Stellwagen Bank Closure

CaptDave

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Not sure if most folks are aware of this but the New England Fisheries Management Council is meeting this week and will be voting on proposed closures to Stellwagen Bank for charter party and recreational fisherman. This will only be the beginning and letters of support or opposition can be sent and must be received by Monday 17 June. Here is a sample letter that you can edit to your needs and send by email to [email protected]
with subject line "Habitat Comments" and ask that the comments be added to the correspondence file for the NEFMC Meeting on June. The meeting is next week We need everyone's support on this because it is my opinion they will use this as a start to close Stellwagen Bank to all fishing. Thanks in advance.

Dave



Mr. Tom Nies
New England Fisheries Management Council
50 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

Dear Mr. Nies:

I am writing to you as an owner and operator of a charter boat fishing out of Green Harbor, MA regarding the proposed habitat protection measures that have been drafted and are being considered by the New England Fisheries Management Council. I strongly oppose any changes to the Western Gulf of Maine closed area and strongly support Alternative 1, No Action.

Additional closed areas for the charter/party and recreational angler will create an adverse effect on a sector that is already operating under rules with strict bag limits, minimum size limits, a hard TAC and a five and a half month closed season on GOM cod. If the SERA II is put into place boats fishing out of the South Shore of Massachusetts will be forced to transit greater distances up to 40 NM to locate cod and haddock for anglers to take home for dinner. Currently we are already fishing over 28 NM from our homeport.

I also have major concerns this will affect our tuna and shark charters as we often fish for ground fish while drifting to allow customers a chance to go home with a few cod and haddock. There will also be new regulations regarding to enforcement. I presume boats would be required to remove all bait and hooks from fishing rods and have all fish on board gutted and stowed when transiting from outside of the area (similar to the seasonal closure on Whale Back). This will create additional hardships for boats fishing to the northeast which need to transit through this area on the way back to homeport.

It is my understanding the Vessel Trip Reports (VTR) data used to determine where the SERA would take place was from over three years ago when the cod stock was healthier and boats were able to locate fish on Stellwagen Bank on the shoal water (15-25 fathom). Since going to catch shares where a concentration of large draggers fishing 24/7 on the bank in the winter and spring, the charter/party and recreational anglers have been forced to fish east of the bank (WGOM) in order to locate cod and haddock. An analysis of the past two years of VTR data would clearly indicate this change in fishing locations.

The recreational angler has little impact on the bottom using hook and line to harvest fish for personal consumption. Creating a SERA and shutting out the recreational angler will have no benefit to the protection of juvenile cod compared to the massive amount of juvenile fish eaten daily by spiny dog fish and seals in the area. Any changes other than Status Quo, Alternative 1 will hurt both recreational and commercial fisheman.

Respectfully,

David Waldrip
Charter Boat Relentless
 

Old Mud

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CaptDave

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Don,

There is a form letter (take action) by a group called ocean river.org ad they have collected thousands of letters to put this research area in and also the CLF, Oceana and all the others support this. We need letters from everyone even if you don't fish Stellwagen please send a letter stating you are in oppostion of the SERA (Sanctuary Ecological Research Area) in the WEstern Gulf of Maine and support Option 1, Status Quo. Thank You and Don, they do want to expand eventually all the way up to the fingers. The grand schedme is to make the entire Sanctuary a NO FISHING ZONE, don't believe it if they tell you that is not true. Come on guys from NY, NJ, ME, NH, CT, RI and even those AK pot fisherman and gillnetters, please email the NEFMC NLT Monday, it only takes ten minutes of your time.

Here is the scary MEMO from the Council, and notice there are planned closures all over the Northeast.

http://www.nefmc.org/habitat/cte_mtg_docs/130611/Doc 2 - Memo objectives and alternatives.pdf

Thank You.

Dave
 

amarshall

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During one of the gun debates ,one of the ammo companies made this great website that allowed you to input your name and it automatically emailed all of your senators with a form letter.

We need a similar action for this.
 

CaptDave

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Anyone Sending Letters

I am seeing over 275 views on this but little response, is anyone at all besides, myself, Andy and Don sending letters? This is a very important issue and only takes ten minutes of your time.

Thanks,

Dave
 

Old Mud

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offshore31

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I'm up north, but sent in a revised version of your letter. As you said, this is just the start. More of Jeffries will be next.

thanks
 

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