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I know it's an emotional topic, but I want to see what everyone thinks about proper resource allocation between recreational and commercial fishermen.

I'm not against commercials being able to make a living, nor am I the type who thinks keeping a few fish to take home is evil. But it seems like every year the nets keep getting thicker and thicker along the beaches. And although some species like stripers have been a phenomenal conservation story, others like blue crabs and flounder seem to be teetering on the edge of a population collapse.

How does everybody out there feel about the subject? Are we properly balancing our fish stocks between recreationals and commercials?
 

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Well this is one of the most difficult questions to answer as a fisherman. The problem I have with regulations is the process by which they are made. I don't feel that fish populations are as much a consideration in the process as local politics and payoffs. Actions are'nt taken till it's too late to mantain a healthy fishery. Until the best interest of the fish is the main concern our fisheries will not be able to mantain a healthy norm.
Although I sympathise with the plight of commercial fisherman I can see in the near future a total collapse in their ability to mantain a living. Just like the farmers I think the government should subsidize them and help retrain them in other fields. It's not that I think we should have the resource to ourselves it's just that our government agencies have shown a total lack of competince in managing our resources, and you cant expect a fisherman who's trying to feed his family to say "Thats enough money for this year the fish population is low so my family won't eat".
 

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crisis management........

No doubt the gubment needs to retrain....
Unfortunately, most of the small guys have already had to retrain themselves. How's the gubment gonna help them? "OK, you guys go fish for skates and dogfish, nobody's wiped them out yet...."

Just like farming, large corporate farmers(agri-business) have pushed out the family farmer. Same thing's happening in fisheries.

Careful, don't pit the Comm's VS. the Rec's. They need to work together. No commercial fisherman I've ever talked to wants to fish it dry. Omega Protein is a different story, though...

Check out Mo's conservation board(link below) if you are interested in this topic. I usually just lurk there because these guys know their stuff, and I'm an amatuer...;-) Many NC official read this board, and Jerry Schill (NC department of fisheries, or whatever) often posts there. There is a good balance of comm's and rec's posting there as well
http://www.fishmojo.com/cgi-bin/noteboards/conserve.cgi
 

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sorry Sandflea, not trying to take readership away from your board.........;-)

Sh**, there are enough lurkers here anyway, they probably already know about it, or don't care.....

Whenya comin to town again????????????
 

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Sorry Bubba I lost respect for the commercial guys when they completely outfished the swords and tunies. Those were the little guys too. Not that I think they should starve but there just are'nt enough fish to support the amount of waterman that try to make a living. I really dont care if there was no commercial fishing at all. I only eat what I catch anyway. I know thats a very closed minded stance but desperate measures......
 

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agreed Russ! Not all the little guys are good guys. Some can't see past tomorrow, but that's true of a lot of people on a lot of issues. And, yes, the resource in many cases is not sustainable enough to handle current pressure.

Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and there's not enough pieces to go around...

There is any interesting dichotomy here. The value in the commercial world is placed on dead fish, while the value in the rec world is placed on live fish.

I don't have an answer to the problem. But I do know that rec's need to become more organized. And, rec's and com's need to work together more.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally posted by Dr. Bubba:
sorry Sandflea, not trying to take readership away from your board.........;-)

Sh**, there are enough lurkers here anyway, they probably already know about it, or don't care.....

Whenya comin to town again????????????
Bubba: Not a problem. Almost everybody who hangs out on fishing boards reads several of them. I don't think that's really a loss.

I'll probably be in town on the 12th. It'll be a busy weekend, but I'd love to get out and do some fishing.

But back to the topic...

The BIGGEST problem I see is that whoever is making the decisions for the commercials doesn't pursue a philosophy of sustainability. The swordfish are wiped out? Let's fish the hell out of dogfish. Striper population crash? Let's fish horseshoe crabs into oblivion. Rather than identifying desirable stocks and fishing them at reasonable levels, they move from species to species, sometimes even dipping into "trash fish" and create a demand, then pursue a slash-and-burn philosophy for five or six years until the resource is no longer viable.

Maybe it's time for anglers on fishing boards here and elsewhere, as well as the publishers of these sites, to start putting together guides during local elections of where candidates stand on fisheries issues.

There are some states who've put particular species out of the range of commercial fishermen altogether (Louisiana--redfish?). Does anybody know about this and how it was accomplished?
 

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they designated red drum with gamefish status. No sale or purchase allowed. Texas did it too, I believe.
 

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Sand Flea,

Sorry to pick this topic up 20 days late, but here is my two cents. While the regulations regarding commercial and recreational fishing may be in opposite corners, I think that we as recreational fisherman must begin to police our own ranks a little closer first. How many times have you been fishing beside someone and watched them keep an undersized fish? I have been fishing several times and watched a small flounder be cut up for bait. While thankfully the number of people with the nerve to do this is small compared to the number of people fishing, this is still a large problem that we could have an immediate impact on. Then we could tackle the commercial regulations with 'our house being clean'.

Just a thought...
 

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Good Point!! we need to educate when ever possible. And if they don't care give them a reason to care (make a phone call).
 

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I was in south Nags Head in November a number of years ago in search of "chopper" Bluefish. Weather was beautiful, water was beautiful, and plenty of surf fishermen...but VERY few Bluefish. Guys were working one school just north of Outer Banks Pier when two haul seiners showed up on the beach and proceeded to net most of the school. Now, each of those hundred or more surf fishermen were pumping $100 or more per day into the local economy, while the two haul seiners got .15 per pound for their catch. What's wrong with THAT picture? I currently have little sympathy for the commercial folks.
 

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the topic that is before us is one that there are no solutions for that i can think of. as a country boy from eastern n.c. that was raised on tobaco and corn i can tell the goverment is not helping the farmer with subs. the tobacco progrm has suffered extensively at the hands of the goverment we have had approx 35% reduction in the tobacco allotment that we worked for and in cases bought and paid for with out the help of the goverment,the commercials are now facing the same regulations and bans. Its the same as us just a different commodity.I am a rec as the fishing goes and dont claim to have any of the solutions. But i can tell you what it is like to have all you have worked for and what our parents,grand parent worked for legislated out of business.I hope i have shed some light on the plight we all face some of us more than others.
 

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If they want the population to bounce back the only way is to have rest years on the particular species. Every one will miss the fish on the menu for the year and commercial fisherman may need some subsidize, but then again the rest of us have to suffer unemployment in a forever changing economy so why do we need to hail the commercial fisherman, tough luck but the compromise must be made.
 

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just got back from washington nc and checked on crabs females and mixed $10/doz...large $15/doz dealer A.....dealer B. $15 and 25 40 dol a bu. mixed
a bu. crab weighs at 40 lbs. these bu. were not 40lb ...the mixed wereway too small...we culled them out when i was a comm. crabber...this was shameful to see....and folks want to know why there are no big crabs!!!Even the crabs they were selling as large ( not no.1 jimmy crab) wouldn,t have made it in the years from 1970 to 1990..
 
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