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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
There has been much attention brought to the ilegal tog market lately which has me wondering if any Party capts. can give me a clear answer here.
I know on my vessel(6pack), I am responsible for anyone on board taking illegal, undersized or over the limit fish. (at least that has always been my understanding and the way I operate my vessel). My question is, What is the responsibility of a large party boat capt. to see that the regs are being followed? There are apparently some vessels using the blind eye method while their fares carry of hundreds of undersized tog per trip in numerous airated coolers being brought aboard. One has stated that he has no right or responsibility to enforece the regs. That was a quote that got me steemed. Does anyone know what the legal answer to this question is and how they come to that conclusion.
Thanks guys,
Capt.Rich
 

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Hi Capt. Rich
Regulators differentiate between a charter boat(1-6 passengers) and a Head boat (7or more passengers) Here is an excerpt from an earlier regulatory meeting that may help explain the double standard.:

One interesting question raised at hearings was "whose responsibility is it to comply with trip limit and size limit requirements aboard head boats, the vessel captain's or the party's?"

I propose to clarify the issue by including a set of conditions with the permit. Head Boat operators would be required to clearly communicate to all paying passengers prior to beginning of fishing activity the trip's intended target species, the trip limits for those species, and the size limits for those species. Vessel operators must post the current recreational fishing regulations for all target and bycatch species in a place visible to all passengers and provide dedicated areas and measuring devices where passengers can easily measure their catch.

If all the above conditions are met, then the vessel captain should not be held responsible for rules that are violated by paying passengers.

Charter and Guide Boat operators will be held responsible for compliance with fishing regulations.

http://newenglandsharks.com
 

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Hi Capts,

This same question concerned me greatly. I had always explained the rules over the PA system during each trip, most trips more than once. My mates knew the rules and explained them to the fares if needed. Most fares cooperated. Some times a fare would disregard the regulations. It was always my belief that I or my crew were not there to enforce the rules. I did not believe that we should have to go into a fares cooler/pail and throw illegal fish overboard. Depending on the fares involved we did do this sometimes. On a partyboat many times the fares take the fish off before a mate gets to them. When the mate takes the fish off the hook it is very easy to just drop an illegal fish back into the water.

You say why would I not be an enforcer? Working on a boat with many people, most of the fares can be strangers. You do not know the temperment of these fares. Some fares carry pistols. Most have knives as part of their tackle box and there are always knives at the mates station. Also alcohol/drugs can be involved.

My job is the safety and protection of the fares first and foremost. I will not go out of my way to cause a needless confrontation that could get out of hand. Especially as I am not an Enforcement Official.

It took some doing but I finally got to talk with the top DEC Enforcement Officer in my area several years ago. His answer was that if THEY came aboard the vessel and found illegal fish, THEY would ask the fares if the capt and crew had explained the regulations to them, if we had not then we were at fault and would get ticketed. When THEY learned that we had explained the regulations then the fare/fares would be ticketed.

Since then I have not heard anything different.

I hope this helps BUT always find out the rules in your state and/or adjourning states.

Capt Neil
New York



Have Fun Fishing. Capt Neil
Custom Fishing Rods by Captain Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Capt. Neil,
I think the thing that infuriates me the most is the same boats continue to let the same violaters on board with a large amount of airated livewells and then sey hey it's not my responsibility. They cannot possibly not know what these fares are uo to after their own mates help them bring aboard 5 huge livewells for 2 anglers when the tog limit is 10 fish per angler and they we're ticketed after leaving his vessel the previous week. This turning of a blind eye is what ticks me off the most. NJ is having meetings soon and proposing lowering the limit to 1 fish per day as a result of the overfishing but I'm sure that won't slow them down. Maybe they'll make their fares cut back to 3 livewells.... Capts. like this should be removed from operation as they are hurting us all. Even calls made by anglers on board these vessels to F&G have had very little results as they've often been told, that they just didn't have anyone to respond by the time the vessel was to return to port. Sorry for the ramblings guys but this really gets me going..
Tight Lines
 
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