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Old 08-14-2005, 01:23 PM
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Doug Jowett Doug Jowett is offline
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Smile Stripers Forever reports on Commercial Striper fishing in Mass.

Stripers Forever has condensed their Mass. data from the Southwick Study on Commercial Striped Bass fishing. Their cover comments are below and the full condensed report on Mass. Commercial Striped Bass Fishing is found on their web site listed below.


"Stripers Forever members -

The Massachusetts Southwick study is out and it dramatically points out
why we need everyone to pitch in and push for recreational ONLY management
in this pivotal state. The number of mature breeding-age female bass that
are
killed in MA is staggering, and this directly effects the health and
quality
of the entire East coast fishery. This is your opportunity to have a
direct
impact on YOUR fishery.

The Massachusetts state-specific version of our highly acclaimed Southwick
Study compares the relative social and economic values of recreational and
commercial striped bass fishing, and then forecasts the changes that will
take place when commercial striped bass fishing is finally ended. The
numbers speak for themselves. Continued commercial fishing for striped
bass in MA will cost the state dearly in terms of jobs and economic
activity.

But jobs and economic activity are just two big reasons to end commercial
striped bass fishing. As one MA chatroom post recently remarked, ending
commercial striped bass fishing would immediately result in a 15% decrease
in the killing of large striped bass. The truth is that with the illegal
commercial catching that goes on daily, it would be far more than that.
And if it weren't for the fishery managers responding to their commercial
constituents we would be fishing at much lower overall mortality levels
today. That is what the recreational fishing public has always asked for
- better fishing and a healthy spawning stock.

Still, many feel that the best way to end commercial striper fishing is to
show that it is economically counter-productive. And that it is. Here
are a few highlights from the Massachusetts study:
· The recreational fishery produces 10,986 full time equivalent jobs, 21
times the 524 offered by the commercial fishery.
· The recreational fishery offers $236.86 per pound harvested in economic
activity, the commercial fishery offers only $22.97, less than one tenth
as much.
· 64.4% percent of all recreational fishing trips in MA target striped
bass, and 26.6 % of all charter trips are for stripers. There is no
substitute for striped bass for either Massachusetts fishermen or the
recreational industry that they support.
· Eliminating the commercial fishery would create 2,871 net new jobs in
Massachusetts, and generate $334 million in net new economic activity.

What state couldn't use these social and economic benefits? Right now,
large breeding-age stripers are being destroyed so that a comparative
handful of individuals can finance their fishing vacations by killing and
selling the same fish that the rest of us try so hard to conserve. It
must be stopped.

It's all on our website at [ http://www.stripersforever.org
]www.stripersforever.org. You can't miss it. Read it, print it out, or
send us the cost of printing/mailing and we will send you quality printed
documents. The instructions are all on the website. Just hit "contact
us" if you have any questions.

Stripers Forever is mailing copies to every legislator in Massachusetts,
and some of our most active members have already offered to go to their
legislators and ask for legislation that will make striped bass a gamefish
in MA like it is now in ME, NH, and CT. If you live in MA we hope that
you will do the same. If you fish in MA, love striped bass, or just like
sound public policy, we hope that you will write the Governor of MA and
let him know what you think. All contact information can be found on the
website by clicking MA on the map located on the left side of the website
home page. Send us an e-mail and let us know if you are willing to help.

Brad Burns - President, Stripers Forever Fred Jennings Ph.D. - MA
State Chairman
Dean Clark - MA Vice-Chairman"
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Old 08-14-2005, 05:43 PM
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Though I would benefit from a recreational only fishery I feel ill at ease about attempting to make these fish only for fisherman and keep them from people who simply like to eat fish. However well intentioned I can’t help but to feel this is unfair and unwarranted. As the chart I am attaching (If I can manage to do so) shows, good management practices have brought the stripers back from the dismal levels of the 80’s to a very healthy population without keeping non-fisherman from enjoying them. If we feel the levels should be higher, tightened restrictions on size and take should be adequate. I keep very few fish, two in the last fifteen years to be exact, and I wouldn’t mind tighter restrictions or slot limits to keep bigger spawning fish out from under the fillet knife. I know your group means well, and I have to admit if it were successful I would enjoy any increase in fishing success, but I find it tough to justify since it would seem to be for purely personal gains.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:27 PM
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Exclamation who supplies the rec's figures?

I think Scott's point is well taken. Look, we know precisely what the comms take b/c it's a closely regulated quota. It's predetermined, when it's reached, it's closed.
But where do the recreational harvest figures come from? Ar these figures simply "guesstimates", speculations, or conjecture supplied by the DMF? How can a body such as the DMF even speculate as to how many bass the recreational anglers take when they really don't know for certain how many people are fishing salt water in Ma?
In all the decades I've been at this, I've never been part of a survey. Yet, I think I'm highly representitive of most of the salt water anglers out there. Concerned about the health of the fishery, like to keep an occasional fish for dinner, and releases 99.9% of what I catch.
Remember, be very careful of anything coming out of the DMF. These are the folks who told us for years there was nothing at all wrong with the health of our herring runs. It was a "dip in the cycle". Now that virtually all our runs are in a state of severe decline or even total collapse, they finally suggested there might be a problem. :mad:
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:04 PM
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I admit that I am not up to speed on commercial regs, but...

My nephew recently came to visit his cousins on the Cape. His eldest cousin (they are both 18) works as a mate for a commercial striperman. My nephew was elated at his experience, saying that they had caught & kept over 50 bass in 2 days. The regs allow 30 fish per day during the week.

Also, the MA DMF raised the size restrictions on fluke for recreational fishermen to 17", while for commercial fishermen using a hook can keep a 14" fluke.
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:25 PM
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well intentioned?

not in my mind, this is borderline PETA stuff as far as i'm concerend. scottne : well said.
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:04 PM
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I was interviewed at the ramp on Saturday. Someone working in conjunction with WHOI. No bass to report, but plenty of bluefin.

Oh yeah, in the interest of consistency, shouldnt this thread go in the conservation forum?
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:01 PM
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I've been interviewed several times over the past couple of years. The Blish pt ramp and Scorton's creek have been too popular spots for this particular interviewer.
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:58 PM
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In our weeks trip this (and each ) June, I came to the Cape with 13 other fisherman and assorted family. We spent a total of $24,000 and change for guides, lodging, food, and gas. That was money from outside the community brought INTO the community, not just recycled local money. And that doesn't count airline tickets and rental cars. We killed a total of 4 bass. The sole reason we come 3000 miles is because of the quality of the fishery, and that includes the frequency of big bass caught. Exactly how much money would those 4 bass have brought into the community?

We all know there is an illegal take and rules fudging on both sides of the aisle. That is a problem separate from the issue of recreational versus commercial. That is an enforcement problem and shouldn't be laid on either side. Ther ARE potential solutions.

One way oflooking at this thing has nothing to do with any "my methods are better than your methods" arguments. If one looks at this as a limited and vulnerable resource, and then primarily values the economic rewards of the various management principles, then one is lead to some specific conclusions.

My $.02
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:49 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Parsons
I've been interviewed several times over the past couple of years. The Blish pt ramp and Scorton's creek have been too popular spots for this particular interviewer.
Bob,

Not looking to be disputatious, but exactly how much info can they possibly extrapolate from a brief interview at a boat ramp? Agencies such as the DMF frequently play fast and loose with figures, leaving us often scratching our heads trying to figure out how they came up with those numbers?
Wouldn't you think a "catch report" similar to what's done for the comm bass and lobster fishery be in order?
Of course since no salt water lic is involved, this would be on a voluntary basis. But, even if 50% of all salt water fishermen reported, it would be more information than they presently have.
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