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Old 02-04-2012, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
Reputation: 1244

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I spoke to the Legislative Study Committee on HB353 the Gamefish Status Bill in Raleigh last Thursday. Gamefish status would ban speckled trout, red drum and striped bass from being caught by the commercial fishing families of NC. This means that these fish could not be bought in seafood markets or restaurants.
The NC Division of Marine Fisheries has said there is no biological need for this bill. This bill would not improve or help the resource-It would be of no effect.
The Coastal Conservationa Association is the sole impetus behind this bill.
Following are some of the points I brought up to the committee.

WRAL-TV covered the event. Of course, the reporter not knowing any better did air some "non-truths". Please keep this in mind. Why is a so called "Conservation" group pushing this bill when they know there is no biological need for it? Why is it that their only arguement is money?

HIGHLIGHTS
Here are a few points I brought to the attention of our state legislatures

- This is not a conflict between commercial and recreational fishermen. The bill is a creation of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and is the only group in support of it.

- Gamefish is a politically correct way of saying "Fish Ban".

- The three fish listed in the Gamefish Bill are a public trust resource. Allocating these fish to recreational fishermen only and banning them from the consumer (commercial) fishermen will cut off all access to the non-fishing public.

- 95% of the citizens of North Carolina do not saltwater fish. Gamefish status would ban them access to a public trust resource.

- Representative McCormick said that Gamefish status of these three fish would increase the recreational fishing industry by billions of dollars. Not so. The entire recreational fishing industry in this state generates just under 1.7 Billion dollars. No way is giving just three fish gamefish status going to double or triple the entire industry.

- Jim Hardin, President of the CCA said numerous times on Saltwater Catch radio that the best way to manage the fish is to take the price off the fishes head. The CCA's entire arguement for Gamefish is that the price of a recreationally caught fish is far greater than the price of a commercially caught fish.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,039,585 times
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I don't know about the trout or the drum, but the rockfish no longer seems to be in peril. Why would they want to ban it's catch? In the Chesapeake Bay (my water) they are so plentiful that they are being blamed for the demise of the blue crab. We all know that the blue crab's biggest predator walks on 2 feet though.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:59 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,745,550 times
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Folks:

The initial post is filled with half truths, slanted "facts" and outright "untruthes."



How many of you see Red Drum or Stripers on the menu of the NC seafood restaurants you go to? According to the poster you can eat them everywhere. WRONG. And that is just the start.

The answer alone should show you the degree to which the commercial fishing sector will not tell the truth.

What these guys don't tell you about is the BYCATCH, that comes when the commercial sector targets these species. BYCATCH = Waste. When they target these species and catch those that are too small, what happens. Best case is that they are returned to the water, dead. Worst case is that they are illegally retained and, sold, "off the books."

I have pointed out the fallacy in this individual's posts in other threads on the same topic. I won't do that again.

Reader beware.

To address the question why would the rockfish be banned commercially. Do a google search on stripers, dead, on the water, off the coast of NC, 2011. you will see many pictures of floating dead (culled) stripers from just a couple of commercial boats; the wanton waste, will or at least should make you sick. Heck it took two seconds, I will do it for you.

Note: STRIPER SLAUGHTER

North Carolina Striper Slaughter | BoatingLocal.com

Last edited by SunnyKayak; 02-04-2012 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:57 AM
 
3,271 posts, read 2,637,121 times
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Oh boy another endless back and forth fish debate between Bill and LLN.

I don't know about the rest of youse guys but whenever these threads pop up all I can think of is this:


Monty Python- Fish Slapping Dance! - YouTube
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,039,585 times
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I absolutely do not want to see the kind of "fishing" that is in the video that LLN posted. It is extremely cruel and wastefull. I don't know that a ban on any commercial fishing is the answer though. I had referenced the Chesapeake Bay in my previous post.

Last year they had an issue with the Stripers in the Bay. What was happening was commerical fishermen were setting out gill nets to catch Stripers. They put the net in one place attached to buoys, anchors or pilings driven into the bay bottom. The fish swim into the nets and get caught. This is all legal.

What was not legal was the timing that they set their nets out and the amount of time the nets were in place. The nets were placed out of season and they were out for too long without being checked. The Maryland Department of Natural Resouces found the nets and confiscated everything. The MDNR couldn't figure out who set the nets and no one would tell them. As a result the MDNR closed the entire gill net season to EVERYBODY.

That is how you take care of the problem.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Communications Office
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
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I had the Director of the NC division of Marine Fisheries sitting right beside me while I interviewed him on one of my live radio shows about two weeks ago. Dr. Louis Daniel said that there is "No biological need for gamefish status".(HB353). Enacting this bill will not improve (or even impact for that matter) the fish stocks or status.

The Division of Marine Fisheries does not support this bill. The NC Marine Fisheries Commission does not support this bill. The Carteret County Commissioners do not support this bill. The Dare County Commissioners do not support the bill.
In a nutshell-the researchers, managers, biologist do not support this bill. The two counties where tourism is a major or possibly "the" industry do not support this bill.
This is not a commercial vs. recreational fishermen issue. This is strictly a CCA issue. Take a look at the research. "A Social and Economic Analysis of Commercial Fisheries in NC" shows that conflicts with recreatioanl fishermen isn't in the top 10 responses.
A similar study, "A Social and Economic Survey of Recreational Saltwater Anglers in NC" shows that the for recreational fishermen their least concern coming in at number 10 is "competition with commercial fishermen".
Note-It wasn't a resource issue but rather a competition issue.

The CCA and only the CCA wants this bill. Recreational fishermen don't want it. Managers and Biologist don't want it. The local seaside communities that depend on tourism don't want it.

Can someone explain the logic of wanting to ban the minority catch group? Recreational fishermen catch 3 times the number of speckled trout as commercials do but the CCA wants to ban the commercial fishing families.

All fish are a public trust resource. Gamefish status would ban commercial fishermen from catching these fish. This means the citizens of NC can not buy these fish. This bill only allows recreational fishermen access to a currently public trust resource. Over 95% of the citizens of North Carolina do not saltwaterfish. They would be banned from access to these fish if this bill passes and would be allocated strictly to the rec. fishermen.

Let me tell you and everyone a few things about myself. I am a life member of the CCA. I am not paid by the commercial industry or any industry for that matter. My motivation comes from the following.

For decades I spent over 100 trips a year on the water. From local to international involving commercial, recreational, science, management and conservation. Name the fishing and/or fishery and I've probably been there done that a few dozen times. These experiences and decades spent researching for TV/film for groups like NOAA, NCDMF,Sea Grant, Tag a Giant Bluefin tuna Conservation series-to name a few.

I have produced live daily television about the NC coast/fishery, produced for ESPN, Outdoor Channel, Discovery Channel, Modern Marvels to name a few.
Decades of hands on experience and eyes in research experience have shown me the truth and reality of the situation.

This is why I am against HB353. I know the fish. I know the gear. I know the people and boy do I know the CCA. Only the CCA want this bill, after all-It's them who want to ban these fish. Ever wonder why a "Conservation" organizations only justification for this bill is financial?

And lastly-I let a big secret out last week about myself. I no longer can fish. I have a disability that prevents me from going on a boat or even the ability to reel a fish in from a pier. HB353 the CCA fish ban would make it so my wife could never go to the fish market and buy these fish again. HB353 would reserve these fish strictly for the CCA, the few fishermen who target these fish and for the rest of the recreational fishermen who catch these fish as a by-catch.
I would gladly sacrifice anything if there was a resource need issue. But I'll fight tooth and nail against it when it is strictly a CCA greed issue.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
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Opposition to Game Fish Designation: Ocracoke Working Watermen

Opposition to Game Fish Designation: The Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association (OWWA), states its opposition to legislation that would designate Red Drum, Striped Bass and Spotted Sea Trout as a coastal game fish. We have heard enough about future economic projections, potential catches and other arbitrary dollars values of these fish. Now is the time to consider the facts in this case.

1. The General Assembly adopted the Fisheries Reform Act in 1997. The preamble to the act states that the General Assembly “recognizes the need to protect our coastal fishery resources and to balance the commercial and recreational interests through better management of these resources”. The act also requires the Marine Fisheries Commission “to provide fair regulation of commercial and recreational fishing groups in the interest of the public”. Designating game fish status for any costal species is a departure from this policy, giving the recreational sector preference over the commercial sector.

2. The official statement of the NC Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) concerning House Bill 353 (Game Fish Bill 2011) is “the NCDMF is concerned about House Bill 353, which would designate Red Drum, Spotted Sea Trout and Striped Bass as NC game fish. The division manages the state’s marine fisheries to provide opportunities for both commercial and recreational fishermen. It is neither necessary nor consistent with current law to designate these fish as game fish. Additionally, there is no biological evidence that declaring gamefish status will achieve sustainable harvest. Red Drum, Spotted Sea Trout and Striped Bass are predominantly caught by recreational fishermen. Any needed harvest reduction strategies would need to focus as much on the recreational fishery as the commercial fishery to rebuild stock”.

3. Commercial catches of these species are tightly regulated, monitored and restricted by NCDMF fisheries management plans. Examples of current NCDMF management include: annual catch limits, closed seasons, closed areas, daily catch limits, size limits and net restrictions.

4. Landings data compiled by the NCDMF shows that recreational fishermen catch 65% to 80% of total yearly landings of Red Drum, Spotted Sea Trout and Striped Bass.

5. The most important fact is this legislation will have a widespread negative economic impact on commercial fishing families and coastal communities. In this economy, now is not the time to restrict a man’s ability to earn a proper living or reduce the economic diversity in our coastal communities. From Corolla to Calabash, every coastal county needs the jobs and taxes that the commercial fishing industry contributes.

In summary, it is neither necessary nor consistent with North Carolina law to
designate Red Drum, Spotted Sea Trout or Striped Bass as game fish. All three species currently have strict fish management plans in place to maintain a sustainable harvest by both commercial and recreational fishermen.

Thank you,
Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association (OWWA)
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
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“The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its more than 1,000 members, requests that the North Carolina General Assembly oppose “Game Fish Status” for Red Drum, Striped Bass, Speckled Sea Trout and other fish species and ensure that access of this public trust resource continues to be available to all.”

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce has adopted a resolution opposing the Game Fish Bill. This resolution was passed at their January 25, 2012 meeting.

The resolution stated that since all fisheries of the United States are a public trust resource belonging to everyone, that the Chamber Board opposes a bill that would restrict access to Red Drum, Striped Bass, Speckled Sea Trout and other fish species.

“The commercial fishing industry is an important component of the coastal and the state’s economic base which provides many direct and indirect jobs, taxes and other benefits,” said Chamber Board Chair Robin Mann. “The taxes from tourism are a significant portion of the budgets of local towns, counties and the state, areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene. Allowing only a specific group access to the resources would be unfair.”

Commercial fishing has been an important industry on the North Carolina coast for more than 400-years. One of the primary lures to entice visitors to the coast is the availability of fresh locally-caught seafood at the docks, fish markets and restaurants.

“We don’t see that there is a scientific basis for placing additional restrictions on the commercial harvest of these species,” said Mann. “The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its more than 1,000 members, requests that the North Carolina General Assembly oppose “Game Fish Status” for Red Drum, Striped Bass, Speckled Sea Trout and other fish species and ensure that access of this public trust resource continues to be available to all.”

The complete resolution can be found on the Chamber’s website at Welcome to North Carolina's Outer Banks in the Legislative Comments section.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
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The following recipe was in Sunday's Raliegh News and Observer. How to cook, "Wild Striped Bass (Rockfish) with Lentils and Pancetta"
Striped bass in one of the fish the CCA wants to ban North Carolina consumers from being able to buy. Contact your state representative and tell them NO to HB353 the Game Fish Status Bill and YES to fresh, locally caught North Carolina Seafood.


Don't give up taste for Lent - Food - NewsObserver.com
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,355,882 times
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Impact of banning gill nets, declaration of game fish status in NC
Outer Banks Sentinel

There is a move afoot in the NC General Assembly to radically alter fisheries management. Apparently led by state Rep. Darrell McCormick, Republican of Yadkin County, the general concept is to rid our coastal waters of local fishermen. Crabbing, oystering and clamming seem to be safe--for now.
Read entire article: Obsentinel.com
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