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Secret Seismic Testing
Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic?
Last Post: freefish7
12-10-2018, 08:00 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 72
Coast Guard App
Forum: Fish Rules: New Mobile App
Last Post: freefish7
12-10-2018, 07:27 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 52
June 2018 SAFMC Meeting P...
Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic?
Last Post: freefish7
06-06-2018, 11:39 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 350
Monitoring Closed Areas
Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic?
Last Post: freefish7
04-07-2018, 01:16 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 537
Fishery Performance Repor...
Forum: Are your experiences similar to those described in the Snapper Grouper AP's 2017 Fishery Performance Reports
Last Post: freefish7
02-20-2018, 04:50 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 427
A Vision For Our Fishery
Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic?
Last Post: SAFMC-Admin
02-20-2018, 04:28 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 1,945
Are automatic updates pos...
Forum: Do you use the Council's mobile app? Why or why not?
Last Post: SAFMC-Admin
02-20-2018, 04:26 PM
» Replies: 3
» Views: 1,275
Snapper Grouper Aggregate...
Forum: Snapper Grouper Aggregates: Your thoughts on structure
Last Post: freefish7
02-20-2018, 04:04 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 406
Amendment 27 Link
Forum: Commercial Visioning Amendment
Last Post: freefish7
10-11-2017, 06:47 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 499
2017 Red Snapper Season
Forum: 2017 Red Snapper Season
Last Post: freefish7
10-11-2017, 06:39 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 471

 
  Secret Seismic Testing
Posted by: freefish7 - 12-10-2018, 08:00 AM - Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic? - No Replies

It looks like the National Marine Fisheries Service has approved permits to let five global corporations each conduct their own secret seismic testing that will injure and kill marine mammals in the council's jurisdiction. Studies show that these tests also have significant negative impacts on other marine life including the fish we catch. NOAA and/or BOEM should publicly map our offshore oil and gas deposits once using the safest technology available. I am asking the SAFMC to publicly push for this as a reasonable alternative to repeated rounds of secret seismic testing. 

Our vision for healthy fisheries should include responsible exploration of other public resources. It seems obvious that one public mapping of our public resources by the managing agencies would be better than repeated rounds of secret seismic testing by global corporations. Public knowledge of what resources we have offshore will help citizens make informed decisions about if extracting those resources is worth the risk. Who should I contact to personally ask for one public mapping?

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  Coast Guard App
Posted by: freefish7 - 12-10-2018, 07:27 AM - Forum: Fish Rules: New Mobile App - No Replies

The Coast Guard should use your mobile app so they will know what the rules are when boarding boats. We were detained in a dangerous area along Cape Lookout shoals because they didn't get the memo that Red Snapper season was open. We were fortunate that our cell signal was good enough to pull up the opening proclamation. They were going to detain us until there was proof we were not guilty of any crime. This potentially dangerous military incident bordered on violating posse comitatus as well as our civil and constitutional rights. A valid CG dockside exam sticker should be good enough to show that we are in compliance with all safety rules and fish should be randomly checked by local LEOs. We have been boarded twice and approached by a boarding party two more times in the past few months. We work long hours during short periods of good weather and any delay cuts into our income. It is especially aggravating that navigational lights in the inlet where not working for weeks even as we were being repeatedly detained.

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  June 2018 SAFMC Meeting Public Comment
Posted by: freefish7 - 06-06-2018, 11:39 AM - Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic? - No Replies

June 2018 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Meeting Public Comments

These public comments will focus on my vision for our fisheries and freedom to access them. They are based on decades of on-the-water experience and years of research guided by a deep love for the sea. My hope is that they will encourage people to think about ways we can sustainably feed the world while empowering individuals across the globe through wise management of public resources.  

The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires us to manage our fisheries in ways that limit waste and make efficient use of our nation’s seafood. We should manage quotas with appropriate possession limits that avoid extended closures and excessive discards. By-catch Allowances can be used to keep fishermen from targeting spawning aggregations without requiring us to discard what we accidentally catch while targeting other species with higher limits. Proper management of quotas would provide consumers with a dependable supply of American seafood. This common-sense approach would keep tons of seafood from being allocated to projected dead discards during closures. Shouldn’t we try to manage quotas in ways that don’t require us to plan ahead for the waste of our public resources?

Our next step should be to focus on enhancing our fisheries and food supply with hatcheries and artificial reefs. Wise use of these proven management tools could be the perfect blend of open-water aquaculture and wild-caught seafood that lives free and self-sufficient until harvested. We could build artificial reefs on barren bottom to greatly increase the biomass those areas can support. This would not only make the seafood we eat more abundant, it would also help other species such as turtles, dolphins, and corals thrive. We could stock a wide variety of larval-stage fry to create Hatchery Supported Quotas that can help feed a growing population while creating more recreational opportunity. Funding for these projects could come from existing taxes that are intended to promote sportfishing and domestic seafood production along with a realignment of management priorities. This approach would be infinitely better than farming fish in public waters. Concentrations of caged fish plague surrounding ecosystems with diseases, parasites, and pollution. There is also the ethical issue of confining fish that would normally swim freely in a vast ocean to a small crowded cage. Why cage these fish for the profit of a few global corporations when we could easily release billions of babies to live free and benefit everyone as they grow?

Now we need to make sure that our public resources remain public. Catch Share style programs have privatized some of our public resources. Foreign corporations are buying many of those resources and now own the rights to them. The Wreckfish ITQ program would be a good place to show how privatized public resources can be returned to the public in a way that is fair to current owners. States should be given the Right of First Refusal on any sale of quota by shareholders from that state. Other states in a management zone should have second choice before shares can be sold on the open market. Fair market value should be paid by any state purchasing quota. This would give states the ability to manage some fisheries off their coast while preventing foreign ownership of America’s public resources.   

A vision for the future of our fisheries should consider offshore energy exploration and extraction. We should map our offshore oil and gas deposits once using the safest technology available and make those results public rather than allowing multiple rounds of secret seismic testing by global corporations. States should be given the Right of First Refusal on any approved leases for wind, oil, gas, or tidal energy off their coast. Leasing fees to the federal government should be used to pay off the national debt. Energy production platforms should be designed as permanent structures that can serve multiple purposes while creating ideal artificial reef habitat. Platforms should include hatcheries for offshore species to mitigate potential negative impacts in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

We should consider options for protecting closed areas in ways that also protect the rights of citizens. Marine Protected Areas and Special Management Zones that are closed to fishing should be marked with data buoys equipped with cameras to prevent poaching and collect data. These protected areas are similar to National Parks and should be easily accessible to the public. Online streaming video like those from some parks would allow people across the globe to witness these natural treasures that would otherwise be hidden in depths.

Permit holders can discuss these and other ideas in the Fishermen’s Forum on the SAFMC website. This forum gives us the opportunity to set an example for self-governance with official oversight that could be applied to other areas. My vision for the forum would be that we start by discussing options for properly managing quotas within MSA guidelines and vote on them. Votes should be binding when a 2/3 majority of participating permit holders agree on something. We could then move on to other issues or just stop doing anything to give existing management measures time to work as we collect data before reviewing them in a few years.

Thanks for your thoughtful consideration of this vision. I am happy to answer any questions and/or go into greater detail.

Sincerely,
Chris McCaffity

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  Monitoring Closed Areas
Posted by: freefish7 - 04-07-2018, 01:16 PM - Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic? - No Replies

The council is looking at enforcement priorities and monitoring closed areas will likely make that list. We need to look at options for marking closed areas with data buoys. Existing buoys could be moved and equipped with cameras to collect fishery independent data and prevent poaching. The buoys would provide visual markers and radar targets we can easily avoid. There would be recorded proof for court cases against anyone dumb enough to poach with cameras watching. Live video feeds from surface and underwater cameras could be streamed online with advertisers to help provide funding. This solution would protect closed areas and the rights of fishermen while being a great educational tool anyone could access.

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  Fishery Performance Report
Posted by: freefish7 - 02-20-2018, 04:50 PM - Forum: Are your experiences similar to those described in the Snapper Grouper AP's 2017 Fishery Performance Reports - No Replies

The reports seem to align with my experience. Water temp definitely has an impact on the abundance of Black Sea Bass. Red Grouper seem to be less abundant in NC. Lionfish are likely hurting the population since they live in similar areas and eat juvenile Red Grouper. This could also be part a cycle that should not trigger drastic actions. Vermilion Snapper are doing well. The AP is exactly right about needing to extend the seasons to avoid excessive discards and provide a dependable supply to consumers. A 100 or 200 pound bycatch allowance for the final 25% of seasonal quotas instead of the 500 pound reduction we have now would help. Cobia would be a great candidate for stocking so there are more available to recreational anglers and seafood consumers.

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  Snapper Grouper Aggregates
Posted by: freefish7 - 02-20-2018, 04:04 PM - Forum: Snapper Grouper Aggregates: Your thoughts on structure - No Replies

The only real problem I see with the current aggregates is with the jack complex not being managed with any kind of trip limit that would avoid extend closures and excessive discards. A 500 pound trip limit for the first 75% of each annual quota stepping down to a 100 pound bycatch allowance for the final 25% would solve this problem. Split seasons wouldn't hurt either.

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  A Vision For Our Fishery
Posted by: freefish7 - 12-09-2017, 10:09 AM - Forum: What's your vision for the commercial fishery in the South Atlantic? - Replies (4)

My vision for our snapper/grouper fishery starts with properly managing quotas for each species using appropriate possession limits and/or bycatch allowances to avoid extended closures and excessive discards. We should try to make regulatory discards rare while taking steps to help released fish survive by using tools like dehookers to avoid handling them more than necessary and descending devices to ensure bloated fish swim home. The next step should be to focus on enhancing our fisheries and food supply by stocking native seafood and creating more artificial reef habitat. Hatcheries and habitat enhancements can sustainably create more seafood and recreational opportunity in an environmentally friendly way. Wise use of these proven management tools would be the perfect blend of open-water aquaculture and wild-caught seafood that lives free and self-sufficient until harvested. We can make our fishery a successful and sustainable model that other fishermen and fishery managers around the globe will want to follow.   

I will go into greater detail about how we can achieve these goals and touch on other fishery related issues in future posts.

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  Are automatic updates possible?
Posted by: Aunt T - 10-19-2017, 08:24 AM - Forum: Do you use the Council's mobile app? Why or why not? - Replies (3)

I have the Ap,but I have to check to see if there are updates.I'd like to have the ability to have regulations updated automatically.

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  Amendment 27 Link
Posted by: freefish7 - 10-11-2017, 06:47 AM - Forum: Commercial Visioning Amendment - No Replies

Will you post a link to the latest version of Amendment 27?

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  2017 Red Snapper Season
Posted by: freefish7 - 10-11-2017, 06:39 AM - Forum: 2017 Red Snapper Season - No Replies

The proposed opening is a step in the right direction. It is good to see that the council is managing this as a bycatch fishery to extend the season and reduce regulatory discards. Thank you!

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