— The Secretary determines that such 10-year (rebuilding) period should be extended because the cause of the fishery decline is outside the jurisdiction of the council or the rebuilding program cannot be effective only by limiting fisheries activities.
— The Secretary determines that such 10-year period should be extended to provide for the sustained participation of fishing communities or to minimize the economic impacts on such communities, provided that there is evidence that the stock of fish is on a positive rebuilding trend.
— The Secretary determines that such 10-year period should be extended for one or more stocks of fish of a multi-species fishery, provided that there is evidence that those stocks are on a positive rebuilding trend.
— The Secretary determines that such 10-year period should be extended because of a substantial change to the biomass rebuilding target for the stock of fish concerned after the rebuilding plan has taken effect.
— The Secretary determines that such 10-year period should be extended because the biomass rebuilding target exceeds the highest abundance of the stock of fish in the 25-year period preceding and there is evidence that the stock is on a positive rebuilding trend.
I forget where I read it, but it takes scientists like 4 or 5 population cycles to accurately predict where a fish population is headed in the future. They started studying flounder in 1980 and that is 3/4 of ONE CYCLE. They basicallly want to reach an all time historic high, which seems just to be a somewhat-educated guess of a historic high, in about 1/3 of the timeframe that they have actually been studying fluke population. I am an engineer and that is just not solid enough science. Its a start, but grounds for the cutbacks we face? It just doesnt add up unless you look at it from the enviro point of view where they are trying to eliminate the most popular sport fish in New Jersey, they are trying to stop every kid from experiencing his first fishing trip in the salt, they are trying to stop every family from spending a summer day on the water.
I really hope Pallone gets this bill through and I get so frustrated with the nay-sayers who seem to support a 10 year rebuilding frame. In theory we all think its a great idea, in reality fisheries management should be based on the cycles of all fish in the ocean and based on the entire ecosystem that must be in balance. There has probably never been in a time in the history of this planet that all fish were present at record levels at the same time. It just cant happen. We can record numbers of each species if keep pushing this style of management, but we will have record numbers of small, skinny, unhealthy fish. We can see record levels of fluke again, but we cant force it on the ecosystem in a 10 year time frame and trying to rebuild each stop to record levels simultaneously is assanine. Science should be able to predict the carrying capacity for a given species based upon the current ecosystem and adjust as the ecosystem grows stronger. Record levels of each fish species simultaneously is not the carrying capacity of the ocean.
GREAT post, Ryan! What this comes down to is the fact that those who wish to "rebuild" fisheries in the name of environmentalism are the same folks who oppose fishing on principle. "Conservation at all costs" is the mentality these folks have held for years, and they finally have the ear of those politicians who feel this is a large enough voting bloc.
In the end, it's not about rebuilding fisheries for these people - it's about stopping fishing, hunting and any interaction between humans and other species for food or other purposes.