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Saturday, January 9, 2010

The 2nd step in regaining a Sea Bass Season has been taken!
The first step in trying to regain some sanity and semblance of reality in our Black Sea Bass regulations was taken at the Mid-Atlantic Council meeting this past December. That step was getting the council to vote to send the Quota recommendation for Black Sea Bass back to the SSC to be re-examined.

The second step was the actual meeting between the SSC and the Monitoring Committee to do just that. The meeting was Friday, January 8th.

Here is the recommendation that came out of the meeting:

The SSC recommends revision of their 2010 ABC to the same level of 2008. Specifically, the recommendation for the 2010 ABC would be 4.5 million lbs. The basis for this recommendation is as follows. The 2009 catch level (associated 2.3 million lbs TAL) was based on an assessment that was not considered acceptable by the DPSWG peer review process. Examination of black sea bass stock dynamics in response to the fishery indicate that stock removals around 4-4.5 million lbs of total catch result in stable to increasing stock biomass. The upper level (4.5 mil lb) of that range may not be supported by this stock. This recommendation does not incorporate management uncertainty, which the Regional administrator may wish to take into account in the specifications of TACs/TALs under any emergency action to revise the 2010 measures.

While the actual TAL (Total Allowable Landings) will be lower once discards etc. are taken into consideration (we should be looking at around 3+million pound total quota) this is a HUGE step forward.

Considering the TAL for 2010 was 2+ million pounds, there is the potential for at least some relaxation of our 2010 regulations.

Many things still have to happen before our regulations can be changed, and this will NOT have any impact on the current winter fishery since that fishery was closed by an emergency action from NMFS (the closure is in effect until mid-April)

We STILL do not have the wave 5 (Sept. and Oct.) landings data from 2009 and wave 6 (Nov. and Dec.) would not normally be available until mid-February.

The NMFS would still need to change, likely through emergency action, the already approved quota for 2010 of 2.3? (I forget the decimal but I am close) million pound quota that is currently in place, and then the regulations forwarded to NMFS by the Council in December would also have to be changed. That cannot really take place until such time as the actual landings for 2009 are known.

However, as I said previously, had we not fought in December to get the council to send the quota back to the SSC, NOTHING would have happened.

We now know that the SSC has changed their recommendation SIGNIFICANTLY and now must continue to work to ensure that this change in quota recommendation can have a positive impact on our regulations in a timely manner.

Please stay tuned for more, and a BIG thanks goes out to Capt. Adam for being involved in the conference call today. I apologize for not being able to help but work prevented me from being on the phone and computer all day. Thank you Adam for making the time and effort to be involved in this all day today.
11:36 am est

Saturday, January 2, 2010

NJ Marine Fisheries Council Meeting

The NJ MFC will be meeting this Thursday, January 7th, 2010 in Galloway Township.

At this meeting one of the agenda items is discussion about the RSA quota. The NJMFC will decide if PArty and Charterboats will be allowed to catch and land RSA quota in New Jersey or if only commercial vessels will be allowed to land RSA quotas.

The NJMFC has NO RIGHT to re-allocate recreational fisheries to the commercial sector and they MUST BE TOLD AS MUCH! Because, that is EXACTLY what they will be doing if they go ahead and stop party or charterboats that purchase RSA quota from landing those fish in the state. The RSA program takes up to 3% of the quota from Mid-Atlantic fisheries BEFORE they split the quota, which means both the commercial sector AND the recreational sector gives up a portion of their quota to help fund research.

If the NJMFC votes to stop party and charterboats from landing this quota (if they choose to bid on it) then they will in fact be telling recreational fishermen that THEIR QUOTA has now been given to the commercial sector to catch.

DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!! Click on the link to the right under "Action Alert" to get the time and location as well as directions to the meeting and make your voices be heard!

Tell the NJMFC that if they wish to reallocate our quota to the commercial sector then we will see them in court!! I will sue the state myself if I have to, this is a direct attack on our ability to make a living and an attemopt to stop us from having another business opportunity at our disposal if we wish to take advantage of it.

Capt. TB

2:54 pm est

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United Boatmen is an organization that has been fighting for the interests of New Jersey Party Boat, Charter Boat and Tackle businesses, their patrons, and the fisheries that we enjoy and prosper from for over 30 years.

Viable, healthy fisheries with sensible management practices benefit everyone.

Now, more than ever, we need your support.

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