It's hard for me to comprehend all the metric tonnage figures. What I have heard and seen is that most people are somewhat pleased with the proposed figures. Rest assured those figures will change a dozen or more times before anyone wets a line.
As to why they allow out of state commercial licenses? Living on Bogue Banks I can tell you that the $$$ those folks bring to this area (hotels, restaurants, gas, bait, tackle) make December and January a lot more pleasant for the tourism driven businesses in this area. Considering that on average days one of 10 boats brings a tuna to the docks, I would offer that the return (to the community) is worth hit the local fishermen might take. You are assuming that if the out of state (they are not all from up north) boats get one, that is one less that the locals will not get and in my experience it does not work that way. It's a good day if you get the fish, a bad day if you do not.
Thanks for the reply. Any day you can catch a fish is a good day. It feels good to be heading to Beaufort with a BFT and look back and still see hundreds of boats fishing. I also know the feeling of being one of those hundreds of boats. Two years ago I started fishing for BFT, we fished for 7 days and only had one hookup. Last year, we fished 6 days and caught 6 fish and had two other hookups. Of the six fish there were three that were legal size: 86", 95" and 84" and the others were all about 70" fish. I really hated releasing those fish. I do not fish for BFT except during commerical season because I don't like the possibility that a fish might not survive after a hard battle. Of the three that I released, two were friskey and one was a little weaker. Therefore we limit ourselves to not fishing during catch and release periods. I sat at the dock several days last year when the weather was beautiful and boats were catching BFT.
We met several of the northern fisherman last year and they all seemed really nice and were willing to share fishing information. We went into town on some windy days and met these guys at West Marine and Beaufort docks. We are NOT any of the ones that cuss and speak badly about these visitors on the VHF.
Below is a copy of a fax that I sent to Senator Dole
Fax to Senator Dole
December 4, 2004
Dear Senator Dole,
My civil right as a citizen of the United States has been violated per Section 301, Title III of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. (see next page)
The fishermen of North Carolina (which you represent) have not been fairly allocated a harvest of Bluefin Tuna (BFT) as directed by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Seasons have been closed and quotas moved to other categories. This 2004/2005 season has not even seen the quotas posted. 2004/2005 BFT landings compared to the 2003/2004 total quotas indicates a total of 1500 metric tons that has not yet been harvested. At an average price of $10.00 per pound that is a lot of loss income for NC. NMFS increased the retention of only one BFT/day to 2 BFT/day during September and October for the NE waters of the US. When BFT started showing up in southern waters, NMFS closed the season on 19 November. Season has not yet been opened.
Please refer to www.nmfspermits.com.
NMFS has not been properly managing the BFT industry for all waters of the United States. It is my plea and the plea of others that you promptly check into what is happening in this section of government known as the NMFS.
Fishery Conservation and Management Act
Public Law 94-265
TITLE III -- NATIONAL FISHERY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
SEC. 301. NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR FISHERY 16 U.S.C. 1851
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT
(a) IN GENERAL.--Any fishery management plan prepared, and any regulation promulgated to implement any such plan, pursuant to this title shall be consistent with the following national standards for fishery conservation and management:
(1) Conservation and management measures shall prevent overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield from each fishery for the United States fishing industry.
(2) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.
(3) To the extent practicable, an individual stock of fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.
(4) Conservation and management measures shall not discriminate between residents of different States. If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various United States fishermen, such allocation shall be (A) fair and equitable to all such fishermen; (B) reasonably calculated to promote conservation; and (C) carried out in such manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.
Nice Work On Your Letter. It Would Be In Your Best Interest To Join The Winter Bluefin Association. The Association Represents North Carolina Interests In Our Bluefin Tuna Fisherey. By Simply Paying The $200 Membership Fee And Pledging A Measley 5% Of Your Fish Sales (forms Are Available At Your Fish House) You Will Insure That Knowledgeable Folks Will Continue To Watch Out For Our Interests In Management Issues. Wba Has A Website To Keep Members Informed. This Group Funds Dozens Of Trips For Key Personell To D.c. It Is A Full Time Job Done By Volunteers. The Wba Is The Reason We Have Had Access To A Commercial Bft Fishery. If The Organization Had The Support Of Of All Those Hundreds Of Boats That Take Advantage Of The Fishery Progress May Come More Rapidly.