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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Killing More Flounder by 40% Does What for a Fishery?

Killing More Flounder by 40% Does What for a Fishery?
NMFS Building of Knowledge
A Think Tank Up For Sale

From the guys that brought you Catch shares, IFQ's, TAC and all that, National Marine Fisheries Services has presented new flounder rules allowing for larger discard rates. National Marine Fisheries Services has presented new flounder rules, which now make NO SENSE; where anglers can catch more as the limit has been increased but cannot keep or possess those fish caught? Kill more fish to catch more fish is the price one pays with a madman at the wheel (Helm), or should we say its the privateer Jane Lubchenco's answer to saving the fisheries with 'the Best Science Available'; kill more to save more! Maybe as a retired Captain, I am out of the game but anyway you catch it, it makes no since to me but maybe its not about cents but dollars. The limits for catching Southern New England winter flounder ( blackbacks) have been raised by 40 percent for the next fishing year, begins May 1, 2011. National Marine Fisheries Services personal stated that under the existing regulations, anglers cannot legally possess or land the fish. Wait a minute, you can catch more but you cannot keep any of them; what treachery is this! 
“With the limit up to 1.6 million pounds from 1.1 million, the increase means that a further 500,000 pounds of winter flounder, a vulnerable stock, can be discarded. Steve Cadrin, a professor at the School for Marine Science and Technology at Univ. Mass Dartmouth, and chairman of the New England Fishery Management Council's science and statistical committee, said that for the National Marine Fisheries Service to put this forward as an example of flexibility is really a slap in the face. He told that this rule allow more discard of winter flounder. He said that fishermen don't benefit a bit from that increase because it's still a no-possession fishery. It's 40 percent more fish being discarded overboard.

Tom Nies, a senior analyst with the New England Fishery Management Council, said that the council put forward the zero catch limit because we don't want people targeting it. Giving fishermen the flounder, commonly known as blackbacks, would actually increase the discard rate, according to James Odlin, a council member and a commercial fisherman.

Although catch limits are intended to rebuild depleted stocks, very few discarded fish survive being caught in a trawl. This species provides a graphic example of the challenges facing regulators as they try to develop management plans for individual stocks in a mufti-species fishery”...WORLDFISHINGTODAY.COM

Would it not just make more since to increase the TAC to include ones discard, which becomes part of the TAC in allowing a full price on the Total Catch. Nothing is discarded but your target is whatever plus an allowable discard catch, which too will be purchased and consumed somewhere. Na, that would make more cents to dollars and help the fisheries with less discard. Why do that when you have “Real Science” on board with Lubchenco's fleet and I am but an Editor of a Fisherman’s Bible; The Online Fisherman dot com!