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Old 09-14-2006, 04:23 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Exclamation Herring Lobbyist letter, Congress, Important

Below is the letter that Rick Marks, a fishery lobbyist, has written on belhalf of NORPEL and some other midwater herring people, and has been shopping it around to Congress to try and get support. This letter is an attempt to shut down the PS?FG ONly zone. They would like to see a few Congress people sign on and render the public's wishes meaningless. This would be devatstating and I strongly suggest contacting your reps and senators to tell them how you feel. Here is the letter, they are looking for everyone from the NE to sign on and not just MA and NJ. RI, NY, CT, ME and NH are all fair game.

**THIS IS A LETTER THAT IS BEING SUBMITTED BY THE TRAWLERS. DO NOT SUBMIT THIS LETTER IF YOU SUPPORT THE PURSE SEINE/FIXED GEAR ONLY ZONE. THIS LETTER IS AN ATTEMPT TO STOP NMFS FROM IMPLMENENTING THE PS/FG ZONE. ANY COMMENTS OR CALLS TO YOUR CONGRESS PEOPLE SHOULD EXPLAIN WHY YOU DISAGREE WITH THIS LETTER. DO NOT SIMPLY CUT AND PASTE ASSUMING THIS IS SAMPLE LETTER FOR OUR CAUSE, THIS IS WHAT THE OTHER SIDE IS USING TO UNDERCUT THE PUBLIC'S WISHES. AGAIN, ANY COMMENTS SHOULD REFUTE THE LETTER THAT IS PASTED BELOW!!


"Dear Ms. Kurkul::

We are submitting Herring Amendment #1 comments on behalf of our constituents who harvest and process Atlantic herring throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. With the explicit encouragement of the federal government to develop the U.S. Atlantic sea herring fishery, these companies have invested well over $100 million in the last five years in vessel and shore side investments in pelagic fisheries, including herring.

Collectively, these businesses employ about 600 workers, provide bait for the region's lobster industry and export fine quality food grade herring.

They also contribute significantly to our regional and local economies and help to reduce the U.S. trade deficit.

These same companies are also active participants in the New England Fishery Management Council process during the development of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan and have gone as far as to bring their concerns directly to your attention at a recent meeting. You will not be surprised to learn they continue to be frustrated at their lack of progress and have asked for our support.

We in turn are requesting your attention to review and adjust the pending rules for herring management to ensure they are scientifically and economically justifiable and wherever possible minimize negative and unnecessary impacts on our constituents.

Our primary concerns with the current version of Herring Amendment #1 are as follows:

First, there appears to be no justification, biological or otherwise, for the NEFMC to discourage full utilization in Areas 2 & 3 by removing current participating vessels through limited entry provisions. The actual herring harvest from Areas 2 & 3 was 31% of the TAC in 2004 and only 34% in 2005.

Clearly, we are not realizing the full potential of this resource for the benefit of the Nation if we limit participation at this time.

Second, the NEFMC's own Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

(FSEIS) provides no scientific evidence or justification for localized depletion resulting from the harvest of herring with trawl gear. This fallacy remains the sole "rationale" for creation of a targeted gear prohibition embodied in the purse-seine/fixed-gear only provision. Not only is this action not justified by the best available scientific information but also sets a very dangerous precedent for gear conflicts in other fisheries in the region and around the country.

Finally, Amendment 1 as drafted provides that upon its implementation, a limited access herring permit issued to a vessel must remain together as a package with the vessel's limited access permits for other fisheries. In a last minute switch, the Council voted to expand this provision to retroactively negate transfers of otherwise qualifying herring fishing history that occurred prior to the implementation of Amendment 1. These contractual business transactions will be rendered useless despite the fact that they are legal and occurred in many instances with the assistance of

NMFS staff which allowed fishermen to purchase herring catch history.

Therefore, we request you make the following changes to Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring FMP:

(1) Our preferred position on limited access is to remove all limited access provisions for herring in Areas 2 & 3. This action will allow full utilization of the Atlantic herring resource as intended by the MSFCMA. At a minimum, this provision should revert back to the NEFMC with instructions to include a qualifying date through the end of calendar year 2005, thereby ensuring that current participants continue to have access to these underutilized areas.

(2) Disapprove the purse-seine/fixed-gear area provision. This will avoid setting a dangerous precedent and one that is not scientifically justifiable. Instead, we support Assistant Administrator Dr. William Hogarth's June 2, 2006 offer to affected industry members to convene a mediated settlement effort between competing interest groups to resolve this issue.

(3) Expressly limit the permit splitting provision of Amendment 1 to prohibit actually splitting a vessel's limited access permits after Amendment 1 goes into effect, but without any retroactive effect upon earlier business transactions transferring herring fishing history. This approach, which you endorsed at the April 2006 NEFMC meeting as "a good compromise", will preserve settled, legal business transactions and protect the investments of our constituents participating in the herring fishery.

Thank you for your timely consideration of our concerns. We look forward to resolving these issues in the near term. Please do not hesitate to call on us or our respective staff members should you have any questions concerning our requests.

Sincerely,

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS"


You can google to find how to conact your senators and reps, or simply pm me and I will do it for you. This is definitly worth your time if you care about this issue. It would be a joke to see some letter from a lobbyist shut down this whole thing.

Last edited by twofinbluna; 09-15-2006 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:36 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Let me know if any of you have questions about what to write and to whom.

Last edited by twofinbluna; 09-14-2006 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 09-14-2006, 06:55 PM
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You can't make it a sticky, you need to be a moderator or an administrator.

Fortuneately I am both. consider it stuck.
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:40 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Appreciate it, Bob.

Thanks
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:15 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Contact Info

Senate:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm

House of Reps:
http://www.house.gov/writerep/

BHenchy just posted some good contact info in the 'Tuna and Offshore" section:
The two most important--Senators Kerry and Snow, ranking member and Chair, respectively of the Senate Oceans Committee.

Kerry, John F.- (D - MA)
304 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2742
Web Form: kerry.senate.gov/v3/contact/email.html

Snowe, Olympia J.- (R - ME)
154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-5344
Web Form: snowe.senate.gov/contact.htm

Do not overlook Senators Gregg, Sununu, Collins, and Kennedy:

Sununu, John E.- (R - NH)
111 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2841
Web Form: www.sununu.senate.gov/webform.html

Kennedy, Edward M.- (D - MA)
317 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4543
Web Form: kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm

Gregg, Judd- (R - NH)
393 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-3324
Web Form: gregg.senate.gov/sitepages/contact.cfm

Collins, Susan M.- (R - ME)
461 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=Contact...

On the House side:

1. Call your own Congressman--you can find them here: http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml

2. Call Representatives Pombo, Markey, Saxton, Gilchrist, and Pallone, who all are on the House Resources Commmittee and active in fisheries issues.

3. Call Dave Whaley and Bonnie Bruce, who are the key Oceans subcommittee staffers--202-226-0200.

That's it--JUST DO IT!

Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:42 PM
soundownsam soundownsam is offline
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does "not fully realizing the potential of this resource" mean there are still 2 herring alive?

Sam
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:52 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Good question!

By the way, both the Downeast Lobstermans Association and the Maine Lobsterman's Association are firm supporters of this inshore trawler buffer zone, so dont get persuased when you hear the herring lobby say that they we need these trawlers for lobster bait. The MLA and DLA cover the entire coast of Maine and they dont think that trawlers are needed inshore.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:44 AM
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I spoke with Sununu and Bradley. Jeb asked about the lobsterman's stance and I told him they were for the buffer zone. Neither made definitive statements that they'd help, but they are pols, so who friggin' knows. I made the pyramid case that they've both heard before re:this issues, so at least they "get" the issue from a biological sense. Whenever fish and politics clash, the fish usually lose...

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Old 09-15-2006, 02:59 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Good Job CMP!
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:06 PM
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Twofin- Have you been in touch with anyone from Downeast or the Maine Lobstermans ?? Is there anyone that needs to be contacted there, I'm a Captain from Maine so can talk with anyone that I should, I assume they are on top of the issue but one never knows...
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:52 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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They both have shown support but I HIGHLY SUGGEST putting any pressure you can on them. The trawlers have been screwing with the lobstermen for years- they send half of this herring to the third world and then tell the lobstermen that they need the trawlers or else they will have no bait. They are doing all they can to make the lobstermen worry that if the ban goes in that they will have no bait.

This is a crock of sh+t though, because there was never a bait issue when seiners were the only gear. Only when the trawlers came onto the scence and began catching herring and sending it elsewhere for food did the bait problem begin. And they have succeeded in getting the MA lobstermen to believe this nonsense. They not only tell them that they will have no bait without trawling, but wheneever anyone speaks out they black list them. People who have spoken out in the Gloucester area have not been allowed to buy bait because of it!

So, while the Maine people have shown support for the buffer zone, I would not assume they will stick with that view. The trawlers have got them by the balls and while there is no reason for them to change their stance, who knows what could happen.

The fact is that there is no need for trawlers, there was and will be plenty of bait without them being inshore. The trawlers have mainly accelerated catches so that the inshore TAC is caught by the time the lobsters start crawling, and all of this excess goes to other countries.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:19 AM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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***

I guess I had too much faith in everyone... 2 people suggested that I make sure to make clear that the letter posted above is SUPPORTING midwater trawling, and is NOT a sample letter for those of you who are against trawling for herring inshore. They were worried that somoene could simply copy and paste that letter without reading what it actually says...

That letter is what is being used by the herring lobby to try and get support to stifle the public's wishes. DO NOT simply send in that letter or else it will be showing support for the trawlers.

SO, while I trust that you all are smart enough to figure it out, I wanted to make sure to clarify that the letter above is bad, and any comments or phone calls to Congress should be REFUTING the above letter.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:42 PM
Ian Ian is offline
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Have any members of the regions congressional members signed on to the letter?

Is there one member that has taken the lead recruiting other members?
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:25 PM
twofinbluna twofinbluna is offline
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Nobody from any of the offices is saying anything definitive. You would imagine that Barney Frank and possibly some NJ people would be most inclined to support this, but again nobody knows for sure.

It is key to be putting pressure on everyone from Maine to the midatlantic, because until the final rule is issued and the decision has been made, it is unlikely any of us will know where the congress people truly stand. I know for a fact that the Maine senators have been getting a lot of pressure from the herring industry to go against the Council's amendment.
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Old 10-27-2006, 09:28 AM
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What can those of us who do not live in a coastal state do?
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