Tag Archives: fluke

Floundering with the Fishcrats

Right now just three miles from Long Island’s beaches boats are dragging fluke, or “summer flounder”, as is their official title. These boats are from several regional states, among them New York. Most are fishing under Southern state “flags”, as it were, as these states have the biggest quota shares and therefore the biggest daily limits. Each boat will have to steam to a port in the state of the landing permit it is working under to off load and sell the catch. This fishing here has been going on this way for many decades, but it hasn’t been until recent years that boats had to sail the flatfish hundreds of miles to sell them.  Bringing them within New York’s boundaries constitutes a serious violation of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Law, with potential felony convictions with huge fines, loss of license and vessel, and jail time. click here to read the story 09:02

Fishermen urge state to sue Feds over Fluke fishing limits

Several dozen fishermen, women and lawmakers last week urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to make good on a promise to sue the federal government over New York’s disproportionately low share of the fluke fishery.  At a meeting at East Hampton Town Hall last Wednesday, the gathering of fishing interests sought to unify their agenda before a meeting with top state officials scheduled for next month. The commercial fishery for fluke was shut down in September for the first time in recent memory. It reopened Oct. 1 with a 50-pound daily limit. New York gets 7.6 percent of the commercial fluke quota, while North Carolina and Virginia get more than 20 percent each. click here to read the story 07:37

Strained Fluke Quotas, Hurricanes and Safe Harbor

Less than a month after a bill granting vessels safe harbor in New York was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fishing vessel bound for North Carolina carrying 6,000 pounds of fluke has tested the new policy, straining New York’s federally designated fluke quotas. The F/V Rianda S., which has long been a part of the Montauk fleet, was in transit to land its fish in North Carolina, where it has fishing licenses, on Sept. 17 after fishing in federal waters when it encountered the rough seas generated by Hurricane José and requested safe harbor in Montauk. New York’s fluke fishery is closed for the month of September,  due to banner fluke landings this summer that strained the state’s already low federally mandated quotas. click here to read the story 08:25

Jim Lovgren – Fishery managers responsible for Summer Flounder mismanagement

Earlier this year the state of New Jersey was found to be out of compliance by the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission [ASMFC] in regard to the proposed recreational catch specifications for Summer Flounder, [fluke].The ASMFC which jointly manages summer flounder with the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, [MAFMC] had recommended an increase in the recreational size limit for Summer Flounder to 19 inches for New Jersey. New Jersey fishery management representatives balked at that proposal and instead presented an alternative proposal that would keep the size limit at the present 18 inches but with a shorter season which would still meet the conservation goals as the Commission’s plan. The Commission denied this alternative and declared New Jersey out of Compliance, an action that would result in the shutdown of the Summer Flounder fishery, both recreational and commercial sometime later this summer. Unfairly this shutdown would have occurred after the recreational season was over, and would only impact New Jersey’s commercial fishermen, who are already struggling with a 50% cut back in the quota over the last two years click here to read the story 11:32

Fluke-catching quota costing fishermen thousands

Dozens of commercial fishermen say they are losing out on pay after they reached their state-imposed limit on how many fluke they are allowed to catch. Captain Roy Diehl says he and dozens of other commercial fluke fishermen are docked because they caught their allowed quota for the July-August season just two weeks after it opened. He says he blames the 30 percent quota reduction set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for this year. “What it does is it takes seven weeks of income out of everybody’s paycheck for the year,” says Diehl. “It’s pretty tough because there’s a lot of fluke out there and we can’t have them.” Video, read the story here 22:51

Trump administration steps in on fishing limits, and the implications could ripple

“The commission is deeply concerned about the near-term impact on our ability to end overfishing on the summer flounder stock as well as the longer-term ability for the commission to effectively conserve numerous other Atlantic coastal shared resources,” Douglas Grout, the commission’s chair, said in a statement. “New Jersey makes a compelling argument that the measures it implemented this year, despite increasing catch above the harvest target, will likely reduce total summer flounder mortality in New Jersey waters to a level consistent with the overall conservation objective,” Chris Oliver, assistant administrator of fisheries at NOAA, wrote the commission in a letter on behalf of Ross. The move infuriated commissioners and fishing officials throughout the area, as well as the region’s NOAA officials. “Ross was brilliant in his decision,” said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance in New Jersey, which represents thousands of recreational fishermen across the country. “The Trump administration has challenged a broken fishery management system in this country, and I applaud them for doing it.” click here to read the story 10:10

A little story about my day at sea yesterday

So we leave to go fishing at 0330 with an observer that the government forces us to take. Now the young man is a likable enough guy who I have no problem with. The problem is we are forced to take these people with no exception. When they tell you they are going to put one on your boat you either take them or you deal with the wrath of NOAA law enforcement. So we go out with the plan of going to catch some scup, fluke and sea bass to unload in Connecticut. We had some nice scup the day before and figured we would get CT’s allowance which is a whopping 1200 pounds of scup, 75 lbs. of fluke and 10 sea bass in count. So we make a couple of tows and come up a bit light on the scup but have the fluke and sea bass. We go and unload ion CT. and on the way there, which happens to be a 2 hour+ steam each way I am informed that the scup that we landed the previous day which had been paying around 60 cents per pound had dropped to 10 to 15 cents per pound. Not even worth the fuel to catch. WONDERFUL. So we go all the way to CT. , unload our catch and head back another 2+ hours for home. After we get back to our dock, I and my crewman are cleaning up the boat and we notice someone on the dock with a camera taking pictures of us as he walks by. No big deal.,,, Click here to read the story 10:24

NJ asks feds to drop limits on summer flounder

With their rows of sharp buck teeth, their downturned mouths, and both eyes on one side of their curiously flat bodies, summer flounder might seem beautiful only to one another. But this delicately flavored flatfish is the pinup girl, the heart’s desire, of thousands of New Jersey’s recreational fishermen — and has long been the source of many millions of dollars in tourism revenue each summer. For that reason the state has petitioned a federal commission to reverse its new restrictions on catching summer flounder in state waters in 2017. click to continue reading the story 07:06

Measuring flounder a complex undertaking with a big impact

It’s likely few people have written more about summer flounder than Mark Terceiro. Terceiro has published a 44-page journal article about the science, politics and litigation surrounding the species from 1975 to 2000. A 32-page follow-up covered the period from 2001 to 2010, and another article regarding developments in recent years is in the works. But it’s Terceiro’s summer flounder stock assessment update, released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in December, that has him in the crosshairs of New Jersey politicians and recreational fishing leaders. Terceiro, a research fishery biologist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said a lot of information goes into a stock assessment. “The catch is, from both commercial and recreational, very important — that it be accurate,” Terceiro added. “We try — the government, the states — (to) go to great lengths to make sure the catch reports are as accurate as they can get.” continue reading the article here 09:20

N.J. lawmakers ask Trump’s new commerce secretary to stop flounder cuts

It’s not clear how much Wilbur Ross knows about fishing or the complex world of marine regulations. But some members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation hope Ross, who was sworn in as secretary of commerce Tuesday, will step into an intense fight over summer flounder catch guidelines. The delegation wasted no time in appealing to Ross, who now oversees the agencies tasked with regulating the fishing industry. A bipartisan letter sent Tuesday and signed by 12 New Jersey lawmakers, including both U.S. senators and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, asked the former billionaire businessman to considering putting approved flounder reductions on hold. Last month, a federal regulatory commission voted in favor of an option to cut fluke limits for recreational and commercial fishermen by 28 percent to 32 percent for 2017. continue reading the story here 15:06

NJ Fluke Fishing Industry in Flux

After a decision made last week aimed at protecting the Atlantic Ocean’s primary cash fish, New Jersey anglers now believe their industry is in dire straits. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission  (ASMFC), a federally regulated authority that oversees fishing management for the 15 states along the Atlantic Coast, has decided to increase regulations on summer flounder for 2017. “With what they’re proposing, it’s going to be the final nail in our coffin,” said Ron Santi, a head boat captain based out of Atlantic Highlands. “When looking at recreational and commercial fisheries on a whole, it seems as though for 20 to 30 years, we’ve been fishing at a higher level than the resources can sustain,” said Kirby Rootes-Murdy, a senior fishery management plan coordinator with ASMFC. Between recreational and commercial fishing, fluking generates nearly $2.5 billion for the state’s economy, according to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Continue reading the story here 08:00

Could N.J. defy summer flounder cuts?

It didn’t take long after the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to slash summer flounder harvest quotas for the rumblings of anglers calling for New Jersey to defy the regulations to pick up. The ASMFC ordered the harvest cut by 40-percent based on science that indicates the fish is declining in abundance and survey data that reports anglers overreached their quotas last year. The science and angling surveys are at the center of the issue. Many lawmakers in New Jersey and its environmental chief have expressed concern about its accuracy because it relies on random sampling. “We understand the long-term impacts of overfishing a species. But we also know for a fact that fluke are abundant and the population is stable off New Jersey,” said Bob Martin, the Commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Video, Read the story here 16:25

N.J. fishermen, officials demand feds back off of proposed flounder limits

In a unified show of support, New Jersey officials and leaders of the state’s fishing industry said Friday they are demanding the federal government abandon plans to cut the amount of fluke to be harvested this year. Insisting the proposed new limits will devastate an industry important to New Jersey’s economy, the government and industry representatives said they’re prepared to mount a legal fight, if necessary, to fight “ridiculous” limits that were based on “flawed” data. Jim Lovgren, a fishing boat captain and director of the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative, said fishermen already experienced a 30-percent reduction in limits last year and face yet another 17- or 18-percent cut next year. The Point Pleasant Beach cooperative he heads pulls in about 2 million pounds of flounder annually. “Taking 30 percent of that last year hurt. It hurt me economically. It hurt everybody over there. It hurt everybody here,” he said to the crowd. Photo gallery of 21 images, Read the story here 16:54

Connecticut’s fishing fleet facing potentially ‘disastrous’ quota cuts for fluke

“It’s going to put us out of business,” Stonington fisherman Robert Guzzo, vice president of the Southern New England Fishermen and Lobstermen’s Association, said Wednesday. “I’ve never seen so many fish in the ocean. The fish are out there, but the science and the regulators haven’t caught up with what’s actually out there.” On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., pressed commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross to use his authority to change how quotas for fish species including fluke — also called summer flounder — are allocated among states from the mid-Atlantic to New England. In response, Ross said he is interested in helping the fisheries and ensuring quotas are allocated properly. The Department of Commerce includes the National Marine Fisheries Service. Blumenthal’s statements during the hearing came a day after he and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, sent a letter to the current commerce secretary urging that the new quotas be withdrawn. Read the story here 10:30

Georges Bank said to be ‘paved with fluke! Fishermen Assail NOAA Quotas – Schumer fears major job losses

Commercial fishermen on the draggers seen offshore last week took advantage of calmer seas and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s raising of the daily limit on fluke from 70 to 210 pounds. The higher limit was in effect from Dec. 18 through Friday as the state’s annual quota for the fish, highly sought by commercial and recreational fishermen alike, had not been reached.,, Mark Phillips, who fishes on the F/V Illusion out of Greenport, was once among the largest harvesters of fluke in the state, landing a few hundred thousand pounds per year, by his count. The problem, Mr. Phillips said, is that stock assessments are inaccurate because NOAA conducts surveys — such as with its ship the Henry B. Bigelow, which collects data in waters from Maine to North Carolina — when fluke are migrating from undersea canyons to inshore waters. Read the story here 14:49

Fishing advocates seek delay in new limits on fluke fishing

Fishing advocates seeking to head off what they described as “devastating” reductions in the New York quota for fluke next year are calling on federal regulators to forestall planned 2017 cuts until a more current assessment of the fish population is completed. Led by frequent fishing advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer, a group of 50 recreational and commercial fishing boat captains and advocates gathered at the Captree Boat Basin in Babylon Thursday to say a planned 30 percent reduction would threaten hundreds of businesses. Schumer said he plans to reach out to the U.S. Department of Commerce and its newly nominated secretary, Wilbur Ross, to address his concerns, including requesting an expedited fluke population assessment and a suspension of the new cuts until improved data is available. Schumer said he was hopeful that Ross, a New Yorker who was once an adviser on the Long Island Lighting Co. buyout by LIPA, could step in to forestall management moves by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees councils that manage the fluke fishery. Schumer said he would reach out to President-elect Donald Trump, Ross and “whoever I have to to get this changed.” Read the story here 20:06

Party boat captains irate over summer flounder cuts

Few things are causing more ire among recreational fishermen than the summer flounder cuts. Some party boat captains have called it “nail in the coffin” measures that are being taken by fishery management that starts from the top down with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It seems that every time we make a sacrifice there ends up being less boats on the water. It seems like they want us off the water,” said Gambler party boat owner and captain Bob Bogan. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is recommending a 3.77 million pound recreational harvest limit for 2017. That’s down from 5.42 million in 2016. Read the story here 18:32

Further cut in fluke quota puts Stonington fishermen, wholesaler in peril

Imagine one of the breadwinners in a typical two-earner household is suddenly hit with a 26 percent pay cut. Then, just as the family has adjusted to the leaner budget, the same worker’s pay gets lopped another 30 percent. Their landlord already has reduced their rent, and the family has cut corners wherever they could, so how will they make ends meet now? That’s basically the question Mike Gambardella, owner of Gambardella Wholesale Fish at Stonington Town Dock, is asking himself. He faces a new 30 percent reduction in the supply of fluke, one of his main products, next year, following the 26 percent cut he’s already dealing with this year that’s cost him about $100,000 in revenue. It also forced him to lay off one of his workers and reduce pay for himself and his remaining six workers, and negotiate reduced rent on the building he rents from the town. “At this point,” he said Thursday, “we’re fighting a losing battle. If I lose another $100,000 next year, I can’t afford to stay in business.” The new 30 percent cut in the supply of fluke — also called summer flounder — was announced Aug. 15 by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fluke and other species for the East Coast along with a larger body, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, but the council basically has the controlling authority. Read the story here 11:14

NESC AGAIN is Questioned, Criticized as Mid Atlantic Council Cuts Fluke by more than 26 percent

Fluke Summer FlounderIt could have been worse. The initial proposal announced in July called for a 43 percent reduction. A lot of theories were thrown around at the meeting, ranging from illegal harvests to dogfish shark predation.Some wanted the panels’ science and statistical committees to take another look, which was part of the motions by Fote and Kaelin. Greg DiDomenico, director of the Cape May-based Garden State Seafood Association, said more than one-third of the time, new stock assessments show the older ones were wrong. Read the rest here 19:42

Flounder cuts may be phased in following another questionable NOAA NESC stock assessment.

NOAA ScientistA widely attacked proposal to reduce summer flounder catches by 43 percent next year may be replaced by one that phases in the cutbacks over three years. Koeneke, who has suffered increasing restrictions over the years _ the minimum fish size going from 13 inches in 1985 to 18 inches today _ doesn’t accept the science. “I’m convinced they don’t know what they’re talking about. We see a lot of flounder. We raised the (size) limit and saved a lot of fish. It looks like it recovered and then the next year they say we have a problem,” said Koeneke. Read the rest here 08:29

Next Year Will Be Awful Or Very Awful For Fluke Fisherman

Unless regulators provide a less abrupt alternative, the amount of fluke caught by Fluke Summer Flounder could be nearly cut in half by next year — a sudden drop that might seriously wound the charter fishing fleet in Sheepshead Bay. Captain Anthony DiLernia, one of New York’s representatives in the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, said lower-than-expected fluke stocks found during the fish population surveys will require slashing quotas by as much as 45 percent next season. However, DiLernia said the council is considering,,, Read the rest here 12:19

New Mid Atlantic Council recommendation revises fluke cuts

Fluke Summer FlounderA memo released by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council staff on Friday revised the earlier recommended fluke cuts downward from 43 percent to 25 percent for 2016. In making the revision, the Council staff recognized the substantial negative impact such a reduction would have on the recreational and commercial fisheries, the seafood industry and markets and fishing communities they support. Instead of the one-year plan called for in its initial memo, the Council staff is recommending a “phased in” approach,,, Read the rest here 11:57

Governor Cuomo Calls For Fair and Gradual Changes to Summer Flounder Fishery

Fluke Summer FlounderGovernor Cuomo called on the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council to reevaluate a potential 43 percent fluke harvest reduction for New York in 2016. The potential reduction would negatively affect both commercial and recreational fisheries in New York State. The potential reductions are based on several consecutive years of lower than average reproductive success and not as a result of overharvest in New York or elsewhere on the coast. Read the rest here 10:09

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Ready To SLASH Fluke Catch Quota

Fluke Summer FlounderA dramatic collapse in the reproduction of summer flounder off the East Coast may mean a sharp cut in the catch quota for both commercial and recreational fishermen next summer, according to a science committee on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. But a 43-percent cut in the quota has been proposed for a late July meeting of the council, when a decision is expected at that time. That would reduce this year’s quota of roughly 22 million pounds to just 12 million pounds next year. Read the rest here 17:10

Summer flounder won’t stand up and be counted – Fighting for fluke

Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund  is working with scientists from Cornell, Rutgers and other universities, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, to develop a more comprehensive summer flounder model that more accurately portrays the size and composition of the fishery,,,  more females are caught in the recreational fishery as opposed to the commercial side. It might have to do with where commercial fishing is done or “it might be that females are more willing to bite bait,” said Munroe. “There could be all kinds of reasons.” Read the rest here 12:01

North Bound Fluke migration puts regulators in gear

As Summer Flounder, or fluke, migrate northward away from the past population center off North Carolina, fisheries regulators have taken the first steps toward reworking the rules to cope with industry and political pressure. <Read more here> 06:47

Summer flounder stirs north-south climate change battle.

Editor’s Note: “Climate at Your Doorstep” is an effort by The Daily Climate to highlight stories about climate change impacts happening now.  The summer flounder – one of the most sought-after catches on the U.S. East Coast – is stirring up a climate change battle as it glides through the sand and grasses at the bottom of a warming North Atlantic. Read more here  10:11

Charles Schumer: Senate bill would fix fluke fishing rules

Provisions from Schumer’s bill that will be added to Senate reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation Act include: A mandate for a new plan for management of the fluke fishery based on “best available science,” instead of outdated or flawed fisheries data. Consideration of the migratory movement of fluke in allocating commercial and recreational catch quotas. Read more here newsday 09:32

Fluke Fight. New Jersey fights New York’s efforts to take summer flounder

New Jersey fluke fishermen claim New York is trying to take their fish. The border war of sorts has been going on for several years but appears to finally be heading toward a vote on the issue in February. New Jersey has the bulk of the quota for fluke, also known as summer flounder, on the East Coast. New York is No. 2 and wants to increase its harvest. “It’s New York looking at extra fish we have in New Jersey. It’s as simple as that,” said Tom Fote, of the Toms River-based Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Read [email protected]  13:17

Fluke Time

If you love eating fresh-caught fluke you should rush to the fish market and buy it today. Today is the last day commercial fishermen are permitted to land and sell fluke. After today the only options are to catch it yourself or befriend a recreational angler. Fluke, also called summer flounder, is a Vineyard success story. [email protected]  09:49