NorEast Fishing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started a new thread to keep going on a topic that came up in the "how much would you pay for a fluke permit" thread.

The average age of your average comm'l fishermen? I'm gonna guess it's over 35, probably over 40? Why would younger men want to fish, anyway? I mean look around, theres not much good news in the papers about fishing, but theres plenty of bad. Overfishing, quota cuts, larger size limits, rising fuel prices, lack of access etc etc etc, not too attractive. Used to be you could just go get a permit and a skiff and make a little money in the summer till you went back to school, but now they've put the brakes on that, at least in NY they did, but some places permits aren't available at all.

Where is 18 year old kid gonna get the money to buy a boat, with a permit and afford the startup expenses- dockage, fuel etc? If the kids got parents with money, theres a pretty good chance they've encouraged that kid to stay in school and to get a "real" job. Who can blame them? I know if I was a non fisherman businessman, semi successful etc., I'd want my kids to do something with a brighter future than fishing, thats for sure.

One thing I've never understood, is this idea, that permits are worth money. I payed $30 for my first permit, $30. It's kind of weird, I'm at a loss to think of another "profession" where you can actually sell your permit/license to do that job. You cannot sell your PHD or MBA or .....Get the picture? We've semi-privatized fishing by making the permits limited entry and saleable and we've created a certain class of folks who can afford to fish. How many owner operated trawlers do you think are out there, percentage wise? How many commercial vessels with federal permits besides lobstermen are there, percentage wise, that are operated by the owners?? I'm sure that number has gotten and is getting smaller all the time.

So a young guy, just getting old enough to drive, how is he/she supposed to come up with enough to buy a boat and a permit? They can't. Here in MA. there's still some hope, a young guy ( or anyone) can get a permit to fish in state waters and also to shellfish, if the town they live in has permits available (except mine:mad:). The problem is that everything associated with getting started is so expensive, having to buy a permit, for thousands, just isn't going to be something that most young folks will be able to do.

I look around at the guys fishing around me, all part timers, very part time, or retired type folks. I don't see any 20-40 year olds who are fishing for a living who own their own boats.

To me the solution is to allow young guys to get permits, for just the cost of the permit, not buy one from someone. Make it a probationary type thing. Make them earn X % of their income from fishing for X amount of years in order to keep that permit beyond a certain amount of time. Retire the permits when folks retire, don't worry about selling their boats and gear, if theirs permits available to younger guys, they'll buy those boats, obviously they are going to need boats and who can afford a brand new one?

I'd sure hate to see our fisheries end up with a bunch of companies owning all our fishing rights.

I understand and agree that there is a plus side to companies who do own multiple vessels and employ people fulltime, but I think there needs to be owner operators and I think they should be given preference over big companies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
loligo, the reason there is no younger fisherman out there is because the state makes it almost impossible to do so.look what they did this year with the food fish requirements, thats the first permit you need to leagely sell fish, but they changed that to make it even harder for a young man to get into the fishery.my friends son was turned down this year for his foodfish permit at 16 years old because he didnt make the REQUIREMENTS.
this past summer he busboyed at a resturant for two months for some extra cash when he went to the D.E.C. this winter with his taxes, which he had two years prior income from working deck on some boats. they said the income from his summer job was more then he made fishing so it did not meet the requirements for a foodfish lisense.that really sucks doesnt it.now he has to wait another 3 years and show 15k for the next 3 years to maybe get one, this is why there are no young men in this buisness, because the state wont allow you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
John, great thread, and when I have a few more moments, I will like to explore this further.

For the most part, the fishery management agencies first agenda is to get all commercial fishermen off the water. Thats' right, lets put that out there that big business, the politicians, and the management people in the fisheries do not care if the American Commerical fishing industry is reducded by 50 or more percent over the next few years.

There is no longer room for young people to grow into the fishing industry by working on the decks of the party and charter boats, or the draggers or fish houses that used to be scattered up and down the waterfront of our coasts.

The American consumer is being hood-winked into buying flash frozen seafood from all over the world to the point that we are now importing in the range of 40 percent of our seafood products from other lands! The sad part is that this trend of imported fish products from around the world, is growing every year!

The enviro-wackos starting with the well funded Pew Foundation, have been targeting fishermen for years, and have been successfully legislating such mandates as no fish zones, and other anti-fishing initiatives.

Big business groups such as energy companies, do not want fishermen around either. The Broadwater project in Long Island Sound, and the possible building of a LNG platform off the south shore of Long Island, should give you a idea of what is coming down the pike, as the government would rather protect big businesses rights on the ocean, then fishermens rights.

Young people coming into fishing?

Well I hope they are going to school and becoming scientist in the marine industry, because that is the growth part of the fishing industry these days....government grants, vessel observers and research scientist in the fisheries is where you should direct any young people you care about if they love working on the water.

The fishing game is dramatically changing right before our eyes, and eventually it will be very similar to what we see going on in freshwater, where you basically go out for the sport of fishing, taking little if anything home.

It is tough for a young person to earn enough these days from fishing....the uncontrolled growing costs of fishing is driving many of the long time established fishermen out of this business. How can a young person making literally 'poverty level wages', survive and afford the things we take for granted as a nice home, a relatively new car, vacations, and other luxuries?

The state fishery agencies do not care who is left in the commercial fishing game...their goal, or should I say mandate, is to starve out, remove, lessen, and to close out loop holes in fish licenses and permits over the next few years.

Yes a few will be left standing, but few will be these young people who we need to carry the fishing industry into the future.

It is a sad state of affairs, but at this time of what I call 'commercial fishermen cleansing', I would not recommend fishing as a livelyhood to any young person who I really cared about.

In the future commercial fishing will be left to the very well capitalized who have fleets of boats, who do not rely on fishing as their sole source of income and profits. Thats means corporations will be running the fishing business, leaving few of the small private fishermen that we grew up, worked and shared time on the water with.

EC NEWELL MAN<>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
food fish license

I am 26 and got my food fish license 7 years ago and it wasnt easy ny sucks big time thats why i had to move to north carolina and commercial fish because it is almost impossible to survive here. The worst part about it is the price of fuel is on the rise but we are still gettin the same price now for king mackerel as they were gettin in 1976 and that goes the same for every other species we catch somebody is gettin rich but it aint me. I only fish up here a few months out of the year i love what i do but it is very tough these days unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
EC NEWELL MAN wrote:

Young people coming into fishing?

Well I hope they are going to school and becoming scientist in the marine industry, because that is the growth part of the fishing industry these days....government grants, vessel observers and research scientist in the fisheries is where you should direct any young people you care about if they love working on the water.


Problem is, EC, if you dont have any commercial fishermen then you have no commercial fishing, and therefore no outlet for grants, or use for observers, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
loligo wrote:
I've started a new thread to keep going on a topic that came up in the "how much would you pay for a fluke permit" thread.


For reference, I wanted to include my comment in that fluke thread here:

It is scary how few young fishermen there are going these days. There are so many barriers in the way. There is going to be nobody left if things keep up this way. How many young people do you ever see fishing or at meetings? Part of it is because most every fishery is either on Limited Access, going to Limited Access, closed, or based on history so much that you have to pay tens of thousands for an old permit just to be allowed to go.

The only fishery you see a fair-share of younger fishermen is in the lobster industry (up here at least). Even with the apprenticeship rules, there is a steady flow of guys going into lobstering. Scary thing is, before long there will be too many guys going for it to be profitable (many would say its there already). And heaven forbid there is a massive die-off or something like that.Outside of lobstering, though, you dont see any young guys getting into the fisheries in force, for a whole lot of reasons.

One annoying example is what some want to do to the possibility of whiting fishing off Maine/in the the northern GOM. When the groundfish rules when into place in the nineties, they shut down the small but important small-boat whiting fishery until it could prove that is took less than 5% regulated groundfish as bycatch.

They spent a lot of time developing a raised footrope trawl with a Nordmore grate, got the right bycatch level (2% or something in the tests). But then they put out a control date that meant that the small whiting fishery had no landings because the managers closed them down in the nineties.

I was working with some of the whiting guys trying to help them get organized and it was just disheartening to see how they got shafted. Bottom line is that if the whiting amendment goes through, not only will current whiting boats up here (almost all small, inshore boats) not be allowed to continue fishing, but there will also be no chance for any boats in the future to get involved if the whiting ever come back in good numbers.

Why should there be no fishing for whiting in Maine because there are too many boats fishing south of Cape Cod? Makes no sense, does it? Why not leave open a chance for a small, inshore fishery for whiting in Maine?

So many fisheries are almost void of younger guys. My brother and myself are the only two younger guys going harpooning for tuna anymore. IMO, NMFS undercut our fishery when it allowed (and even actively promoted) the herring midwater trawl fishery. Regardless of what you want to blame it on, though, the fact is that the tuna harpoon fishery will go the way of the US swordfish harpoon fishery within a generation if things stay like this (and what a shame the swordfish issue is, no harpooners left now that that stock is fully rebuilt). With the MW problem still in full force, can you blame guys for not wanting to go tuna fishing anymore?

It takes a lot of learning to be able to go harpooning and so without guys coming up the ranks, it is not looking good. The same is true for a lot of fisheries. Without guys learning, there is no hope for the future. The way things are going, with so few young guys going into the fisheries, it really wont be long before there is nobody left. Thats the last thing that any of us here should want to see happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
it comes down to this they just don't want an american traditon to go on any more it basically comes down to the point where if u want to get in to the fishing industry you are better off being a criminal doing it because even the guys with the lic's are going to have to look over there shoulder sooner or later so u no what screw the permits and start now

i am 23 years old and probley one of the youngest people on the water these days fishing but u no what i am prodoud of what i do and there is no person state or regulations going to take that away from me and u no what any one younger then me i see that takes interest in making fishing a liveing - way of life i tell them it aint easy but you are your own boss and there is no othere way i would do it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
flouke your missing the whole point here, if everyone was a vigalante fisherman we would all be in trouble, there are LAWS we have to go by. you are speaking about bullsh!t. in the other thread you say screw the permits well if you really are a commercial fisherman (NOT A SMART ONE)then lets see you go fishing without the proper paperwork and when you get caught you wont be so happy.alot of guys think like you but sooner or later you get caught, this is not about being your own boss this is about keeping all of us that fish at a happy medium comm or rec.there is so much B.S in fishing maybe we should take up golf haha, only kidding.the point of this thread was to show people how messed up the whole fishing industry is. im not attacking you flouke but ive been dealing with this stuff for 25 years longer than your alive.and sometimes you just get so fed up with it, i wish you luck in being a fisherman and if i could help you in any way please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
cowkiller wrote:
flouke your missing the whole point here, if everyone was a vigalante fisherman we would all be in trouble, there are LAWS we have to go by. you are speaking about bullsh!t. in the other thread you say screw the permits well if you really are a commercial fisherman (NOT A SMART ONE)then lets see you go fishing without the proper paperwork and when you get caught you wont be so happy.alot of guys think like you but sooner or later you get caught, this is not about being your own boss this is about keeping all of us that fish at a happy medium comm or rec.there is so much B.S in fishing maybe we should take up golf haha, only kidding.the point of this thread was to show people how messed up the whole fishing industry is. im not attacking you flouke but ive been dealing with this stuff for 25 years longer than your alive.and sometimes you just get so fed up with it, i wish you luck in being a fisherman and if i could help you in any way please let me know.

Definitly, cowkiller, the last thing people should do is to disregard laws. Not only are the fines massive these days, but it only hurts the commercial (and rec) fisherman's reputation when people break the laws, not to mention it affects the stocks of fish, as well. Dont give the anti-fishing people more ammo! While we have to all do a lot more to keep fishing going, the answer is not to cheat/break laws!


This post edited by twofinbluna 11:13 PM 01/14/2008
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
loligo wrote:


I look around at the guys fishing around me, all part timers, very part time, or retired type folks. I don't see any 20-40 year olds who are fishing for a living who own their own boats.



JR, lot of good points in your original post, dont have time to get into them all right now (sleeeeepy!) but eventually will. But quickly wanted to comment on the quote above, since it is so true.

There are almost no guys under 40, at least not in most fisheries. The harpoon fishery is almost completely made up of those over 40, with a good number 50 and older. There are only a handful of us left under 40, and that is scary. If we go long enough there will honestly be a time when there is nobody to carry on the fishery. You need to have a fleet, not just a boat here and there, both because it allows the market to work and it allows for the fish to be caught and the quotas filled (and therefore kept).

And the biggest concern is that as the older generations get out of fishing, we will have nobody left to teach the up and comeers. And without that learning/teaching process, you will have nobody who knows how to catch a fish in a generation or two. Sad stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
The Problem is even Deeper

Im not a Comm. fisherman never have been , and lord knows don't have the writing or typing skills of some of you guys . guess I shouldnt have cut out of class back in the day.
The way your post read there are no new guys comming into commericial fishing and while that is most definatly true the reason go so much deeper than just the unavalability of permitts.
Kids today are not interesrted in any out door activity (please dont jump up and say your kid or a kid you know is Im speaking of generalities)
The computer and computer games have taken over . Schools even rural ones stress white colllar jobs over blue and families that have been down the blue collar road push children from a very young age towards higher education and better jobs
Aha I wondered opps

I have seen it for years in the Rec. section less and less kids on the docks . It used to be that there were always a few kids around looking to do odd jobs and help out for a chance to fish for the day or maybe get a deck job one day . Now adays Nada , zip , zero zilch.

Now SHB has always been more of a REC port than a Commericial one at least in my life time , but it dosent take a giant leap to think that if there are less kds around the docks here the problem goes further.

Captains , Wives and working hands push there children into What they feel are better vocations . Mother and Future Wives push there sons and future husbands to get real Jobs with better hours and working conditions.

Its So much more than just a lack of available permitts
Its the world we live in . Its changing and will Continue to trend away from Mfg. And Blue collar work .

A little aside
While we want new fisherman , I need new young anglers to replace old steadies as they are unable to fish in the elements and as a labor pool
Comm guys dont want to see there way of life go the way of the buffalo
But I made this point to A DEC scientist the other day
You can cut quota and limits all you want but iof you dont limit fishermen it just a circle

as an example X number of boats in 2007 carrying x number of fishermen catching x numbrer of fish (rec)
and x number of comm boats splitting x lbs of catch

in 2008 you cut the limit on fish by 25% but add 25% new fishing permitts I dont care what sector your in add the in ,its a net loss of fish

In the comm sector each man get a smaller slice of the pie in the Rec section in that screnerio we get pushed over the limit
and then the limit gets reduced.

the market itself will continue to correct some of the existing glut in both sectors the govt will have a hand in the correction as well

In my humble opinion the only way to bring new blood onto the existing boats in both sector is with higher pay and better working conditions
The only way to do that with expenses on the rise is through limited entry , removal of falow permits for redistribution ( as market conditions permit)
The industry as a whole needs to contract some so the existing players can get there houses in order in respect to the regulations , increesed expenses and employee conditions before it can ever expect to grow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
After just losing a GIANT post, here is my condensed version. Tell me if you would like to get into saltwater fishing, let alone comm fishing...

I grew up a saltwater guy, and still love fishing with my dad in the salt. Recently, however, I've been doing more and more freshwater fishing because of reasons that I see linked to this discussion.

The argument put forth by Tony is totally bogus (no offense) and can be proved so by taking one look at the fly fishing industry. Fly fishing has seen an INCREDIBLE influx of young anglers in the last 5 years due to a single factor, which was a changing of the gaurd. The old tweed-jacket upper-echelon fly anglers were replaced by young beer-drinking hard-fishing guys. I belong to a fly fishing message board dominated by college students and young professionals that is 10 times more active and civil then this board, despite the only rules being no racism and no underrage nudity. It is clear that younger guys have not lost interest in the outdoors, they just want a place to call their own. Saltwater fishing, on the other hand, will always be ruled by the old guard. There is no room in this arena for a young man's voice.

And please, don't take this personally, as I will reference some of you, but I am just trying to make a point...

I am supposed to release a single codfish I happen to catch in the NY Bight, this coming from a guy who has caught more codfish in his life then anyone in my generation ever will? I am supposed to sympathize with someone who continues to kill GBFT despite the fact that every single GBFT fishery in this country is a shadow of its former-self? I am supposed to then wait in anticipation for a report from New Zealand about how the last undisturbed GBFT fishery is being ruined? I am supposed to be encouraged by reports of thousands of lbs of whiting being landed everyday in Pt. Pleasant? I am supposed to feel good about releasing female blackfish when there is a thriving illegal fishery going on that is being ingored? I am supposed to give the report-poster who kills spawning double-digit weakfish or blackfish in the spring a big ol' slap on the ace and say "Congrats"? I am supposed to tolerate the complaints of someone who makes a living off fishing? I am supposed to believe that it is important to preserve this way of life for the people who still make a living off of fishing, when I know that this will not be a possibility for me or my children in the future? And, lastly, I am supposed to tolerate any of these regulations put forth by a bogus gov't institution in what is a reasonably expensive hobby?

No, I do not think this is somewhere I am supposed to be as a young guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
No, not at all...

I am just offering a possible reason why younger guys aren't getting into commercial fishing, or saltwater fishing in general for that matter. The fact that the Gubmint is making it **** near impossible to get into commercial fishing is the final blow to many guys who would otherwise put up with the long hours and low pay.

loligo wrote:
I look around at the guys fishing around me, all part timers, very part time, or retired type folks. I don't see any 20-40 year olds who are fishing for a living who own their own boats.

Its like loligo said, there is simply no incentive from the Gov't to get into commercial fishing up here. There are plenty of people 20-40 in the northeast who want to make a living form fishing, and some of them probably are doing that. Very far from the Northeast, as it turns out, and certainly not in commercial fishing. Think about how many would-be-great commercial captains bailed from the northeast in favor of guiding on warm tropical flats or chartering in cold Alaskan waters. The fishing that has been the identity of the Northeast no longer exists. The GBFT fishery in the GOM is not what it used to be, and the one off of New Jersey doesn't exist. Cod fishing is obviously "not like the old days." The whole fluke thing is a giant clusterfish. The only thing we got going for us are the Striped Garbage Cans ;). Even the blackfish, which has taken over in the absense of codfish for us southerners, could be on their way out.

Why are you, as a young guy, going to fish for fish that aren't there?

And that means two things... the fish could be there, but they may as well not be if the Gubmint won't let you take 'em.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
another long response

Just had yet another long response disappear

not doing it again

Surfice to say

That locally the amt. Of Kid 10 to 13 is way down for so many reasons

College men and women do find there way back to the out doors and take over from the old foggies (golf is a prime example)

Dosent negate the facts of my post There are less kids and not enough pie to round if there were more any how.

The market needs to contract or be contracted by the Govt.

In order for new Business models and Plans to emerge and the industry to flurish. It will never happen the way its going
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,064 Posts
Spudders,

I agree with your frustration, but none of that changes the fact that we need to figure out a way to change the situation or else there will be no commercial fishermen left. We need to make sure enough guys stay around through the bad times or else we will see this indusrty disappear. It would be a sad day if things ever came to that.

This post edited by twofinbluna 12:33 AM 01/16/2008
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
twofinbluna wrote:
I agree with your frustration, but none of that changes the fact that we need to figure out a way to change the situation or else there will be no commercial fishermen left. We need to make sure enough guys stay around through the bad times or else we will see this indusrty disappear. It would be a sad day if things ever came to that.


I agree with you there 100%. I don't know how you expect to keep guys around through the bad times, though. I'm a prime example, I suppose... I was on track for a marine science degree so, I thought, I could be able to help change some of these ridiculous regulations in the future. I'm now applying for jobs in Wyoming... I wish I was joking. I'm gonna give the mountains a few years, see if they're for me.



Tony, I still think the whole lack fo kids issue is a social thing moreso then just a lost interest in the outdoors. My father used to ride the subway to the 69th street pier or the Coney Island pier... How many parents are gonna let their kids do that nowadays? How many parents are gonna drop their kids off at the dock for a few hours? I think there is certainly a lack of children getting into saltwater fishing, but its much harder these days if you don't have a parent or friend who is already into fishing. Plus, how are you gonna convince two parents that don't fish that a $50 bare-minimum initial investment in rods/reels/tackle is worth it? The parents would rather buy their kids the $200 gaming system and keep them in the house where they can watch over them. Don't look for 10 year old kids to decide out of the blue to pick up fishing if they've never been encouraged to do so.

I'll give you an example from my life... I moved to NJ from Staten Island when I was 11... We were 10 minutes from the Raritan Bay, and 10 minutes from a local park. No matter how hard I tried, my mom would not drop me off at the bayshore so I could fish for stripers. Dad agreed. She would, however, leave me at the park fishing for bass and sunnies for days on end if I so desired. Point is, shorebound saltwater fishing isn't too inviting to young kids, and everything else, like PBs, is just too expensive.



And lastly, twofinbluna, I agree that changes need to be made. I think that keeping the fish around is the LONE thing that will keep commercial fishermen around. You're not going to get new guys into commercial fishing until a lot of things change. Thats why its so frustrating... the future of commercial fishing is NOT in the hands of commercial fishermen. You gotta have faith that if there are fish to catch in the future, there will be fishermen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,305 Posts
The new global economy is technology based and the rest of the world is educating scientists. Why would we want to push the youth (our future) into fishing for a living? I wouldn't.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top