When MD lost the December tog fishery it was because of a Shore Estimate. Even though everyone involved knew there was no catch from shore in December; because the data showed some crazy high jetty catch in November, managers split the November/December wave to get the required "Reduction" in catch. What looked true on a computer screen was well known to be just that — only true on a computer screen.
We lost December tog through use of a catch estimate that everyone knew was not true, that everyone involved understood was only a "trick."
We lost our May sea bass season to catch estimates described by a senior NOAA scientist as data, "No one with a brain in their head would believe."
Our Essential Fish Habitat source document officially has sea bass habitat defined thusly: "Structured habitats (natural & man-made) sand and shell substrates preferred."
That's the best available science alright..
2C) Alternative 2C. Eliminate In-Season Closure Authority. Regulatory language regarding monitoring / closure of the recreational fisheries will be removed. This alternative, if chosen, would reflect a preference for addressing recreational overages in subsequent fishing years rather than imposing an early closure.
3C) Alternative 3C. Confidence Interval. When a stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring for that stock, the recreational sector ACL will be evaluated based on an annual comparison of an appropriate confidence interval of the total catch estimates (landings and dead discards), where the entire confidence interval (i.e., including the lower confidence limit) is above the recreational ACL to trigger an AM. Both landings and dead discard estimates will be evaluated in determining if the recreational sector ACL has been exceeded.
4C) Alternative 4C. Payback when Stock is Overfished or when OFL is Exceeded. ... the overage (in pounds) will be deducted, as soon as possible, from a subsequent single fishing year recreational sector ACT only if the stock is overfished and/or OFL has been exceeded AND B/Bmsy is <1. When these conditions are not met, AMs will consist of adjustment to bag/size/season and in-season monitoring for early closure when the recreational overage caused OFL to be exceeded, but B/Bmsy >1, or caused ABC to be exceeded. In-season monitoring only will occur when only the Rec ACL has been exceeded.
Thank You For Your Consideration,