Please read - charter boat limited access crap coming up again

leaky

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Hi,

See the below email - this is in regard to the previous Limited Access thread I started in 2019: Proposed Limited Access into Party & Charter Groundfish Fishery - Please read

In short they are once again working on making it so if you want to start a new charter business you will not be able to just buy an open-access permit like is possible today. This type of limited access has nothing to do with fish stocks, bag limits, quotas, or any of that, it is purely a response to a handful of charter captains who do not want competition from new guys in their fishery. This sort of thing really should be illegal but they are continuing on with it.

The feedback from that last round of Limited Access business was generally not in favor of proceeding w/ Limited Access and it seemed like the concept was tabled/ended. Next what happened was, for reasons I do not understand, some folks involved with the fishery decided it needed to be further studied via a "white paper" they were going to write about the feedback. After that it turned into giving the public a survey with the idea that "well maybe more people would be for limited access if we provided how it would be implemented". So what they are trying to do is seek input to go and create another round of more targeted attempts at finding support for this stupid idea.

In short I'm hoping enough people will again see through this crap and will be willing to fill out a short survey (see the link in the full blurb below or quickly where I pasted it here), which hopefully will put an end to the BS:

online feedback tool

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Subject: October 5 updates - Limited Entry Strawman - Party/Charter Groundfish Vessels


Dear interested parties in the recreational groundfish fishery,

There are several updates today regarding outreach around the development of a strawman for a limited entry program in the recreational party/charter fishery:

1. Register for the meeting. The Council and Tidal Bay Consulting are hosting a public meeting today from 4-6:00 PM. Register on the Council's website.

2. Read the meeting materials. The background document and presentation for this meeting are posted on Tidal Bay Consulting's website. The background document is also attached to this email.

3. Provide feedback online. The online feedback tool is scheduled to go live today by 7:00 PM. The target audience for participants includes: recreational anglers, party/charter vessel owners, hired captains and crew on party/charter vessels, as well as staff and members of recreational fishing associations. Anyone may provide feedback using this tool, even if you participated in the public meeting. Feedback will be accepted for two weeks through 5:00 PM on October 19th, 2020.

4. Host a meeting for your community. If anyone would like to coordinate an online meeting for your fishing association or community, please email me with the date and time, and I will plan a webinar and facilitate the meeting. These meetings must be held within the comment period from October 5-19, 2020.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Jessica Joyce
Contractor, New England Fishery Management Council
 

leaky

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This was my commentary on the previous thread on the same topic from 2019.

The first thing I should state is I'm on the NEFMC Recreational Advisory Panel (which is where we make recommendations for how they should proceed with groundfish regulations concerning party/charter/private boats, that are generally followed), and this has been a hot topic for the decade or so I've been on the panel; for so many years it failed to proceed as a recommendation by a narrow margin, lately it has been passing by a similarly narrow margin. I strongly disagree with the rationale for limited access into this fishery as well as the motivations behind it.

From what I've seen there are only a handful of charter boat captains pushing for these changes; a far larger majority were opposed, and a few went along for the ride. Recently they changed the control date from 2006 to 2018 (ie so the date they might use for limited access became basically the current date) and that makes Limited Access less of a concern for the majority of those in the fishery since they are potentially not impacted by Limited Access regulation - it does not mean everyone agrees rather it creates some passiveness on the topic so more may now go along for the ride and make this a real possibility.

The first thing to point out are these proposals have nothing to do with preservation/status of fish stocks, nor are they being pushed by those who make the regulations, nor are they being pushed by science. They are being pushed by a few established charter boat captains who I've heard make comments openly in meetings like "well if things get good we do not want a bunch of new guys jumping into the fishery"; they claim due to tenure they deserve limited access like you see in many commercial fisheries and that the government should control the supply of party/charter boats operating to prevent competition for those who have been in the business longer...

The major difference between the party/charter fishery and a commercial fishery is there is no quota to divide among these boats, nor is there any "real estate" to divide among the boats like you might see in a lobster fishery. There is a quota shared among all recreational boats, private, party, and charter - you could have 1000 charter boats, or a single charter boat, and literally the regulations per angler remain the same. The "resource" the party/charter boats compete for are their fares, the general public who boards these boats.

It only makes sense to me to let the businesses compete, as should happen in an economy like ours, and the stronger businesses will survive - which may or may not be those with the most tenure, but that is how a free economy is supposed to work. During times of plenty demand will increase (and those "new guys" will get in), during times of drought the number of business operating will diminish but if any survive it will be the best. I do not think we should be looking to the government to pick who is allowed survive...

Another thing to mention is what happens if they do institute limited access for those who are in the fishery and established today - what if you get sick or injured and do not operate for a year? Do you want to potentially lose your permit? What if things are good and you want to run a 2nd boat - do you want to potentially be blocked from doing so or have to buy a permit off someone else?

And for the younger folks who might want to get into this some day - is it fair they have to buy a permit that was once nearly worthless off another boat? Those who will object to this the most some day are too young to even notice.

Overall there is practically nothing good about limited access in this fishery - it only helps a handful and is going to be an unfair headache down the road for many. If you agree with actions toward limited access I ask you to re-consider all the potential consequences - if you disagree with limited access please make comments; the public comments will determine if this moves forward or is put to rest. Often very little of the public comments on such measures, even just 10 comments one way or the other may make the difference for these measures.
 

leaky

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Got this in email today, looks like they are extending the deadline for the survey to the 28th:

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New England Fishery Management Council Seeks Feedback on For Hire Groundfish Limited Entry Template

The New England Fishery Management Council is seeking feedback, via their contractor Tidal Bay Consulting, on a template for a limited entry program for party/charter vessels in the recreational groundfish fishery. Feedback on the template will assist the Council in further refining the elements considered under a strawman proposal. The development of the strawman and public input will assist the Council in deciding whether to develop a limited entry program for the recreational party/charter groundfish fleet in future actions.


You can find more information about recent Council activities related to limited entry in the for hire recreational fishery, and provide feedback here.
 

TAftw

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This is absolute BS. Whether it’s a 6 pack or an inspected vessel, any boat should be able to run fishing charters, sightseeing tours, wine and cheese cruises, dive trips- WHATEVER so long as they meet the safety and licensing requirements set in place by the Coast Guard. A vessel for hire is a vessel for hire, there shouldn’t be any sort of “endorsement” for a specific activity being done on that vessel.

One tiny group of charter boats shouldn’t have the power to exclude others and future generations from having the opportunity to making a living on the water. Running charters is already a hard enough process, and now they want to add more paperwork and expenses to it? Tell me where to sign to get these guys shut down.
 

leaky

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This is absolute BS. Whether it’s a 6 pack or an inspected vessel, any boat should be able to run fishing charters, sightseeing tours, wine and cheese cruises, dive trips- WHATEVER so long as they meet the safety and licensing requirements set in place by the Coast Guard. A vessel for hire is a vessel for hire, there shouldn’t be any sort of “endorsement” for a specific activity being done on that vessel.

One tiny group of charter boats shouldn’t have the power to exclude others and future generations from having the opportunity to making a living on the water. Running charters is already a hard enough process, and now they want to add more paperwork and expenses to it? Tell me where to sign to get these guys shut down.

Thanks man, its good to hear you see it that way too. Please spread the word.

I have been doing everything I can to keep this from happening for over 10 years and the last couple it has been the closest to moving forward.

Way back they had a control date of 2006 for charter boats the topic was extremely controversial. In 2018 they made the control date that current year, so now the self serving who disagreed with it prior are kinda shrugging their shoulders "no harm done to me now". Some disagree but would rather go along with it instead of pissing off esteemed people in the business who are pushing for it, total bullshit.

Anyway, it's very easy, fill out the survey showing you disagree with limited access, and tell your friends to do the same. Those results will be tallied and I will make sure nobody head-in-sand's the public's objection to the idea, but we need to show an objection otherwise they keep rolling with it.

 
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