Flounder Petition-Please Sign!!!
Many of you have responded to my prior email about my petition to stop commercial fishing for winter flounder in state waters (all states!) and the waters adjacent to state waters. Thank you!
This is not in any way a vendetta against draggers, gill netters, fyke or trap fishermen; it is simply a means to restore a traditional rod and reel fishery to what it was before the proliferation of modern commercial fishing methods with far, far too much gear in the water - The stocks simply can't take it!
The issue is that inshore commercial fishermen are targeting the exact same "inshore stock" of flounder that have been traditionally caught by recreational anglers to a point that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all no longer have a viable recreational fishery at all. They also have a two fish recreational limit as we in Massachusetts have in the Southern part of the state.
This past fall (October, 2012) the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Advisory Panel doubled the state boats daily quota for winter flounder AND the federal government gave the federal boats a 77% reduction in cod which was their primary target. Now many of those boats are focusing on flounder and that is fine as long as the stocks can handle it but the fact is that they are "working on" the very same fish that have been enjoyed by thousands of recreational anglers in Boston Harbor and all the harbors facing Cape Cod Bay and the Gulf of Maine for the past 10 years or so of recovering stocks. Many, many thousands more anglers, perhaps millions, enjoyed recreational flounder fishing in Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey too. We can bring that back! A boon to tackle shops, hotels and fishing businesses up and down the coast but 1st we have to bring back the flounder in other states and southern Ma. and to save what we have in northern Ma. However, at the current rate of destruction, there will be ZERO recreational fishery for flounder anywhere.
The petition is simple: Stop all commercial fishing for winter flounder in all state waters (in all states) and the waters 5 miles beyond to protect the inshore stock of flounder that has traditionally been accessed by recreational anglers. If there is any bycatch fishery, make it no more than 25 pounds/boat/day. All boats that wish to fish for winter flounder in waters beyond the state (and adjacent) waters must have a VMS (vessel monitoring system).
Please send me your name and home town (PM or email) and I will add you to the petition.
Please pass this (as an email) on to all that may care-Thank you!
Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters