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Commercials May Get More Red Drum

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    Posted: 21 August 2020 at 10:04am

If you care- send Murphey an email- steve.murphey@ncdenr.gov

Unbelievable-
Director Murphey announced at the MFC meeting yesterday that he is considering a NCFA request to increase the daily commercial bycatch limit on Red Drum from 7-fish to 10-fish. Doug Cross chimed in that "they need the money due to the reduced commercial season on flounder". Murphey made it clear the decision is his to make under proclamation authority in the FMP- no MFC vote to be taken.

Yeah, where was the proclamation increasing the recreational bag limit on speckle trout and red drum due to the closed flounder season? No where, because recs support sustainable fisheries. Commercial is all about personal income today and moving on to the next fishery once they collapse the last- tragedy of the commons. Deplete the flounder fishery...no problem...just give me more red drum.

Not a done deal yet...it is under consideration at the request of the NC Fisheries Association. The NCFA originally requested going from 7 to 20. Personally I think an increase is a direct violation of the FMP-



Please show me the need other than pure greed!  

Murphey tried to paint a picture of concern for regulatory discards.  His concern is full of holes when you read the study linked below.

Read the conclusions below in the Sea Grant/DMF funded study.  Please note points that I've highlighted in red. 

The Director should not be considering going from 7 to 10, he should be dropping the bycatch allowance to 5 fish, maybe 3 fish.

The Director should take note of what Lee Paramore said. 


Bycatch and discard of red drum in large mesh gillnets during this study were low. The daily catch of red drum in flounder nets for the majority of trips was less than the allowable catch (seven fish). The findings are consistent with NCDMF trip ticket landings data for all commercial large mesh gillnet fishers during the June to November 2002 time period in the Newport River area; average monthly landings were 5–8.6 kg of red drum per trip or 3–5 fish per trip (based on our average red drum weight of 1.8 kg). The majority of red drum fell within the slot limit; hence, most red drum that were dead when removed from the net could be legally retained. Larger mesh nets (such as the sizes used in this study) have been suggested as an approach to reduce discards of juvenile fishes in other gillnet fisheries (Ueno 2001; Gray 2002).

When the catch exceeded seven fish (23% of trips) the majority of the discards were released alive. Postrelease mortality of red drum captured in large mesh gillnets is unknown. Hook-and-line captured red drum from the nearby Neuse River, North Carolina, had high survival rates (93%) after 3 days retention in net pens (Aguilar 2003). Mortality assessments of gillnetted fish are less common (but see Buchanan et al. 2002) and are needed to obtain estimates of survival rate for live discards (Gray, Johnson, Young & Broadhurst 2004).

The number of dead red drum was not related to date. Given previous findings of increased mortality of bycatch at higher temperatures (Davis & Olla 2001; Price & Rulifson 2004), higher mortality was expected during the summer months. This may have been the case if gillnet soak times were consistently >20 h throughout all months. However, the frequency of soak times longer than 12 h was less during summer months compared with autumn months; commercial gillnetters purposely fish in this manner to reduce spoilage of flounder and reduce discard mortality during summer. Thus, the number of dead red drum did not differ between months because longer soak times did not occur during periods of high summer water temperatures.

Current fisheries management regulations in North Carolina are supported by the findings of this study. This is not surprising since historic commercial landings data for red drum by flounder fishers were considered in developing the 7 fish trip limit implemented in 2001 (L. Paramore, NCDMF, personal communication). This study was limited to one season (2002), and the availability of sub-adult red drum of this size (350–700 mm) and age (age 0–3 based on Ross et al. 1995) will be highly dependent on individual year-class abundance. Indeed, the ages captured were from weak year classes (L. Paramore, NCDMF, personal communication). Hence, the North Carolina gillnet fishery should continue to be monitored by observers to confirm that bycatch of red drum remains within sustainable levels.

FME_reddrum_bycatch.pdf




...and I'll remind you of how the commercial sector truly feels about red drum.  If they can't have them, kill them all- to hell with the recreational sector.

Links to click on if the direct link below isn't working for you-

Pam Morris- Vice-Chair, NCMFC Southern Regional Advisory Committee- "Red Drum is a scourge..."



Ken Seigler- (Internet poster: Buddy Roe)- NCMFC Finfish Advisory Committee Member- solve the red drum problem with hot grease




Edited by Rick - 24 August 2020 at 8:31am
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NC Fisheries Management- Motto: Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad   Slogan: Shrimp On! Mission Statement: Enable Commercial Fishing At Any and All Cost, Regardless of Impact to the Resource.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2020 at 10:40am

...and as a good friend emailed me last night, don't forget-

    • NC has the most liberal commercial red drum rules and the most stringent recreational red drum rules of any state on the East or Gulf coasts.
    • NC supplies 95% of wild caught red drum to the commercial markets in the United States.  
    • Red Drum has gamefish status in most states.



Edited by Rick - 21 August 2020 at 10:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Get Bowed Up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2020 at 5:47pm
Very clever bullet points.

Is it time to discuss the rec regs?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bernpackbkr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2020 at 8:40am
This is NC fisheries management at its finest.

The recreational sector is the one that has been responsible for the recovery of Red Drum through circle hooks/lupton rigs, education about proper handling, and a one fish slot limit.

So where does the MFC want to place the reward - with the commercial sector of course!

UNREAL.
Trent Woods, NC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2020 at 10:45am
Until DMF is gone they will not change
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 August 2020 at 10:22am
For those who would like to hear the discussion, the meeting audio has been posted-

The red drum discussion starts at 16:30 and ends at 26:00

NCDEQ - 08 2020 MFC Audio Recordings

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2020 at 4:39am
The Director is still deciding.

You need to be sending those emails.  The commercials are sending theirs.

Funny how Glenn left out the part that in most states from SC to Texas this isn’t a problem- red drum are gamefish and gillnets are banned or severely restricted.

Looks like Glenn has made the case on why NC should consider making red drum gamefish and ban gillnets. For such little benefit to so few commercial fishermen, they sure are doing a lot of damage to the economy of coastal Eastern NC, an economy driven by recreational angling.


As a side note
Don't you love how the NCFA takes zero responsibility. Kind of reminds you of what's going on in America right now.

It's not the NCFA's fault that they've pillaged and burned down our Southern flounder fishery to the point of a 45-day annual season all while filing multiple lawsuits preventing timely management. They're entitled.  Give me red drum, now! To hell with spot, croaker and gray trout- only shrimper/dealer lives matter!

...and while they're at it, I'm surprised they are not asking for more relief payments. Another 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars for each of the NCFA's top board members would be a good start and fit nicely in their profit picture of $2 dockside shrimp values during record landing years coupled with this year's receipt of import shrimp tariff penalty payments. 



Glenn's letter from yesterday

From: Glenn Skinner <glennskinner@ncfish.org>
Date: Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 11:06 AM
Subject: Red Drum Limit Increase
To: Murphey, Steve <steve.murphey@ncdenr.gov>, John Nicholson <John.Nicholson@ncdenr.gov>, Michael Regan <Michael.Regan@ncdenr.gov>


All
It is my understanding that my request of Steve Murphey to consider raising the commercial daily trip limit of Red Drum during the short 2020 flounder season has become unnecessarily controversial. There has been a lot of misinformation on social media and I have to assume you are receiving the same information. I want to set the record straight on some of these issues and I wish DEQ and the Division would do the same.

Commercial Impacts to the Red Drum Stock
Over the twenty year period from 1998-2017 North Carolina's commercial fishermen have harvested 794,750 Red Drum with a combined weight of
3,481,093 pounds averaging 174,054 pounds annually.

An additional 285,101 fish were killed and wasted during this same time period, many of which could have been harvested for food if the daily trip limit was higher. If just half of these fish had been harvested it would have added an additional half a million pounds of harvest and reduced waste by 50% with no additional impact to the stock.
   Unfortunately in the past politics not science has dictated these decisions resulting in significant and unnecessary waste.

In the same twenty year time period NC anglers have harvested 3,475,827 Red Drum with a combined weight of 15,835,226 pounds averaging 791,761 pounds annually. ( Nearly 4.5 times the commercial harvest)
An additional 2,112,827 Red Drum were killed and wasted as dead discards in the recreational fishery. These recreational dead discards alone are nearly double the number of commercial dead discards and harvest combined (1,079,851 fish) and are also avoidable.

NC Red Drum Regulations
It's been stated many times that NC has the strictest recreational Red Drum limits of any state on the East or Gulf Coast and this is true with the exception of Florida which closed harvest of Red Drum and Speckled Trout in 2019 and has now reopened with most of the state having the same size and bag limits as NC.

I'm sure you have seen the list of bag limits for Red Drum and other species from other states and the claim that NC anglers would take any of the other states limits over our own but did you know that NC had the same options as other states when it comes to Red Drum?
We could have allowed recreational anglers to harvest 2,3, or even 5 Red Drum just as other states have done but at the urging of the so called " recreational representatives" chose to be the most restrictive state.
These same folks now use the 1 fish bag limit they advocated for as proof of failed management in NC.

I agree that the 1 fish bag limit represents a fishery management failure as it has created waste in the form of recreational dead discards that are again nearly double the total number of fish killed by commercial fishermen over the last two decades!     At least a percentage of these fish could and should have been harvested by NC anglers with little to no negative impact to the stock as they have been removed from the stock already just not harvested.

This waste can easily be reduced by raising the recreational bag limit and adjusting the slot limit to match the conservation equivalency of our current regulations. This would not represent a less restrictive management option as it achieves the same net benefit to the stock with less waste.

If Director Murphey had the authority to raise both the recreational and commercial daily limit of Red Drum by proclamation I would have requested that he do so in an effort to reduce the massive amount of waste that occurs in the Red Drum fishery, unfortunately he does not.   
He does however have the authority to, at his discretion, raise the commercial trip limit by proclamation.
The data does not suggest that raising the trip limit will have any negative biological impacts especially with such a short season so I am respectfully requesting that you ignore the propaganda and allow Director Murphey to use the data and his discretion to make this decision.

I would also request that the MFC consider taking action to turn a significant percentage of the millions of fish killed and discarded by recreational anglers into harvest by raising the recreational bag limit for Red Drum.
Sincerely,

--
Glenn Skinner
Executive Director-
North Carolina Fisheries Association, Inc.
101 N. 5th Street
Morehead City NC 28557
252-646-7742


Edited by Rick - 26 August 2020 at 2:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 August 2020 at 8:23am

Think about all the gillnet effort in 2001 compared to 2020.  Think about yards set and soak times.  Think about mesh size restrictions.  Think about attendance requirements.

If a five fish bycatch limit was good in 2001, it should be good today.

Director-  Drop it to five, don't raise it to ten!

Increasing the bycatch limit encourages targeting, which is a direct violation of the FMP.


THE MFC ADVISOR

Marine Fisheries Commission Business Meeting

Ocracoke, North Carolina

March. 29 - 30, 2001



Red Drum Fishery Management Plan – Final Approval

The Legislative Study Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture and the Environmental Review Commission sent back the draft Red Drum FMP without any recommendations for changes. Upon receiving this favorable report, the MFC adopted the final Red Drum FMP and then adopted temporary rules to begin implementing the provisions of the FMP.
 
A discussion was held regarding the continued directed targeting of red drum.   The MFC was briefed on a proclamation that had been issued requiring any commercial catch containing red drum to be comprised of at least 50 percent of other species by weight, to ensure red drum is harvested only in a bycatch capacity, which is a stated objective in the FMP.

Motions:

 Motion was made to adopt the final Red Drum FMP – motion passed unanimously.

 

Motion was made to adopt the following amendments as temporary rules - motion passed unanimously:

·        Technical amendment to giving the DMF Director proclamation authority to set the quantity and size of red drum that can be taken by commercial and recreational fishermen;

·        Establish a new fishing year that runs from (Sept. 1- Aug. 31) for commercial red drum harvest;

·        Delete the 100-pound commercial trip limit, as set by rule; and

·        Clarify areas/coordinates where it is unlawful to leave a commercial gill net unattended with a mesh length less than five inches, during May – October.


Director’s Report

DMF Director Pres Pate reviewed the following topics:

Rule Suspension for Red Drum Commercial Trip Limit – earlier this year, the DMF Director suspended the100-pound commercial trip limit and implemented a five-fish-per-day commercial limit by proclamation.  The rule needs to be resuspended at each subsequent MFC meeting until the provisions of the FMP are adopted.

 

Motions:

Motion was made to resuspend the rule and continue the commercial five-fish limit per day for red drum until Aug. 31, 2001, when the new fishing year begins with a 50-pound trip limit – motion passed.

Motion was made to set the commercial cap for red drum for the harvest period ending Aug 31, 2001 at 133,000 pounds – motion passed.

 





Edited by Rick - 26 August 2020 at 8:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2020 at 3:08pm

Thank you to all that wrote emails. The request was denied. Bycatch stays at seven fish. Hats off to Director Murphey.  In this case- status quo is the right decision.

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