the same except that it is reduced to 5 fish in the gulf of Maine from December 1 to March 31 (not too many recs out there then).

The big change that effects recs is when they are on a charter boat. What used to be an "unlimited" bag is now the same as a rec on their own personal boat. So, in actuality, its the cod fishing charter fleet that is getting slammed. This group that had just about no restrictions on them whatsoever now have some and they don't like it. These guys were making big bucks taking charters into closed areas and catching hundrerd and hundreds of pounds per trip.

Personnaly, I agree that limits should be put on them. While I would have liked to see the limits for charter boats at about 15-20 fish per person, I can live with the 10.

BTW, I do run a charter operation.
 

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Cpt Dave,

Below is what I said on the General Fishing Board:

100% of the codfish tossed back from Partyboat or Charter boats (discarded on NMFS trip report) are considered DEAD in the eyes of the NMFS and count against any quota or statistic.

This is totally wrong.

They want to put a bag limit of 15 codfish on party boats and charter boats like what is being proposed now. They want to raise the size limit to 23" from 21". More fish will end up being tossed back to get to the 15 fish limit right. This increase in fish tossed back will only say that more fish were killed and in the eyes of NMFS, The recreational take (catch = lbs kept + lbs discarded) will increase when in reality it would decrease because less fish will be kept.

Does this happen with other fish? Does a 14" fluke count as only dead when tossed back from a partyboat? Do all those fluke tossed back get subtracted from NY and other states quota?

Do you see a big problem here!

Now I would like to ask a few simple questions.

Why is there a combined Haddock and Cod limit on recreational private boats when they have seperate catch limits for commercial boats. The haddock limit is 5,000lbs per day for commercial boats and it was recently increased.

Why is a 23" size limit on haddock being proposed when the Commercial limit is 19"?

Why are any further restrictions being proposed on recreational fishing now, when the recreational fishery has remained around 10% of the total "catch" (see above)for the past 20 years with no significant spikes?

And to comment on the long range Partyboats. What incentive will a non costal angler have to drive many hrs, book a hotel room, go for a 4 hr ride to and from the fishing grounds, and spend $150 or more a head, to catch 10 cod/haddock? On long range trips like these why limit the catch at all except for size? If they want to fill their freezers with fresh cod and haddock because they can't get any fresh where they live, good for them.

The NEFMC which makes up the rules is mostly made up of commercail fisherman.

When you have attended enough of these meetings, like me, you will understand how political these decisions are made with no regard to what makes sense.

At the meetings in DC, there was NO representation from Recreational Angler Groups at all. Only Conservation Groups, Commercial Fishing Groups and State officials.

Come up to the next meeting on Friday April 26th at 9:30 in the Holiday Inn, Peabody AM. The Meeting is the Recreational Advisory Panel Meeting" and hear some of the items I discussed above from many recreational fishermen.

Capt. Marc
 

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cod regs

i think the proposed regs are going to be a little harsh but is there really the need for rec fisherman to fill up 2 to 3 150 quart coolers of "market size" i like that some charter boats have a "fillet before the fish leave" policy so then the cod cant be sold....cod 99% of fisherman who fish like this are illegally selling their catch.
 
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