Study targets fishing gear for bluefin fishermen

greg

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I saw this on another site and thought it was interesting....

Those of you who longline may have another term for it. :rolleyes:

From the Gloucester Times

A research scientist at Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center in Miami is in the homestretch of a pilot study showing that substituting two types of fishing gear for pelagic long-lines might eliminate the bycatch of severely overfished bluefin tuna in their northern Gulf of Mexico spawning grounds.

The findings could have implications for fishermen who catch tuna in the Gulf of Maine. The University of Massachusetts’ Large Pelagics Research Center, located in Hodgkins Cove and headed by Gloucester resident Molly Lutcavage, is tracking bluefin tuna migrations between the two gulfs.

The preliminary findings of David Kerstetter and several graduate students are seen as important because bluefins are among the world’s priciest and most exploited fish.

The northern Gulf of Mexico is one of a few spots where bluefins are known to reproduce, and many are caught accidentally by commercial long-line fishermen targeting yellowfin tuna and swordfish. To make matters worse, the 2010 BP oil spill might have taken out large numbers of bluefin larvae because it occurred in the middle of the spawning season, scientists have said.

Atlantic bluefin fishing is almost entirely limited to hook and harpoon — much of it based off Gloucester, as chronicled in the National Geographic channel’s Gloucester-based reality show, “Wicked Tuna.”

Kerstetter, who has extensive experience with the commercial buoy gear fishery for swordfish in southeast Florida, wanted to find out whether substituting that equipment — as well as commercial “greenstick” gear — for miles of baited surface hooks in the Gulf would result in less bycatch of bluefins and other species such as sea turtles and billfish. So, for the past year, he and several graduate students have been working with four commercial fishing boats to switch from long-lines in the Gulf.

Buoy gear consists of a floating, lit-up marker attached to a mainline with one or two branch lines, each with a baited hook. When a fish strikes, it pulls the buoy across the surface, alerting the fishermen to retrieve it. Greenstick gear consists of a pole mounted amidships trolling a mainline behind the boat that holds five to 10 “drop lines” baited with plastic squid that skip across the surface. When a fish bites the baits, the mainline breaks away from the greenstick and is retrieved by a hydraulic winch. Both systems are tended immediately when a fish hits, while pelagic long-lines have up to 40 miles of baited hooks dangling just beneath the surface that might not be hauled back until long after hooked fish or other species are dead.

After 150 fishing days beginning in March 2012 using greenstick equipment to target yellowfins and buoy gear for swords, Kerstetter said his group observed more than 16,000 pounds of yellowfin and more than 3,000 pounds of swordfish landed — without a single catch of bluefin tuna, sea turtles or marine mammals. Small numbers of other species were caught — including wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna, white marlin and blue marlin — with nearly all released alive, Kerstetter said.

The preliminary findings from the study, which will go on for several more months, emerge as NOAA Fisheries is poised to propose a rule to reduce bluefin tuna bycatch.

Kerstetter says it might be possible for commercial fishers to make more money catching fewer fish using the alternative gear.

“You don’t need as much crew, or boat or gear,” he said. “You can land fewer fish and make the same or more money doing it because the product quality is higher.”

Also, this link was offered (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/by_catch/docs/hms_green_stick_overview.pdf) which states that quality is lower on greenstick than pll. Someone argued it's because of lactic acid. Can't you just swim out a fish?
 
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petrel

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I'm not a longliner, but I know a few.

"make more money catching fewer fish?"- sounds nice, but only if you have that HQ market.

Then why do all the guys at Wanchese who are knocking it down set miles of gear instead of fucking around with buoys or sticking (the green type)? They are fishing small crews on short trips, but longlining is obviously a better gig for them than sticking and as for setting just a few hooks on buoys (wouldn't that be a short-line?) that seems retarded if you have the means to set miles of gear.

I think UMass Pelagics could be pissing down someone's back.
 

hntrss

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Yeah, sounds good. "give up your longline gear and you get a free greenstick". More of our govt dollars hard at work.
 

jim

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After 150 fishing days beginning in March 2012 using greenstick equipment to target yellowfins and buoy gear for swords, Kerstetter said his group observed more than 16,000 pounds of yellowfin and more than 3,000 pounds of swordfish landed — without a single catch of bluefin tuna, sea turtles or marine mammals. Small numbers of other species were caught — including wahoo, dolphin, blackfin tuna, white marlin and blue marlin — with nearly all released alive, Kerstetter said.

Do the math here. 16000lbs YFT / 150 fishing days = 106lbs per day(about 3 dressed fish ) 106lbs x $5(not realistic)=$530 bucks per day

Even at a market high of about $5 per lb that wont come close to paying for the fuel to troll around all day with a greenstick.

3000lbs of swordfish /150 fishing days = 20lbs of swordfish per day(1/4 of one swordfish core per day)
20lbs x $4 = $80....LOL

So after running 90 miles out into the gulf of Mexico, trolling all day and buoy fishing all night you are looking at a GROSS of $610 bucks per day. Subtract fuel, bait, tackle, food, ice, oil changes, etc. I dont think the longliners are going to be trading in their PLL gear for greensticks anytime soon. The ex vessel prices of YFT and swords would have to be three times as high to make this gear viable and with the amount of imports pouring into this country that will never happen.
 
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petrel

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What a joke; it would be one thing if they did the study and quickly found out the experimental fisheries were not viable in that area, and they admitted it. But to have 150(!) days of data that clearly indicated the fisheries were not even worth the fuel, and they still want to argue that's the way of the future for the Gulf of Mexico (where the fish are so close to port- LOL.) What is scary is that they can probably convince NOAA that these low impact methods are the only way to go. Which is really what they want. Then they can say "you can fish here, but only this way." And when it's not worth doing, they will have stopped fishing there, but not closed it to fishing. Same reason they want the catch shares; then ultimately the enviros can buy out the fisheries.
 
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jim

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Exactly Petrel! All the while imports from countries that follow no regulation continue to pour in.

This crap is brought to you by the same clowns that classified greensticks as longlines years ago. It took a few years of "studies" before they figured out they were nothing alike. As far as swordfishing goes they are about to open a general catagory permit(like GBFT) that would make a swordfish handgear permit worthless. Anyone that has had skin in the game for years will suffer but Joe Googin with a center console now gets to sell his swordfish after its been sitting on his deck in the sun for a day. The added quota being caught will close swordfishing down earlier and longliners and hand gear permit holders will once again take a beating. NMFS HMS division are a pack of morons.
 

petrel

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Kind of like many years ago they encouraged fishermen to take advantage of sharks which they said were under-utililized. Then they say the sharks can't take the pressure of fishing. So now the shark is sacred to NMFS and those guys who invested inthe fishery had to find something else to do. After such a rebound in swords, the guys who stuck it out through the hard times will surely get screwed w/ what you say is coming. The guys who had a hand in the recovery will get the short-end of the stick. Classic fisheries management in our country. The same people who are trying to screw us out of our moratorium King Mack permits if we bought in too late are planning to open swords to the googans. Unreal.
 
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jim

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According to NMFS HMS they hope to have the swordfish handgear permit up and running by this summer. Its going to be a small bag limit so general catagory holders cant make a living but can just about pay for their gas...maybe. All of this, they say is so the US can catch its quota and not give it away at ICCAT. Its a fuckin joke. How about instead of deputizing a wall street thief that owns a 50 ft viking so he can subsidize his hobby they open some closed areas to guys that fish for a living. Open up some closed areas and let those who have sacrificed catch the quota. Its sad the way HMS operates
 

jim

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Someone explain to me why in the hell I or anyone would want to get back into commercial fishing? Explain to me why I would invest in a boat, permits and gear when I know that sooner or later(more likely sooner) I am going to get screwed by the NMFS. My blood pressure is through the roof just posting about their BS and yet I want to give up a good paying steady job in order to get back into commercial fishing. Truly is the definition of insanity!
 

greg

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According to NMFS HMS they hope to have the swordfish handgear permit up and running by this summer. Its going to be a small bag limit so general catagory holders cant make a living but can just about pay for their gas...maybe. All of this, they say is so the US can catch its quota and not give it away at ICCAT. Its a fuckin joke. How about instead of deputizing a wall street thief that owns a 50 ft viking so he can subsidize his hobby they open some closed areas to guys that fish for a living. Open up some closed areas and let those who have sacrificed catch the quota. Its sad the way HMS operates

I just found the info sheet on it:

NMFS Announces the Availability of Draft Amendment 8 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan for Management of Atlantic Swordfish


http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/newslist/2013/02-22-13_a8_swo_proposed_rule.pdf

Basically it establishes a 3 fish open access bag limit for swordfish north of florida. It's only 1 fish in florida, so it's not going to send the mosquito fleet out. Florida will be managed separately anyway.

I don't think that's going to drive any ll to turn in their permits.

Considering where you have to go to get them, it will only benefit the bays guys and allow them to fish through the night. Could be wrong on that though, its just a first blush reading.

There is also a public hearing scheduled for 3/28/13..

Public Hearing

March 28, 2013


5:30
–

7:30 p.m.

Gloucester, MA

NOAA Fisheries Service

55 Great
Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930


 

jim

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Greg thanks for posting that info.
 
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