A grievous assault on the lobster resource

In recent years, the federal government in the form of the National Marine Fisheries Service has been expanding restrictions on fin fishermen throughout the U.S.,, The federal government allows each (lobster) fishermen a maximum of 800 traps when fishing in federal waters,,, I take no pleasure in writing this, but as a former New England Fishery Management council member, I feel bound to report a grievous assault on the lobster resource even though the council does not manage lobsters. The goal of writing the article is for the public to apply political pressure to force a solution. I realize that by submitting this request/complaint that I am opening myself up to possible retaliation on the water. I ask both the reader and bureaucracy to keep that in mind. >click to read<  By David Goethel 10:30

3 Responses to A grievous assault on the lobster resource

  1. James catfish says:

    Dave,in the mid Atlantic lobster gear goes unchecked like new england ,let alone crab gear.. we need to develop a plan to count traps..They should be brought to the dock twice a year no matter where they fish.. As groundfish quotas shrink and our are left barron,
    The lobster boats have started taking over..Its time they get regulated,no matter what size the boat.. especially the orange ones in New bedford!

    • DAVID GOETHEL says:

      Hi James,
      Your idea of bringing traps ashore to be inspected for compliance and to have tags issued equal to the number brought ashore has merit, but some will still leave the illegal ones at sea. Compliance is poor if there is no credible enforcement and there simply is none in federal waters. I do not believe the feds need a fleet of boats, but rather need to charter state patrol boats to run compliance checks in federal waters. The violator then needs to be accompanied by enforcement to bring in all his gear. Anything illegal is confiscated. Once this happens a few times the shenanigans will end quickly.However we will still need gear resticted areas because mobil gear and fixed cannot occupy the same ground.

  2. James R Lovgren says:

    Dave, hope all is well with you. In New Jersey we have had the exact problem in the mudhole and have over the last 30 years lost about 60 percent of our fishing grounds to the potters who continue to go deeper as the lobsters retreat to cooler deeper waters. Our towing area has been cut in half and some prime grounds have been lost. Years ago the veteran potters worked with us, and knew not to go too deep, now they don’t care and put them anywhere knowing that if their gear get hit, its easy to find who did it, because the dragger has VMS and AIS, and their are so few of us left. I suggest a few things, first VMS on all lobster boats, and then, you know how much I love observers, well the lobster guys never have to take them out. Require 25 % of their trips to be observed, and have the observer check each pot to make sure it is tagged. After a few years, they can lessen the coverage. For you, make sure your boat and house are well insured, many of these guys are cutthroats, I know, I saw first hand the shooting s and burnings that happened 20 years ago down here, with my boat becoming burnt colateral damage. Good luck, Jim

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