So ASMFC ruled that everybody has to take an 18% cut in the fishery. I am telling you with the state of the stocks that may not be enough, but that is another matter.
The reductions that VMRC put on the recreational fishery in August/Sept. was deemed a 24% (or so cut). This cut hurt a lot of charter captains on the eastern shore who target the 40-plus inch fish. It also put a hurt on a lot of recreational fishermen who are of the attitude that if I can only keep one fish per person why should I go.
Me I am 2 inches away from saying that we should shut the entire fishery down for 3 years in order to let the stocks come back.
Here is the kicker. VMRC staff is trying to minimize impact on the commercial fishery. So here is there proposal.
1. The commercial fishery is managed by an ITQ (individual transferable quota). By design there is a certain fraction of the allowed harvest that is never harvested. The number that sticks in my mind is kind of 200,000 pounds out of 1,064,997 pounds. Maybe it is less than that. VMRC staff is asking that that number (maybe it is 50,000 pound I can not remember) be subtracted from any commercial reduction.
2. Since the recreational sector is taking a 24% cut instead of the required 18% cut. That the difference, in pounds, is subtracted from the required commercial cuts.
Bottom line Staff recommend that the required cut for the commercial quota for the bay be on the order of 7.8%.
John Bello (VSSA) and I were the only two on the VMRC FMAC committee that voted against this option. I am hoping that I can make it to the Commission meeting on Tuesday to object to this option and request that the Commission apply the Gander Principle (as in what is good for the goose). As a dead minimum the Commercial sector should take the ASMFC required 18% reduction.
What can you do? Send an email to
and tell him that the reductions in the recreational fishery are enough and that you want to see the Virginia commercial fishery take similar cuts or at least the 18% reduction required by ASMFC.
PS IMO once the balance is lost between the commercial and recreational quotas is changed it will never be corrected when/if the fishery [email protected]>