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Old 10-28-2014, 07:29 PM   #8
Saba Slayer
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Palos Verdes
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one more bit of info

Here's a little bit more info from Joe Exline that he posted on BD...

Well what to say in this thread that would make a difference...

The state (DFW/FGC) has been tasked by the Marine Life Management Act (MLMA) to create Fishery Management Plans (FMP) for all species of recreational or commercial value. Some were mandated to be done immediately and have been in affect for years.

There is now a push to get the rest done and the state picked lobster due to a recent stock assessment that said they were not in trouble and appeared to be a sustainable resource. Jim/Paul have outlined some of the "meaty" issues that were brought up during the creation of the proposed FMP for recreational fishers. BTW: I also attended the LAC meetings and followed the process closely.

During the LAC process as I see it the focus was to document the life history of lobster, devise a model to estimate the stock and trigger management actions, and clean up some issues of "public perception". I can see by some of the posts here there are still some "public perception" issues

The first official presentation of the FMP will be on November 5th in Los Alamitos at that meeting is when I expect to hear/see the result of all the hard work by the LAC and State, and also get a feel for what the Commission members may feel like "adding". There will then be a regulatory process that will take about a year to make any changes they feel are needed to put the FMP into regulation which will provide several opportunities for everyone to chime in...

From my perspective I never talk to reporters because they always bend what they hear to the perspective they want to promote, others do but that is their choice. Let me tell my perspective on what I heard during the process as it relates to issues in this post for the recreational fishery:

70 annual limit: LEO has a huge issue with a few "bad apples" that are taking lobster for profit or personal gain. Some of the stories they told were very interesting from direct selling to all kinds of "bartering". From my understanding the seasonal limit was proposed as a way of possibly giving a "tool" for LEO to control this type of activity. But once that idea hit the table all kinds of "limits" were proposed some quite low without a scientific reason for their support. This appeared to me more a "public perception" issue and was not supported and should not be presented as part of the FMP regulation package.

Conical nets: Some research hinted that conical nets may be slightly more affective but not drastically. Since the hoop net regulations were just completed and no scientific reason was given for removing them was presented this again appeared to me to be a "public perception" issue, others may feel differently.

Clipping/punching a hole in the tail: This appeared to be a tool LEO could use to identify recreational caught lobster that are sold or bartered for personal gain. This was widely supported by the LAC, is used in other lobster fisheries, and seems reasonable to me.

Marking the gear: This was suggested as another tool LEO could use to find people "abusing" the system. I already mark my gear but I do have some concerns over the wording that could be in regulations. What if I borrow gear, what if I take other people with me do I have to remark the gear? Can I have 10 traps on my boat all with my ID on them or someone who is not on the boat?

Not taking females: The purpose of the FMP was to make sure that the population was sustainable and that "triggers" were put in place to indicate there was a problem and what type of action to take should a trigger be met. Since the population appears healthy no immediate changes in take are needed. Not taking females was not presented as an option as I recall nor was it proposed as a possible response to a trigger. I do not think the science was discussed but I may be wrong....

Diver changes: These have always been confusing and appear to be needed.

Change open time/date: Some safety concerns over the midnight start have been raised and the number of calls to DFW is ridiculous about when can I start fishing. Along with the normal "fishing for crab" response brought about a discussion of making the start date during daylight hours. I will wait to see what is presented at the MRC...

There are other issues on the commercial side which I will not cover as I am not a commercial fisherman but none of the changes have anything to do with reducing the catch as the stock appears to be healthy.

You have to remember that the LAC had people from different points of view "don't we all" but what I expect to see addressed are not regulations to reduce catch but tools to identify catch and gear for LEO and possibly some safety issues on opening night...

BTW there are about 30,000 lobster cards sold each year and there is no limit to how many can be sold. This number seems to be fairly stable over the last few years. With less than 50% of those cards reported this leave a "large" data hole. If you want to know how fishery regulators deal with missing data? They put more restrictive regulations in place to make sure there is no chance for a problem... Lack of data is the 800 pound gorilla in this process.
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