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Fair and Balanced- (Bycatch Study)

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    Posted: 26 December 2017 at 12:19pm
Many of us question Jerry's "truths", especially those of us that well remember the Marine Fisheries Commissions appointed with Basnight's and Perdue's influence...the commissions of BJ Copeland, and others, that were told how to vote and who to keep happy.  Those instructions of "fairness" made many smiling faces and fat pockets in Wanchese and Carteret County and created a sense of hopelessness within the recreational/conservation sector.

I have a list of every Marine Fisheries Commision since I have been involved in this process which spans thirty years.  It's my opinion that the current Commission is the most imbalanced in those 30 years. Jerry Schill

I guess if you tell a lie often enough and big enough, people will come to believe it.  It's like perception and reality. 

The reality of the situation below is that the "industry group" is probably paying for the room to present the findings of the bycatch reduction study.  So, the NCFA (Brent Fulcher) saved a little money by booking the room for the whole day and will have the annual NCFA meeting in the same room following the bycatch reduction presentation.  It's all logical and frugal, right? 

The perception is...The study can't be trusted due the largess of Brent Fulcher's "generosity".   Fulcher has bragged on national TV that he controls 60% of the typical average annual shrimp harvest in NC.  In Fulcher's eye, who stands to lose the most  from the success of new regulation to reduce bycatch, measures that could negatively impact shrimp harvest?

Balanced and fair, maybe one day, but we're not there yet, at least not for sustainable resource management.  In this case, perception is reality.

Now, the question is will Jerry use a "MFC/DMF sanctioned event" to handout commercial fishing propaganda against sustainable resource management measures, lobbying information and NCFA membership forms?  Jerry certainly did this in the past at the NCWF petition hearing held at the same venue on January 17, 2017. 

Lets hope Jerry sets those tables and booths up well after the bycatch reduction meeting is over so that the public, division staff and government officials have time to exit the building without being inappropriately solicited. 

The bycatch reduction meeting ends at 2pm and the NCFA annual meeting begins at 2pm.   












Edited by Rick - 27 December 2017 at 9:08am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 2:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 2:44pm
I do not see this ending well-again😩
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 6:13pm
It is was it is and was from the beginning, a delaying tactic.

I'll predict that the study finds a 30% to 40% reduction using two Florida fish excluders, basically what the industry is using today since the proclamation below in 2015.   It will be a finding supporting status quo for the industry.


The workgroup will ask for three more years to "officially" validate the BRD while praying for an unbalancing of the current commission during that time and filing a few more lawsuits.




Edited by Rick - 26 December 2017 at 6:17pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 7:29pm
Tom, this juxtaposition of events bare-assedly portrays the inherent invitation and acceptance to the dance; is a manifestation http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/details.php?id=14727 the core corruption without remorse, that drives NC's incestuous political system, down to its fisheries fiefdom. I think this candid display of interest and conflict would reflect the behavior of those with the thuggish message of..."this thing belongs to us....whatever we want goes..." , as opposed to having any wish to work with the other stakeholders, etc. The aspect of this where a foreign entity has been shoehorned in here with whatever skid-greasing and quid pro quo would be amusing did it not reflect the afformentioned thuggish nature of this government and its fascist proponent-partners on the "pruivate" side. The twits on Monte Python's Flying Circus had more gravitas in their little toes than governor cadiddlehopper will ever muster. What a concentrated example of the echoing emptiness and utter bereavement of intellectual process,   It's the heritage of the death of reason, dedicated to the uplift of those who would harm with increasing intensity, the very citizens they were placed in office to represent, and the gleeful, in-your-face taunting of the public, using the public's money, by the agent who has bought the rights to the whole kit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 11:03pm
Originally posted by cnaff cnaff wrote:

Tom, this juxtaposition of events bare-assedly portrays the inherent invitation and acceptance to the dance; is a manifestation http://www.northcarolinasportsman.com/details.php?id=14727 the core corruption without remorse, that drives NC's incestuous political system, down to its fisheries fiefdom. I think this candid display of interest and conflict would reflect the behavior of those with the thuggish message of..."this thing belongs to us....whatever we want goes..." , as opposed to having any wish to work with the other stakeholders, etc. The aspect of this where a foreign entity has been shoehorned in here with whatever skid-greasing and quid pro quo would be amusing did it not reflect the afformentioned thuggish nature of this government and its fascist proponent-partners on the "pruivate" side. The twits on Monte Python's Flying Circus had more gravitas in their little toes than governor cadiddlehopper will ever muster. What a concentrated example of the echoing emptiness and utter bereavement of intellectual process,   It's the heritage of the death of reason, dedicated to the uplift of those who would harm with increasing intensity, the very citizens they were placed in office to represent, and the gleeful, in-your-face taunting of the public, using the public's money, by the agent who has bought the rights to the whole kit.

"The many Americans who are happiest when unhappy seem as addicted to indignation as the fewer Americans are to cocaine. Brain imaging might show the same pleasure points lighting up in both cohorts. Furthermore, because today’s technologies have eliminated barriers to entry into public conversations, ignorance and intemperateness are not barriers. Because modern technologies allow the instant, costless dissemination of fulminations, and because the more vituperative the fulminations the more apt they are to be noticed in the digital clutter, public conversations often quickly degenerate into something less. "  George Will

http://https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americans-are-addicted-to-indignation/2017/12/20/8c490aae-e4ee-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.020d86b43779

Y'all have a happy healthy and prosperous 2018.



Edited by BaitWaster - 26 December 2017 at 11:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 8:20am
Wondering if the studies results will be submitted to an independent Journal, where they can be peer reviewed by anonymous, independent scientists for credibility.  I thought not.
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 9:48am
Come on this meeting is already including scientist from two other organizations Sea Grant and NOAA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 10:05am
Chris-
The trials have a significant problem, one that will clearly overstate bycatch reduction in the test nets.

  • It is my understanding that the control net used a 1.5" mesh tail bag.  Smaller mesh allows less bycatch to escape.
  • The test nets used various BRDs (bycatch reduction devices) in conjunction with 1.75" and 1.875" mesh tail bags.
I have notes from the 2016 industry workshop meeting from a discussion on mesh size.  At that meeting, Steve Parrish indicated that most of the larger boats were already using 1.75" and 1.875" tail bag mesh size as normal practice. 

I have a significant concern that the industry trials do not accurately represent a true reduction in bycatch.

A significant portion of bycatch reduction in both the 2015 and 2016 trials was due to testing larger mesh tail bags.  This will be a false reduction on industry wide boats already using the larger size mesh as the standard.

An anecdotal review of the 2017 control net data supports the premise that a 1.5" mesh tail bag is not the industry standard.  Three of the 2017 control tests averaged 4.4, 6.3 and 5.5 pounds of bycatch to one pound of shrimp.  Those ratios are much higher than the 3.4 ratio that Kevin Brown found in his 2009 Pamlico Sound characterization study.  Statistically, there may not be a significant difference when comparing the 2017 tows to Brown's 2009 tows.  I also realize that bycatch is variable from tow to tow, and year to year.


I am very concerned about the possibility that the industry chose a smaller than typical tail bag mesh size for the control net, a size that doesn't represent true fishing effort.  By doing so, bycatch rates in the control net were artificially raised above what is normal.  The end result is that what is perceived to be a 40% to 50% reduction is actually a lot less and possibly approaches zero if the reduction is largely due to increase mesh size versus an added BRD.

I personally heard Steve Parish caution the 2016 industry panel about "false" savings based on large mesh.


As you can see from the information below, the large industrial trawlers pulling four nets account for the majority of the harvest from this 2013 data-


45 to 60 feet

53 boats

1,039,385 pounds landed

1,177 trips

< 45 feet

319 boats

1,485,352 pounds landed

5,161 trips

>60 feet

72 boats

3,364,920 pounds landed

910 trips

 

When I presented my concerns, this was the response that I received back-


The boats under 45 feet (which the work group has deemed will be called “small boats”) still mainly use 11/2-inch stretched-mesh tailbags.  The larger boats are a mixed bag, some still using 11/2-inch, while others have gone up to anywhere from 15/8-inch to 17/8-inch.  They did this because, anecdotally, they were told the slightly larger mesh would allow for more sublegal/juvenile fish to escape.  Boats refuse to go to 1.875-inch, because they believe the shrimp loss is too high.   

 

The control needed to be the same throughout all three years of the study (and also remember, this was pre the DMF rule mandating two BRDs be in shrimp boats fishing in state waters), as well as had to be applicable to the majority of the boats.  Thus, the control net was determined to be a 1 ½-inch stretched-mesh tailbag, a 4-inch bar-spaced TED and 1 Florida fisheye BRD.

 

Since we started the study, several of the bigger boats now have gone, voluntarily, to a 3-inch bar-spaced TED, which anecdotally was supposed to reduce bycatch. 

 

So, you are correct in that for the large boats the industry “norm” is not a 11/2-inch inch stretched-mesh tailbag, a 4-inch bar-spaced TED and 1 Florida fisheye BRD.  The large-boat “norm” now could be categorized as 1 1/2-inch stretched-mesh tailbag, a 3-inch bar-spaced TED and 2 Florida fisheye BRDs.  The “realized” savings on bycatch, since compared to the control net, likely are not are great, as you say, for these few larger boats.  But for the majority of boats in the state, the percent bycatch as reported is an accurate depiction of relative loss.

 

I also will make one comment about the 1.875-inch usage in 2015.  That was not what was supposed to happen.  Steve Parrish had several bales of 11/2-inch inch stretched-mesh, since most of the fleet he provides nets for are under 60 feet and were using the smaller mesh.  We thought Steve would have the 17/8-inch also for which to build out test nets.  (We thought Steve had more >60 feet clients.)  All I know is that it was realized too late that Steve did not have this netting.  Steve had (I believe to supply the croaker flynet fishery) 1.875-inch stretched mesh, and so the test nets in 2015 were built using this.  In 2016, the research team went back to the smaller 17/8-inch stretched mesh for test nets, so as to lessen shrimp loss while still realizing the advantages of a bit larger mesh.



A lot of questions surround the trials which certainly dictates that an independent eye review the methodology, data, results and conclusions.

In my mind, protection of the resource can't wait for another three years.

I think an important point is that the MFC wanted an absolute reduction range based on the best available bycatch information they had at the time. 

If the MFC reduction goal was based on the information from the 2009 Brown trials, then the Commission wanted a reduction from the baseline of 3.4 pounds of bycatch to one pound of shrimp.  A 40% reduction would remove 1.36 pounds of bycatch.

If the trial artificially raised the level of bycatch to 5.5 pounds in the control net (by using small mesh tailbags) in order to show a 40% reduction on the test gear, then the perceived reduction is 2.2 pounds netting the level of bycatch back to 3.3 pounds per pound of shrimp.

The true reduction may only be 0.1 pounds which is a 3% reduction and not statistically significant.  If this is the case, there was no reduction at all in this game of smoke and mirrors delaying tactics.

As has been honestly stated many times-

  • The industry would like to get rid of bycatch. Bycatch is a cost- labor, fuel, etc.
  • The industry isn't willing to give up any shrimp to reduce bycatch.
If there was truly an effective means of separating a 3" to 5" shrimp from a 3" to 5" finfish without losing any shrimp, the industry would have found it a long time ago.




Edited by Rick - 27 December 2017 at 3:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kshivar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 11:34am
Agreed but it doesn’t matter. If we offer evidence that the spot, croaker and grey trout fisheries would collapse as a result of trawling nurseries it would be ignored. In fact it already has. When is the last time you saw a decent fall spot run? At least 15 years for me. Comms are still killing every spec they can for $1/pound. I wonder what they’ll all say about there “birthright” when there’s nothing left to catch? These days I see a net in the wrong place it ends up in a pile.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 December 2017 at 7:21pm
Originally posted by todobien todobien wrote:

Come on this meeting is already including scientist from two other organizations Sea Grant and NOAA.

So it should survive expert independent review.  If its worth a xhit, then its publishable.  I dare them to try and publish it in a peer reviewed journal.

Rick showed how detailed this is.  I don't pretend to know the nuances, but there are others out there that do.  They should be the ones reviewing.

And they should not be tied to NC Sea Grant.  Moreover, the review should be anonymous.
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 10:37am
Exactly Chris, it's all in the details.  The past shows that we can't trust those charged with managing our resource for sustainable fisheries. 

Those managers have and will manipulate the methods and data to achieve the desired end result.

Let's don't forget what they did on weakfish to get in compliance-


Topic: The Dumbing-Down of BRDs and Bycatch Reduction
    Posted: 14 February 2017 at 10:20am

The Dumbing-Down of BRDs and Bycatch Reduction by the ASMFC

Reviewing a few notes last night-

In appears our "friends" at NCDMF successfully lobbied the SAFMC and ASMFC to change the Weakfish FMP directives on BRDs in the shrimp trawl fishery from a reduction in "numbers" to a reduction in "pounds" and also eliminated weakfish reduction as the target goal moving it to "all finfish".

Think about the implication of this for juvenile weakfish.

In his Pamlico Sound study, Brown found a 27-count (number per pound) of juvenile weakfish per pound of weakfish bycatch.

An average 6,200,000 pound shrimp landing year produces 3.6-million pounds of shrimp from the Pamlico Sound.  Brown found on average 3.4 pounds of bycatch per pound of shrimp or 12,240,000 pounds of bycatch.  Weakfish accounted for 8.5% of total bycatch.  There are 1,040,400 pounds of juvenile weakfish bycatch at a 27-count or 28,090,800 individual weakfish killed annually on average in the Pamlico Sound shrimp trawl fishery.

The Weakfish FMP Amendment 4 required a 40% reduction "by number".  An addendum reduced that to 30% and changed it from "number" to "pounds", eliminated weakfish as the species of targeted reduction and instead targeted all finfish.

We dumbed-down the reduction by an absolute reduction in required % and then met that reduction by eliminating larger adult and juvenile fish pounds across all species versus reducing tremendous numbers of juvenile weakfish.

The original Amendment 4 language-

One or more BRDs (bycatch reduction devices) shall be required in all food shrimp (penaeid) trawl nets with a headrope length exceeding 16 feet and having mesh less than 2.5 inches stretched inside measurement (middle to middle knot measurement).   All BRDs must be certified, properly installed, and demonstrate a 40% reduction by number or 50% reduction of bycatch mortality of weakfish when compared to a naked net. 


This link starts discussing it on page 33.

http://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/52863d7cFeb07WeakfishBoardProceedings.pdf

The DMF couldn't find weakfish in the "normal" shrimping areas back in 2006 to test the BRDs.  They sure as hell wouldn't have that problem today and probably didn't back then either- Angry








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote penfish2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 4:08pm
"The many Americans who are happiest when unhappy seem as addicted to indignation as the fewer Americans are to cocaine. Brain imaging might show the same pleasure points lighting up in both cohorts. Furthermore, because today’s technologies have eliminated barriers to entry into public conversations, ignorance and intemperateness are not barriers. Because modern technologies allow the instant, costless dissemination of fulminations, and because the more vituperative the fulminations the more apt they are to be noticed in the digital clutter, public conversations often quickly degenerate into something less. "  George Will 

http://https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americans-are-addicted-to-indignation/2017/12/20/8c490aae-e4ee-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.020d86b43779

Bernie: George Will knows it is the job of educated experts in any field -- and half-smart journalists such as himself -- to cut through official BS smoke-and-mirrors of co-opted guvmint employees/officials to reveal for the rest of us what and who are behind the masks, as Melville might have said. And we are on a voyage to destroy the evil/greedy/stupid natures that threaten to swallow our public-trust saltwater resources and we need not destroy ourselves and others during the chase. To imply (using less words) that people who complain about current habitat/finfish/shellfish problems created by greedoids and also willful ignorance, problems that beg for mindful solutions, that these folks are simply being "b-itchee" is a total cop out. Will has shown he has not lived up to his familial title. Maybe he's just gotten too old, too beat down or decided that Kool-Aid will slake his thirst when it's the only drink in town -- and damn the consequences.


Edited by penfish2 - 28 December 2017 at 4:12pm
Many go fishing all their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 December 2017 at 4:42pm
Will has lost his bearings since Buckley died.
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