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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read this on a website of a well know headboat captain from Maine.

"In a letter from Pat Kurkul, Regional Administrator of NMFS in Gloucester, Massachusetts concerning the clarity of certain rules and regulations as it applies to all kinds of fishermen (commercial and recreational), there was a paragraph pertaining specifically to recreational anglers. For all recreational anglers (private anglers, charter fishing anglers, party boat fishing anglers), if groundfish are filleted at sea, the skin has to be on the fillet before the boat hits the dock....Once off the dock, you are free to do as you please with the fillets. This means that we won't be able to skin fish fillets at sea...Also, the fillet size has to match the minimum fish size (if this new interpretation goes into effect as it stands now) and all of the skin has to be on the fillet and attached."

IMO...

By having the fillet size equal the minimum legal length you have now increased the minimum size of fish you can legally keep if you choose to fillet at sea.

Leaving the skin on provides no useful service except it allows inspectors who cant tell the difference between a cod and haddock fillet a key to what they are seeing (perhaps they should be provided with some training instead).

The time that customers will have to waste to wait for filleting service at the dock is ridiculous...either that or the mates will simply lose out as customers will take their fish home whole.

Recreational anglers on their own boats will be under the same restrictions as well. Marinas and boat ramps will love all the racks and of course most will restrict the practice anyways.

This is absolute beaucratic foolishness and I hope that somehow this "interpetation" of the CFRs can be overturned. The NMFS and Pat Kurkle should spend their time solving some real problems and stop harassing the recreational fisherman.

This post edited by Codfisher 09:41 AM 02/11/2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only difference Mike is that with tuna/sharks your are dealing with at most 2 fish. Last year I mated on a 6 pac trip that went to Fipps on a marathon charter and I cut fish for over 6 hours. After a 16 hour trip that would not have been something I would have wanted to do back at the dock upon return.

BTW..this topic is being discussed at length in the partyboat forum for those interested.

This post edited by Codfisher 09:59 AM 02/11/2008
 

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It's to make it easier to enforce the current regs. The other alternative would be to do as the state of Maine does with Striped bass, to keep them whole and intact with the head on.

This post edited by guest 09:54 AM 02/11/2008
 

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I agree w/ Codfisher. There seems to be knee jerk reaction here. How about a common sense approach like:

Fillets must be accompanied by the skins. The mates could still cut the fish at sea but they must also give the fare a bag w/ the skins which they can dispose of after landing? Win - Win
 

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What conerns me more is that the letter says that the filets have to be the same size as a legal fish. So if the filets have to be 22 or 24 inches (depending on where you will be fishing) then its going to take a much bigger fish to make the minimum filet size.
 

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Hi guys, this topic is being covered pretty good in the PB thread as well....

The complete CFR on this amendment has some funky wording, for sure. Long and short of it is that there is another provision which states fillets may be of under legal limit length, provided they came from a legal fish....the only way to prove it was legal fish, and not hacked by a blind mate with a dull knife, is to have it over legal minimum TL or have exactly the same number of racks to match up with the filleted form. No short racks, and equal number of fillets equals compliance.

All the boats in FL are required to land un mutilated fish. All cutting is done back on land, after the trip....
 

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guest wrote:
What are the rules for Com fishermen?

Basically 99% of the commercial catch is landed in the round, so it doesn't really make a difference to them, except maybe for their personal allowances.
 

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quote:
Codfisher wrote:

By having the fillet size equal the minimum legal length you have now increased the minimum size of fish you can legally keep if you choose to fillet at sea.

Absolutely, that would amount to a defacto size increase if you want your fish filleted at sea.


Way over the top for groundfish IMO - especially on charters.

I don't recall this ever being discussed/voted on by the NEFMC. Is this just an interpertation by NMFS?

Either way, has this always been the law and is only now being enforced or is this new?

Thanks,
Mike F.
 

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This is pure BS fellas....

First- they tell you guys you can't fish in the GOM all winter:mad:

And now this?

Where does it end?

This is so wrong, I cannot begin to express with words how angry this makes me.

S crew NMFS- s crew Pat Kurkul friigin wench!!
 

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Codfisher wrote:

This is absolute beaucratic foolishness and I hope that somehow this "interpetation" of the CFRs can be overturned. The NMFS and Pat Kurkle should spend their time solving some real problems and stop harassing the recreational fisherman.

You said it brother!!
 

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MakoMike wrote:
What conerns me more is that the letter says that the filets have to be the same size as a legal fish. So if the filets have to be 22 or 24 inches (depending on where you will be fishing) then its going to take a much bigger fish to make the minimum filet size.


Its hard to believe that that would be a rule. Everyone knows that a fillet is going to be shorter than the fish, since the length of a fish (according to the regs) included head, tail, and everything in between. A fillet is just a part of the fish. What would be the point of having you measure a fish one way, then the fillet another way?

If that is really what this rule is saying, then they are basically making you either keep the whole fish for any fish that are on or close to the minimum size, or that you catch fish much larger than the min. size. Maybe I am misreading something? Either way, doesnt make much sense.

That said, in the tuna fishery, we actually have a rule that appears to be similar in nature to what the rule above may be doing. A 73/74" fish almost never has a pectoral measurement that makes the measure. In other words, those fish that are just at or above the legal size often have a pec measurement that is a few inches under the pec limit. So we have to keep the head on any fish that is over 73" but does not make the pec limit. Usually once you get over 75 or 76 inches, the pec measurement fits, but anything under is usually too close and so we keep the head on.

That way if it gets measured at the dock they can take the whole lengt hand it will make sure the measure, whereas if we took the head off it would not make it. Its a pain, they should have a pec measurement that is accurate, but they dont. So we have to bend over backwards to stay legal.

Maybe that is what is going on here, but if so, they should at least make it clear. This rule is going to be a pain in the butt and they should explain why they are doing it, if nothing else.

This post edited by twofinbluna 02:30 AM 02/12/2008
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
twofinbluna wrote:
MakoMike wrote:
What conerns me more is that the letter says that the filets have to be the same size as a legal fish. So if the filets have to be 22 or 24 inches (depending on where you will be fishing) then its going to take a much bigger fish to make the minimum filet size.


Its hard to believe that that would be a rule. Everyone knows that a fillet is going to be shorter than the fish, since the length of a fish (according to the regs) included head, tail, and everything in between. A fillet is just a part of the fish. What would be the point of having you measure a fish one way, then the fillet another way?

If that is really what this rule is saying, then they are basically making you either keep the whole fish for any fish that are on or close to the minimum size, or that you catch fish much larger than the min. size. Maybe I am misreading something? Either way, doesnt make much sense.

That said, in the tuna fishery, we actually have a rule that appears to be similar in nature to what the rule above may be doing. A 73/74" fish almost never has a pectoral measurement that makes the measure. In other words, those fish that are just at or above the legal size often have a pec measurement that is a few inches under the pec limit. So we have to keep the head on any fish that is over 73" but does not make the pec limit. Usually once you get over 75 or 76 inches, the pec measurement fits, but anything under is usually too close and so we keep the head on.

That way if it gets measured at the dock they can take the whole lengt hand it will make sure the measure, whereas if we took the head off it would not make it. Its a pain, they should have a pec measurement that is accurate, but they dont. So we have to bend over backwards to stay legal.

Maybe that is what is going on here, but if so, they should at least make it clear. This rule is going to be a pain in the butt and they should explain why they are doing it, if nothing else.


I called the NMFS in GLoucester yesterday and spoke with a gentlemen named Doug (didnt get the last name) concerning these issues. He did agree that the fillet size question was at best questionable in the way the interpetation is worded and that he would speak with the people involved with writing this decision. I also express my concerns over the hardships both physical and economic that this is going to cause charter/head boat operators and he assured me that my concerns along with those of many others who called yesterday would be considered. With the upcoming meetings that are scheduled I will be interested to see if these issues are discussed and what relief, if any, will be provided. I would urge other charter boat operators who have a concern with this to also call NMFS and voice your opinion. I know it is a long shot but the more calls they receive the better chance we have of getting some change in this ruling.
 
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