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Should VMRC Implement Measures to Reduce Cobia Take for 2016

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the talk about a concern for cobia, thought we would do a quick poll to gather some input. I'll first say that those serving in board positions in VSSA today are ensuring our by-laws and policy documents being put in place ensure any position VSSA adopts regarding fishery issues will be that of the majority positions of the angling public. VSSA will not become like other organizations where positions are adopted in secret meetings by a select few at the top of the organization.

Having said that VSSA does not have a position on cobia (yet). We are simply asking the question and feel there is no harm in asking the question. Collecting data and polling can be a good thing. I will also say that a TF poll is simply one data point. VSSA will not rely on just one source like TF as I know that many anglers don't even look at TF anymore so VSSA will also ask the question in a variety of other mediums.

I want to keep this poll simple with just 2 questions.

(1) Keep the regs the way they are until we have a better stock assessment data.

(2) implement measures to reduce the pressure for 2016.

I don't feel we need to discuss what method is used to reduce pressure at this point as there are a variety of methods that fishery managers have at their disposal including boat limits, size limits, slot limits, reduced season, etc. That can all be figured out after we decide whether we need to reduce pressure. Again, there is no VSSA position being stated here as the VSSA position will become that of the majority opinion after extensive polling and data collection.

Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association (VSSA)
ifishva.org
joinvssa.org
https://www.facebook.com/groups/IfishVA/
 

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Good idea Mike to take a simple poll. I have a suggestion, maybe add a couple other questions to it. This might give you some other data to mine that might be of importance. Just a thought, but what you guys are doing is something that needs to be done. thanks

1) How many time you tried to catch a cobia? 4 times
2) How many did you catch this year? 1
3) If caught, how many did you release? 0
4) How many did you see but could not catch? 12
5) How many people were with you while fishing for them? Three times were 2 people, one time there were 3 people.

Does these questions/answers mean anything, maybe, only numbers can tell. I have been audits before and you have to be prepared for about any possible questions they might ask so you have to have your answers ready or you can expect to get "written up".
 

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Hey Heycharlie,
Yes VSSA is accepting members.
You can visit ifishva.org for mailing address and other pertinent information. We look forward to hearing from you!
Brent Bosher
 

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VSSA B0ard members are currently visiting local finishing clubs to promote membership --VSSA offers a deal if a fishing club joins in mass....$1. per member if all in club become associate (full) members. VSSA is not about collecting cash--it is about having a wide recreational membership (support) when addressing fishing issues with governmental management agencies. ("clout") . VSSA seeks to achieve a higher participation rate than any previous state-wide recreational fishing advocacy organization. ( and we want Fishing Clubs to grow with VSSA).

membership fee is $25. tax deductible

send a short resume: name, family members, address, e mail , telephone, etc with $25 check to me or any board member

Bob Allen 1038 Port Harbour Arch Hampton Va 23664

or Mike Avery
333 Mainsail Drive
Hampton, VA 23664
 

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Hey Heycharlie,
Yes VSSA is accepting members.
You can visit ifishva.org for mailing address and other pertinent information. We look forward to hearing from you!
Brent Bosher
How about trying to get north carolina to reduce their limits from 2 per person and raise their 32 in minimum.
It seems like every year in one month they seem to kill more cobia then the entire season in va
 

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Cobia are migratory--VA can manage the recreational catch in VA waters, but this may be an issue for ASMFC.

Bob Allen, not a cobia angler
 

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Reduce pressure now. Better to err on the side of conservation rather than wait for a two year study to make it through the bureaucracy and the fishery collapses.
 

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We need to be the example for the other states to follow. That's like one kid saying,why do I have to go to school when my brother dropped out. Get it together people. We kill cobia here for five months, not many other states can say that. We also have the main spawning stock.
 

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There are tagging studies on migration of Cobia. Cobia are popular in Gulf Coasts states and are called "Ling" there. They are caught world wide ; are genetically unrelated to other fish; grow VERY fast...almost as fast as mani mahi; I do not know how long they live; they are easy to spawn in artificial environment--it was done recently in VPI marine lab in downtown Hampton; that lab released 200 immature Cobia into Hampton River three years ago. That release could have something to do with the larger numbers of cobia in Bay these last few years? I caught and tagged a 24 inch cobia at CBBT ; that fish was 47 inches when caught again(with tag in) and killed about one mile from where it was tagged 3 years earlier. Let's do a little research of Cobia while we are talking.


Bob Allen, Hampton VA
 

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FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Description

Attaining a maximum length of 2 m (78 in) and maximum weight of 78 kg (172 lb), the cobia has an elongated fusiform (spindle-shaped) body and a broad, flattened head. The eyes are small and the lower jaw projects slightly past the upper. Fibrous villiform teeth line the jaws, the tongue, and the roof of the mouth. The body of the fish is smooth with small scales. It is dark brown in color, grading to white on the belly with two darker brown horizontal bands on the flanks. The stripes are more prominent during spawning, when they darken and the background color lightens.

The large pectoral fins are normally carried horizontally, perhaps helping the fish attain the profile of a shark. The first dorsal fin has six to 9 independent, short, stout, sharp spines. The family name Rachycentridae, from the Greek words rhachis ("spine") and kentron ("sting"), was inspired by these dorsal spines. The mature cobia has a forked, slightly lunated tail, which is usually dark brown. The fish lacks a swim bladder. The juvenile cobia is patterned with conspicuous bands of black and white and has a rounded tail. The largest cobia taken on rod and reel came from Shark Bay, Australia, and weighed 60 kg (135 lb).
Similar species

The cobia resembles its close relatives, the remoras of the family Echeneidae. It lacks the remora's dorsal sucker and has a stouter body.
Distribution and habitat
Cobia fingerlings in at the University of Miami (Photo D. Benetti)
Female broodstock, about 8 kg, prior to transport to broodstock holding tanks at the University of Miami (photo D. Benetti)
Cobia on ice at Open Blue Sea Farms (photo Brian O'Hanlon)

The cobia is normally solitary except for annual spawning aggregations, and sometimes it will congregate at reefs, wrecks, harbours, buoys, and other structural oases. It is pelagic, but it may enter estuaries and mangroves in search of prey.

It is found in warm-temperate to tropical waters of the West and East Atlantic Ocean, throughout the Caribbean, and in the Indo-Pacific off India, Australia and Japan.[1] It is eurythermal, tolerating a wide range of temperatures, from 1.6 to 32.2°C. It is also euryhaline, living at salinities of 5 to 44.5 ppt.[2]
Ecology

The cobia feeds primarily on crabs, squid, and fish. It will follow larger animals such as sharks, turtles, and manta rays to scavenge. It is a very curious fish, showing little fear of boats.

The predators of the cobia are not well documented, but the mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) is known to feed on juveniles and the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) eats the adult.

The cobia is frequently parasitized by nematodes, trematodes, cestodes, copepods, and acanthocephalans.
Life history

The cobia is a pelagic spawner, releasing many tiny (1.2 mm), buoyant eggs into the water, where they become part of the plankton. The eggs float freely with the currents until hatching. The larvae are also planktonic, being more or less helpless during their first week until the eyes and mouths develop. The male matures at two years and the female at three years. Both sexes lead moderately long lives of 15 years or more. Breeding activity takes place diurnally from April to September in large offshore congregations, where the female is capable of spawning up to 30 times during the season.[3]
Migration

The cobia makes seasonal migrations. It winters in the Gulf of Mexico, then moves north as far as Maryland for the summer, passing Florida around March.
Human uses

The cobia is sold commercially and commands a relatively high price for its firm texture and excellent flavor. However, no designated wild fishery exists because it is a solitary species. It has been farmed in aquaculture. The flesh is usually sold fresh. It is typically served in the form of grilled or poached fillets. Chefs Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali each cooked several dishes made with cobia in the "Battle Cobia" episode of the Food Network program Iron Chef America, which first aired in January, 2008. Thomas Keller's restaurant, The French Laundry, has offered cobia on its tasting menu.[4]
Aquaculture
Main article: Aquaculture of cobia

This fish is considered to be one of the most suitable candidates for warm, open-water marine fish aquaculture in the world.[5][6] Its rapid growth rate and the high quality of the flesh could make it one of the most important marine fish for future aquaculture production.[7]

Currently, the cobia is being cultured in nurseries and offshore grow-out cages in parts of Asia, the United States, Mexico, and Panama. In Taiwan, cobia of 100 to 600 g are cultured for 1.0 to 1.5 years until they reach 6 to 8 kg. They are then exported to Japan, China, North America, and Europe. Around 80% of marine cages in Taiwan are devoted to cobia culture.[6] In 2004, the FAO reported that 80.6% of the world's cobia production was in China and Taiwan.[8] Vietnam is the third-largest producer, yielding 1,500 tonnes in 2008.[6] Following the success of cobia aquaculture in Taiwan, emerging technology is being used to demonstrate the viability of hatchery-reared cobia in collaboration with the private sector at exposed offshore sites in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, and the largest open ocean farm in the world is run by a company called Open Blue off the coast of Panama.[9]

Greater depths, stronger currents, and distance from shore all act to reduce environmental impacts often associated with finfish aquaculture. Offshore cage systems could become a more environmentally sustainable method for commercial marine fish aquaculture.[10] However, some problems still exist in cobia culture, including high mortality due to stress during transfer from nursery tanks or inshore cages to the offshore grow-out cages, as well as disease.[6]
 

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I don't need to know science to see that there are many, many fish being pulled of the bay daily. But oh well. Let's let all the new businesses kill them all and put themselves out of business as fast as they got in. If something isn't done ASAP we are in trouble. I'm not against tourneys or people keeping fish but most anglers will kill cobia and there are some damn good charter captains catching limits daily and keeping the extra captain and mate fish just because they are allowed to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
MY post was lost.
But, Is VSSA open to membership now?
Yes VSSA is open for membership. We are still working on taking CC payments via the website but we have everything in place to become a member. Best way now until we can take CC payments is to fill out the form on the brochure and mail it in.





Good input guys. Keep em coming.
 
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