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Thread: Commercial Shrimp Pot Fishery to Close

  1. #1
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    Default Commercial Shrimp Pot Fishery to Close

    Received this email yesterday,

    FISHERY ANNOUNCEMENT
    PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND COMMERCIAL SHRIMP POT FISHERY
    SEASON CLOSURE
    EMERGENCY ORDER 2-SF-E-05-12
    The Prince William Sound (PWS) commercial shrimp pot season will close effective 8:00 p.m. July 15. Fishery performance in harvest Area 3, which is comprised of waters in southwestern PWS, has been poor relative to fishing during the recent two years in harvest Areas 1 and 2. Since the season opened April 15 total harvest is low, approximately 19,100 lb from 104 landings by 32 vessels and fishery catch per unit of effort (CPUE) is 0.97 lb per pot (lb/pot). Logbook data indicate that fishing effort has been broadly distributed throughout the open area with CPUE remaining low in all areas with the exception of Copper Bay which closed by emergency order in response to declining CPUE.
    The 2012 PWS shrimp pot season opened April 15, the third season following an 18-year closure, with a 51,240 lb guideline harvest level (GHL). Department survey data from stations located throughout PWS are used to estimate the spot shrimp total allowable harvest (TAH). Elements of the commercial harvest strategy allocate 40% of the TAH to commercial harvest and divide the western portion of PWS into three harvest areas with the seasons rotating annually between areas.
    The 2012 CPUE is low compared with 2.50 lb/pot in harvest Area 1 during 2010 and 1.78 lb/pot in harvest Area 2 during 2011. The low fishery CPUE in harvest Area 3 is consistent with department data from the three survey sites in that area. However, the consistently low fishery CPUE in concert with the geographical extent of fishing effort strongly suggests that shrimp abundance throughout harvest Area 3 is low relative to Areas 1 and 2.
    Although the estimated TAH is believed appropriate to the shrimp fisheries in the entire PWS
    -continued-
    NR09-SF-E-12 Shrimp Pot Season Closure Final
    area, additional commercial fishing in harvest Area 3 is unwarranted due to the low fishery catch and CPUE. Therefore, in order to sustainably manage the shrimp pot fishery in harvest Area 3, and to provide adequate notice for participants the commercial season will close effective 8:00 p.m. July 15. After the closure, shrimp pots may be stored on the grounds for no more than seven days and only if all bait and bait containers have been removed and all doors secured fully open (5AAC 31.052). Fishermen are reminded that all harvested shrimp must be landed within 72 hours following the season closure. Participants and vessels used in the PWS commercial shrimp pot fishery may not participate in the PWS noncommercial shrimp pot fisheries during the 14 days following the season closure unless all requirements of 5AAC 31.053 are met. This includes removing all commercial shrimp pots from the water and contacting the department in order to cancel their registration.
    -end-

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    My shrimp hauls have dropped by 50-75% after last years shrimp season. I have ranted about this before. Although I dont shrimp the current harvest area, I am very happy that they closed it. It should be a lesson that they dont always know what they are talking about. Mark my words, they WILL overfish the sound, and the benefit will be will not be worth the price.(Unless you are a commercial fisher) Remember that these shrimp have at least a seven year life cycle. Harvesting them in the same area every three years makes NO sense. 32 comm guys benefiting financially at the expense of 100s and 100s of sport fishers is ridiculous.

    (Previous post from several weeks ago)
    The spot shrimp have a life cycle of about 7 years. That was much longer than the biologist origanally thought when they managed the commercial fishery years ago. That meant that they were not reproducing as quickly as once thought. This lack of knowledge led to over harvesting. Now they think that a 3 year rotation is going to correct this? Not to mention the large amount of sport fisherman that are also harvesting for personal use. Some people think that the oil spill is what closed shrimping in the sound. That is not correct. By 1987 the shrimp population was decimated do to poor management. I believe that this will happen again. I am not anti commercial fishing, but I must admit that this comm fisheries quota pi$$e$ me off. The fact that this area is accessable by the majority of the sport fisherman in the state to enjoy, and what is to be gained by a few comm guys makes NO sense to me. Even if they do manage to keep it going for several years, every year will become more difficult to enjoy. Unless of coarse, I choose to "become" a commercial shrimper with my 40 or so pots. I personally know several people that are involved in this fishery, and they admit that the write offs are probably more valuable than the actual profit. BrianM, while I do respect your family history in the sound, just because something was allowed before, does not mean that it should always continue. It is not likely that ANY of the comm fisherman from then are participating in the current openers.

  3. #3
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    Glad to see it closing for the commercial guys.
    I agree with Soundfishers statement above.
    Thanks for the update Steve!
    BK

  4. #4

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    Well said soundfisher I'll look forward to the complete closure of commercial shrimping in PWS. Area three closure is a great example of how little knowledge F & G have on the abundance of shrimp in the sound. So few test fisheries and they flat do not know the answers. This area should have never been opened. There are two things we all know for sure, commercial over fishing distroyed the fishery in the past and during the subsistence fishery the resource has rebounded. Daa

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    [QUOTE=Soundfisher;1143099]My shrimp hauls have dropped by 50-75% after last years shrimp season. I have ranted about this before. Although I dont shrimp the current harvest area, I am very happy that they closed it. It should be a lesson that they dont always know what they are talking about. Mark my words, they WILL overfish the sound, and the benefit will be will not be worth the price.(Unless you are a commercial fisher) Remember that these shrimp have at least a seven year life cycle. Harvesting them in the same area every three years makes NO sense. 32 comm guys benefiting financially at the expense of 100s and 100s of sport fishers is ridiculous.

    Realize that there weren't 32 boats fishing to the end, thats the total number of boats that fished and made deliveries. I fished it last week for a couple of days and never saw another boat, fishing(shrimping) sucked but from what i saw there not much good bottom down that way granted i fished around the jackpot icy bays area. I'd bet that at this time there are 0-4 boats still fishing the com pot fishery, can you say that about the hundreds of rec boats still fishing every weekend and thats not counting the pots that are fished by locals that NEVER come out of the water for the whole season(and later).
    SF do you think that all of the rec pots(3000 permits issued last year) are having any impact on the shrimp stocks? I had a quick talk with the management biologist for PWS a few weeks ago and he says to me "take a guess at how many pots the rec guys lost last year?" I say i don't have a idea 2-300?? he tells me its just a hair over 700!! and thats only what was reported. I'm blown away by that number but then he says "well its a 100 less than the year before". So there 1500 pots dead on the bottom still fishing.
    The whole shrimp fishery needs to be restructured, shorter season, better/more (in season) reporting by the rec fishery is needed, close areas during the season (like in the com fishery) when the rec fishery fishes a area and a certain number of shrimp is caught in that area, give the place a rest.
    I didn't mean to start a pissing match with my post but it always turns into that whenever it has anything to do with any fishery that has both comm and sport fishermen going after it.

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  6. #6

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    [QUOTE=potbuilder;1143241]
    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    So there 1500 pots dead on the bottom still fishing.
    I need to find some of that bait! Mine seems less effective after two soaks.
    Seriously though, that is a shocking number of lost pots and is certainly a problem. However once the bait dissolves it's hard for me to believe they catch many shrimp. I don't think spot shrimp are like lobster that will enter pots for shelter-seeking reasons.

  7. #7

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    Pots have to be made using a section of that thread or whatever that dissolves over time so that the pots don't fish forever. Anyone know how long it actually takes that thread to dissolve?

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    [QUOTE=Kisutch;1143262]
    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post

    I need to find some of that bait! Mine seems less effective after two soaks.
    Seriously though, that is a shocking number of lost pots and is certainly a problem. However once the bait dissolves it's hard for me to believe they catch many shrimp. I don't think spot shrimp are like lobster that will enter pots for shelter-seeking reasons.
    But they go in to eat the small fish that get into the pots and die that went in to eat the shrimp that went in to eat the dead fish and it goes on and on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Pots have to be made using a section of that thread or whatever that dissolves over time so that the pots don't fish forever. Anyone know how long it actually takes that thread to dissolve?
    I've got pots that are over 5 years old and the cotton is still good and strong. You've got to remember that when you bring the pots home the cotton dries out and gets rained on so its cleaned, to my way of thinking you need it to stay wet(like when the pot is lost) but you need oxygen to cause the rotting process and there ain't much of that underwater. I'd like to see them go to a steel hog ring that will rust out(rust never sleeps neil young) along with the electrolysis that would go along with the aluminum and stainless dissimilar metals on a pot, its what they use back east on the lobster gear along with a vent in the pot that floats out of the way of the large opening cut into the wire. I'm going to be doing some research on the hog rings and might just put a proposal in to the BOF. I also think they should adopt some kind of reg for the nylon mesh pots for a solid panel with lets say 6 or more 7/8" holes across it because if you look at it closely when you tighten that pucker string on the bottom of those pots it distorts the meshes above the bottom hoop and then you don't have a true 7/8" hole for the small shrimp to slide through, with the rigid mesh pots its all 7/8" all around the pot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    My shrimp hauls have dropped by 50-75% after last years shrimp season. I have ranted about this before. Although I dont shrimp the current harvest area, I am very happy that they closed it. It should be a lesson that they dont always know what they are talking about. Mark my words, they WILL overfish the sound, and the benefit will be will not be worth the price.
    If ya ask me, WE (sportfishers/non-commercial shrimpers) are part of THEY.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    My shrimp hauls have dropped by 50-75% after last years shrimp season. I have ranted about this before. Although I dont shrimp the current harvest area, I am very happy that they closed it. It should be a lesson that they dont always know what they are talking about. Mark my words, they WILL overfish the sound, and the benefit will be will not be worth the price.(Unless you are a commercial fisher) Remember that these shrimp have at least a seven year life cycle. Harvesting them in the same area every three years makes NO sense. 32 comm guys benefiting financially at the expense of 100s and 100s of sport fishers is ridiculous.

    (Previous post from several weeks ago)
    The spot shrimp have a life cycle of about 7 years. That was much longer than the biologist origanally thought when they managed the commercial fishery years ago. That meant that they were not reproducing as quickly as once thought. This lack of knowledge led to over harvesting. Now they think that a 3 year rotation is going to correct this? Not to mention the large amount of sport fisherman that are also harvesting for personal use. Some people think that the oil spill is what closed shrimping in the sound. That is not correct. By 1987 the shrimp population was decimated do to poor management. I believe that this will happen again. I am not anti commercial fishing, but I must admit that this comm fisheries quota pi$$e$ me off. The fact that this area is accessable by the majority of the sport fisherman in the state to enjoy, and what is to be gained by a few comm guys makes NO sense to me. Even if they do manage to keep it going for several years, every year will become more difficult to enjoy. Unless of coarse, I choose to "become" a commercial shrimper with my 40 or so pots. I personally know several people that are involved in this fishery, and they admit that the write offs are probably more valuable than the actual profit. BrianM, while I do respect your family history in the sound, just because something was allowed before, does not mean that it should always continue. It is not likely that ANY of the comm fisherman from then are participating in the current openers.
    If you are handing out blame, sport deserves their share of blame in the numbers decline. Typical me first attitude
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    I don't take part in this fishery however I would caution the users to examine what has happened to the Kenai Kings. Fighting between the interested parties has done nothing for preservation of the fishery.

    On that note I have a box full of kwikfish for sale...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    If ya ask me, WE (sportfishers/non-commercial shrimpers) are part of THEY.
    I agree with you. They is "me" also. I just don't agree with the commercial harvest in the Sound where they financial benefit of 32 outweighs the benefit of 1000's of sport fishermen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    I agree with you. They is "me" also. I just don't agree with the commercial harvest in the Sound where they financial benefit of 32 outweighs the benefit of 1000's of sport fishermen.
    Right on. I will say that I've done my part to help the shrimp as my shrimping results for this year have been downright poor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    If you are handing out blame, sport deserves their share of blame in the numbers decline. Typical me first attitude
    While you may think that I have a "me first attitude", that is not why I am outspoken on this issue. This fishery was closed years ago due to over harvesting caused by poor management. Unfortunately the commercial guys suffered back then. Almost 2 decades later it was opened back up. I think that most of the comm guys from back then were probably not sitting here wait for it to open back up so they can get back to work. I think they moved on. The Sound is accessible to a huge population of our state. While some may only shrimp 1 time, and some may shrimp 20 times per year, I don't feel that the quota set for 32 commercial guys outweighs the benefit of the "3000" or so sport fishers that applied for a permit. What is the need to have a commercial fishery? Who does it really benefit? I also agree that it needs to be managed better due to the high number of sport fishers that can easily deplete the fishery.

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    Maybe they should go to a dipnet permit style.
    Family of 4 can retain 10 pounds of tails or such, instead of the all you can catch plus 1 limit we have now.
    I also agree that we should close the season for the personal use earlier. Although I caught one full of eggs on Memorial day it was only 1 (yes I let her go too) Seems most the ones I catch are late season. so lets give them a change to breed.
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    They should close the sport shrimping down also. If the shrimp are on the decline then it shouldn't matter if you are a sport or a commercial shrimper, a dead shrimp is a dead shrimp. The 3000 people that benefit from sport shrimping shouldn't have any more right to the shrimp than the commercial guys. I and thousands of other people benefit from the commercial guys catching shrimp. My vote is for managing the resource for the resource not the user group.
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    Facts being what they are it is interesting that in 8 years of shrimping PWS I only ever saw the numbers get better and better (maybe I was just getting better and better) and then after the commercial openings I have seen a 50-70 percent decline on any given spot that I shrimp. I realize there are way more sport guys than commercial guys but maybe the commercial guys are just that much more effective. Fact are facts and either way it needs to be managed. Last thing we want to see is the resource go away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    While you may think that I have a "me first attitude", that is not why I am outspoken on this issue. This fishery was closed years ago due to over harvesting caused by poor management. Unfortunately the commercial guys suffered back then. Almost 2 decades later it was opened back up. I think that most of the comm guys from back then were probably not sitting here wait for it to open back up so they can get back to work. I think they moved on. The Sound is accessible to a huge population of our state. While some may only shrimp 1 time, and some may shrimp 20 times per year, I don't feel that the quota set for 32 commercial guys outweighs the benefit of the "3000" or so sport fishers that applied for a permit. What is the need to have a commercial fishery? Who does it really benefit? I also agree that it needs to be managed better due to the high number of sport fishers that can easily deplete the fishery.
    I don't mean to single you out here, I just grow tired of different user groups all wanting a piece of the pie, and then when the pie runs out, they blame eachother for taking the last piece. What benifits one group doesn't benefit the other. I can't believe that if there is a decline in the number of shrimp that commercial guys are the only ones responsible.
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    Ok, I'll chime in.
    Just had a nice weekend with extended family on the PWS. Weather got better as we went into the weekend. Tryed to catch some fish but failed.... but had a kick of time setting and pulling pots ( by hand) in the sound. Had nice "shrimp on the barbie" back in Valdez with lots of laughs and sore backs!! All part of the experience. The PWS is beautiful and resources need to be manage properly (fairly) so that we and our grand children can count on having the same experience. That be commercial

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