Your View: Fishery council must reject unreliable assessments – By Richard Canastra – southcoasttoday

I nearly always attend New England Fishery Management Council meetings in person, but last month, I was unable to attend the meeting in Newport, and instead listened to the proceedings online. I found that listening, and not physically being there, gives you a different perspective on a meeting. You hear more intently. There are fewer distractions. Examples seem clearer. Patterns emerge. There are some predictable patterns in life. When there is an accident, at the end of the traffic jam you find a police officer. When you go to a restaurant, at the end of dinner the bill comes. And when you attend a fisheries management council meeting that is dealing with a crisis, there is usually a bad stock assessment.

Bad stock assessments have become as predictable as the sunrise. Read More

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As a citizen advocate of the fishing industry, I have no confidence in NOAA stock assessments.
I spend a lot of time reviewing material, attempting to convey the results to as many people possible.
These listening sessions allow, as Mr Canastra stated, patterns to emerge.
The patter of Bill Karp, and Sam Rauch deviates not from the typical bureaucratic structure, much to my disappointment after listening to them from various venues, and reading a lot of information.
The revelations of the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Working Group Meeting May 23, 2012, are the foundation of my opinion to condemn the stock assessments as a tool for fishery management, while enforcing Mr Canastras belief that the proper equipment is not being utilized to sample yellow tail flounder abundance.
As stated, patterns have emerged. The pattern of over looking details that have detrimental affects on stock assessments and confidence in them.
At the The New England Fishery Management Council’s three-day meeting in Plymouth Ma on 9/25/2012, a major detail confirmed the retrospective patter of no confidence in stock assessments conducted by NOAA.
During the 54th Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW)/Stock Assessment Review Committee (SARC) Meetings, a fisherman asked a question that received a hollow shrug of the shoulders answer that I find alarming, and telling that these assessments are substandard and incomplete.
The question was, “why is there no mention of herring as a predator species” in the ground fish assessment?
The answer. ” The SSC was, ah, not presented, ah, ah herring as a, ah, predator species….”
Yes. A Retrospective Pattern of the science used to mismanage this industry is established.
No confidence.