Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 129

Thread: Unguided halibut anglers under attack...from charters!

  1. #1
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default Unguided halibut anglers under attack...from charters!

    WAKE UP PEOPLE, it has begun.

    The charter guys are coming to cut bag limits for unguided sport anglers – you and I -- and it's right there in their letters to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council this week (I have attached a pdf with exerpts).

    There appear to be at least three motives behind this.

    THE FIRST MOTIVE: In southeast Alaska, where the charter reductions have already been in place for a few years to (try to) stay within their GHL, there has been an increase in rental boats and bare boat charters to take advantage of the differential bag limits between unguided and guided (charter) sport anglers. Some lodges have gone to a bare-boat charter/rental set up so their clients can still take advantage of a 2-fish a day limit for halibut. What becomes obscene is that those lodges and charters that have not adapted to this are viewing unguided fishing as competition and are now aiming to “hobble” unguided sport in order to take away that incentive for potential clients to look at unguided fishing as an option. The Alaska Charter Association even provides the evidence for this in their letter to the Council, saying: (this is from page 4 of my attachment)

    “[…] Any rule that results in restriction of guided harvest will result to leakage to unguided access. The 56% increase in Area 2C unguided harvest in 2007 (the year the minnow rule was implemented) is proof that this will happen.”

    THE SECOND MOTIVE: In south central Alaska, charter operations are looking at the same possibility if differential bag limits for charter anglers becomes a reality in the future and they are trying to head this off before it becomes an issue – by dragging unguided anglers into their fight. The letter from the Homer Charter Association to the Council states: (this is from page 2 of my attachment)

    “[…] Guided and unguided anglers should be treated equally. A plan that tightly regulates only the guided recreational sector will result in harvest movement to the unguided recreational sector especially in 3A, with the end result being a decrease in overall safety for recreational anglers and little or no reduction of recreational harvest. The one fish rule discriminates against the guided angler and creates a class system of allocation.”

    THE THIRD MOTIVE: Based on information from the recent interim IPHC meeting, there is the possibility that extreme cuts to the halibut harvest may be coming to 3A and perhaps, at some point, everyone needs to shoulder some of the reduction…to share the burden of conservation. But even in this case, nobody is proposing that we “save” these fish…any fish not caught by unguided anglers would be effectively re-allocated to either charters or longliners. While AKCAPT couched his hypothetical question in this context in his other thread, NONE of the letters to the Council conditioned their recommended reduction in unguided bag limits on dire harvest cut situations.



    Looking back, I have to admit that the charter guys warned us that changes to unguided sport bag limits might be coming…and that either the longliners or NMFS was eventually going to come for the rest of us unless we engaged in their fight and came to their side.

    Thank a longliner?
    I had to laugh when I typed that header, but here’s the real irony: NONE of the comments from commercial/longline interests suggest dragging unguided anglers into any of this. In fact, the comments from the Halibut Coalition (the largest amalgam of commercial fishing groups), speak in defense of unguided anglers in response to the charters request to cut unguided limits along with the charter limits: (this is from page 5 of my attachment)

    “[…]charter operators now voice concern that the CSP is unfair to charter operators because it does not include harvest controls on the unguided sport sector. While arguing for controls on subsistence and unguided fishermen, the charter industry fails to identity any problems caused by the unguided sport harvest that justify harvest controls. Instead, charter operators simply claim the CSP will drive clients to harvest halibut without their professional services and create safety issues because the charter industry views unguided fishing vessels as less safe than charter vessels.”

    I did not suspect that it was going to be charter guys that tried to do the taking from regular sport fishermen. But ,what can you expect when there are business interests to be protected?

    I say business interests because that’s really what’s at stake here. We hear a lot from some of the users on this forum, particular charter operators, with their concerns about fairness for charter clients who, after all, are just sport fishing license holders like the rest of us. Why are guided anglers being treated differently, they ask? These benevolent charter guys are simply looking out for their clients.

    But, you know what? They aren’t really protecting their clients’ interests...nor do I think the fishery regulators (the NPFMC) are looking after those anglers. Take a look at the Council’s implementation committee. It’s nothing but a bunch of charter/lodge owners and operators. I don’t think there is a single sport angler to represent the interests of charter clients. We hear the charter guys worry about the 2-fish limit for their clients and there are a number of measures that could be taken to (attempt to) stay within the charter GHL, while preserving a 2-fish limit for the charter angler. A shorter halibut season for charters could have accomplished this. But, was that seriously looked at by a group of charter business owners? Hell no, it wasn’t. It’s not in their (charter) business interest.

    I don’t want to hear a **** thing from charter guys about fairness to charter anglers when it certainly doesn’t look like they, themselves, are looking out for anything other than their own bottom line.

    You know what, charter guys? I kept my nose out of how your sector dealt with its issues. I have two things to ask of you:

    FIRST, don’t try to create issues for us, the unguided anglers. If you think you have issues with competition from rental boats or bare-boat charters, then deal with that.

    SECOND, even if there is an issue that unguided anglers need to deal with, stay out of it. We can handle our own stuff, thank you very much. Sometimes, the general public sits idly by while the moneyed interests fight over the fish and, because of that apathy, the public interest suffers. Perhaps this is the issue that stirs the masses -- it should.

    I’m sorry if any one feels that my comments have singled anyone out (that’s not my intent), or if it seems overly harsh on the charter sector…but the more that I have seen unfold in this past week, the more pissed off I have become.

    I’ll follow up later with a little more about how, procedurally, this might play out through the Council and IPHC processes if the charter guys decide they want to continue down this road.

    Art Nelson
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default

    Looks like MRFish has been like Martin Luther by nailing this to the church's door. Sorry to say that it is true. Look's like a few of us private anglers need to group together and make sure our own testimony is heard in future meetings, concerning this issue. PM's are gladly accepted if you want to help out by having your voice heard. I'm posting this to my private e-mail list to help drum up more support. I'm not making money off the resource, I'm just trying to put a little food on the table. If any of you private anglers want to be lumped with Charters, just don't do a thing. It will happen.
    I truly believe this is a call to arms. Choose to do nothing, you get what you don't ask for. Time to take a stand. Over and out!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,960

    Default

    Where do the private anglers that fish on a charter boat sign up at? Yes it is time to take a stand!

  4. #4

    Default

    It ain't the user groups guys.
    Federal Oversight/Regulation always brings about Class Warfare and Exclusionary Pracitice's.
    Think Kodiak Brown Bear
    Nelchina Caribou
    Marine Mammals
    Tongass Logging
    You name it they are the Pros. They are once again playing you for Patsies with the Halibut.

    But if you insist on cutting each others throats instead of the head of the snake,
    Carry On
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    Commercial fishermen have been telling you all for a long time that Charters are just another Commercial entity. But they try to hide behind the banner of Sport fishermen. They use Sportsmen to protect their Commercial interest. They are just showing their true colors here.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

  6. #6
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default

    Here’s follow-up with my understanding of the process.

    Based on these letters from some of the charter interests, the Council’s Advisory Panel (AP) has already voted 14-2, stating:

    “The AP recommends that the Council meet with the IPHC to determine if low coast-wide abundance warrants consideration of reductions in bag limits for the non-guided sport harvest. This motion does not anticipate applying an allocation to the non-guided sport harvest.”

    The AP made their recommendation under what they call “staff tasking” in the Council process, but it could also come up under the Council’s discussion on the halibut catch sharing plan (CSP). The halibut CSP discussions (agenda item C-6) will likely begin later tomorrow (Saturday) or on Sunday and go into Monday…but the staff tasking (agenda item D-2) is at the end of the meeting (Tuesday).

    I have sent an email to the Council’s Chair and Executive Director asking for procedural clarity and I will pass along any info that I get.

    The Council’s agenda can be found at:
    http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/npfmc/PDFdo...1211Agenda.pdf

    The Council also streams its’ audio live, from here:
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/npfmc...WB&role=attend
    (you will need to download free software for the audio stream)

    At this point, I'm not ready to go into specifics of the AP’s recommendation about how/when to deal with unguided sport harvest. I need more time to think about it and talk with others, as well. What I will be recommending to the Council, at this point, is that if they’re thinking about doing something that could affect unguided (private) sportfishers, they had better solicit some input from us, rather than taking that advice from charter interests...because unguided anglers have no idea what is being pushed at this time.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,960

    Default

    MRFISH, I asked as a private sport angler that goes on a charter boat where do I sign up to protect my rights to the same limit as any other private angler? It's time to make a stand!! Or are you saying that because I don't have the money to own my own sport boat, I'am less entitled than you or other pleasure boat owners?

  8. #8
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seward
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    The vote was 14 to 2.....That sounds like all commercial interests that are not charters voting for this.....There is only one charter guy on the AP. The rest are all commecail fishermen.......Better make sure you know who your freinds are before you accuse one sector of trying to attack you.......

  9. #9
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default how far back do you need to go...

    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55 View Post
    MRFISH, I asked as a private sport angler that goes on a charter boat where do I sign up to protect my rights to the same limit as any other private angler? It's time to make a stand!! Or are you saying that because I don't have the money to own my own sport boat, I'am less entitled than you or other pleasure boat owners?
    MGH55, I don’t have the answer that I think you want to hear, and I won’t pretend to. Personally, I think you’d need a time machine to reverse the decision(s) that have brought you to where you are today.

    The decision to draw a distinction between unguided and guided sport anglers, in a general sense, has been made a long time ago by both state and federal fishery regulators. Personally, I don’t disagree with the need for a distinction, when appropriate. How and when that distinction is applied is certainly debatable and reasonable people can and will disagree on the topic. Everyone is right, in their own opinion.

    The fact remains that the pie of harvestable surplus is just that; a pie that cannot go beyond 100%. When the pie gets smaller, it gets ugly. Now, it’s getting really ugly and that is really unfortunate. If there’s a way to go back and undo the charter GHL, I don’t see it. Perhaps others do, and if they have an idea that is better than suggesting we set up at tent in Town Square with the OWS crowd, then I'd love to hear it.

    But, that doesn’t avoid the fact that in a fully allocated fishery, the fish have to come from somewhere. I guess the charter guys don’t think they’re likely to get it from the longline sector, so they’re looking to take if from the rest of the sport fishers. I still wonder if there's another motivation besides what's in their own letters. The unguided sport fishers are the underdog in the total sport harvest in 3A, anyway, where charters catch about 65% of the total sport catch.

    But, I’m not aiming to correct any kind of perceived imbalance between charter and unguided sport within 3A, I’m reacting to some within the charter sector making the move to pull “us” down to “their” level, for whatever reason. 3A is where I fish, usually as an unguided angler. I prefer to do this from my own boat, but I have also fished plenty of times from a charter, so I have my own unique bias that I bring to the discussion.

    MGH55, while you can aim your ire in a variety of directions, I think it should be aimed at the charter guys who have driven the discussion about how to manage things to stay within the charter GHL. As I have said, I stayed out of "their" charter management discussions because I view myself more as an unguided angler. I think that a reduced season could, easily in 3A, keep the charter bag limits at 2 fish per day. Maybe there's a good reason to disregard this beside what the charter/lodge businesses want. Perhaps there is a better way to approach this, in the interest of the guided angler, that I haven't thought of. This is where you have been let down, in my opinion.

    Perhaps “we”, the unguided anglers, should have stepped in on your behalf and all stayed together. But as I mentioned earlier, the regular fishing public (unguided and also in this case, guided) is reluctant to engage most of the time.

    However, I see a big, BIG difference between "our" (unguided fishers) past failure to come to your (guided fishers) aid and what we now have: the charter businesses bringing in the rope to hang the unguided anglers.

  10. #10
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    The vote was 14 to 2.....That sounds like all commercial interests that are not charters voting for this.....There is only one charter guy on the AP. The rest are all commecail fishermen.......Better make sure you know who your freinds are before you accuse one sector of trying to attack you.......
    I have to apologize if anyone feels that I mischaracterized this. I think I acknowledged, with humor, that I'm surprised the commercial guys are not doing the same thing...and perhaps my regular use of "charter guys" painted things with too broad of a brush. Still, the fact that the Halibut Coalition came to the defense of unguided anglers (in writing) and two charter associations took the other route is striking.

    I have no doubt that some folks from the charter side may feel differently than what I conveyed in the selected comments I posted. I also have no doubt and that some longliners are probably are laughing their asses off that this is getting pinned on the "charter guys".

    AKCAPT, you have always been above the boards on here. I respect that and give you a tip of the hat. I owe you a beverage of your choice for the broad brush that I may have painted you with.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,960

    Default

    MRFISH, There is no rope. Don't stick your head in the sand this is nothing more than "DIVIDE AND CONQUER" I feel sorry for anyone that thinks it is less then that! Next it will be unguided anglers in 2C just not to rock the boat in 3A. Then who do you think is next? As for a fully allocated fishery I would have to say a fully misallocated fishery. When the IFQ's first were perposed all recreational halibut were to come off the top of the TAC not just unguided fish! That fact has been lost in the mud!

  12. #12
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seward
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    I think this is a great discussion to have but difficult to characterize who is the tail that is wagging the dog. Commercial long line fishermen have ownership of 80% of halibut resource, so anyone taking fish from that ownership will become their problem. It is a wise stratgeic move for the halibut collition to come out and say they support unlimited private boat harvest. they need all the freinds they can get with ownship of 80% of the resource. But when push comes to shove, they will be the first to shove you guys straight in to the screwing that we are geting.
    The charter rub is that this distinction between the fishermen that own their boats and the ones that would rather pay 300 dolllars a year to catch their fish should never have been. Precedent in all other areas of halibut management is that sportfishermen are all one group. one big strong group that usually wins at the Councils. My testimony at the council in support of this is a matter of public record since 1996!! The divide and conquer plan came directly from the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association in Sitka in 1995. So far so good for them!!

    Now you can sit back and watch them tear up the sportfishermen, who will not be able to really mount a suitable effort to win the argument "that in times of critically low abundance, that their harvest should not be cut".

    Including the sporties came straight from Dr. Leaman at IPHC in his comments about CSP.

    but that does not mean that it won't be fun to argue about it and blame each other for fisheries management, all the while getting crucified by the commercial sector.

  13. #13
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default shiny things

    AKCAPT, you keep saying that this is all part of some grand scheme from the commercial guys...maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But we gotta stick together, right?

    Then why are the charters the ones that are bringing the rope to the party? Who's getting played by the commercial guys?

    You're certainly not expecting the rest of us to sit back and take it, are you?

    Do you expect us to ignore the gun aimed at us right now and instead try to undo the regulatory makings of the last 15 years?

    I see two sectors, whose actions are driven by money, now bearing down on one user group that is not.

  14. #14

    Default

    Attention Alaskan Sport Fishermen: The commercial charter sector DOES NOT represent you. They represent themselves, and the largely out-of-state customer base they serve. When push comes to shove, they will sacrifice you to serve their own interests.

    You guys who bought into their efforts to stop the catch-sharing plan should be ashamed. You were used as pawns to support the commercial charter industry with thousands of letters and e-mails, and before the ink's even dry on that "victory", they've put their real intentions on paper. Think it was a coincidence they waited this long to release that letter?

    The charters are out there fishing multiple trips a day from $250,000 boats the rest of us only dream of, mostly because the localized depletion they are causing forces everybody to go further and travel faster to catch the fish. Yet they think they should be treated just like an Alaskan resident fishing out of a 16' skiff (that's how I catch mine). Oh wait, they're suggesting we should be lumped together for the "safety of recreational anglers"........right.

    Alaskans living in coastal communities are the ones who get hurt the most by this.

  15. #15

    Default

    [QUOTE=AKCAPT;1049016]The divide and conquer plan came directly from the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association in Sitka in 1995. So far so good for them!!".


    So far so good for who?------You can't be serious.

    The Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association, they're based in Sitka, Alaska. That's area 2C, where their sector has been cut to 20% of what they had a few years ago. Meanwhile, the charters in the same area exceeded their GHL for 7 of the last 8 years. 20%, that's like going from a 2 fish per day limit to 1 fish EVERY OTHER DAY. Meanwhile, the locals have to fight to find fish because the charter fleet has decimated everything within reach of a small boat.

    It just goes to show how out of touch the charter sector is, especially in Southeast Alaska.

  16. #16
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default clarification

    I didn't start this thread to endorse the CSP. I started it because unguided anglers are under attack. You can suppport unguided anglers and oppose or support the CSP.

    As an update, the Council is waaaay behind schedule. They will not likely start into the halibut issues until sometime tomorrow (Sunday). Perhaps late-morning or early-afternoon.

  17. #17
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seward
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    AKCAPT, you keep saying that this is all part of some grand scheme from the commercial guys...maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But we gotta stick together, right?

    Then why are the charters the ones that are bringing the rope to the party? Who's getting played by the commercial guys?

    You're certainly not expecting the rest of us to sit back and take it, are you?

    Do you expect us to ignore the gun aimed at us right now and instead try to undo the regulatory makings of the last 15 years?

    I see two sectors, whose actions are driven by money, now bearing down on one user group that is not.

    I would say I agree with what you say here but IPHC also has the unguided sector in their cross hairs.

    In a historically low abundance, is taking a cut in harvest being attacked? I'd say itis being a steward of the resource....Especially if all other directed sectors have taken a 50% cut.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,883

    Default

    AKCAPT, lets not be deceptive.

    Charter cuts and abundance cuts are two completely different things. It is wrong to confuse the two, dragging privates into charter cuts.

    Charters cuts were triggered as a result of charters exceeding GHL, growing exponentially, and taking allocation from other users. Those cuts are strictly for charters, and they were coming long before any abundance concern. It's explained in the Federal Register.

    Abundance cuts are a result of the stock decline. Here all users, including charters, must steward the resource fairly and equitably.

    I don't see any reasonable non-guided sportfisherman here saying he is not willing to do his part to steward the resource during abundance concerns. However, charters are using that abundance situation as a moniker to include non-guided sportfishermen in their own allocation restrictions.

    So really, charters have two separate issues going on. One dealing with current allocation restrictions (their own mess, GHL's etc.), the other dealing with abundance restrictions (everyone's mess). So really, charters need to make not only cuts to meet GHL, but additional cuts that all users will be making for abundance concerns.


    Quote Originally Posted by MGH55
    Where do the private anglers that fish on a charter boat sign up at?....I asked as a private sport angler that goes on a charter boat where do I sign up to protect my rights to the same limit as any other private angler?
    There is no such thing as a private angler on a charter boat.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    AKCAPT, lets not be deceptive.

    There is no such thing as a private angler on a charter boat.
    Really?? So what are they? They are not comfish or they would get 85% of the take and have gotten an IFQ years ago. So Grampy what is guy who drives down from Anchorage and hops on a charter? They just hacked the number of charters last year. Wasnt that enough? I do think there should only be one trip a day for any charter.

  20. #20

    Default

    I've tried to avoid most fisheries discussions lately, since seeing the direction they all seem to go -- almost inevitably downhill into the "blame game". Scarcity breeds greed. It hardly matters which sector's perspective is represented in any fisheries discussion, since all seem almost equally shortsighted with regard to a rapidly diminishing resource.

    All discussions of CSP allocation seem to miss the fundamental point -- instead of fighting over which sectors should take a cut in harvest, ALL SECTORS must take a MAJOR cut in harvest. Just because we call a resource "renewable" doesn't mean it can actually renew itself while under continuous harvest pressure. The bottom-line is that if one wants any resource to exist in the future, it must periodically go fallow, resting to renew itself. So if you think THIS current situation is what "critically low abundance" looks like, well "ya ain't seen nothin' yet!"

    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    The fact remains that the pie of harvestable surplus is just that; a pie that cannot go beyond 100%. When the pie gets smaller, it gets ugly.
    You may have a point here, but there are other ways out of this dilemma. The most basic one is to grow the pie by reducing overconsumption of the resource, to enhance reproduction until abundance recovers. It's sheer idiocy for humans to believe we can harvest any resource indefinitely without proper stewardship, and conservation is part of stewardship. Look at history, humans have been here before -- the Sahara desert, the American Dust Bowl, and many other examples of overstressed environments finally experiencing catastrophic failure. The solution is to cut total harvest FAR below the current allocated harvest to "rest" our fisheries. (It also wouldn't hurt to significantly reduce pollution.) The ecosystem can take only so much pressure before becoming irreparably harmed.

    I find all this talk about "times of critically low abundance" and "localized depletion" biologically and ecologically naive, as though it were a temporary phenomenon. What we have is NOT a "fully allocated fishery", but rather a massively over-allocated fishery, and we're already FAR beyond 100% of "harvestable surplus".

    Not one sector is "entitled" to a single fish! Not commercial, not charter, not sport. Every single group must take a break from current fishing activities. Otherwise, with continued pressure, even at the currently reduced rates, ALL of our fisheries as we know them, including subsistence, may well become a thing of the past.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •