BFT effects on the long term fishery...

AKSalmon

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  • Jul 15, 2006
    2,021
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    Juneau, Alaska
    Name
    Bill Brown
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    Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
    Possibly related: I put my boat in the water in April or early May. Every year I see guys in the harbor loading their crab pots with freezer burnt halibut and salmon. That's illegal, but only if you get caught. It's unethical whether you get caught or not. I suspect that people who take home a few cows every year do something similar. Commercial fishermen don't do this, although they do send quite a bit of their catch to Asia to be made into cat food. I have absolutely no idea whether we -- sporties and commerciasl -- are catching too many tuna. But really: If you don't need it, please release it!
     

    woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
    1,287
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    San Fransisco,CA USA
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    John
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    Fishead
    Its interesting....that we always hear the argument about the "lonely rod and reel fisherman" vs the powerful commercial seiner. How can we ever catch as much as them? It can't be "us". Thats like the commercial guys (Ive done that as well) saying.... "if I don't take these fish.... my competitor will".

    Where does it end? Personal accountability is up to you the individual. No excuses. No pressure. You decide. But.... if no one "flinches" ....who loses.... us or them? Is that really what it's all about? US...or THEM? I hope not. For the price will be paid by all of us.... and our future generation of anglers....our kids.

    No....the TUNA NAZI's are not gonna come get you. But...when your BFT / YFT fishing this season, and in subsequent seasons... do the right thing .... and set the right example for those kids....let a few go...on purpose.

    What you do ....when no ones watching...IS Your "character" and integrity. .. regardless of what your mouth says when others are there.

    Good luck this season.... let a few go... on purpose. Better than that.... TAG a few for research....so we can answer some of those "assumptions".... with real data....not just hearsay. Be safe out there.
     

    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
    Aug 11, 2006
    8,204
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    Costa Mesa
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    Ron
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    several
    I'll take the 5th here. With all the reports of Captains seeing "Massive" schools of Bluefin offshore now for 2-3 years...
    I wonders WHAT is the ratio of Bluefin CAUGHT vs. # that
    escape, keep right on going, blowing us off??? 1 in 100?
    1 in 1000? That would be a more accurate measure of how much, if any, effect Sport Fishing is having on the Bluefin Stocks maybe? Never seen DFW/NOAA out counting them on the tuna grounds. LOL
     

    fishdog43

    Newbie
    Mar 3, 2021
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    Eric Metz
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    none
    The commercial take of bluefin (or any other tuna for that matter) is what can affect the populations. In one wrap a purse seiner probably takes tons more fish than the sport fleet could ever catch in a year or more.
     

    Tallguy

    Newbie
    Aug 14, 2018
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    Tallguy
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    NA
    With pollution, overfishing, loss of anything, humans always like to blame others and point the finger elsewhere. The data says humans have overfished and collapsed stocks of fish almost everywhere, including some big impacts from sport fishing. We are all more responsible than we'd like to think. That may or may not matter for these stocks of BFT, maybe they are totally fine, but better to be cautious and realize we might be part of the problem after all. Take too many and maybe we'll never really know how good it could really be. The kinds of fishing our grandfathers thought was normal would blow all of us away.

    Often big females who can make lots of eggs are responsible for huge percentages of the next generation. They matter. Better to conserve those and let them go, they are so close to reproductive age and their size means lots of eggs.

    Stick to the small ones when you can. They also have less mercury and contaminants, so they are better for your eating too.
     

    Lake

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Mar 31, 2003
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    Visalia, CA
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    Blaine Lake
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    none
    I always scratch my head when people say it’s better to take the spawners than the youngsters. I’ll use swordfish as an example since I know their numbers better. A mature female can produce 300 million eggs a year. Say that they have a 10% survival of babies making it to maturity. That’s 30 million fish per year they propagate. If the survival is only 1% that’s still 3 million fish. If you kill a large female you are losing 3-30 million fish per year. If you kill a youngster you’re removing one fish.

    I definitely believe that fisheries management has brought back the bluefins. Prior to quotas you’d get a few shots at these fish per year. Now you can fish them spring to late fall/early winter. Numbers and size increases are further evidence.

    I’m not much of a fish eater and I have no problem releasing fish. I wish we could get past the stage where we need to kill them all for pictures and bragging rights.
     

    Bill W

    tunaholic
  • Jan 12, 2006
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    Chino Hills, Ca.
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    Bill Walsh
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    Red Rooster
    I have not targeted BFT personally and prefer to go long for YFT. Guess I would kill one if that is the target fish of the day. Happy for those that made a quest and successfully brought one to gaff. Money was the driving force in my day and any rumor of bluefin had the purse seiners on the schools the next day. Maybe the feed lot bluefin changed the focus to grow quality fish in a pen. In any case a cow BFT is at the travel/spawn age to make travel. Would be great to see the really big fish spawn here.
     

    DAS

    Almost A Member
    Dec 23, 2017
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    DAS
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    El Segador
    I believe were at year 7 on a 12 year cycle, so enjoy it while you can. Have you ever seen a seiner wrap a school of tuna, salmon etc... I think last year I paid $768.00 a lb for the bft I caught
     
    W
    woodfish330
    Have seen them wrap the LR boat for big YFT at least 3 times. Pretty efficient. As for your cycle theory... Capt. George Farnsworth.... the father of BFT fishing here on the west coast believed their cycle was 12 - 17 years.... so not to far off...but cyclic for sure brother.

    Colonel Kurtz

    The Horror
    Apr 30, 2019
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    La Jolla, CA
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    Walter E. Kurtz
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    Death From Above
    Yeah, I wanna know how our recreational fishing numbers compare to commercial fishing numbers. It seems like us releasing a small amount of cows compared to the commercial guys kinda seems like a drop in the bucket kind of thing.
    Per NOAA's fisheries site (numbers are in metric tons of BFT):
    Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 7.17.24 PM.png

    Last year, around 3500 metric tons of bluefin were taken commercially. Someone else in this thread estimated about 580 metric tons (640 US tons) were taken by the entire sportboat fleet last year, based on the assumption that each BFT was ~50 lbs in size. That equates to the entire sportboat fleet taking only 16.5% of what the commercial industry takes in a year. Mind you, this is after more restrictive commercial quotas were put into place in 2013. It's clear that the commercial fleet has a much larger impact on BFT populations than sportfishing does...so if guys wanna virtue signal and claim they're tossing these fish back so that our "future children" can continue to catch BFT, rock on, BFTLM.
     

    998R

    Member
    May 22, 2008
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    san diego
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    M
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    Blue Monkey, BM2
    BFT are the toughest to catch, also 2 limit. No dent in our fishery brotha. I’ve seen miles of foaming bft with a handful of boats throwing the whole kitchen sink without luck. We burned up thousands of dollars in gas which is more harmful to the earth then the pacific bft population. Maybe take up a new hobby like golf?

    good luck.
     
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    afraser

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    Apr 20, 2008
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    aaron
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    I think we are seeing a permanent change in our fishery. We have more baitfish and red crab then we used to have and that has attracted and will continue to hold the bft. As long as the seiners aren't wrapping entire bft schools, then the bft will continue to return. I'd be fine with hook and line commercial fishery, even jackpoling, but the systematic taking of entire schools will lead to the destruction of the fishery 10x before the recreational fishery even puts a dent in it at 2 fish per day, 6 limit per trip. That said, I'm not keeping a couple of cows on a single trip. I'll give them away if someone doesn't have any, or let them go if we have plenty.
     

    Carl

    Bridesmaid,,,,,,,Again
  • Nov 29, 2004
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    Carl
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    everyone elses
    You dummys seem to forget that we live in Ca. USA.

    Our marine fisheries, whether commercial or recreational, are monitored and regulated accordingly by professionals.

    Don't get me started on also being regulated by libs at the ballot box.

    Let the professionals do their jobs.
    Worry more about politically motivated, particularly from the state, over regulation .
    Ie mlpa
     

    ernie_kru

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    Dec 21, 2011
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    Per NOAA's fisheries site (numbers are in metric tons of BFT):
    View attachment 1273672
    Last year, around 3500 metric tons of bluefin were taken commercially. Someone else in this thread estimated about 580 metric tons (640 US tons) were taken by the entire sportboat fleet last year, based on the assumption that each BFT was ~50 lbs in size. That equates to the entire sportboat fleet taking only 16.5% of what the commercial industry takes in a year. Mind you, this is after more restrictive commercial quotas were put into place in 2013. It's clear that the commercial fleet has a much larger impact on BFT populations than sportfishing does...so if guys wanna virtue signal and claim they're tossing these fish back so that our "future children" can continue to catch BFT, rock on, BFTLM.

    I posted the 50lb avg (might be higher, as I stated it was just a guess), but realistically, the harvest of reported sportboats + non reported sportboats + non reported private boats could EASILY be 900 tons... To put it into perspective, that is double what the US Commercial Catch limit is and equal to the US + Mexico catch limit. Our (sport fishing) harvest is not a drop in the bucket in the overall.
     

    saltierdog

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    Mar 5, 2007
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    joe
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    26 Twin Vee
    BFT are gonna continue to thrive under the comercial seiner restrictions. I would like to know why our WSB stocks are dropping in the last few years ? What are all those tuna fisherman doing south of the boarder after they make their BFT quota in the first month of the year?
     
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    craig ito

    Almost A Member
    Dec 13, 2017
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    norwalk
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    craig
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    seaswirl
    I’ve always heard of that San Clemente bluefin back in the day, then one year they wrapped up some big boys! Never thought I would ever see this mysterious bluefin in our local waters like they talked about, but they are back! I don’t think over fishing (sport) made them disappear from our waters for all those years but I’m no scientist. I think it’s more to do with currents, bait, fish cycles, and maybe commercial guys. I think our regulations are there for this reason if everyone abides by them. Would you be saying the same thing about albacore when they come back? I always like to just keep what I’m gonna eat! What about all the poachers that kill shit unregulated and unreported. I think they are the problem, not us who respect our regulations.
     

    ernie_kru

    Newbie
    Dec 21, 2011
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    Ernie
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    Per NOAA's fisheries site (numbers are in metric tons of BFT):
    View attachment 1273672
    Last year, around 3500 metric tons of bluefin were taken commercially. Someone else in this thread estimated about 580 metric tons (640 US tons) were taken by the entire sportboat fleet last year, based on the assumption that each BFT was ~The 50 lbs in size. That equates to the entire sportboat fleet taking only 16.5% of what the commercial industry takes in a year. Mind you, this is after more restrictive commercial quotas were put into place in 2013. It's clear that the commercial fleet has a much larger impact on BFT populations than sportfishing does...so if guys wanna virtue signal and claim they're tossing these fish back so that our "future children" can continue to catch BFT, rock on, BFTLM.

    The IATTC website has lots of information.. This is a sheet showing the Jan-Feb 28 2021 catches... Seems Mexico's BFT quota is ~3000 metric tonnes which is more than I thought. The YFT numbers are HUGE!
    Fishing catch IATTC.jpg
     

    500BBC

    Almost A Member
    Oct 19, 2007
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    Brad
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    19' Schiada, Neighborhood Menace
    The commercial take of bluefin (or any other tuna for that matter) is what can affect the populations. In one wrap a purse seiner probably takes tons more fish than the sport fleet could ever catch in a year or more.
    Yes, and that is why, with the new restrictions on the commercial fleets, the BFT fishery has skyrocket to the current levels. I've spent decades sitting on massive schools of BFT (that won't bite) with 30+ seiners visible all around us.
     

    makairaa

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    May 1, 2005
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    Philip Hunkins
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    17 starcraft
    BFT are gonna continue to thrive under the comercial seiner restrictions. I would like to know why our WSB stocks are dropping in the last few years ? What are all those tuna fisherman doing south of the boarder after they make their BFT quota in the first month of the year?
    Warm water. No squid, limited seabass. Nobody up there talks about it but the seabass bite out of avila beach and morro bay has been quite good the last several years.
     

    Rabid Fish

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    Jun 27, 2004
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    Alex
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    Reading this thread shows how little the average fisherman knows about fisheries management.

    You guys would do well to actually read the stock assessment evaluations if you are really interested in what's going on, if for no other reason than to understand how bad the science is.

    Not only are BFT doing great, the estimates of their stocks are wildly underreported.
     
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    Northeastfshman

    I see OJ
  • Dec 20, 2008
    2,511
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    San Clemente
    Name
    Brett Weinberg
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    Parker 2120SCDV
    First, take a miunte to look at the ABFT quota, population and fishery as an example. It is now considered the shining star of succesful fishery management.

    The stock is beyond healthy, nearly double the sustianable spawning biomass and nearly double the spawning biomass in 1950.

    That wasn't the case 20 years ago when the stock was severly overfish.

    Recreational catch levels and quotas were lowered to 1 fish per day, PER BOAT for fish 27-43", 1 fisher per day PER BOAT 43-73" and 1 fish A YEAR over 73" PER BOAT, along with seasonal closure based on rigid quotas that didn't change with the stock.

    This did absolutly nothing to change the fishery.

    Furthermore since BFT quotas are managed international if the US doesn't hit it's quota or declines that quota it simple goes to a foreign entity.

    What did change it? Stopping illegal fising in the Mediterranean where the majority of the fish spawn. Not changing quotas .... rather simple actually enforcing them. It was amazing how fast the fishery grew and came back following those efforts.

    That being said recreational anglers never saw regulations change, what you see above is still what it is despite the abundance of fish so be careful what you wish for. Not a 1 fish per person per day, not a tag system so people could catch one giant a year.

    In the Pacific we have massive cycles which absolutly brought about the fish returing to our waters, but don't forget Mexico actually started to enforce their quota several years ago after years of taking everything and it's made a huge diffence. We need Japan and other nations involved in the quota to do the same thing and enforce this stuff on the other side of the Pacific where they go to Spawn.

    Our stock is also managed by Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), I beleive if we decreased our quota's it woudl go to someone else like the Atlantic but I'm not 100% sure.

    I applaud anyone that releases a legally caught big fish. It's an amazing attitude and as anglers we should pat anyone who does it on the back, but that doesn't mean I have any issues with the existing quota or that anyone should feel guilty or wrong about legally taking any sportfish that falls within quotas designed to promote sustainabitliy.

    We need to continue to focus on illegal fishing that destroys attempts at building sustianbale models of a renewable resource.