Just curious, how many pots per vessel are commercial shrimpers allowed?
I usually make one or two, shrimping marathon trips. In the fall when the seiners come into port I pull all the gear for the season as do a lot of other locals in Valdez. Shortening the season may only hurt the Labor Day crowd and others that come down for silvers.I'd rather see a shorter season than fewer pots, personally.
this was a %100 completely sustainable sport/subsistance fishery the way it was and could have taken quite a bit more pressure with no worries...
The cost of fuel and tunnel fees out of Whittier will be hard to justify when fishing with only 3 pots. It almost forces you to camp out for two days to make it worth the trip.
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I'm frustrated by this restriction too, however. Its worth pointing out that it's a lot easier for the State to keep the commercial guys at or below their allowable harvest. They are monitored and their catch is tracked as its delivered etc. The nebulous reporting of the personal use and subsistence catch has to be extremely difficult to manage. They don't even have an estimate to work with until they chase all of us users down and brow beat us to fill out and return our catch report. And even then is the data good? How many of us are truly honest about how much we get and how often we go. For myself, I try to fill out my report as accurately as I can, however I know that I had to estimate on a couple of my trips because I forgot. I wonder if there is a better method? Perhaps a certified scale in the harbor? I don't know, but we probably need to start looking into different solutions. I'd rather see a shorter season than fewer pots, personally.
Don't discount how many people OVER estimate their catch, not that any fisherman has ever been guilty of that...
I would be willing to bet that more people say they caught more than they actually did. Maybe through the law of averages, those undercount balance out those who overcount. But if I had to bet I would put down a good amount of cash that the personal and subsistence users over estimate their catch and by a fair amount.
...... but the fact is that all us (yeah, we are all part of the issue) sport/sub shrimpers are going out in larger numbers and/or more often leading to more harvest is what led to this restriction from the four pots. Basically, I believe that the resource has taken quite a bit more pressure since the good old days. If I read the EO correctly, we actually have more allocation than last year, it just that harvest would likely be over the allocation limit with four pots
Not saying the comm guys need to be cut back if there is a problem but they have never exceeded their quota however according to F&G the rec's exceeded their quota by 28,000 lbs(28%) last year so i'd think that would be the first group to rein in a bit. I personally think the rec fishery needs to report their catches in at least monthly. I also would like to see the season cut by aprox a month. If that fails them maybe think of some sort of catch limit, nothing as drastic as washington state but maybe some kind of poundage limit per day ?
Guess i'll be stocking a lot of "lenghtners" of floating rope to make those 2 pot lines into 3 pot lines all will come with free splicing if you bring the lines to the shop.
It would be nice to see the full sport fishing shrimp harvest report with the "take" areas. Whittier and Valdez do get hit harder than other areas that's expected. We have people over here that have small boats for shrimping and salmon once they come in. So they just target the Port Valdez area. Myself, I have a special spot that I go to and shrimp for 2-3 days and if Mother Luck is with me, I am done for the year. I think it has to be a blanket approach though as trying to regulate who has 3 pots, 4 pots and where they are heading might be problematic.A factor I believe F&G is overlooking is the concentration of recreation users in the areas near Whittier that off limits to the commercial fishery. I suspect that >50% of the rec users are concentrating in this area, so it begs the question: How has the shrimp population responded in this area over the past 5 years as the pot limits have gradually decreased? If the areas hit hardest by rec users are in fact over harvesting, perhaps the recreational fishery should embrace a rotational model like the commercial catch. A blanket reduction across the Sound does not make sense to me.