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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the 11-5 joint meeting of SFAC and TFAC regarding shortfalls in commercial cost recovery, the SFAC voted down a motion to recommend that the commercial fishermen pay their own way like the recreational fishermen have been doing all along. CCA’s Shawn Kimbro showed them the way with an excellent motion that barely received a second and was later tabled by a 9-3 vote.

Instead, they liked the motion made by CBF’s Bill Goldsborough for the Industry to pay part and lobby the legislature for general funds to cover the rest. Again the vote was 9-3 as a majority of our “alleged” recreational fishing advocates voted to reserve the Industry’s legacy position at the deep end of the public money trough. The minority votes in each case came from Brandon White, Dave Smith and Shawn Kimbro. The Industry didn’t counter with their own motion for the same deal and I have to assume the share of the general funds wasn’t large enough to satisfy their appetite for public money.

I attended the Industry meetings on this subject and, after all the funding taken from recreational fishermen and the general public to subsidize the Industry, I thought it was hypocritical for them to publicly complain that WE weren’t paying OUR way and lobby DNR for increased recreational fees to cover THEIR deficit. The first 46 minutes of one meeting was used up with this lobbying by the Industry at THEIR meeting. I wonder why the SFAC didn’t just vote to give them some more of OUR money? We seem to have plenty of it and no one knows what happened to the increase in fees from 2007 so why not?

Once again, DNR said they were planning to use $1.5 million in “surplus” recreational funds to pay down some of the clean water deficit assigned to the non-fishing community. I’m not sure how we ended up with a “surplus” since we always get the excuse that DNR doesn’t have funding to do anything more for us. In typical fashion, the SFAC just sat there occupying seats at the table and said nothing. Brandon tried to get an explanation but the majority wasn’t interested. However, this commission has never taken a stand against the $4 million in Wallop-Breaux abuses, the violations of state laws requiring annual reports and consultations regarding funding, or the use of $186,000 in sport fish license fees for oyster reefs, for examples.

I always thought it was a shame that the non-fishing public doesn’t have a seat at the table when these decisions are made so they could voice an opinion about how their money is being squandered. However, we recreational fishermen had 12 seats at the table at this meeting but SFAC just sat there and let DNR put us farther under the bus so I doubt the public would have fared any better. We would just need a larger bus.

Ken Hastings
 

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Hastings has told the truth

I thought that Mr. White made a powerful logical argument:

A. The commercial fishermen are running a "for profit business."

B. The license fees are only half the equation: The other side is how much profit [ Legal and otherwise ] is being made...

C. In other words, The commercial guys are Bull$$hitting the DNR, the Legislature, and the Public into subsidizing their very profitable industry.

Many do not see White's brilliance, they listen to burned out lurkers, who have little constructive to say.

Brandon White fights for the bay every week.

Another man that had the courage to stand up for the fish and the citizens of Maryland was the gentle giant, Mr. Shawn Kimbro.

Dave Smith is a stalwart. He goes to every meeting, and he loves this bay.

All three of the men above deserve a handshake and a round of applause.

It seemed to me that some of the Sports Fishing Advisory Commissioners were not on the side of the fish or the Bay.

Mr Hastings has told the truth, The lopsided votes back up his version of events.
 

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Some thing smells fishy ( pun intended ). One month DNR says funds are low , next month says there is extra money.

If there really is 1.5 million extra - love to see DNR bring back the air unit to help catch poachers. Think it was shut down due to around $125,000.00 short fail in budget.

There is some stuff with CBF , MWA and DNR I wish I could prove but tracks were covered fairly well.
 

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I attended the meeting last night and was amazed that Shawn's motion was shot down and that Mr. Goldsborough's was passed. You have to wonder sometimes, just what is going on. Kudo's to Brandon for his statements.

Ele
 

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We have to play the game as it is now, but I really don't see the point of voting in these commission meetings. It only results in division and means nothing. An advisory commission can advise without all the Robert's Rules of Bull ****. What I'd rather have seen at this meeting is just a rotation around the room allowing each commissioner time to state a position. You know, advise. Not only would that be more illuminating to DNR, it would require commissioners to do their homework on the issues.
 

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I thought the entire idea was a farce when it was created and the MSSA sold out to get it approved rather than standing against it with CCA.

I got virtually crucified at an MSSA meeting for even 'questioning' the judgment of those in power and quit the organization that night.

It's politics and it will always be politics. After watching the election results last night, I wouldn't be surprized if the Bay will now be used as a liberal BS waste dump with working people paying for the Drano when it clogs.
 

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Shawn, you are so right. They can actually make all the motions they want and vote all they want on those motions, but it is not law. The DNR does not necessary take their advise, whether it be SFAC or TFAC. They are just what they say they are. Advisement committees.
 

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Pitiful....I was there too. Thanks to Shawn and Brandon and Dave for try'n. Ya'll ain't got much to work with. Someone tell me what CBF does again....Wasn't hard to see that the WMA contributes to their org.......
 

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It's times like these that I'm pleased we only have an advisory committee instead of a commission. Don't count out the DNR leadership just yet. I'm sure there will be more churn on this topic. Sometimes the votes against a motion are more important than the votes for.
 

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Short term action plan: Change the constituency of the SFAC or publicly boycott them.

Gotta go outside the box. When the game is against ya, gotta play a different game, change the rules, or don't play the game at all.

Advisory commissions are creations of the agency, and serve the purpose of dealing with the public on controversial issues so the agency can later claim they had hearings and therefore they (agency) can go ahead and do what they want. Make no mistake, the important decisions are not made at the SFAC meetings.

Long Term Action Plan: Two bits of advice , and the folks that have been here longer, have read this before going all the way back to WWA; the Governor and legislature are the keys to influencing DNR. (Not my idea. This was written by Capt George years ago, before there even was a SFAC, before there was an internet.)

Our present Governor, whether you like his politics or not is determined to put Maryland on a solid fiscal balance between incoming revenues and expenditures. Commercial fishing management is a drain on Md general funds. The Governor has told DNR that they must stop this burden on general funding. The political effects of discontinuing commercial fishing altogether is an unacceptable solution .....or maybe not (discuss this later,)....because the Governor and legislature fear the wrath of voters at the next election cycle.

And there my friends is the Achilles Heel of State Government.... the wrath of a pissed-off electorate. Even the perception of a disgruntled constituency sends every legislator, senator, committee chairman, and elected official into hysterical fits.

Within the DNR, from the Secretary on down to the lowliest position, none of them are elected. Their programs, funding, and marching orders are given to them by elected officeholders. Is it any wonder to whom they are beholden ?

So if you believe, as I do, that the keys to influencing decisions at MD DNR is by electing and supporting officials who will be dependent on recreational votes to survive and to advance their legislation agendas....then the solution becomes amazingly clear.

In just the least amount of bytes : The elected ones have to fear the recreational vote more than that of other user groups.[/

Until we get there, it just spinning wheels as usual.
 

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Additionally, I would like to state that those intrepid souls who have been putting it out there on behalf of my sport fishing interests, by being on the SFAC and other advisories deserve my support and admiration. It's a thankless job, and tiresome. They are vilified by the other stakeholders, treated with suspicion by the Md DNR and often misunderstood by the very folks they are representing.

And let us not forget, these are volunteers, God bless 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Additionally, I would like to state that those intrepid souls who have been putting it out there on behalf of my sport fishing interests, by being on the SFAC and other advisories deserve my support and admiration. It's a thankless job, and tiresome. They are vilified by the other stakeholders, treated with suspicion by the Md DNR and often misunderstood by the very folks they are representing.

And let us not forget, these are volunteers, God bless 'em.
There may be a good reason for why the SFAC members are misunderstood by the people they are representing - simply put, they don't know enough about what their constituencies want to represent them. Just ask around and see how many recreational fishermen are ok with their license fees and excise tax revenues being squandered on oyster reefs, commercial subsidies, and balancing the general DNR budget. How many do you think are ok with DNR ignoring the accountability provisions in State law requiring annual reports and consultation with SFAC on how to spend recreational money? Does anyone know where the increase in recreational fees from SB1012 in 2007 actually went? I think everyone would like to know and those are the kinds of issues I expect the SFAC to address. How many recreational folks do you think are in favor of pound nets in spawning rivers or gillnets in general? SFAC had a shot at each of these issues and did absolutely nothing because the few who understand the issues couldn't overcome the static inertia of the majority of the group.

It is true that the SFAC is only an advisory body and they have no real clout. However, they are the conduit for recreational input to the regulatory process and, if they don't weigh in on DNR actions, the regulators publicly treat that as official concurrence and suddenly the "advisors" are guilty by association just because they did nothing. To be fair, if they make too much of a fuss, they won't get reappointed when their terms expire and DNR will have to look for someone else willing to "go along to get along." Note that the so called "constituents" from the rank and file have no direct say in this selection process so the first step in a true representative relationship is missing from the start.

Maybe it is partly our fault that the SFAC commissioners don't have a clue about what we think is important and maybe we don't provide enough feedback to them. This forum is a great way to correct that perception.

Ken Hastings
 

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Right is Right


Whiskey 99 Thanks for your thoughts, many of us are sick that the communists are flooding in like a tide. Our forefathers are probably furious at us - who allowed it to happen.

The joint commission is like a "Congress for the Bay" each representative, and the public can give their inputs and ideas. Of course it is human imperfect and political. On the other hand, there are 170,000 rec users of the estuary, many care. We recs have a silent inactive majority. As long as the citizens are silent and inactive, the other side will win, and our license fees will continue to rise - to support causes that we disagree with.

We citizens can speak at these meetings. They always make a call for " citizen comments". We recs can and should "pack" these meetings, and let DNR know that the public cares and is watching. We are also free to communicate with the commissioners/ representatives. Maybe they do know what we know. Maybe they would listen.
Gerald and Ele are right it was pitiful.

I want suggest that MSSA and CCA smoke a peace pipe.
They should be allies, for the bay. They have been acting selfish for some years. It is time for statesmanship not squabbling.
Just my opinion, others are welcome to comment and disagree.

I was pissed the other night that CCA spoke in favor of using millions more of maryland dollars to subsidize the commercial industry. CCA does some good, I am not quitting. I want them to cooperate more with MSSA. Franklin Roosevelt allied with Stalin to beat Hitler. It worked!

CCA should Ally with MSSA. MSSA should Ally with CCA. If they don't the bay loses, and the citizens lose.
We are your members, and your constituents, Please work togather!

I do not see the commercial industry as a positive force for the life forms and the estuary.
I am not throwing stones, I have reasons, not emotion:

A. They are the same guys whose sons and relatives were raping the oyster sanctuaries on foggy mornings last year.

B. They know who sets out those illegal synthetic gill nets, but they do not self police.

C. Never has a waterman's boat been sunk, by " The other guys," because he was stealing from the citizens.

D. The watermen know full well that the water quality is going down because the menhaden and the oysters are gone.
They see the water first hand.

E. They have a code of silence, and family ties.

F. They are not looking at the long term health of the bay. If they were we would still have sturgeon and oysters.

G. They are not farming the bay, they are just emptying it. They do not plant the crabs, and fish.

Right is Right.

How can we respect, and approve that selfish criminal behavior?

With respect to all and malice to none. Someone must stand up and say these things. Thomas Granger [email protected]

 

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Amen Tom! Somethings need to be said loud and in public. If its your opinion you have the right to speak it. These meeting are open to the public to anyone who wants to sit in on them and the public is given a chance to voice there opinion and have it recorded on transcript. The rec's do need to unite and come together on issues that are important to us.
I can tell ya one thing. The watermen will come together on issues when it comers to a dollar outta their pocket and act like their best friends to get what they want. They got the rest of the year to hate and steal from each other.
 

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Tom - You are off base.



I want suggest that MSSA and CCA smoke a peace pipe.
They should be allies, for the bay. They have been acting selfish for some years. It is time for statesmanship not squabbling.
Just my opinion, others are welcome to comment and disagree.

I was pissed the other night that CCA spoke in favor of using millions more of maryland dollars to subsidize the commercial industry. CCA does some good, I am not quitting. I want them to cooperate more with MSSA. Franklin Roosevelt allied with Stalin to beat Hitler. It worked!

CCA should Ally with MSSA. MSSA should Ally with CCA. If they don't the bay loses, and the citizens lose.
We are your members, and your constituents, Please work togather!

so, Tom, you need to check your facts. I regret not being able to be at the meeting Monday, but I understand that CCA never espoused the use of taxpayer monies to make up the difference. In fact, the motion presented closely paralleled CCA's August statement on the matter. CCA has been driving this since day one. This is the formal motion put forward by CCA. CCA, MSSA and Brandon voted favorably on this motion.

CCA FORMAL MOTION
The Sport Fish Advisory Commission calls on the Department and Administration to ensure that its report to the General Assembly and any subsequent legislative action it may take should clearly take the position that:

• The commercial industry must be held accountable for the full cost of managing its fishery, including the enforcement costs associated with ensuring compliance with state laws and regulations; and
• The Department must recommend that the shortfall be covered by either cuts in programs for the commercial sector, higher fees for commercial fishing, or a combination of both; and
• General funds must not be shifted or wrongly allocated to make up for the commercial industry's refusal to cover the cost of managing its fishery; and
• Conservation and water quality programs that benefit all of Maryland's citizens must not be cut to cover the commercial industry's shortfall.

The question we should all be asking is why the 9 other commissioners voted NO on the watermen paying their own way. Half of them are uniformed, half are beholden to the watermen in someway.
 

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Tom, you misunderstood. If something seems odd to you, like thinking that I suggested millions of dollars for the commercial industry, it would be nice if you asked before posting an untrue statement.
 

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I don't like the fact of using the rec surplus for the community shortfall. Why should we as rec fisherman have to pay twice to start with and then forfeit our surplus as well.
 

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Greetings friends, Kimbro's Motion was excellent, and did advocate that the Commercial People pay their own way. Kimbro's motion was courageous and proper. I said that before. dave mssa smith, brandon white and Kimboro all voted for that motion. No other SFAC member voted for that motion. What are they thinking?

We need to take a look at the transcript, to see what M. Trent Zivkovich actually said.

My impression was that Trent was saying that It was OK to cover the Commercial Cost funding shortfall with state money.
In my opinion, using State money to cover the cost of managing the Commercial Industry is stupid, and wrong.
The state DNR spends a pound of money [ even on Aircraft and Pilots ] to try to be everywhere at once. That is how they caught the six boatloads of poachers dredging the oyster sacntuary on a foggy morning.
If I am wrong on any af the above, I apologize in advance.

That is a profit making business. Let The Commercial License fees rise each year until the fees pay the enforcemant and management bills.
If the commercial guys played by the rules, the DNR would not need helicoptors.

I did not, agree with the Goldsborough motion. [ CBF's Bill Goldsborough for the Industry to pay part and lobby the legislature for general funds to cover the rest , won in the vote: ie it passed.] Note that " the rest " is about 1.6 million dollars...
That is a lot of money that could go into textbooks, boat ramps or libraries.

Additionally, my impression was that Trent was speaking for CCA. If I was wrong on that , I apologize in advance.

Paxfish: You are a great man, and you could be right, maybe I am off base. The transcript will clarify this confusion....
 

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Tom, we should sit down and talk about this. Trent didn't say that or anything like that. Trent was advising about long-term strategy for the upcoming legislative session. That's where decisions are made, and there are ways we can address issues that will make it easier to accomplish our shared goals when we get to the general assembly. Once again, I'll respectfully ask you not to speculate in an open forum unless you're sure about your message.
 

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...not to speculate in an open forum unless you're sure about your message.
thats what make open forums are for - no? Seeing two sides of the story and hashing things out amongst readers...letting the reader make their mind up on the issue at hand. unfair? maybe. maybe this is not the place for it? maybe
 
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