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Posted: 12/18/2009 1:21:34 PM EDT
The Fishing Rights Alliance







We lobby for fair fisheries management decisions. The anti-fishing/environmental sector is in control today and they simply don’t want you taking any fish. They have the money, the lawyers, and pretty much call the shots now on what they think you should be able to keep, much of it using questionable science to take things away. Our group challenges controversial or absurd findings and disputes bad or flawed data, sometimes even hiring our own scientists to conduct their independent reviews/studies of the fishes’ population status. We are a volunteer group made up of anglers who have had enough of being unfairly kicked out of fishery after fishery. Here are just a few things that will have a huge impact on you, the recreational angler that we are working on right now:  

Complete Gulf grouper closure

Next January (2011) a compete closure on gag grouper, and probably all other grouper, is most likely going to go into effect. No grouper fishing ALL YEAR and until further notice.  A member of the Gulf Council told me the other day that the best case scenario for recreational anglers grouper fishing is a 2 week open season annually with a very small bag limit, possibly one per boat. This is coming guys, unless we can stop it.

Red snapper

The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates that 3.5 million pounds of red snapper were caught by recreational anglers during the 2 month open season this year. That’s 3,500,000 pounds of red snapper in just 60 days with only a 2 fish per person limit. We dispute that estimate and the questionable surveying methods used to come up with it. We do not believe random telephone surveys and dockside intercepts are reliable data enough to cause the closing any fishery.

As a result of those highly questionable numbers, recs have then exceeded their total allowable catch by more than 1.5 million pounds. To make up for it, it is unlikely the red snapper season will be opened at all in 2010. The Gulf is overrun with red snapper but random telephone survey data says you took too many in the 60 day season. We are vigorously disputing that and recently filed a lawsuit against the NMFS for using data that has been deemed “fatally flawed” by independent scientists to shut down fishery after fishery.

Amberjack

“Allowable catches” of amberjack have been now been dropped to extremely low levels. So much so that even with a one fish limit The NMFS said too many had been taken by October this year and shut down the fishery. (again using questionable estimating procedures) We feel that this TAC-total allowable catch is unreasonably low and are working on getting it reexamined.

The South Atlantic fiasco

The South Atlantic Council is just about to pass a rule that bans all bottom fishing in the Atlantic Ocean out to 250 feet of water to protect red snapper, which they claim are completely wiped out (Most fishermen and 2 independent studies disagree). Since you might catch and release a red snapper when you fish for grouper, flounder, or amberjack, they are banning all bottom fishing in the ocean from Florida to North Carolina! This is a fact. It will set a scary precedent for us here on the Gulf in the near future. We are there fighting for reasonable management and rejection of this amendment however the outlook is not good.  

Recreational fishing quotas

President Obama has appointed a woman that comes from what many consider to be the largest anti-fishing organization in the nation-The Pew Charitable Trust to head the National Marine Fisheries Service. Among other plans she has fast-tracked since she has been in office is to mandate implementation of national recreational fishing quotas. Yes, that’s right, you would get x amount of fish per year and that’s it. I personally was invited to participate on a task force to come up with a hurry-up plan for rec quotas. Our input along with others has temporarily stalled this plan but she is still pressing very hard for it and she is the boss. The FRA remains adamantly opposed.  Ms. Lubchenko also wants to create a zoning system for the oceans and bays where only certain activities are allowed in each zone. Fishing would be off limits in much of it. This plan, known as The National Oceans Policy is racing thru with the full support of every environmental group in the US. It will be VERY bad for anglers.



There are dozens more issues that will adversely impact the recreational fishing community. Those are just a few off the top of my head. The system has gone haywire.



In some cases there are legitimate concerns over fish stocks and we fully support the regulation needed to keep the stocks sustainable and abundant. We all benefit from healthy stocks. We are opposed, however, to slashing recreational catches or the elimination of limited harvest for such thriving species such as Gulf red snapper simply because the anti-fishing lobby doesn’t like it and they have manipulated things to make them appear worse than they really are. It happens everyday and that is why we exist.  



We at the FRA are fighting for all recreational anglers on a minimal budget and we need all the help we can get. We need YOUR help. We attend virtually all fisheries meetings private and public, we have members on numerous fisheries advisory panels, and have friends in the research and management communities, we are helping develop a better data collection and estimating procedure, and much, much more. Just last week we found out that we had success squelching a proposed ban on the harvest of all permit in the state of Florida. The data and bogus claims were was bad and we proved it. As a result, you will be allowed to keep a few permit next year. That’s what we do, fight for recreational anglers. Hiring scientists and attorneys to work on recreational anglers behalf and lobbying for your right to a reasonable amount of fish is however expensive and for some reason recreational participation in all of this is tepid at best.  



Please join us today and help seek fairness in fisheries management. Your membership funds will be applied directly to the fight for your fishing rights.  



You can join and or make a donation at the FRA website: WWW.TheFRA.org or by mailing a check to the address listed.



Thanks for your help



Link Posted: 12/18/2009 1:32:03 PM EDT
The fishing laws change with such regularity these days that I can barely keep up.....  





Link Posted: 12/18/2009 1:46:53 PM EDT
Is there a little bit of hype in that to help increase donations   Fish seasons being closed has been here for awhile now.
Link Posted: 12/18/2009 7:30:14 PM EDT
Hype two grouper per person that we have today is a good thing ?? Maybe you should really get a grasp on the liberal agenda. They do not want you or I or anyone on the water period. Liberals shoot for the moon knowing they will get scraps, but they do this every year and every year the rules change and they get scraps while people like yourself say maaa its all hype there not going to keep us from fishing it will never happen. The conservative agenda however goes for logical statistics asks for the minimum and gets less. We need to start using there same agenda. Shoot for 25 Grouper , Amber jack, Snapper etc, and settle for 5. What are you going to do when they shut down fishing for a year ?? Once its gone buddy its not easy to get back. People better wake up and take a look around. Hey no way were they gonna get health care through either. The fat lady aint sung yet but she is warming up her voice. Fuel will never hit $5 DUH oh yeah that already happened. The dollar will never be worth less than the paper its printed on, will see. A racist, Marxist, African American president of the USA that surely will never happen. Human influenced Global Warming yeah I hate it when 1 Volcano erupts doing more damage then all of mankind can muster in years. Maybe we should be at war with the volcano's. IN GOD WE TRUST, PRAYER, PLEDGE ALEGENCE TO THE FLAG , OH that would never happen either. WAKE UP LOOK AROUND YOU TAKE NOTICE OF WHATS GOING ON HERE , Merry Christmas thats my rant for the day
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 3:31:38 AM EDT




Originally Posted By Narcoholic:

Hype two grouper per person that we have today is a good thing ?? Maybe you should really get a grasp on the liberal agenda. They do not want you or I or anyone on the water period. Liberals shoot for the moon knowing they will get scraps, but they do this every year and every year the rules change and they get scraps while people like yourself say maaa its all hype there not going to keep us from fishing it will never happen. The conservative agenda however goes for logical statistics asks for the minimum and gets less. We need to start using there same agenda. Shoot for 25 Grouper , Amber jack, Snapper etc, and settle for 5. What are you going to do when they shut down fishing for a year ?? Once its gone buddy its not easy to get back. People better wake up and take a look around. Hey no way were they gonna get health care through either. The fat lady aint sung yet but she is warming up her voice. Fuel will never hit $5 DUH oh yeah that already happened. The dollar will never be worth less than the paper its printed on, will see. A racist, Marxist, African American president of the USA that surely will never happen. Human influenced Global Warming yeah I hate it when 1 Volcano erupts doing more damage then all of mankind can muster in years. Maybe we should be at war with the volcano's. IN GOD WE TRUST, PRAYER, PLEDGE ALEGENCE TO THE FLAG , OH that would never happen either. WAKE UP LOOK AROUND YOU TAKE NOTICE OF WHATS GOING ON HERE , Merry Christmas thats my rant for the day




You're new here, aren't you?
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 7:43:21 AM EDT
All I can say is the ban and reduced limits aimed at RECREATIONAL fishermen, such and I, are total bull shit.  In August, we struck out towards the northeast edge of the Florida Middle Grounds and were on Red Snapper like stink on shit the very second we stopped the boat.  We got on Red Snapper, Red Grouper, and Amber Jack IMMEDIATELY with no hint or idea of where to go.  

During the cooler months, we will strike a trail out of St. Marks and within 20 miles of the coast, we limit out on Gag's with little to no effort.  In short, we hardly NEVER have a hard time finding fish.  To add to that, it appears we have little to no other boats within 5 to 7 miles of us.  There have been times during the week (M-F) that we see NO boats past the 10 mile mark.  

Personally, and I could be wrong, the increased costs in fuel, bait, maintenance, etc has already helped reduce the amount of recreational fishermen out there.  This past year, I sold my 19' CC simply because my brother's 25' Pro-Line with Volvo Diesel power gets us ANYWHERE reasonable at half the cost.

I'm simply NOT BUYING the claim that fish #'s are in danger to the point that a ban is necessary.  To me, it's about $$ and the government planning to sell permits to COMMERCIAL fishing operations in the future... just go ahead and fuck the little guy... it's a grand plan I think is in the works.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 9:00:39 AM EDT
Snook are doing bad too.
Oh and they are not hitting Catch 2000's in Joe's Creek right now.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 9:34:12 AM EDT
A fishing thread that Slug-O didn't start?
Something is fishy here.
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 9:56:42 AM EDT
All of this comes from absolutely BAD SCIENCE.
Remember the old saying, "Figures don't lie, but lairs sure can figure." This is what they are doing to get the "fish are in trouble" numbers to back the closures.

Join the FRA and help the fight. www.TheFRA.org
Link Posted: 12/19/2009 10:05:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mushroomhead130:
A fishing thread that Slug-O didn't start?
Something is fishy here.




Laws only work if everyone abides by them..................this is bullshit.........


I edited what I really thought should be done..................




















Link Posted: 12/20/2009 6:08:50 AM EDT
If there is a complete ban, The only people fishing out there will be boats flying flags of a different country. They will have no bags limits, they will have no size limits, they will fish how ever they see fit be it long lines, nets, traps etc,  and they will rape our coast for everything it has BELIEVE IT.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 6:30:15 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Narcoholic:

<snip>




They will have no bags limits, they will have no size limits, they will fish how ever they see fit be it long lines, nets, traps etc,  and they will rape our coast for everything it has.


Kinda like it was in the 60's before any regulations.



 
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 6:59:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Narcoholic:
If there is a complete ban, The only people fishing out there will be boats flying flags of a different country. They will have no bags limits, they will have no size limits, they will fish how ever they see fit be it long lines, nets, traps etc,  and they will rape our coast for everything it has BELIEVE IT.


It's quite hard to for a foreign flagged vessel to get a federal fisheries permit, if at all.  I suggest your read 50 CFR under fisheries for a better understanding of fishing regulations as it applies to commercial fisheries in federal waters.  For example, due to the economy and the extension of the Long Line Buoy Gear Restricted Area most commercial boats have not gone out.  At the depth they are going out the only grouper they’re harvesting is deep-water grouper, which was closed I believe (I can’t remember the date off the top of my head.).  Also in the last 4 years the Gulf Reef Fish fishing fleet has gone from 1200 permitted vessels, down to 800 or something.  The observer programs NMFS has in place gets a statistical number throughout the gulf of fish population as well as historical data from years past.  Does it work 100%?  Hell no. They have other data collection systems as well that adds data.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 7:38:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2009 7:42:53 AM EDT by Speargun_]
Originally Posted By apricotshot:
Originally Posted By Narcoholic:
If there is a complete ban, The only people fishing out there will be boats flying flags of a different country. They will have no bags limits, they will have no size limits, they will fish how ever they see fit be it long lines, nets, traps etc,  and they will rape our coast for everything it has BELIEVE IT.


It's quite hard to for a foreign flagged vessel to get a federal fisheries permit, if at all.  I suggest your read 50 CFR under fisheries for a better understanding of fishing regulations as it applies to commercial fisheries in federal waters.  For example, due to the economy and the extension of the Long Line Buoy Gear Restricted Area most commercial boats have not gone out.  At the depth they are going out the only grouper they’re harvesting is deep-water grouper, which was closed I believe (I can’t remember the date off the top of my head.).  Also in the last 4 years the Gulf Reef Fish fishing fleet has gone from 1200 permitted vessels, down to 800 or something.  The observer programs NMFS has in place gets a statistical number throughout the gulf of fish population as well as historical data from years past.  Does it work 100%?  Hell no. They have other data collection systems as well that adds data.

Like stopping people at the ramp, counting their fish, then extrapolating for the rest of the rec. fishery.
Or calling your house and asking how many of what you caught last time you went out.
I think it worked out to be something like .003% of the total recreational sector were surveyed & then the numbers were extrapolated from that.

The sad thing is, when Florida had the absolute worst hurricane season in memory, and there was only (iirc) 5 to 10 actual days that a boat could have gone out in the gulf due to weather, NMFS said that recreational sector more than DOUBLED it's catch compared to the same time period the previous year.
I call

During the same time frame, the commercial sectors numbers where in line with reality. Their numbers showed a decrease in fish caught, compared to the same time frame from the previous year, that corresponded with the number of days that they could fish during the hurricanes. All of this was brought up during a federal lawsuit by the FRA and the independent scientists determined that the NMFS data collection methods were "Fatally Flawed." Yet they still use the exact same methods to determine fish stocks because the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires them to use the "best AVAILABLE science." No matter if the science is fatally flawed. It's all they have right now, (and they have made no effort to change it) so it's what they are going to use to push the closure of the recreational fishing sector.

/Rant Off


Link Posted: 12/20/2009 8:58:23 AM EDT
If you really want to know all of their reseearch methods, I suggest using the Freedom of Information Act.  With Obama's "release everything" directives, you will get all your answers on how they exactly report thier numbers.  Write down your question and mail it in to Sustainable Fisheries Dept, and they will have 30 days to retrieve your answers.  After that and you have looked at all the real data, you can call BS all you want.
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:06:23 PM EDT
My son is going to the Keys to visit my bil for a week.  Bil says the front side has been like glass, but recently started blowing up.  The backside should remain... calm.  Great for spearfishing!
Link Posted: 12/20/2009 4:15:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EarlBypass:
My son is going to the Keys to visit my bil for a week.  Bil says the front side has been like glass, but recently started blowing up.  The backside should remain... calm.  Great for spearfishing!


Lobster season is still open Tell him to get the stamp
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