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According to the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, on Saturday, January 15th, 2011, the NC commercial trawling vessel "Jamie Lynn" from NC accidentally netted between 3 to 4 thousand Striped Bass. The haul was so large that the captain of the ship decided to "dump" or release all of the fish except the 50 he was legally allowed to keep. Since that day, the internet and public media has been flooded with photos like the one attached, and video like this

What has not gotten much attention though is the overlooked math that this event produces, and the ultimate reward that was given to the very fishermen who caused all this waste. Let's look at the "math" a little more closely:

4,000 Stripers Killed in one pull by one trawler on one day

Multiply that by the poundage of one mature Striper, lets say, 20 pounds average

4,000 X 20 pounds = 80,000 pounds!

Now we have one boat, on one pull, on one day, that kills 80,000 pounds of mature stripers!

Why is this math important? NC commercial fishermen are restricted to a total annual harvest of 480,480 pounds of Striped Bass. This limit is set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which is a governing body that oversees fish like Striped Bass that migrate up and down the Atlantic Seaboard, and are shared by multiple coastal states.

Of that 480,480 pounds that NC is allowed for annual harvest, only 160,660 pounds of that is allowable by the commercial trawling fleet. So, in one day, one trawler, on one pull, killed 50% (fifty percent) of the total allowable harvest for the trawling fleet here in NC! Of that 80,000 pounds of dead Striper, the boat only kept 50 fish, and dumped and estimated 79,000 pounds of Striped Bass back into the ocean!

Now this is the story that the NC DMF isn't telling. That it was one boat, and an "isolated" incident. But that is not what seasoned commercial captains are saying. They are saying that this is a reoccurring event on the outer banks each winter, and that this year there were many more eyes on the water to witness it. Many of these captains are professional charter boat operators, and many have seen enough of the wanton waste that this trawl fishery produces!

In one pull, this trawler not only killed 50% of the allowable catch for trawlers, it also killed over 20% of the total allowable Striper harvest for all commercial methods!

The Striped Bass is of tremendous economic importance to much of the Atlantic coastal states. If the ASMFC has agreed to allow NC commercial fishermen to harvest 480,480 pounds of Striped Bass, and trawlers kill 80,000 pounds of fish to keep 1,000 pounds, what will the final tally on wasted dead stripers be when the carnage is over?

Now the daily limit of 50 fish for these trawlers has been replaced with a 2,000 pound per day limit. Those 50 fish they were keeping must have weighed 40 pounds a piece? And what about the by-catch they can't keep? The minimum size limit is 28 inches. How many 28 inch fish will be killed in the process?

How much waste will be created by 10, 20, or 50 trawlers?

Once again, NC fisheries management is the laughing stock of the entire nation. You have to laugh to keep from crying!
 

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20 lb might be on the light side.

Often these winter Rock are about as heavy as they get. The girth is almost unbelievable compared to what we see in Md waters.

The Rock fatten up to prepare for the spawning migration.

Hopefully something will change in the way netters are allowed to work.
 

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AlbeDeal'n is right on the money. NCMF took a horrid situation with the trawler fishery and made it much worse. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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It is hard for fishermen two or three states away to get too excited about the NC situation, but it has a huge effect on the comm and rec fish available all along the coast.<o:p></o:p>
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Let's see how many ocean fish reach the flats or are available for the coveted trophy season in MD in 2011. I hope fishing is good, but if not, look to the NC trawler fiasco as one of the major culprits. Trawler fishing for stripers is a prime example of what indiscriminate gear can do to devastate and waste a public resource. <o:p></o:p>
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I have two questions. 1. Does the ASFMC commercial harvest estimates take into account all the stripers killed by trawler culls? 2. Does the NCDMF think we're stupid?
 

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NCDMF Press release

Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: (252) 726-7021
Date: Jan. 20, 2011

Overloaded Fishing Net Causes Striped Bass Spill

MOREHEAD CITY – An overloaded fishing net prompted fishermen on a commercial trawler to release thousands of striped bass they caught Saturday off of Bodie Island.

After towing through a school of striped bass, fishermen on the commercial trawler Jamie Lynn found the net was so full it was too heavy to bring onto the boat. In order to retrieve the net, the fishermen had to open it and release the fish, the boat captain said.

The boat captain estimated 3,000 to 4,000 fish were released from the net. Many recreational and commercial fishermen picked up the discarded fish. When Marine Patrol officers arrived on the scene, there were approximately 250 dead fish.

The incident occurred Saturday afternoon.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries confirmed the specifics of the event through an eyewitness account and an interview with the boat captain.

Staff with the division is still investigating the incident but has been unable to confirm reports that commercial trawl fishermen were high-grading. High-grading occurs when a fisherman discards a previously-caught, legal-sized fish in order to keep a larger fish within the daily possession limit. While high-grading is not illegal, it is not an ethical fishing practice and the division does not condone it.

For this reason, the division plans to implement management measures designed to limit discard mortality when it reopens the striped bass trawl fishery for three days beginning Monday.

The division will replace the current 50-fish-per-day commercial trip limit, which has been in place for 15 years, with a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit. To avoid the need to throw back dead fish, commercial fishermen will be allowed to transfer trip limits to other fishing vessels that hold a striped bass ocean fishing permit for the commercial trawl fishery. The transfers must be made in the ocean.

The new regulations will be implemented by a proclamation that will be released Friday.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will review these actions at its Feb. 11 meeting in Pine Knoll Shores.

The division opens and closes North Carolina’s commercial ocean striped bass fishery and sets trip limits under a quota system set out in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is a compact of 15 East Coast states that manages migratory fish in state waters (within three miles from shore).

North Carolina’s share of the coast-wide commercial ocean striped bass annual quota is 480,480 pounds. It is split evenly between three commercial fisheries: the trawl fishery, the gill net fishery and the beach seine fishery. Approximately 110,000 pounds remains of the 160,160-pound quota for the trawl fishery this year. This is the first time in several years that N.C. commercial fishermen have come close to catching their quota.

Discards are a part of all fisheries, and the division strives to implement measures that minimize waste in all the fisheries it manages.

According to a 2010 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission report, coast-wide commercial landings of striped bass in 2008 totaled more than a million fish; commercial discards were estimated at 395,400 fish. Coast-wide recreational landings in 2008 totaled more than 2 million fish. Recreational discards were estimated at more than a million fish.

Estimated discards are factored into stock assessments, and the most recent stock assessment for striped bass found that the species is healthy.

It is incumbent upon all fishermen – commercial and recreational – to use common sense in the way they fish. Commercial trawl fishermen should limit their tow times to avoid overburdened nets. Recreational fishermen should practice ethical angling techniques. Fishing responsibly today will help ensure there will be fish in the future.

nr-3-201
 

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If one fish is dicarded, it is too many. This waste will go on and on. Does anyone really believe that they will take the time to transfer 20 to 30 thousand lbs of fish to another vessel at sea, when they can just dump those nets. What BS. The commercial carnage just goes on. It happens in all commercial fisheries, not just stripers. Trawls are indiscriminate. They kill everything. As recreational fisherman, this is the type of dollar minded stupidity that we are up against. Commercial interest money buys off the politicians. This is why all recreational fisherman should belong to an organization that supports recreational fisherman. If you don't your sport is going to die. Support gamefish status for striped bass.
 

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NCDMF Press release

The boat captain estimated 3,000 to 4,000 fish were released from the net. Many recreational and commercial fishermen picked up the discarded fish. When Marine Patrol officers arrived on the scene, there were approximately 250 dead fish.
So let me get this straight now. Dragging 3,000 to 4,000 cramped fish through the water for a long time only kills 250 fish. Yet, somehow, the PSCR trolling kills every f'ng fish in the bay? I think there were some real dumb f'cks pushing the wrong buttons. But I won't name them.
 

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huh?

According to a 2010 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission report, coast-wide commercial landings of striped bass in 2008 totaled more than a million fish; commercial discards were estimated at 395,400 fish. Coast-wide recreational landings in 2008 totaled more than 2 million fish. Recreational discards were estimated at more than a million fish.
So between the comms and recs they're saying almost 1,400,000 fish were "discarded" aka died along the entire east Coast? :help:
I'm curious as to the definition of discard when it comes to comms vs. recs as noted above.
Do the majority of the rec discards die like the comm ones do? I would doubt it. Why would recs be discarding in the first place anyway? I put my keepers in the box no matter what size they are (from 28" up to 40" - don't like eating ones over 40 personally).
What percentage of the discard fish does the ASFMC believe dies when using the discard figure for specie management plans? All?
The current stock is healthy? ASFMC's own numbers have shown a significant decrrease in the coastal stocks over the last 5 years.
Maybe they should designate the striper a gamefish!
 

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"Staff with the division is still investigating the incident but has been unable to confirm reports that commercial trawl fishermen were high-grading. High-grading occurs when a fisherman discards a previously-caught, legal-sized fish in order to keep a larger fish within the daily possession limit. While high-grading is not illegal, it is not an ethical fishing practice and the division does not condone it.
For this reason, the division plans to implement management measures designed to limit discard mortality when it reopens the striped bass trawl fishery for three days beginning Monday."

It sounds like NC is aware of the problem and taking some steps to deal with it. It just seems like they are afraid of the commercial interests and do not want to undertake the drastic measures needed to stop the abuse.
 

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I'm so sick of these agencies telling everyone with a straight face that recs kill far more than the comms. and for every one fish a rec keeps, he kills 2 more via discards (please). No official survey taker has asked me or anyone I know how many rockfish we have caught, ever. Where do they get their data?
 

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I'm so sick of these agencies telling everyone with a straight face that recs kill far more than the comms. and for every one fish a rec keeps, he kills 2 more via discards (please). No official survey taker has asked me or anyone I know how many rockfish we have caught, ever. Where do they get their data?
In fairness, I will say that I think MRFSS interviewed me 3 times in the last year in a half. Twice at solomons ramp and once at SPSP last Dec.
 

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good thing i only use 6 rods, barbless baits, and no stinger hooks during the C&R season

same thing with crabs, we are up to our eyeballs in regulations while other states dredge all winter raping the resource
 

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B-Faithful that is good that you got surveyed. However the chart I made fun of and that everyone falls back on was made in 2006/2007. Were you surveyed back then too?
 

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So let me get this straight now. Dragging 3,000 to 4,000 cramped fish through the water for a long time only kills 250 fish. Yet, somehow, the PSCR trolling kills every f'ng fish in the bay? I think there were some real dumb f'cks pushing the wrong buttons. But I won't name them.
Supposedly, by the time the DNR police got out to the site, there were only 250 fish on the surface. A trawl with that many fish did kill more than 250. Many sink.

A catch and release is not a discard. For a recreational angler an example of a discard would be a cull, in or order to keep a larger fish that was caught later. In Maryland there is a no cull rule, for that very reason. Of course the numbers are off, the commercial interests have a strong lobby. They dominate many of these boards and own may politicians. They have their own biologist. It is like any other political debate. If one can confuse the issue with their own data, they win. This is why recreational anglers need to ban together to have a voice. This is why all recreational fisherman need to belong to a recreational fishing organization that represents their interest, as far as conservation. Otherwise, you lose. Striped bass should be a gamefish.

River herring...and what about the menhaden. They are being slaughtered. That also destroys a prime food source of the striped bass.
 

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if this keeps up there will be a moratorium again and if so i hope it goes all the way up and down the east coast, I've fished the Oregon Inlet waters and back then most fish were 36" and above, they are allowed 2 fish each, we are allowed one with a slot limit in effect, things should be equal up and down the coast before these fish are gone foreever
 

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I was there first hand seen half dead fish that were 30lb. plus how I know is that I tried to revive around 20 or so unsuccessfully and weighed 5 of them one was 44lbs.
we fished three days and seen at least 300 half dead fish they were from kitty hawk the farest we went north to the inlet and past south it wasn't just one netter they all were doing it
on day two we just went north til we found a netter followed for a short time and netted the four biggest all over 40lbs. for our limit and then just released everything we caught the last two days
alot of guys were doing the same thing. Hopefully they changed the laws down there Very sad fishing trip for us.
 
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