Cali Lobstering for long term sustainability

Discussion in 'Fishing Chit Chat' started by flyhigh123, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. flyhigh123

    flyhigh123 Bangarang

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    Would changing regulations to allowing to catch only males strengthen the longevity of the industry? Both for commerical and recreational? (Or releaseing breeding females)

    I'm all about hooping and getting limits, but have noticed that year after year, it becomes a little tougher and tougher.

    Read an article about maine lobstering that any breeding female gets released back.

    Would love to be able to take the kids out in 10 years and have a strong local industry.
     
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  2. makairaa

    makairaa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    With all the mpas and now the domoic acid closure at anacapa and part of santa cruz island the commercials will eventually be run out of business leaving more for us. If we have not been legislated out by then that is.
     
  3. hbouldin1216

    hbouldin1216 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    past few years of warmer water has to have some effect too, wouldn't it? Tough for lobster to stick around Long Beach when water inside the harbor is 75+
     
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  4. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    It might help, but would affect genetic diversity, making the population more weak to disease over time. Males aren't completely useless, you know...

    The bigger issue with lobsters, in my opinion, is pressure in specific areas. There is excessive pressure in near shore places like Long Beach and Point Loma from a combination of commercial and sport guys. One or the other has to go, or we'll just have to accept that these places aren't going to have lobsters in the future.

    Places that commercial guys aren't allowed to use, or which are too deep for most sport guys, still have plenty of lobster. But the pressure is definitely increasing and sooner or later there will be new restrictions, I'm sure.

    As for what sort of restrictions there might be, it's hard to say, but according to a recent 2014 article, the situation right now is that the top 1% of lobster guys are taking 90% of the lobsters. That is - a small group of guys are going out every day or so and taking a massive amount of lobster, while most people do it a few times a year and have insignificant impact.

    So the talk at fish and game, from what I hear, has been about implementing a year limit - the exact number being thrown around was 70 total lobsters each year, from what I remember. That's probably the first solution in case it gets bad.
     
  5. Hardcor

    Hardcor Hardcore

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    You are right. Right now commercial take is so large they should only take males. You have noticed the change over the years and I have noticed the change over the last 55 years. Before they built Dana point harbor you could get your limit on giant lobster at low tide walking the rocks. You would also have all the Giant Abalone you wanted. Building the Dana point harbor knocked out the number one surfing spot on the California coast. And the introduction of the pursiener has decimated the game fish all over the world. All these young guy's that say it's bullshit never fished in the 50's and 60's and 70's and 80's and 90's and 2000's This has been my life and I've seen the change and it is huge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  6. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    They might actually prefer warm water since water temperature is what causes them to migrate to shallow waters in the spring and summer. The species of lobster to which California lobsters belong are found all the way in southern Mexico, which tells us they're okay with warm water.

    There's also evidence that California lobster baby survival is better during warm water years. However, since lobsters take an average of 5 years to mature, the legal lobsters we're taking today are actually from the La Nina years around 2010, which had below average water temperature and decreased survival. That might have had an effect, too, but the bigger effect is definitely the increased pressure.
     
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  7. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I think there's very little chance of them running out of business with how high Chinese demand is right now; and it'll only increase since their economy is still growing.
     
  8. mogambosquid

    mogambosquid Well-Known "Member"

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    This is a perfect example of the concept of shifting baselines in fisheries. This is the phenomenon of lowered expectations in which each generation regards progressively poorer fish stocks as normal. I.E., as a guy in my late 40s, my idea of the 'good old days' and what constitutes normal, healthy local fish stocks are different (and probably significantly less abundant) than a guy in his 70's and probably more abundant than a guy in his 20's. Read the accounts of Kip Farrington and Zane Grey about fishing the bight in the early 20th century to get an idea of how prolific the waters of So. Cal used to be.
    This is why accurate catch records with general location and catch per unit of effort are essential to good fisheries management.

    I was lucky enough to have a dad who is a total Baja rat and got to experience the Sea of Cortez as a kid in the 70's, compared to then it is essentially fishless now, but still considered good by a lot of fishermen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  9. Hardcor

    Hardcor Hardcore

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    Unless you've seen it you won't believe it.
     
  10. Hardcor

    Hardcor Hardcore

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  11. flyhigh123

    flyhigh123 Bangarang

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    When I was hooping a few years back, we would get limits and would go once a week.

    I thought to myself if I lived close to the harbor, went every day, caught 7 at $20 a pound, that’s some crazy money there.

    Supply and demand will settle out but would be nice to get a few more everytime I go out.

    Guess I can’t have it all.

    Anyone know if the current size regulation was based around a breeding age/size?
     
  12. Phat Boat

    Phat Boat I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    There are a couple laws in the Maine lobster fishery I think help make a difference. The size is 3 5/16 or 3 1/4 to 5 inch head max so all the big ones are released and if a female with eggs is caught she has to be released and NEVER kept again. The tail is clipped for Id. Not just released but NEVER kept again.

    Thats being said its 1500 traps/person and year around fishery. 5 have to leave for one guy to join. The buoys are fn everywhere-way way thicker than anything I could have imagined and I mean everywhere. Watched some guys working the traps, 3 traps per buoy. Heavy pressure buts its really good and its only $5/pound.
     
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  13. makairaa

    makairaa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    As the allowable fishing area decreases the number of lobsters caught will go down as the fishable areas are overfished. Eventually the commercials will not be able to catch enough to cover costs.
     
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  14. sickcat

    sickcat Silverback

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    Absolutely. IIRC a just legal lobster has had 2-3 years reproducing. Bugs main breeding activity is in the summer. That is why the season is set up as it is. Has been as long as I remember. I lived next door to a commercial guy for years. According to him the export market likes those cookie cutter small ones.

    Certainly more rec pressure on the fishery nowadays. Hooping in the 70s we would rarely see others out there. Now? You know whats its like. Outside of increased rec pressure IMO if we spent enough money to actually have real good science on bugs I suspect we would find that water quality would be a player affecting abundance,

    The state of Ca watches the lobster fishery pretty closely. If they saw population problem it would not be long before they would tighten the regs. Last report I saw (couple years ago?) the fishery is quite sustainable. At least until the seiners figure out a way to wrap bugs - then there will be none left :D.


    There have been lean years in the past. There will be lean years in the future. Not necessarily a very good indicator of a resource problem.
     
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  15. monster1

    monster1 Typical striper owner

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    Whats REALLY scary is when the now young guys are old and talking about how the fishing was in "the good ol' days."
     
  16. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Yeah, it's sad to think about it.

    On the other hand, I hear that the rock fishing is better than it was in the early 2000, and the recent BFT run has been called the best in thirty years, so maybe it's not all bad. For people who fished back in 2000 for rock fish or BFT, now might actually be better than the old days.
     
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  17. makairaa

    makairaa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Try better than its been in 100 years for the bluefin.
     
  18. strackle99

    strackle99 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    That video is amazing
     
  19. ratboy

    ratboy Well-Known "Member"

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    Not sure that is true! Most of the time the recreational landings are more than commercial landings!!
     
  20. makairaa

    makairaa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I would like to see those numbers.
     

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