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Here?s a quote from one of the presenters, Dr. Russell Nelson from Florida:

"Gamefish status for red drum in Florida triggered an economic windstorm of activity that ranged from the expanding sales of lures, rods and reels to the creation of a new industry devoted to flats boats and most recently a vigorous tournament fishing circuit, all this at a loss of about $500,000 a year in commercial sales."
Russell S. Nelson, Ph.D.
Nelson Resources Consulting, Inc.

Dr. Nelson should know, he was Director of Marine Fisheries for the state of Florida when the red drum ?redfish? was declared a gamefish in that state as they also are throughout most of the Gulf of Mexico.

Same thing could happen along entire EAst Coast when we make the Striped Bass a Federal Gamefish
Support Stripers Forever
 

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Agreed. This is true of many fisheries. What are stripers worth for the comm guys? $2.00/pound (if that)? Makes sense to me, but then, when has fisheries management ever made sense?? :mad:
 

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I know this is gonna piss the commies off... but most of the time when you look @ the economic impact of recreational fisherman compared to commies, recs contribute a lot more per pound of fish caught. I know it costs me 75.00 per pound for fluke
 

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Maybe we should ban farming and build condos on all that land. The economic benifit would be well worth it. What you fail to realise is granting a public resource to a very small percentage of the public isn't fair. Let's pretend stripers are on the decline as these radical groups such as Stripers Forever and Peta are claiming. Should we allow a small harvest of these fish for food, or allow less than 1% of the population to kill these fish for fun? If you look at it this way it might make a little sense.
 

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Pseeker , I don't know if you spent some time in florida and have seen what the redfish fishery is like down there and the amount of money that I and other anglers pour into that economy. Fish are there cash crop and we have a few lessons to learn from that state. The last free state. Don't think just cause its warm down there that there is tons of fish. The carribean is for the most part fished out.I Don't think building condos is conservation. By the way we aren't a very small percentage of the public. People forget why everyone comes to New jersey. Its not for the taxes. And I don't want Blackened Striped Bass on my menu. You should have seen Florida when commercial fishing was at its height.

[ 05-09-2006, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: insomniac ]
 

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Originally posted by pseeker:
Maybe we should ban farming and build condos on all that land. The economic benifit would be well worth it. What you fail to realise is granting a public resource to a very small percentage of the public isn't fair. Let's pretend stripers are on the decline as these radical groups such as Stripers Forever and Peta are claiming. Should we allow a small harvest of these fish for food, or allow less than 1% of the population to kill these fish for fun? If you look at it this way it might make a little sense.
A farmer is free to do as they wish with their farm land. They own it, they actually grow what they sell, they create their own self sustaining resource.

Commercial fishing is in no way related to farming.
 

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While the grotesque unfairness of the legislated ban on the sale of striped bass seems lost on the New Jersey Legislature, it hasn't gotten by Molly Benjamin, a reporter for the Cape Cod Times and an avid recreational fisherwomen.
[to the Seafood for Consumers section]

Pretty soon, just after July 4, New Jersey residents vacationing on Cape Cod get to do something they can't do at home.

Swim in clean water?

Nope, what we have in mind is something that's illegal in New Jersey, but legal in Massachusetts.

In New Jersey, you can't go to a restaurant and order striped bass. In a few weeks, you can easily get incredibly fresh striped bass at dozens of Cape Cod restaurants.

Massachusetts allows the public to eat stripers. New Jersey doesn't.

Isn't that amazing?

I mean, it's not like New Jersey is landlocked. There are literally billions of stripers swimming off the Jersey coast.

It's not that there's some crazy health advisory in effect. New Jersey bass test out just fine.

It's not that Jersey fishermen are so stupid they can't catch a few linesides. They, like their Massachusetts counterparts, will catch zillions of the things this year. The ocean is full of 'em and we have the technology - a rod, reel and baited hook.

The crazy thing is that New Jersey law prohibits selling or marketing striped bass. They can't be sold, not for human consumption, not for anything. (You can sell the right to catch a striper, though, via charterboats and the like.)

In New Jersey, they've chosen not to plug into the American food chain that starts with the harvester and end with a waiter flourishing a pepper grinder over a fine plate of fresh fish.

So: The only people in New Jersey who can eat striped bass are those with the time, inclination, money and access to catch one themselves.

(Well, I guess if you are neighbor to somebody who has all those things down pat, you're handed off a fish once in a while too.)

Why?

New Jersey's army of sportfishers has convinced that state's legislature to ban the sale of stripers. Period.

The result? The anglers get all the fish, all the time. Just them.

Boy, I feel like Rush Limbaugh. The Striper Nazis. Is this whacko, or what?

There is simply no conservation reason for this law. None. Zippo. Bupkis.

Indeed, Rollie Schmitten, who until recently was the top fishery official at the National Marine Fisheries Service, told Congress in 1997 that, "Our information records go back to the 1880s. This year's science showed that there are more striped bass now as at any time of the history of this nation."

If Rollie hadn't been laterally transferred, he'd be even more generous this year. Folks, there's more stripers out there than you can shake an Ugly Stik at.

So how come the Striper Nazis convinced the assembled delegates of the great state of New Jersey to tightly allocate this wondrous fish of all the people to such a small, privileged group?

The anglers have explained how much economic activity is generated by keeping stripers a recreational-only kind of fish. It goes something like this: Rod and other gear expenditures, $50 million; boat charters, $20 million; fuel, beer, grub, $120 million; motels and such, $230 million. And so on.

It's sort of like banning the commercial sale of tomatoes, according to Nils Stolpe, who heads up the Garden State Fishing Association. Compare the two: The gardener spends lots on fertilizer, compost, manure, pesticides, etc.; seed and plants; land costs; gas for the Volvo to drive to the supply store; and so on, which makes most backyard-grown tomatoes worth about $15 a pound.

This, versus the commercially-grown tomato available in the grocery store where anyone can get one for, oh, 49 cents, available to everyone. Stolpe says this is like trying to say we should all have to grow our own tomatoes because they cost so much more, and that is somehow Good.

There's the fear-and-loathing-of-commercial-fishermen argument. Refer to the popular press nonsense about "clear-cutting the ocean bottom," and the like.

Then there's the notion of "greed." But - along the Atlantic States, statistics show recreational fishermen take and kill about seven times the stripers the commercial sector takes. Commercial anglers are licensed, regulated, accounted for and kept tabs on; recreational anglers have no licenses and little constraint. Well, there's minimum sizes and you can only take one fish home a day; but there as here, you can catch them all day long, til your arm grows weary, if you want - and many want. There is a catch-and-release ethic much in vogue among most recreational anglers and all Striper Nazis. Catch the fish, pet it awhile, and let it go. Bye-bye, fishy.

Personally, I find catch-and-release a philosophically complicated thing. I do it, most people do. I know that when trout fishing, chances are high the trout lives to fight another day. Bass fishing is another thing; a huge percentage of recreationally-released stripers die. Both the recreational and commercial fishers end up with dead fish. Only the regulated commercial harvest benefits the general public, which gets food. Good, healthy organic food.

We would like to think that New Jersey's anglers real concern is conservation. We'd like to think they have made serious effort to know the facts about the fish they claim to "protect."

We'd like to think their arguments are not a lot of we-want-it-all, quasi-conservation propaganda.

There are money-minded sportsmen behind that New Jersey law. They're up here proselytizing in Massachusetts, by the way.

Scary, isn't it?

Molly Benjamin is a Times columnist. She can be reached via email: [email protected]
 

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RFA?.......?No more tuna. no more billfish, no more stripers. No more blues, sea bass, dolphin, sea trout, flounder, albacore, redfish, snook, grouper, sharks, tautog...Right now every one of these species - in fact every species of saltwater gamefish - is threatened by the predatory tactics of the politically-powerful commercial fishing groups.? From a brochure produced by the Recreational Fishing Alliance, a sportsfishing organization based in New Jersey with members in a number of Mid-Atlantic and other states....

Commercial harvesting and sportsfishing - who?s catching what?

There?s a common misperception that commercial fishermen - often referred to by the anti-commercial community as ?netters? with the inference that there is something inherently immoral about harvesting fish with a net - are taking much more than their fair share of the fish. We addressed the issue of the ownership of fisheries resources several FishNet editions ago. It seems inarguable that, along with the estimated 16 million U.S. citizens who fish in our estuarine and ocean waters as a hobby, each of the two hundred and forty million U.S. citizens who don?t fish also have a right to these resources. However, in the face of significant declines in some of our important fisheries, we thought it would be interesting to contrast the recreational and commercial landings in the Mid-Atlantic over the past several years.

We started out with the comprehensive records of the domestic recreational and commercial catches the U.S. Department of Commerce has made available through the National marine Fisheries Service?s statistics site on the World Wide Web [ link to NMFS statistics site]. These records can be retrieved by time period, geographical region, harvest method, species, etc., imported into a spreadsheet or database program and subjected to various analyses.

For the purposes of this FishNet we downloaded data for the period 1990 to 1996 from the five Mid-Atlantic states (NY, NJ, DE, MD and VA) on the major warm-water species that support both recreational and commercial fisheries. We omitted species caught more-or-less exclusively by either recreational or commercial methods and we ignored species with a combined catch in the Mid-Atlantic of less than a million pounds a year. This gave us twelve species to examine. As highlighted in the quote below by the chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, our list conveniently duplicated most of a listing of species that are alleged by some sportfishing advocates to be ?threatened? by commercial harvesting. We graphed the total commercial landings (dotted lines) and recreational landings (solid lines) for each of the species. These graphs are on a separate page [[link to comparisons]



?No more tuna. no more billfish, no more stripers. No more blues, sea bass, dolphin, sea trout, flounder, albacore, redfish, snook, grouper, sharks, tautog...Right now every one of these species - in fact every species of saltwater gamefish - is threatened by the predatory tactics of the politically-powerful commercial fishing groups.? From a brochure produced by the Recreational Fishing Alliance, a sportsfishing organization based in New Jersey with members in a number of Mid-Atlantic and other states.

In the aggregate

Considering the amount of attention focused on perceived commercial overharvesting in recent years, we also looked at the total commercial harvest (landings) of our dozen selected species in relation to the reported recreational harvest (fish brought to the dock, used for bait or released dead) as made available by NMFS. Again, the commercial harvest is represented by the dotted line, the recreational by the solid. Bear in mind that this isn?t a measure of the total recreational or commercial harvest in the Mid-Atlantic, just of those species that seem to be most controversial (Note - because of what appear to be significant discrepancies in the reported landings of Spot and Croaker in 1996, these species were omitted. These and other discrepancies, however, shouldn?t detract from the overview of harvesting that is presented).

In spite of what are unquestionably some ?holes? in both the recreational and the commercial data it?s fairly obvious that the commercial fishermen (and the consumers they are fishing for) aren?t getting the majority of all of the fish in the Mid-Atlantic and leaving the sportsmen with empty coolers.


The actual picture in the Mid-Atlantic

Of those species or species-groups that the Recreational Fishing Alliance zeroed in on in its brochure last year, twelve are common in our waters in the summer. Of the twelve, one - billfish - is reserved solely for the recreational anglers. Of those remaining, the NMFS data indicate that six - striped bass, bluefish, sea bass, dolphin, redfish (channel bass) and tautog - have had the recreational harvest exceed the commercial for each year since 1990, three - sea trout (weakfish), albacore (we show all tuna species together) and sharks - are now being harvested at higher levels recreationally than commercially, and one - flounder (fluke and winter flounder) - shows a reasonable balance between recreational and commercial harvest.

In view of these facts it?s hard to avoid asking the question ?when it comes to Mid-Atlantic fishing, who?s really threatening these species??


So what?s really going on?

Due to a number of factors, gauging the condition of fish stocks often presents unique scientific challenges. Management jurisdictions overlap. Fish refuse to remain within administratively convenient boundaries. Fishing efforts respond to economic or environmental conditions (notice the drop in recreational landings in 10 of the 12 species graphed in 1991 - 1992, a year when it rained on more than half of the summer weekends) as much as to the availability of fish. At this point we?re only beginning to look at the interactions between different species or between species and their habitat, while declining budgets have seriously reduced fisheries managers? efforts to effectively estimate populations of fish at sea. We?re increasingly reliant on fisheries dependent measures while it?s becoming increasingly obvious that these may be the least reliable.

However, even granting its shortcomings, the information we have is accurate enough to show that, in spite of some ?doom-and-gloom? predictions of the impacts of commercial fishing, in the Mid-Atlantic as much or more attention should be focused on the impacts of sportsfishing. [link to FishNet 13 dealing with the fisheries "crisis"] Redfish and codfish are two species that have received a lot of media attention in the last several years. Redfish, also known as red drum, achieved national prominence when, as blackened redfish, they were popularized by renowned Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme. Accompanying this prominence was increased market demand, intensified fishing pressure, declining stocks and a drive - successful in a number of states - to declare the species a ?gamefish? and remove it entirely from the plates of the non-fishing public. Codfish is one of several species contributing to the so-called ?collapse? of the New England groundfish fishery. While neither is a primary recreational or commercial fish in the Mid-Atlantic, each is caught in significant numbers and is popular as both recreational quarry and table fare. The commercial landing figures - again indicated by the dotted lines - are in keeping with what should be expected for declining stocks and increased conservation, but what of the recreational effort?

This isn?t to imply that what?s happening to codfish and redfish in our local waters is indicative of fishing for them throughout the rest of their respective ranges. However it does seem to bear out the pattern of recreational and commercial fishing in the Mid-Atlantic region. And probably in other regions as well. The important point is that any fishing activity is going to impact fish stocks. We can?t afford to dismiss the impacts of recreational angling any more than we can have a management establishment unable to see beyond the nets of the commercial harvesters.


New Jersey FishNet is supported by the Cape May Seafood Producer?s Association, The Family and Friends of Commercial Fishermen, the Fishermen?s Dock Cooperative, Lund?s Fishery, the National Fisheries Institute and Viking Village Dock
 

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When you guys are growing your own fish on your own land then you can say you're farmers.

Until then you're nothing more then public resource harvesters. The public will decide how to best utilize those resources, not you guys.

Any time you want to see a farmer get pissed tell them comm fisherman are just like farmers.

[ 05-09-2006, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Bob ECT ]
 

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Well said and to the point. The price of striped bass has been steadily rising. We're hoping for $3/lb this season. The public is speaking.

"The public will decide how to best utilize those resources, not you guys."
 

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Originally posted by pseeker:
Well said and to the point. The price of striped bass has been steadily rising. We're hoping for $3/lb this season. The public is speaking.

"The public will decide how to best utilize those resources, not you guys."
Another commercial fisherman barking up the wrong tree.
 

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The Public in NJ decided to make Bass a gamefish, no sale. The public down south also made Redfish a gamefish and banned gillnets.

Go cry someplace else.

$3 a pound is waste of a resource, it's worth far more recreationally caught.
 

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Just like the tomatoe...

"It's sort of like banning the commercial sale of tomatoes, according to Nils Stolpe, who heads up the Garden State Fishing Association. Compare the two: The gardener spends lots on fertilizer, compost, manure, pesticides, etc.; seed and plants; land costs; gas for the Volvo to drive to the supply store; and so on, which makes most backyard-grown tomatoes worth about $15 a pound.

This, versus the commercially-grown tomato available in the grocery store where anyone can get one for, oh, 49 cents, available to everyone. Stolpe says this is like trying to say we should all have to grow our own tomatoes because they cost so much more, and that is somehow Good."

I can't really put too much stock into some RFA guy's opinion who makes his living selling equipment used in killing fish for fun. The market for fresh fish is huge compared to the relatively tiny segment of the population who kill fish for fun.
 

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You, Sir, are a clueless moron.
 

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Originally posted by pseeker:
Just like the tomatoe...

"It's sort of like banning the commercial sale of tomatoes, according to Nils Stolpe, who heads up the Garden State Fishing Association. Compare the two: The gardener spends lots on fertilizer, compost, manure, pesticides, etc.; seed and plants; land costs; gas for the Volvo to drive to the supply store; and so on, which makes most backyard-grown tomatoes worth about $15 a pound.

it doesn't matter what you say to them they all blame comm fishing for their lack of catching so you are just talking into thin air,most already have their minds made up that they don't like comm fishermen but they don't understand how it goes,the last thing i am going to do is listen to a lawyer,plumber,acountant,etc tell me about the oceans fisheries,if i need to know about taxes or a computer problem yeah i'll call one of them for advice but as far as fish go i will talk to a comm fisherman or a fulltime professional capt.

This, versus the commercially-grown tomato available in the grocery store where anyone can get one for, oh, 49 cents, available to everyone. Stolpe says this is like trying to say we should all have to grow our own tomatoes because they cost so much more, and that is somehow Good."

I can't really put too much stock into some RFA guy's opinion who makes his living selling equipment used in killing fish for fun. The market for fresh fish is huge compared to the relatively tiny segment of the population who kill fish for fun.
 

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Originally posted by Younger:
You, Sir, are a clueless moron.
Who are you to start calling people names,you believe in rec fishing and others believe in comm fishing and how much do you really know about comm fishing have you even spent any time on a comm vessel or do you believe everything you hear,obviously you are a insecure "little man" to call people names from behind a computer screen
 

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I hear ya. It must piss these hillbillies off when they spend thousands of dollars to catch something worth $2/lb and then watch someone make thousands selling the same $2/lb "resource". I'm sure the general public knows who the "morons" are. I guess they want the goverment to step in so it doesn't cost them so much. Just think, if there were fewer fish, the recs would have to spend even more per fish, increasing the "economic benefit."
 
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