PSA Needs your help to stop catch shares

Discussion in 'Washington Fishing Rights' started by Fishinnut, Mar 9, 2011.

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  1. Fishinnut

    Please sign onto the votervoice against Catch Shares. We have to stop them before the become a reality in Washington State. It is getting very close.

    To all,
    I am asking you, no pleading with you, to send this voter voice alert to our Senators and everyone you know-ASAP!!! Everyone you know and your family needs to sign this. There is not another thing you can do that could save our fishing more than sending this. The Catch Share program was built by the Environmental Defense Fund who is destined to shut down our fisheries federally. Their Vice Chair was Jane Lubchenko who is now the NOAA administrator and they are shutting down fisheries all up and down the East Coast, Gulf, California, and now Oregon and Alaska. They are eroding away our fishing and leaving less of us to fight them.

    In Alaska they are shutting down 40% of the SE recreational halibut fisheries. Since when is it NOAA's job to shut down businesses? They can be managed through quotas, seasons, gear restrictions, limits, etc.The people that have not had a full five years of previous recreational fishing logged in SE Alaska are shut down. Imagine if you leveraged everything you own to become a charter operator. You bought a boat or two, sold your house and everything you own, took out a loan on a lodge-your life dreams, and have been in business for three or four years. You are trying hard to build a successful business and you get the notice your license has been revoked. You and your life savings were just flushed down the toilet by "Catch Shares."

    Several Articles taken from the Glouchester Times, I could not say it better,

    "So just what is a catch share? A catch share is an exclusive guarantee that whoever holds the catch share has the exclusive right to harvest a certain percentage of the total allowable catch of a particular species of marine life. That’s a mouthful, and you read it correctly.

    It does not grant the right to catch a certain number of fish each year. How many fish can be caught is a number that National Marine Fisheries Service already determines and has imposed on fishermen for years. So if catch shares is not about saving fish, since we already have that scientific process in place, you may be wondering just what the purpose is.

    The catch share program is not about how many fish can be caught. Catch shares is only about who gets to catch fish. Catch shares can be bought, they can be sold, and they can be leased or traded.

    So the logical question is what is the conservation advantage of catch shares? The answer is that there is no conservation advantage. Catch shares policy is about taking the right to fish away from the masses, from those individuals who want to become fishermen for a lifetime or for a day, and giving that right to harvest fish to a select few. Catch shares is designed to privatize the ocean. As a free American citizen, you might want to think about that one for awhile.

    Catch shares were implemented in Area 2A this year. Area 2A is our halibut in California, Oregon, and Washington. It was first implemented on the commercials and is now being put into place for the recreational sector.

    Catch shares is not a stock management issue. It is an ownership issue.

    On Nov. 4, Eric Schwabb, assistant administrator for fisheries, released the formal NOAA announcement that catch shares are coming to the recreational sector.

    If we want to see coastal heritage and traditions vanish, we should simply do nothing. If we believe that the right to fish should be the exclusive right of those who have the deepest pockets, we should simply do nothing. If we believe that reducing the ability of coastal citizens to generate income and pay more taxes is good for our state’s economy, we should simply do nothing.

    On a personal note, I suspect -- perhaps hope is the better word – that, as the owner of a long standing and reasonably successful charter fishing operation, I will get enough catch shares to continue in business.

    However, when I went to Vancouver to learn about catch shares, I heard incessantly about their great monetary value and that raised a question. So, I asked the man who developed the Canadian plan, “How could a young person ever become an owner/operator fisherman with this additional expense?” And he answered after a long pause, “We’re still working on that!”

    There is something sadly, tragically wrong when a nation’s government deliberately creates a mechanism that denies the next generation its right to dream. I want no part of catch shares."

    Another Glouchester Times article.
    "The widespread ardor for catch shares at the two-hour hearing was in stark contrast to sentiment in the U.S. House last month, when reprsentatives, racing through its version of the continuing budget resolution, voted 259-159 to halt funding for NOAA's new catch share initiatives. Sen. Cantwell went so far as to help publicize the push back against the House vote, a respone organized by EDF and its allies and proxies.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]In her five minutes with the microphone, she held up a copy of an ad with the message "Catch shares work" on Politico, the daily web report on politics, soon after the House vote last month.<o:p></o:p>
    "Can you commit to catch share funding?" she asked as she waved a copy of the ad, which was purchased by the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance, a group which has benefited from catch shares and alliance with EDF.<o:p></o:p>
    EDF has transported members of the alliance to Washington to counter anti-catch share actions including the February 2010 mass protest at the side of the Capitol.<o:p></o:p>
    Dennis O'Hern, who organized an industry protest last month in St. Petersburg and sat in on the hearing, which he described it as largely a farce.<o:p></o:p>
    "One hundred and ten percent of our members oppose catch shares," he said in a telephone interview.<o:p></o:p>
    Panama City charter operator and industry leader Bob Zales, who helped organize the 2010 protest of about 5,000 fishermen and allies, recently described the Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance as "a mouthpiece" for EDF. "

    Please sign this and flood the email boxes.<o:p></o:p>
  2. Tower Todd

    Catch shares are a bad idea. I took a couple of minutes and sent my voter voice. Thanks Ron!

  3. Fishin' Luhrs

  4. Titan

  5. JKIII

    Done. Thank you for setting this up. I will be sending this link to all of my family and friends.
  6. Fog Ducker!

    Ducker is done.
  7. conchydong

    This Administration with Lubechenko and her Environmental allies are really pushing the catch share issue. Instead of using their funds to obtain good up to date science for fisheries they are gung ho on the catch share program. Attached is a link to the recent Senate hearing with NMFS. We in Florida are also fighting this. Good luck to us all.
  8. HeyBigGuy

    Done, Thanks Ron
  9. JKIII

    Thank you for this link. I have read over the Official NMFS Eric Schwaab Testimony, and found the following on page 6. It seems as if this is supposed to be a close collaboration of Federal, State, and industry interests... With that being said, how could they force this upon us?

    "The policy explicitly recognizes that catch shares may not be the best management option for every fishery or every sector of a fishery and that NOAA will not require catch share programs. The development of catch share programs should be based on close collaboration with Federal, state, and industry partners through the council process to evaluate catch share options and design programs that meet the needs of their unique regional fisheries."
  10. Genie Aye

    Done Ron--thanks for keeping us up to date on what the government is trying to do to us!!

    I have forwarded to all fishing buddies and some that are not fisherman for support here. Have posted up on another fishing forum as well.

    Lets stop these idiots!!:2gunsfiring_v1:
  11. s_tipfan

  12. donno

    Where are the tribes in all this?
  13. rkcarguy

    Been trying and the page isn't available...just busy I hope?
  14. woodrow246

    Done..thanks for the heads up!
  15. Fishinnut

    I am getting some feedback from some individuals that catch shares work. They need to read what is really happening and it is not a conservation issue at all but a grab of the resources to privatize them-stealing our public resources.

    Like Halibut Steve said last night, they just make the recommendations of what to do with the fish and not how to get there. All of our quotas are set by others and the Catch Share program they are now using is to take away the public sectors fish.

    The Catch Share program they are using is not changing any quotas whatsoever.
  16. JKIII

    I can honestly say I don't quite follow how this is different than, say, for instance, a 24 hour reporting requirement, for say, an individual quota that might be shut down if the collective recreational harvest reached a certain amount.

    Can you please explain a bit further, Ron, on how this takes away public sectors fish without changing quota? Believe you, me, I want to maximize our ability to have a fair share, and many here have brought up a more timely reporting system as one way to ensure our fish harvest counts are as legitimate as possible.

    I need to do more homework.
  17. Fishinnut

    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" bgColor=#ffffff vAlign=top width="100%" align=left><TABLE style="MARGIN-BOTTOM: 6px" id=content_LETTER.BLOCK4 border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="TEXT-ALIGN: left; FONT-FAMILY: Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif; COLOR: #003366; FONT-SIZE: 10pt" vAlign=top align=left>
    Council Votes To Terminate Work on Amendment 21 Catch Share Development

    March 11, 2011 - The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Snapper Grouper Committee voted this week with regard to the Snapper Grouper (SG) Amendment 21 Catch Share portion of the document and the majority of SG Committee members voted not to pursue Catch Shares with SG Amendment 21, except in terms of revisiting the Wreckfish individual fishing quota (IFQ) rules. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), which had submitted official comments to the SAFMC in opposition to the intent of Amendment 21 to establish catch share programs for nine stocks subject to statutory overfishing in the Southeast region, praised the decision as a win for the coastal fishing community.

    "This win has once again proven that the pressure we are exerting on the council, both through our efforts and through the pressure on the politicians is paying dividends," said Dave Heil, RFA-FL chapter member and lead attorney in the ongoing case against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on behalf of red snapper. Heil and fellow RFA volunteers in the Southeast have been pressing hard on the ground in the last six months to help preserve angler access to the red snapper resource in the South Atlantic, and he feels that the vote by the SAFMC this week proves that their efforts are paying off, even if only slightly.

    "We had our first victory earlier this year in pushing back the 98' to 240' bottom closure. These wins are proof that we are able to win these battles against Pew Environment Group and Environmental Defense Fund," Heil said, referencing groups which have respectively pushed for deeper regulatory restrictions on recreational fishermen while simultaneously lobbying for integration of IFQ programs and Catch Share initiatives throughout the Southeast. "We must now redouble our efforts in opposing these regulations and regain control of our fisheries," Heil said.

    "Finally were starting to see some movement on our fisheries issues from our elected officials," said Jack Holmes, president of the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) and member of the RFA national Board of Directors. Holmes noted the hearing outcome is just the beginning, and that there is still a lot of work to do as grassroots activists within the recreational sector. "I'm firmly convinced our Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is on our side but Sen. Bill Nelson still leans toward the environmental factors. EDF now will dig in even harder using their money and influence with our representatives, and now is not the time to let up as fishermen, we have to see flexibility reforms be put back into the Magnuson Stevens Act," Holmes added.

    Capt. Mark Brown of the RFA-SC said it's been a long couple of days at the SAFMC meetings in St. Simons Island, GA, but he said there's been good turnout by members of the recreational fishing community along with "some positives" in terms of management policies directed at anglers. "Wahoo was left alone at two per person, and dolphin catch limit was recommended for nine per person but nothing too drastic along with a 20-inch fork length size," Brown said, adding however that black sea bass remains a big issue.

    This morning, the SAFMC made significant changes to the snapper-grouper committee's recommended changes in black sea bass management. A recommended change in the fishing year start date to January 1 was defeated; instead, the SAFMC voted to retain the current June-May fishing year and specify separate commercial ACLs for June through November and December through May based on landings from 2006-2009. Recommendations by the committee to implement a March through April spawning season were defeated, and the Council also approved a recommended reduction in the black sea bass bag limit from 15 fish to 5 fish per angler. The SAFMC also agreed to pursue geographically split fishing years beginning with the 2012-2013 fishing year through a regulatory amendment, which would split the sea bass fishery into the NC/SC region and a GA/FL region.

    Black sea bass are currently off limits to recreational fishermen following word from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that their harvest collection methods showed that anglers had already reached their allowable harvest according. Fishermen in attendance for the SAFMC hearings are hoping that a reduction in the daily bag limit might eliminate the need for a seasonal closure during late winter and early spring when black sea bass are one of the few species available in the Southeast Atlantic.

    SAFMC member Tom Swatzel of Murrells Inlet, SC, told the Sun News out of Myrtle Beach, SC today that a spawning season closure would've had a painful impact on charter and party boat operators during the months when other staple fisheries have already been declared off-limits. "There's no real justification for a spawning closure since black sea bass spawn at differing times throughout the range of the South Atlantic and don't form spawning aggregations," Swatzel said. "The spawning closure will remove sea bass as one of the few remaining fish available to catch offshore in the spring months, inflicting even more economic harm on already hurting fishermen."

    The Sun News noted that the drop in the daily bag limit from 15 fish per person to five is a drastic one for black sea bass and represents a major change from liberal limits in the history of regulations for the species. "While the reduction of the black sea bass bag limit to five fish is necessary to try and keep the recreational fishery open, it's still painful for charter and head boat operators and couldn't come at a worse time," Swatzel said.

    According to Capt. Brown, attendance was strong as nearly 100 people showed up on St. Simons Island to voice concerns at the public comment portion of this week's meetings. "There were some loud and exasperated exchanges but for the most part the discussion was cordial enough to get the point across that the fishermen feel that enough is enough with this style of runaway fishery management that is costing jobs and destroying the fishing industry," Brown said, adding that most fishermen expressed frustration about the different situations that they were being forced to accept due to the legal constraints written into the Magnuson Stevens Act.

    "Developing management for all of the species, both assessed and un-assessed, within the region of the South Atlantic are a priority in order to meet the deadlines and to stay compliant with Magnuson. Because the re-authorization now requires ACL's (annual catch limits) and AM's (accountability measures) to be put in place by the end of 2011 for all species, some parts of creating management are rushed along without an understanding or science to back it up," Brown noted.

    Of course, not all those in attendance were opposed to the overly restrictive measures, as Capt. Brown pointed out that a group of environmental activists were also present and vocal, "to push their agenda of keeping the Council from deterring from any other path than the most restrictive management possible in accordance with the law."

    To view RFA's official comments to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, click on the PDF documents below:

    Comments on the Comprehensive Annual Catch Limit (ACL) Amendment

    Comments on Amendment 9 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

    Comments on Amendment 21 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

    Comments on Amendment 22 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

    Comments on Amendment 24 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR><TR><TD style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff" bgColor=#ffffff vAlign=top width="100%" align=left><TABLE style="MARGIN-BOTTOM: 6px" id=content_LETTER.BLOCK5 border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="FONT-FAMILY: Trebuchet MS,Verdana,Helvetica,sans-serif; COLOR: #003366; FONT-SIZE: 10pt" vAlign=top align=left>
    About Recreational Fishing Alliance

    The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit

  18. "BiteMe"

    Emails sent. Thanks Ron for your constant efforts in this ongoing battle.
  19. Fishinnut

    Read this link and it explains it very well. Read all 5 pages of it.

    Here is the beginning of it.

    By federal order, hundreds of Alaska halibut charter businesses will be forced to close their doors Feb. 1. Most of them are small, mom-and-pop operations.

    Exactly how many will fall victim to a U.S. Department of Commerce decision to impose limited entry on halibut charters, no one can say. What the consequences will be for state tourism in places dependent on small, sport-fishing businesses is not clear. Whether anglers will end up paying significantly more to go halibut fishing because of the change is unknown, although almost everyone in the charter business thinks the plan will lead to fee increases.

    Officials with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Commerce agency implementing what it calls the "Charter Halibut Limited Access Program," question the latter conclusion, but admit they can't predict what will happen.

    Skippers who can establish a history in the halibut fishery dating back to 2004 get free permits from NMFS. Most of them get permits that are saleable.
    <TABLE style="HEIGHT: 204px" border=0 cellSpacing=4 cellPadding=4 width=159 align=right><TBODY><TR><TD><HR>Halibut galore
    Craig Medred had a lot to say about halibut this week. Check out these stories: <HR>
    Taking the billy to Alaska halibut anglers
    <HR>Party fishing lands Alaska charter guide in jail

    Skippers who don't qualify for permits are out of business unless they buy permits from others. The going price for permits at the moment is $5,000 per angler and up. The speculation that charter rates are heading higher is tied to the sale of these permits.

    Officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game remain largely silent about the plan. A receptionist at the agency's Homer office said she'd been told specifically not to say anything about it because it's a federal scheme. Some legislators have spoken out in protest, but they say no one is listening. Rep. Mark Neuman, a Willow Republican, said that when he pestered the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's legislative liaison about fisheries issues last session she finally told him, "My boss says I don't need to talk to you."
  20. JohnQ

    Done!!!! When is some Stinky Old Fisherman gonna drive a wooden stake thru the #$%^&*()