Re: New commercial fishing regulations considered........

<chuckgould.chuck@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> Bill McKee wrote:
>> "Wm Shakespeare Smithers" <The WordSmith> wrote in message
>> news:hN-dnSxn9L_uAzzeRVn-rw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> > Chuck,
>> > This sounds like a Win-Win. What do the detractors say?
>> >
>> >
>> > <chuckgould.chuck@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
>> > news:1134665213.449420.156690@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> >>
>> >> Contact: Kathleen Goldstein, Environmental Defense, 202-841-0295
>> >>
>> >> Changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act Considered
>> >>
>> >> Senate Worked With Environmental Defense, Fishermen and Community
>> >> Leaders
>> >>
>> >> (December 15, 2005 - Washington, DC) Today, the Senate considered
>> >> changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management
>> >> Act
>> >> (MSA), which governs all fishery management activities within the
>> >> federal 200-mile limit through eight Regional Fishery Management
>> >> Councils. The bill contains several important conservation reforms,
>> >> including limited access privilege programs (LAPPs), key management
>> >> tools that can make our fisheries more sustainable and profitable.
>> >> Although the original legislation introduced last month contained
>> >> provisions that hampered the LAPP process and limited their
>> >> effectiveness, Environmental Defense successfully joined with
>> >> fishermen
>> >> and community leaders to amend these provisions, and new language was
>> >> included in the bill today.
>> >>
>> >> "The Commerce Committee's action takes the country a step closer to a
>> >> new era for ocean stewardship in which conservation can make good
>> >> business sense for fishermen," said Environmental Defense Oceans
>> >> Program Director David Festa. "This will lead to economically viable
>> >> fishing communities, better recreational opportunities and supplies of
>> >> fresh seafood. Environmental Defense commends the Senate for working
>> >> actively with fishermen and the conservation community to craft a
>> >> workable solution."
>> >>
>> >> LAPPs - catch shares - have proven to be environmentally and
>> >> economically effective in New Zealand, British Columbia and Alaska.
>> >> Under this system, fishermen are allocated shares of the annual catch,
>> >> which they can buy and sell with other fishermen. Unlike government
>> >> mandates limiting fishermen's flexibility, catch shares allow
>> >> fishermen
>> >> to work year-round when market and weather conditions are most
>> >> advantageous. Catch shares help fishermen cut costs, improve the
>> >> quality of their fish, maximize dockside prices and prevent the waste
>> >> of millions of fish each year that must be discarded. Just as shares
>> >> of a company become more valuable if the company is well-managed,
>> >> fishermen's shares gain value when fish populations increase through a
>> >> well managed fishery. The fishermen now have a financial interest in
>> >> conservation measures that protect the ocean.
>> >>
>> >> At the same time, the bill includes important design features that
>> >> affect whether a system of catch shares will be fair, equitable and
>> >> promote good stewardship of our nation's fisheries. These features
>> >> include methods for determining who gets initial allocations of catch
>> >> shares, how shares can be traded and the nature of conservation and
>> >> other safeguards.
>> >>
>> >> "The recent U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recommended catch shares
>> >> as
>> >> a key management tool. And, in September, the Administration
>> >> explicitly called for doubling the existing number of these programs,"
>> >> said Environmental Defense Oceans Program Deputy Director Johanna
>> >> Thomas. "Clearly there is broad political support for these
>> >> programs."
>> >>
>> >> There is stakeholder support as well. Environmental Defense is
>> >> working
>> >> with several fishing groups in New England to support their efforts to
>> >> develop fishing cooperatives, working in California to promote working
>> >> waterfronts and in the Pacific to develop a quota system for
>> >> groundfish. We are also working closely with fishermen, government
>> >> officials and other partners in the Gulf of Mexico to design fishing
>> >> quota systems for red snapper and reef fish, shrimp and other key
>> >> fisheries. Gulf snapper fisherman Captain Donald Waters acknowledges
>> >> that "we need quota programs to save the fish and our livelihoods,
>> >> which are jeopardized by overfishing caused by out-of-date
>> >> regulations." Recent hurricanes have only highlighted the need for
>> >> better fisheries management to improve the Gulf's struggling
>> >> fisheries.
>> >>
>> >> Fishermen in these fisheries strongly support catch share programs,
>> >> but
>> >> in its original form, the Senate bill placed unnecessary obstacles to
>> >> establishing these programs by creating onerous, bureaucratic hurdles.
>> >> The earlier bill called for a 50% vote by permit holders to discuss
>> >> enacting a catch share program, and an additional 2/3 majority vote of
>> >> permit holders in New England and the Gulf of Mexico before finalizing
>> >> a plan.
>> >>
>> >> Environmental Defense quickly coordinated a strong response by
>> >> community leaders and fishermen to reach an agreement with the Senate
>> >> Commerce Committee on how to move forward with these innovative tools.
>> >> The committee passed an amended bill today that allows for flexibility
>> >> in starting catch share programs, allowing catch share programs to be
>> >> launched through the council process or by a majority petition by the
>> >> fishermen in the fishery. For New England and Gulf fisheries, the
>> >> final referendum will apply only to individual fishing quota programs
>> >> and still require a super majority vote.
>> >>
>> >> With the approval of the Senate bill by the Commerce Committee, the
>> >> bill will head to the Senate floor next year. The House has yet to
>> >> offer a bill.
>> >>
>> >> "Catch shares are one of the only management tools that benefit both
>> >> fish and fishermen. They expand the economic benefits of the
>> >> fisheries, preserve maritime heritage and protect the environment,"
>> >> said Environmental Defense Ocean Policy Specialist Amanda Leland.
>> >> "When the Senate votes on this early next year, it is an opportunity
>> >> for Congress to do the right thing by making sure these key management
>> >> tools can be put to work."
>> >>
>> >> ###
>> >>
>> >
>> >
>> Just like tobacco allotments. The biggest money maker used to be a
>> florist
>> in NY. He had lots of allotments and rented the rights. So the families
>> that are now fishing, get an income in perpetutity. And where are the
>> recreational fisherman's rights? Here in California, the sporties are
>> prohibited from fishing for ground fish (rock cod) 6 months a year. At
>> the
>> same time that commercials can fish And where is the good fisheries
>> management part? Just like the herring fishery in San Francisco Bay.
>> Has
>> been declining the last few years, so instead of realising that
>> overfishing,
>> and the related impact on all the fisheries that depend on baitfish to
>> feed
>> the the fish, the DF&G decreased net opening size, so they can catch more
>> of
>> the smaller fish.
> Unfortunately, the resource has declined in most areas to a point where
> the entire industry will collapse if we remain with the status quo
> where anybody who can show up with some sort of boat and who will pay
> for a commercial license can compete for a share of the fish. We see
> goofy situations like 1 and 2 day annual "seasons", and it doesn't
> matter if it's blowing 75 knots on those one or two days, everybody is
> forced to fish without regard to conditions. You wind up with almost
> nobody making a full time living, so it's strictly amateur night with a
> bunch of roofers, accountants, auto mechanics, and short order cooks
> out fishing with gear that's pretty questionable on a boat that isn't
> used often enough to justify proper maintenance. It can be good pocket
> money, and a lot of guys take a week or so off work to pick up an extra
> maybe $5-20k during the year. There are undoubtedly cases where
> destructive methods of fishing (such as wide-swath bottom trawling) are
> used instead of more environmentally friendly methods because the "race
> is on" and the only consideration is hauling in as many fish as one can
> in a 24-48 hour season.
> We can't rely on the "free market" approach to regulate fishing,
> because by the time the market begins weeding out the oversupply of
> commercial fishermen the resource is depleted. Nobody is
> "manufacturing" fish. This is, admittedly, something of a socialist
> system- but the management of publicly held natural resources happens
> to be a specific area where socialism works reasonably well. (There are
> other areas where it does not). By apportioning the resource among
> current licensees, there is still something of a free market force at
> work- those who want to catch a greater number of fish are free to
> purchase the right to do so from licensees who choose not to fish.
> If we can manage the resouce for future abundance, rather than simply
> for the maximum short term profit, stocks may grow to the point where
> additional commercial licenses could be granted.
> The sportfishing thing is a tough call. Per fish caught, there is a lot
> higher economic benefit from sport fishing than there is from
> commercial fishing. (How many commercial fishermen would spend
> $1,000-$5,000 per fish, as some recreational fishermen manage to do?).
> However, the sport fishing fleet is ridiculously inefficient......(that
> can be good when dealing with spawning stocks where escapement is
> important)....and from the perspective of maximizing food yield per ton
> of fish caught the commercial fishermen should get priority.
> If I were the fish Czar, I'd get the best available estimates of the
> stocks available, subtract the number needed to escape capture in order
> to sustain or increase the species, and apportion the rest between
> sport fishermen and commercial fishermen- maybe 20% sport and 80%
> commercial. As Czar, I'd let anybody who could show up in a boat and
> who had a license participate in the sport fishery (the season would
> end when the predetermined number of fish had been caught); but I would
> lean toward putting a freeze on the number of commercial licenses in
> circulation and apportioning the resource so that people weren't forced
> to fish wastefully or in unsafe conditions.

If it is a 1-5 day season, most will not go into the expense to get a boat,
and there are restrictions on new licenses. There have been buy outs of
boats and licenses already. As to allocating the resource, the "best
available science" that is required is mostly junk science. In California,
it is really junky. WA & OR have done a better job of implementing stock
assessment and how much is being caught. We sporties, in CA, were stopped
early in fishing for rockfish because the "best available science" data
collection had us catching more fish than the year before, and most of that
was during the closed season. The near shore ground fish, which is the
rockfish / rockcod fishing is a disaster. The commercials have an open
season when the sporties are closed, even though it is in the state
constitution that sport has priority. Major problem is the Asian Market /
restaurant live fish sales. They catch the smaller fish before they mature
enough to breed, and is mostly a cash business, so there are under reported
landings. Fisherman pay a landing tax on poundage. When long lines were
banned within 200 miles of the coast, the F&G told the long liners to cut
the lines in to 100' lengths and go for the live fish market. These are
called stick fisherman. A boat may have 2-300 sticks. Which is a 100'
length of line with 3 trebles on the bottom end and a piece of rebar for
weight and a PVC tube or stick on the upper end as a float. You will see a
cove with 60-80 sticks. This is like 2 party boats fishing a small cove.
Cleans it out. They need better science as to stocks and a greater
restriction on landings. And if a person is caught under reporting
landings, they are both fined big numbers and is banned from commercial
fishing for ever. A fish processor (buyer), was caught both under reporting
285,000 pounds of fish and also changing the fish type for prohibited fish.
The owner and general manager got fined about $100k between the 2. Crime
does pay. Fine should have been what ever the economic value of the fish
per pound in regards to sport fishermen. Something like $60 / pound times
the amount of pounds under reported, plus all legal costs incurred. As to
anyone getting a license, not that way now, there is limited entry. Just
can not sell you license. Presently you can sell your license and boat.
The license can only be transferred to a new boat that is smaller.