Daily Archives: September 9, 2012



Or: Trouble in the Un-Regulated Community

At the risk of stating the obvious: NOAA’s stock assessments are clearly inadequate.

When they are used as a basis for fisheries regulations, the entire management process becomes destructive to both the fish and the fishing industry.

We need a far more comprehensive research and management philosophy if we are to ever come close to realistic assessments and sound management.

The Extinction Delusion

Delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.  (From Wikipedia)

This extinction-of-the-week approach to management is looking more ridiculous and destructive than ever.  We owe it to the fish and to the fishermen to throw out this crisis-mentality management regimen which requires that researchers devote themselves to finding data that will support the crisis predisposition.

Is there a species that swims in the ocean that has not been found to be in dire need of stringent regulation? Now it’s Abalone!  What happened to the “endangered” Sturgeon? Have they now recovered? And please don’t overlook the Wolffish, Cod, Haddock, Pollock, Yellowtail, Black Back Flounder, Fluke, Sea Bass, Dogfish, Skates, Red Snapper, Grouper?  There must be a lament at NOAA headquarters that goes something like, “…so many species and such precious little time to find evidence of their endangerment!”

Then there’s always the Butterfish shortage which apparently is the only vehicle that NOAA could find in order to squelch fishing for the abundant Loligo Squid.   Butterfish are sometimes found with Loligo Squid; however, NOAA’s Butterfish extinction watch ignores the fact (well known to fishermen) that, should they suddenly decide to surface, one could walk on the floating rafts of Butterfish from Cape Cod to Louisiana.  But, there’s no need to let reality get in the way of a good campaign-to-save-a-species, even if the claimed fish scarcity is pretty much confined to the reality that exists as a construct in one of the SSC’s eccentric computer models.  Scarce Butterfish is certainly not a reality that can be found in the ocean.

So, what can be done? Effective management of the fisheries is not an impossible endeavor; but a total overhaul of the attitude and thinking regarding our fisheries is essential.

Pages 2-5 will be in the comment section to save front page space!

Bay Area enviros target use of drift gill nets – litigation threat from Oceana, Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network

SANTA CRUZ – Calling them “curtains of death,” Bay Area environmentalists have put the federal government on notice that they intend to sue to halt the controversial use of drift gill nets for commercial fishing. Sometimes more than a mile long, the nets are used in the waters off California to catch shark and swordfish. But because they can sweep up unintended catch – including rare and endangered species such as sperm whales and leatherback sea turtles – environmentalists have long criticized their use. “Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is eliminate drift gill nets from being used off the California coast altogether,” said Dr. Geoff Shester, California program director for Monterey-based Oceana. “These are the lions and tigers of our blue Serengeti, but here we are allowing this fishery to continue.” The litigation threat comes from Oceana and the San Francisco-based Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network – groups that have pushed aggressively for everything from fishery changes to marine habitat protections to designation of the endangered leatherbacks as California’s official marine reptile. In operation since 1980, the drift gill net fishery has long been under fire from environmentalists. While allowed under federal law, both Oregon and Washington have banned them along their coasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it was too early to comment on the potential suit, which would be filed under the Endangered Species Act. “We’re still evaluating it,” NOAA spokesman Jim Milburn said. In announcing the suit, environmentalists said they are concerned that two endangered sperm whales were caught by a drift gill net in December 2010. Based on,,,,,,,,Read More   http://www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_21483913/bay-area-enviros-target-use-drift-gill-nets

Reduce commercial fishing permits through attrition – J.B. Friderici – Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Wasilla, Alaska

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 9:40 pm  To the editor:

The Aug. 24, 2012, edition of the Frontiersman published a column by Howard Delo about fishing and the lack of Cook Inlet salmon. His conclusion that the Cook Inlet commercial fishing industry is over-capitalized is correct. I agree that the reduction in the number of permits is desirable. Rather than a permit buyback program, we should seek other ways to reduce the number of permits. A buyback program implies fisherman have property rights in permits. This is not correct since under the Alaska Constitution the fish belong in common to the people of the state of Alaska. Commercial fishermen are not entitled a preference over other Alaskans, to say nothing of the permits held by non-Alaskans. We should make permits nontransferable. We should institute a requirement that a permit be fished each year with some minimum catch and enforce the requirement the permit holder be on the vessel while fishing. The only penalty for violation is cancellation of the permit. This would reduce the number of permits through attrition without anyone getting paid.  J.B. Friderici  Willow


Washington State Awarded $22 Million for Salmon Recovery – Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board has received a $22 million federal grant to continue the state’s salmon recovery efforts in Washington. “A healthy Washington state economy is reliant on healthy salmon populations,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “Salmon support jobs and small businesses – especially our mom-and-pop tackle shops, restaurants, fishing guides and hotels. This grant not only will help Washington keep people employed, it will help our efforts to restore and protect our natural resources, making Washington a better place for all of us to live.” Of the $22 million, $15 million will be awarded by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board as competitive grants for projects statewide that will restore and protect the rivers, streams and bays that salmon need to recover. “The grant process is very competitive and works from the ground up,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the federal grant and supports the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “Local communities wrote salmon recovery plans, which were approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Local watershed groups, called lead entities, select projects based on the priorities in those plans and community needs. State scientists review the projects to make sure they will be effective. The process helps us ensure we are investing in projects that will do the most to recover salmon.” Read more  http://www.lakestevensjournal.com/county-state/article.exm/2012-09-06_washington_state_awarded__22_million_for_salmon_recovery

The federal Department of Commerce’s NOAA administers the fund and will competitively award the $65 million for Fiscal Year 2012 among the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and California, and to the west coast tribes.

“We are pleased to continue this investment in salmon recovery in the Northwest,” said Will Stelle, NOAA’s Northwest regional administrator. “In addition to improving our environment, salmon restoration projects generate jobs on par with dollars spent on infrastructure projects like roads and highways.”

BP to investigate new tar balls, oil on Louisiana coast – By Jimmy Isaac

GRAND ISLE, La. (CNN) – BP said Wednesday it is heading to the Louisiana coast to test whether tar balls and oil found on shore after Hurricane Isaac are from the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill. State officials reported tar balls and a large oil mat along the Gulf shore south of New Orleans, and the U.S. Coast Guard reported finding three oiled birds in the area on Monday. BP spokesman Ray Melick said the area is one where BP teams were already helping with cleanup from the 2010 spill before Isaac arrived. As soon as they’re given the all-clear, they will return to do more cleanup and test whether the new oil is from their spill or another source. “There’s a lot of oil out there that may not be ours,” Melick said. The area is near Fourchon Beach and Grand Isle. Certain areas are still closed to recreational and commercial fishing because of the BP spill, state officials said. People on Grand Isle said they were hopeful Isaac would stir up the waters and move leftover oil out of the area so it could help revive the fishing waters off the coast   http://www.cbs19.tv/story/19475707/bp-to-investigate-new-tar-balls-oil-on-louisiana-coast