Tag Archives: Nils Stolpe

Commercial Fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone – What was being caught and where back to 1950

What is the status of commercial fishing in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the waters from 3 to 200 miles off our coastline? Generally speaking – something that the “bureaucrats in charge” have developed a great deal of facility in doing – it’s pretty good. Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started getting serious about tracking commercial landings (or at making those landings readily accessible) in 1950, the total weight of our domestic landings has increased from 4.9 billion to 9.8 billion pounds. The value of those landings, when corrected for inflation, has increased from $3.3 billion to $5.2 billion, almost as good. Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA >click to read<17:03

Nil’s Stolpe writes, The Magnuson-Stevens amendment I want under the Christmas tree

OVERFISHING! This has become one of the oceans branch of the doom and gloom prognisticator’s (aka Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or ENGOs) principal calls for alms. To wit, they have collectively raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from big business-supported foundations and trusting members of the public to persecute (generally commercial) fishermen who they preach are the cause of “overfishing,” the major threat to the sanctity of the oceans. (I’ll note here that the Pew “Charitable” Trusts was the multibillion dollar foundation that initiated the war on fishermen.) This purposeful misuse of the term “overfishing” has been one of the most subtle and most effective weapons in the anti-fishing activists’ arsenal. Nils Stolpe FishNetUSA >click to read< 18:00

FishNet-USA – What do you do with it?

A message from Nils Stolpe – I know that a lot of commercial fishing industry people receive FishNet-USA, but I don’t have a solid handle on what gets done with it after it’s received. I hope that you all read it. I know that some of you do because I’ll get an email or two after every issue complimenting me on it, but I don’t have much of an idea what happens after that. Accordingly I’ve put this note together to let you know what I think you should do with it after you read it – assuming that you agree with at least some of what I’ve written, and that you’d like to have other folks read it. click here to read the recommendations 08:25 

What’s so hard about managing fisheries?

Nils Stolpe/FishNet USA May 3, 2017  – “We live in a world in which data convey authority. But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris. From Robert McNamara to Lehman Brothers to Stronger Together, cautionary tales abound. We ought to know this by now, but we don’t. Instead, we respond to the inherent uncertainties of data by adding more data without revisiting our assumptions, creating an impression of certainty that can be lulling, misleading and often dangerous. Ask Clinton” Stephens, B., Climate of Complete Certainty, NY Times, 4/28/17. The above quote was from an op-ed piece by Bret Stephens, the New York Times’ recently acquired columnist. While he was targeting climate scientists, their “disciples” and the overblown pseudo-science hidden beneath an oversufficiency of less than convincing statistics that is used to strengthen their arguments, it appears that fisheries scientists are increasingly adopting the same techniques (the emphasis is mine) to support their often erroneous – sometimes sadly so – conclusions. Click here to read the article. 10:48

The Sustainable Fisheries Act – January 11, 2000 Revisited

I’ve been reviewing my past writings to gauge which, if any, have aged gracefully and which haven’t. I’ll be redistributing those that I think were particularly noteworthy, either because they were – and perhaps still are – on target or because they weren’t – or aren’t. The following addresses some of the more onerous provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, which at the time were being fully implemented. I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether I hit this nail on the head or not. I’d be really interested to hear what you think. Nils Stolpe.  From the article: Under the provisions of the federal Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA), at any point when the populations of each of these competing species aren’t at MSY they are considered to be “overfished” and stringent harvest restrictions implementing strict rebuilding schedules (to MSY) are mandated. By requiring that all species be at their MSY, our coastal waters are expected in the SFA to support a level of overall production that is ecologically impossible, and fishermen, both recreational and commercial, are expected to reduce their catch to meet this impossible standard. Continue reading the article here 14:45

A look back at the evolution of Catch Shares

In 2010 CSF board member Nils Stolpe conducted some exhaustive research into catch shares as a management tool and given what has transpired since it is worth looking over his findings today. Here, for example is a prophetic quote from the NEFMC’S June 2010 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 15 to the Council’s Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan :  “…consolidation measures like ITQs, but also more generally leasing and stacking, tend to have their negative impacts on those less powerful segments of the fishing industry, namely the crew, or the small business owners without a fleet of vessels or vertically integrated business. Those who are better able to take advantage of measures like leasing or stacking are then increasingly able to exert control in various markets, such as leasing quota, hiring crew, or even affecting prices that fishermen receive for their product. These kinds of changes, in turn, affect the structure of communities—through changing relations between people and shifts in dominant values—and affect the viability of fishing communities as some are disproportionally impacted by geographic shifts in fishing businesses.” That was about the scallop fleet but the impact is now decimating single boat owners in our New England groundfishery. The complete report (three papers) is included here 14:28

I.U.U. Fishing/The latest supposed ocean crisis/All the news that’s fit to print?

Nils Stolpe/FishNet USA – Over the past several years there has been much discussion, debate, posturing, misrepresentation, exaggeration and incipient empire building on and around the subject of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Most of this has been driven by ENGOs and the mega-foundations that support them because they have all of these fish saviors on the payroll with, since the demise of overfishing, not an awful lot to do. Not surprisingly the Obama administration has been complicit in this. Starting out with a point of clarification, IUU fishing is, or should be, a concern in some areas of the world’s oceans – but for reasons that I’ll get to an a bit, it isn’t, or shouldn’t be, in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In spite of this you can bet dollars to donuts that that’s where all of the ENGOs will be focusing their IUU efforts, because it’s a lot more comfortable, convenient and safe to assault domestic fishermen from their cushy digs in Philadelphia or Washington DC than from some tropical or sub-tropical Hell hole where most of the IUU activity is based. And, I’m sure the feeling in those cushy digs in Philadelphia and Washington is that the public and the pols aren’t sophisticated enough to realize this, and in all likelihood – thanks to the mega-million dollar PR juggernaut that is backstopping their efforts – never will be. To read the complete article, click here 15:15

Commercial Fishermen Question Obama’s Ocean ‘Monument’ Preserve

f-viking%20village%20fleet“All commercial fishing is excluded from the area, but fisheries in the top 10 to 20 feet, no way in the world they’re going to impact the bottom,” pointed out Nils Stolpe, communications director of the association. Such is the case for a lot of the Barnegat Light-based boats, he said, for example, longliners and some hook-and-line tuna boats. “They’re fishing 3 miles up above all of this on the ocean floor.” “Longliners are probably affected more than any of our other fisheries up there” by the declaration, said Ernie Panacek, general manager at Viking Village Commercial Seafood Producers in Barnegat Light. “Our bottom longlining boats and surface longlining for sword and tuna boats are going to be affected up there.” Golden tilefish is found on the bottom and tuna and sword on the surface, “and they’re banning all commercial fishing,” Panacek noted. “It’s not a big area, necessarily, but my biggest concern is an expansion of this national monument just like they did in Hawaii,” he added. Panacek said fishermen have done “extensive work” with the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Council and the Garden State Seafood Association to protect deep-sea coral reefs and sea mounts in the North Atlantic, and were awarded for it. “And now President Obama had to step ahead and do this; I don’t understand,” Panacek said. The federal Magnuson Stevens Act has been managing these areas “and they have been managed properly,” he said. Read the story here 17:47

Nils Stolpe: Marine Monuments – Don’t let your piece of the ocean be next!

No-Fishing-e1449493453695In an effort coordinated by the National Coalition for Fishing Communities (NCFC), thirty four domestic fishing industry trade groups have signed on to a letter to President Obama opposing a strong push by environmental groups and the billion dollar foundations that support them to create marine sanctuaries on both coasts during his last days in office. I don’t need to tell you how much industry effort has been expended over the last several decades to make fishery management under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act an effective and transparent science-based process. Anyone with an interest in our domestic fisheries, whether on the water, in a shore-based fishing-dependent business or in any way associated with fishing should be committed to improving this process, and President Obama is being urged to circumvent it to bolster his “environmental legacy.” Yesterday the White House announced that the President will be expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off Hawaii, which was originally created by President Bush in 2006. This will be a no-fishing zone of over half a million square miles. Needless to say, it’s a big hit with the enviros, but it was done without any public process.

The letter, with a list of the fishing organizations that are on board so far, is at a web portal set up by the NCFC > Click Here <. Even if you are a member of one of those organizations, please take the few minutes required to personally sign. If you are in a fishing organization that hasn’t, please encourage the leadership to do so. And please encourage as many other folks as possible. The time for top-down governmental dictates was over years ago. We have a system that is starting to work both for the fishermen and the fish and we can’t let it be short circuited. There’s too much at risk.

Nils Stolpe: MPA’s – ENGOs and Foundations next attempt to halt fishing – Déjà vu all over again

Pew her masters voiceBack in 2002, when various groups and people had figured out that the creation of things called marine protected areas (MPAs) could be sold politically as a mechanism for “saving the oceans,” the people at the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Conservation Law Foundation hired a marketing firm, Edge Research, to demonstrate that New Englanders and Maritime Canadians would be firmly behind using them to put even more fishermen out of work. Well, borrowing from a line made popular by the late Heather O’Rourke in the movie Poltergeist II, they’re back! Only this time they’re trying to convince the Obama White House that two areas off the New England coast are deserving of protection in perpetuity by being designated as National Monuments. Read the rest here 11:36

Magnuson management – how well is it working?

“Through investment and sacrifice on the part of our commercial and recreational fishermen,  today, landings by U.S. commercial fishermen—and the value they get for those landings—are near all-time highs”  The Governance of Fish: Forty Years under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 04/11/2016, Sam Rauch  (Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, NOAA Fisheries) Periodically I like to do an overview of U.S. fisheries to give readers the opportunity to evaluate how their fisheries are doing relative to other domestic fisheries. This seems particularly relevant today, particularly considering Sam Rauch’s “happy birthday to us”  anniversary statement up above. Nils Stolpe, FishNet USA Click here to read, and review the charts and graphs. 14:02

Nils Stolpe – Are you getting the idea that if you’re a fisherman Daniel Pauly isn’t on your side?

daniel-pauly-e1453236033296FishNet-USA/February 22, 2016 – “… The crisis in the world’s fisheries is less about scientific proof than about attitude and political will. And the world’s fish need a dynamic, high-profile political champion like a Bono or Mandela to give finned creatures the public profile of cute and furry ones.” (Daniel Pauly in “Hooked on fishing, and we’re heading for the bottom, says scientist”,,, This quote by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ premier fisheries researcher says just about all that needs to be said about the ongoing anti-fishing campaign that they have been financing, along with a handful of other mega-foundations, to convince anyone who is willing to listen that, in spite of a dearth of compelling scientific evidence supporting this strum und drang , the world’s oceans are – and have been – facing a crisis brought about because of the depredations of commercial fishermen. Where are the Kardashian’s when Pauly really needs them? Read the rest here 19:23

FishNet USA/Update – So how’s that “catch shares” revolution working out for groundfish?

10172769-largeFrom Nils Stolpe – Alternating with original FishNet USA articles I will be going back to pieces I’ve written (for FishNet and other outlets) over the past 19 years – isn’t it amazing how fast time goes when you’re having fun? – to see how accurate I was in identifying industry trends and predicting what their impacts were going to be. Rather than redistributing the original articles I’ll link to them on the web and try to keep these updates to two pages or under. The original for this update from March, 2014 can be read here    Read the rest here. 13:31

Who’s really in charge of U.S. fisheries? – Nils Stolpe, FishnetUSA

An Oligarchy is defined as “a country, business, etc., that is controlled by a small group of people” –  Ancient City Shrimp is an eight minute YouTube video (Click here) produced by the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum that examines St. Augustine’s past as one of several centers of commercial shrimping in Florida. Unfortunately – or perhaps tragically is a better fit – Florida’s shrimp fleet is only a shadow of what it once was. One of the reasons for this is the imposition of unrealistic regulations on U.S. shrimpers that has made the fishery much less profitable than it used to be. A history lesson or two. Read the rest here 16:27

Fishing industry takes PBS to task for misleading promotion

In a letter to Paula A. Kerger, President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) which is attached and pasted below, the Seafood Coalition pointed out the inappropriateness of a publicly funded network using glaring distortions to hype an upcoming PBS miniseries. From the letter, “researcher Jeremy Jackson indicted by implication every U.S. fisherman – recreational, commercial, or party/charter – and the federal fisheries management system that we are and have been heavily invested in making the best in the world since the passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976.” Read the letter here  An Interview with Jeremy Jackson, Renowned Oceanographer  PBS Trailer Click Here 19:49 photo credit ocean.si.edu 19:55

A Must Read! FishNet USA / Dogfish and seals and dolphin, oh my!

The bottom line is that while commercial fishermen from North Carolina to Maine are at work catching on the order of half a million mt of fish and shellfish a year, it appears as if it takes an annual 20,000,000 tons or more to keep all those marine mammals and low-value spiny dogfish and various other predatory fish going. How much of that 20 million tons is commercially/recreationally valuable species or the forage species that sustain them? No one seems awfully interested in finding that out, but they sure should be. Read the rest here 10:55

“Anecdotal Information” is what the professional fisheries people call it, usually dismissively

First off, A Mia Culpa. In the last FishNet, which was distributed in early October, I referred to “ (or actually an almost-assessment).” It was pointed out to me, and rightfully so, that this could have left readers with the impression that this was somewhat less accurate and/or reliable than a “real” assessment of the cod stock. I was assured that this wasn’t the case and,,, Plus, When you’re used to those big bucks you’ve gotta keep ‘em coming in, and,Great news on Atlantic bluefin tuna –   Read the rest here 11:19:58

Your roots are showing – don’t be convinced by seeming grass roots efforts

Particularly now that the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is at hand, much is being made of the supposed grass roots endorsements that are supposed to benefit all of the fishermen who the endorsers claim to be representing. This being the case, I thought it might be useful to examine what “grass roots” really means and to contrast some bona fide grass roots fishing groups with some that, in spite of their billing, might not live up to such a claim. Read the rest here 14:00

Blue Water Fishermen’​s Associatio​n – Raising the conservati​on bar for almost a quarter of a century

blue waterNils Stolpe, Fishnet USA-I had the pleasure, both personal and professional, of attending the annual membership meeting of the Blue Water Fishermen’s Association (BWFA) in Atlantic City in April. It was pleasurable in large part because I got to catch up with old friends who I haven’t seen nearly as much as I would like to in recent years, and that was the personal part. The professional part, however, was my being able to once again experience at firsthand how a fishermen’s association that is truly committed to conservation operates internally (this isn’t to imply that there aren’t a whole slew of fishermen’s organizations whose members aren’t similarly committed. In 2014 this is the rule, not the exception). <Read more here>  17:03

Nils Stolpe: Atlantic herring – lots of smoke but where’s the fire? – Click Here

Peter Shelley is a lawyer who works for the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). Apparently among his duties is providing entries to the CLF website “Talking Fish.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the groundfish debacle in New England, Mr. Shelley and the CLF, utilizing the court system and a whole bunch of money (according to their IRS Form 990 filed in 2011- the last year available on the Guidestar website – total CLF revenue was $5,800,000, up $1,250,000 from the year before), have been playing a pivotal role in the groundfish fishery management program via the management process and the courts since before it was a debacle. Evidently the groundfish fishery wasn’t enough to fill Mr. Shelley’s plate so he has been involved in Atlantic (sea) herring management as well. Read more here 14:34

NILS STOLPE: Of gumballs, the American Sportfishing Association and fisheries management

FishNet USA — May 9, 2014 — To equate what a recreational fisherman pays to catch a fish to what a commercial fisherman is paid to catch that same fish is to equate the total cost an equestrian pays to ride her horse for a mile to what Amtrak would charge to move her the same distance on a train.  The people at the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) are embarking on the second year of a campaign to convince anyone who will listen that recreational fishing is equally as or more important than commercial fishing and that in their estimation the federal government should not be putting so much emphasis on managing the commercial fisheries. Read more here  19:27

Magnuson not a weapon to use against fishing communities! Nils Stolpe/April 2014

I wrote the column below over six years ago. Since then we have gone through two demonstrations in Washington, DC that were enthusiastically supported by recreational, party/charter and commercial fishermen. Thousands of fishermen finally realized that,,,fisheries.org Read more here  17:51

Better Science Means More Fish

States should apply the precautionary approach widely to conservation, management and exploitation of living aquatic resources in order to protect them and preserve the aquatic environment. The absence of adequate scientific information should not be used as a reason for postponing or failing to take conservation and management measures (from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries).”  Or in fewer words, if you aren’t completely sure of the outcome, don’t take an action. It’s called the “precautionary principle”,,,Read more here onlinefisherman.com 14:16

A must read blog (along with Fishosophy, of course!) Recommended by Nils Stolpe

The blogger is Jonathan Gonzalez, a graphic designer with a solid and obvious commitment to ocean conservation. What separates him from the crowd, and what brought his blog to my attention, was his unwillingness to accept at face value the myriad of commonly held “truths” of marine conservation and his willingness to devote himself to researching what’s really going on in our oceans and in our fisheries. Five minutes invested in reading the “about me” page on his website, Read [email protected]  17:06

Fishosophy: Overfished or Depleted? By Nils Stolpe

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene II) Contrary to what might have been true when Shakespeare had Juliet speak those words in the 1590s, how things are called is far from meaningless  Read [email protected]  22:15

MSA: Renewal of fisheries law brings back debate over managing stocks

As a Star Wars movie, the title might be: Return of the Anglers, Net Fishermen Fight Back.Catching fish and saving fish are real-life pursuits, however, not a movie. The people who catch fish had the nation’s premier federal fishing law on their side until reauthorizations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1996 and 2006. Those reauthorizations of a law originally enacted in 1976 to kick foreign fishermen off the coast and boost the U.S. fishing industry were heavily influenced by environmental groups trying to save fish stocks. The effort has produced some success stories, but it has also put a lot of fishermen out of business. Read [email protected]  14:41

Commercial fishing in the Northeast: a decade of change – Nils Stolpe, FIs​hNet USA

NetLogoBackground500I had the honor of being asked to write an article to be included in the program for the 2013 New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival. While much of it has be covered in prior FishNets, I thought that some readers might be interested in it, so it is reproduced below. It is available as a pdf file from gardenstateseafood.org.   Nils E. Stolpe – FishNet USA  14:44

NILS STOLPE: The New England groundfish debacle (Part IV): Is cutting back harvest really the answer?

The “blame it all on fishing” management philosophy “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” (A. Maslow, 1966, The Psychology of Science)

NILS STOLPE Fishnet USA – While it’s a fact that’s hardly ever acknowledged, the assumption in fisheries management is that if the population of a stock of fish isn’t at some arbitrary level, it’s because of too much fishing. Hence the term “overfished.” Hence the mandated knee jerk reaction of the fisheries managers to not enough fish; cut back on fishing. What of other factors? They don’t count. It’s all about fishing, because fishing is all that the managers can control; it’s their Maslow’s Hammer. When it comes to the oceans it seems as if it’s about all that the industry connected mega-foundations that support the anti-fishing ENGOs with hundreds of millions of dollars a year in “donations” are interested in controlling. Read the article here

Federal fisheries enforcement and the 2012 election – a purposeful cover-up? By Nils Stolpe

Here are the facts.

Federal fisheries enforcement and the 2012 election – a purposeful cover-up?  

Fact: Senator Scott Brown (Republican) and candidate Elizabeth Warren (Democrat) are in a close race for one of the two Massachusetts seats in the United States Senate.

Fact: A majority in the United States Senate, which is now in the hands of the Democratic Party, is considered by many pundits to be “up for grabs” in the rapidly approaching election, and the outcome in Massachusetts will be critical in determining which party controls the Senate – and the United States Congress – starting in 2013.

Fact: Senator Scott Brown has been an ardent supporter of the commercial fishing industry and has been particularly outspoken about an ongoing investigation of corruption at the highest levels of the enforcement branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fact: New Englanders in general and residents of Massachusetts in particular tend to be extremely supportive of their fishing communities and of the fishing heritage that has played such a significant role in shaping the character of their coastline.

Fact: A 514 page report on the follow-up investigation by Special Master Charles Swartwood of NOAA enforcement abuses of fishermen and fishing associated businesses centered in New England and primarily in Massachusetts was completed and delivered to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce in March of 2012.

Fact: In spite of strong bipartisan Congressional prodding to make the report public, prodding in which Senator Scott Brown has assumed a leadership role, (Acting) Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank has refused to do so. To her credit Elizabeth Warren, his opponent, has been seeking the release of the report as well.

Fact: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s brother, Cameron Kerry, is general counsel of the Department of Commerce. READ MORE

http://bore-head007.newsvine.com/_news/2012/11/01/14859639-federal-fisheries-enforcement-and-the-2012-election-a-purposeful-cover-up-by-nils-stolpe?threadId=3602206&commentId=71603737#vine-t