Friday, November 02, 2012

Fish Report 11/2/12 Letters

Fish Report 11/2/12 Letters
On Sale
A Sample
..and a note that Buzzards Bay May temperatures had risen 5.4 degrees F (3 degrees C) between 1987 & 1997.
Advance Ticket Sales For Future Trips & Gift Certificates For Regular 8 Hour Fares $20.00 Off Through November 10th. Advance 10 Hour Long Trip Certificates $25.00 Off.
No Trips Scheduled At Present - Soon. The Sale Is For Will-Call & Gift Certificate Tickets.
Call 410 520 2076 - These Folks Have Handled My Reservations For 10 Years.
Never had a sale before. Buyers should be aware my business could be swept away in this regulatory hurricane..
But not without a fight.
Greetings All,
Last time there was an emergency sea bass closure NOAA-NMFS & the world became very busy with an oil spill; now Sandy is a greater catastrophe.
With so many in desperate need, when I get back overboard we'll be doing some fund-raising trips for relief efforts.
While I hope your families & homes are unaffected, I'm sure many feel disaster's pain.
Still, I beg your time & effort to write a few letters urging management's review of the recreational black sea bass fishery.
I witnessed an incredible resurgence of sea bass along DelMarVa at the dawning of marine fisheries management. Now we see a system destroying recreational fisheries while doing little else for fish, Our long tradition of enjoyment while providing for friends & family will remain only as tender beach house memories lost in Sandy's storm surge.
With nearly all our recreational sea bass quota being caught-up in recent years by the northern region, and that catch assertion based solely from fantastically implausible data; It is time NOAA & NMFS reconsider its sea bass management strategy.
Habitat must now come to the fore where NOAA has avoided any consideration of Reef in a Reef Fish's restoration.
So too must this preposterous idea die: "MRIP's recreational catch estimates are much better than MRFSS." It might sound good & look good on paper or in a meeting; I tell you, whispers within management are true -- The Emperor Has No Clothes.
I've often wondered how Massachusetts could have such fantastic inshore catches when, as a boy, I did my level best to eradicate scup from a river below New Bedford -- Two hooks baited with clam for a month at a time during the early 70s and never caught a sea bass. (had to anchor just so to catch them..)
From 1992 to 1998 the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey (MRFSS) shows about 30,000 sea bass for Massachusetts private boats in all those annual estimates combined: Their total catch for 7 years equaled about 30,000 sea bass..
Then, suddenly, just for wave 3 (May/June) in 2010, MRFSS has Massachusetts' private boats catching & keeping 220,000 sea bass. Because our Congressionally mandated New & Improved Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) is considered by management a better program, perhaps we should instead hold their catch at 448,000 for wave 3, 2010 MA private boat as MRIP asserts.
(for comparison: all party boats along the entire US Atlantic coast were estimated at 114,000 sea bass in wave 3, 2010)
Because Massachusetts's private boats caught all those sea bass in 2010 while there was still a 20 fish limit, its understandable that they only caught 276,000 during the same two months this year with a 10 fish limit.
(all party boats along the entire Atlantic coast are estimated at 135,000 sea bass for May/June, 2012)
Personally, I think history will show MRIP's wave 4, 2012 as a better estimate: With the daily creel limit back up to 20 fish per-person, these same anglers caught 268,000 fewer sea bass, landing only 7,600.. (while all Atlantic Coast partyboats had 84,000)
I await the day managers use PSEs from these estimates (a statistical "margin of error" calculation included with every single recreational catch estimate from either program often greater than 70%). When staff or even the statisticians themselves present the true and correct statistical answer; the answer "How Many?" always includes the entire numerical spread within the margin of error and not just an estimate's centerpoint. Rethinking centerpoint's use would allow managers to manage, to use their gut when judging a statistic's veracity.
Still, I happened across an article about Dr. Jeff Turner's work in Buzzard's Bay. Included was a map of his many sampling points, a rather graphic description of fecal contaminants in his first bottom grab, and a note that Buzzards Bay May temperatures had risen 5.4 degrees F (3 degrees C) between 1987 & 1997.
That's right when sea bass are moving inshore. I believe this temperature increase made Buzzards Bay & surrounding waters a sweeter spot for sea bass. Those waters may have grown warmer still. This rocky embayment has now become suitable to all sea bass, where before only few would colonize & spawn..
Is new habitat-based fishery production what troubles our catch estimating system? How can our country's immense effort at bettering recreational data put forth such an improbable number as Massachusetts' sport boats--mostly below Cape Cod--catching 4X what the whole coast's party boats caught?
Personally, while I find catch estimates wholly unconvincing; I wonder if this statistical discord is a result of ever-greater sea bass production in a very rocky piece of real estate further magnified by the species' habitat fidelity.
If we removed the great reef constructions of DE's Jeff Tinsman & NJ's Bill Figley/Hugh Carberry, that region's sea bass fishery would contract in direct relationship to remaining natural and accidental reefs.
Involved in Maryland's artificial reef building for several decades, I expect a positive contribution to sea bass production with each reef we build. MD's reefs best measured in square yards; How many square miles of boulder are now suitable for sea bass in Southern New England that weren't before..
Indeed, catch is shifting even to New Hampshire.
There's a lot more production up north than there used to be.
But because we have black sea bass even along both coasts of Florida, there will be no contraction of the fish's range in the management unit - only expansion.
Where the Science & Statistical Committee (SSC) has tread ever so lightly with sea bass quota because of its "Data Poor" recognition--always coming in far below the hands-on scientific community's recommendation: I believe newly suitable habitat production overwhelms the regulatory process.
This profoundly productive state waters sea bass factory needs to be separated from more southern states with their less robust reef systems in federal waters. Not only is the regulatory hurricane severely impacting traditional coastal partyboat trade in the EEZ, but I seriously doubt northern production is being used to best economic result
..I'm positive the southern range's economic output is completely disrupted.
If the closures don't bankrupt my business, Accountability Measures soon will.
Please urge the SSC to consider new production in its thinking. We need our sea bass back.
Its An Emergency.
Thanks Very Much For Reading.
Addresses & Sample Letter Below.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076
If you're of a mind to write a short note there's a sample below. You should include your email address in modern snail-mail correspondence.
Keep in mind the people you are writing to DID NOT create this problem -- They are following the law as others have interpreted it: Where the exact center of a statistical estimate is held sacred, Where no allowance is made for greater habitat production in warming waters, and where the 2006 Magnuson rewrite takes quota setting authority away from the hands-on Monitoring Committee scientists giving the Science & Statistical Committee sole responsibility for a fishery's performance.
Each & every letter counts!
Upper Government also has "contact us" web pages that are easily Googled..
You Should Absolutely Contact Your State Fisheries Personnel Too.
Vice President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20501
Secretary Blank
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Secretary Lubchenco
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW - Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230
Assistant Secretary NOAA Eric Schwaab
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Director NMFS Sam Rauch
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
John Bullard
NMFS NE Regional Administrator
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA. 01930
Greetings Dr. Lubchenco,
The emergency closure of black sea bass is again driven by remarkable catch estimates. You should encourage their review. Does NOAA truly believe private boats in Massachusetts caught 4X more sea bass in wave 3, 2010 than the entire Atlantic coast's party boat effort? ..that's what the new & improved MRIP estimate claims.
Sea bass habitat is unquestionably expanding north as waters warm. This brings the rocky nearshore waters of New England into greater & greater production -- The Granite Coast.
State waters sea bass fishers enjoying this new production are often alleged to capture more than the entire Mid-Atlantic quota; Where VA, MD & DE are estimated, in all, to have caught just 4% of their vital & traditional sea bass fishery's quota; MA's private boat fleet alone is held to have captured over half.
With habitat/reef fidelity as certain as a salmon's return to natal stream, NMFS federal waters closure caused by state waters catch goes too far; is needlessly gutting southern fishers' bioeconomic stability.
Swift repair of this part of our nation's fishery restoration model is urgently needed.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Berlin, MD

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