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Commercial - Recreational - Conservation Issues An open forum for the exchange of ideas and positions on current and proposed regulations in saltwater fishing and conservation.

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Old 01-28-2006, 12:54 AM
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Default A breath of fresh air

NET PROFITS New Jersey fishermen land record catch

By RICHARD DEGENER Staff Writer, (609) 463-6711
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2006

— Mike Byrne's job gets a bit easier every time the U.S. dollar loses ground in the world.

A weak dollar means a stronger overseas market for squid, mackerel and other underutilized fish species in which Lund's Fisheries, a dock on Ocean Drive in the Port of Cape May, specializes. Lund's deals in fish species few American consumers want. Business has been very good the past few years.

“The dollar took a tailspin. In the export business, that's good. Suddenly, your product is in demand,” Byrne, Lund's vice president, said Wednesday.

This was one of the reasons commercial fishermen in New Jersey landed a record 187 million pounds of seafood in 2004 valued at almost $146 million. The numbers, released this week by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, are up from 170 million pounds worth $121 million landed in 2003.

The $146 million worth of seafood is the price paid to fishermen. As the seafood moves up to the wholesale and retail levels, and to the consumer, the value increases at least six times. The state's seafood industry, including imports, is estimated at $2 billion annually.

More exports are one of the reasons Lund's is doing so well. Byrne noted that at one point the U.S. dollar was losing major ground to the Euro, the Canadian dollar, the British pound and other currencies. Byrne said the adjustment was a long time coming.

“The U.S. dollar had been overvalued. It was way too strong,” Byrne said.

While many U.S. economic interests don't like a weak dollar, it helped make squid the No. 4 valued species in New Jersey in 2004 at $8.5 million, while Atlantic mackerel was No. 8 at $3.4 million. This helped Lund's move product to consumers in other countries that eat squid and mackerel. It helped Lund's do its part in making America stronger.

“Exports are a good thing for the country. They help the trade deficit. We're doing our part,” Byrne said.

That is not the only thing leading to the trend that bumped landings by 10 percent in 2004. Byrne also noted that American tastes are changing. While the summer squid, called illex squid, is still mostly exported, Byrne noted more than 90 percent of the winter squid fishery, loligo squid, is now being sold right here in America.

“Almost every restaurant you go to now has a calamari appetizer,” Byrne said.

Another major factor is the comeback of the Atlantic sea scallop, a species at such low levels a quarter century ago that it was not even among the top 15 species in pounds landed in New Jersey. It wasn't even on the list in 1982. Management measures, including closing areas of the ocean to scalloping and limiting the number of fishing days, have paid huge dividends. In 1993, scallops were No. 12 in pounds landed but still only comprised 1.4 percent of state landings with 2.3 million pounds landed.

In 2004, New Jersey fishermen landed more than 50 million pounds of scallops worth $67.4 million. This was the top catch with two Port of Atlantic City staples, surf clams at $22.3 million and ocean quahogs at $9.1 million, far behind in the next two slots.

“Scallops are king. My main thing is scallops, and has been for a few years,” said Keith Laudeman, whose family owns Cold Spring Fish & Supply in the Port of Cape May.

Laudeman believes managers can sustain the harvest numbers but also knows that only the marketplace can dictate the price, which has remained strong.

State Agriculture Secretary Charles Kuperus credited fishery-management plans with leading to the higher landings.

“Much of the recent positive growth can be attributed to fishermen working together with government officials and scientists to develop effective management plans and strategies that can help ensure that our coastal resources remain available to future generations. This strategy has paid dividends with a great harvest of sea scallops and squid,” Kuperus said.

The Department of Agriculture puts together the state totals from data collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The data tends to be a year behind, with 2004 totals just being reported, but all indications are scallop landings stayed strong in 2005 and will into the immediate future.

“Scallops are going to continue to rise,” said Lynne Richmond of the Department of Agriculture.

Linda O'Dierno, the department's Coordinator of Fish and Seafood Development, said most of the 2004 trends continued in 2005. She also noted aquaculture is an up-and-coming industry, and the landing figures only include some of these species, such as hard clams and oysters. In 1998, the state had only 28 aquaculture operations. There are now 172 aquaculture licenses with at least 16 operations growing finfish. O'Dierno noted aquaculture students at Cumberland County College are growing fish that are being sold at supermarkets.

Another bright spot is the strength of the hard clam industry. These are the clams landed in the backbays throughout southern New Jersey. Hard clams, which include aquaculture operations, are No. 5 in value at $7.4 million.

Blue crabs, a staple of Port Norris and other bay areas, came in at No. 6 with $5.3 million garnered by crabbers. Oysters, another bay catch and aquaculture item, were worth $1.6 million. Monkfish, a by-catch in the scallop fishery, came in at $3.5 million. Fluke landings were at $4.4 million, but they could soon be declining due to cutbacks in quotas. Lobster landings were at $1.8 million.

“That's an interesting statistic. People don't think of New Jersey as a lobster state, but they're coming up,” Richmond said.

--------------------




Many of the guys that have or do post on this board Have a lot to do with these numbers. If ya think that it's all about killin killin killin , you are sadly mistaken. For every one day that we're killin we are also spending equal time either fixin , learning. That time that we spend tuning the rig up we don't get paid jack.

I'm proud to say that I Work as a Fishermen out of Cape May.

Bravo well written article it is sincerely nice to read something that doesn't contain a negative tone toward the Commercial Industry.
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Old 01-29-2006, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Quote:
This was one of the reasons commercial fishermen in New Jersey landed a record 187 million pounds of seafood in 2004 valued at almost $146 million. The numbers, released this week by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, are up from 170 million pounds worth $121 million landed in 2003.
OK Marty, you're losing me here. The comm catch is UP 10% year over year and revenue is up by about 20%, what are the comms b1tchin' about all the time? And with those numbers, why do you need tags for bass? Just looking for an explanation, not an argument.

BTW, seems that the scallops are back big time, is that credit due to management or is it just acyclical fishery that the gubmint wants to take credit for fixing?
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

headen to MD I'll give ya a good one tonight.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

" This was one of the reasons commercial fishermen in New Jersey landed a record 187 million pounds of seafood in 2004 valued at almost $146 million. The numbers, released this week by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, are up from 170 million pounds worth $121 million landed in 2003.


I be willing to bet that this year it might have leveled off a bit only time will tell that. My prediction is that 2007 will be the biggest year that NJ will ever see.

Ok Frank, Scallops are back due to better { far from perfect } Management there are still a lot of fine tuning measures that need to happen. Here is my explanation to ya. " Why tags would be important " Not all boats are scallop boats Not all boats have a full time scallop boat. If ya look at the NJ fleet you could easily say that it is broken down into four levels. Small 15 to 24 foot crab boats that would work in the bays and sounds in a few different fishery's. Medium 30 to 50 foot that work the inshore coastal waters. again in many different fisheries. Worked by one or two men Thats me !!! Large 65 to 100 working the off shore waters but from time to time working inshore as well. That consisted of many combo boats Scallop / Fin Fish and clams. Extra Large freezer or processor boats mainly but not restricted to summer squid , Mack's and herring and clams.

Not all of these boats have the same permits , for some of the boats it would be a economical shot in the arm. I hope this answers your question. If not let me know I'll try again.
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Old 01-30-2006, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

It's cool Marty, I just know that no matter what, if the comms can sell bass some comms will figure a way to abuse the fishery.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

it doesn't matter how much money is being made right now in the comm fishery,,,,THAT QUOTA ,,,striped bass ,,,, IS OURS. i will never understand how its politically correct to throw them over the side dead,,,than to bring them in and feed the world. ITS RECREATIONAL GREED!!!! its just that simple.....there are HUNDREDS of ways the comms could land striped bass without abusing anything.....remember this,,,,,the commercial fleet almost went bankrupt to get to where we are now..i will admit the past couple years have been good to us ,,,only because the over seas dollar has been strong...scalloping has been real good because of strict regs,,,but thats only going to last 2 more years and that fishery will crash again....nmfs gave us 52 open bottom days this year,,,AND THATS ABOUT 20 TOO MANY.... the open bottom will be wiped out soon,,and the closed areas will be cleaned up in a couple years.....and NMFS destroyed Hudson canyon,,,, BUT THEY WONT ADMIT IT,,,, BUT THEY DID!!!!!!!
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

I think that it great that thee above article was in the paper and has been circulated around the WEB. The writer assumes that the world understands or knows how the fishing industries works. Maybe this is the start of many to come.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Mike, listen I as a rec want YOU to be able to take some bass to market, I've just yet to hear a plan that some comms wont abuse the sytem

i hope the scallops dont crash, the last time Rags got them from you I was lucky enough to enjoy some, they were great, hope the NMFS figures out what you know before they let the fishery collapse
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Quote:
Originally Posted by BENTROD
i will never understand how its politically correct to throw them over the side dead,,,than to bring them in and feed the world.

FrankN:
If you get the NJ Fisherman Magazine, there's a report in last issue, I believe, that reported a gill netter in Va. who got caught taking too many bass. The reported estimate of fish he illegaly took was worth $15,000.oo, market value. He has to pay that $$ amount, as well the fines levied.
Those are some big stakes to be gambling one's boat and livilihood on. Win big loose big. I have to believe that if a commercial striper bycatch quota were to be inacted in Jersey, the comm. boats would have so many eyes on their landings, that any unscrupulous comms, would quickly be nabbed. I also don't understand what would motivate a comm. capt. to want to do anything that would give credence to the status quo rec. claim that the comms. would find a way to overharvest bass. If all of a sudden comms. could harvest their striper by catch, and take $$$'s to the bank, that they didn't get the previous year, why would they ruin it for themselves and do something so detrimental to their own pocket books?

What really bothers me about the current legislation banning comm. harvest of striper by-catch, is that to a comm. fisherman, right now, the striper in Jersey waters is a worthless fish, right up there with searobins to us. When a bass is in their nets it's not only taking up space where a large drum or shark could be, but it is also taking up time to get it out of the net and toss it overboard dead. Should the comms. be able to harvest the bycatch, the striper has value to them and everyone gets landing data when the fish are brought to market. At the present time, we get dead stripers uncounted, unused, relegated to crab food. Finally, with the mesh sizes being used, the striper bycatch are mostly going to be big fish.

FrankN, one last thing. With the way the comms. are governed, they MUST hit or exceed their quotas. If they do not, they risk loosing poundage and worse, the whole species. So a comm. capt. doesn't have the luxury of saying "well, I think that trout are being hammered so I'm gonna' stop targeting them at 1\2 my quota." Should they do that they risk loosing that species. More often than not I think the comms'. hands are forced to harvest wether they like it or not!
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Old 01-31-2006, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Tank

FrankN, one last thing. With the way the comms. are governed, they MUST hit or exceed their quotas. If they do not, they risk loosing poundage and worse, the whole species. So a comm. capt. doesn't have the luxury of saying "well, I think that trout are being hammered so I'm gonna' stop targeting them at 1\2 my quota." Should they do that they risk loosing that species. More often than not I think the comms'. hands are forced to harvest wether they like it or not!
FISHTANK,,,,,,,,the way it works is................if we go over our quota ,,,the pounds automatically comes off the following years quota,,,when that happens ,,its either the states fault or NMFS by not shutting the fishery down earlier,,,,but lately that hasn't been too bad..when the quota start getting close they have DAILY REPORTING from the dealers.. fluke just closed for us last week,,,and most of the fleet were already on the grounds by the time the letter came in the mail box...thats another thing that needs fixing...

IF WE don't catch our quotas,,,,,,,,,,we never get those pounds back the following year...WE LOST THEM.....but the way that happens is through trip limits....THATS NMFS WAY OF SCREWING US !!! but we just changed that last year,,,this year in the last quarter,,,NMFS will be able to up the trip limits to be able to get closer to the pounds....THATS A GOOD THING...ill let you know how it went next Christmas
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Old 01-31-2006, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

You must not be paying attention Hank, Fishpicker has nets that stripers never get caught in.

Aint that true Picker Ole Buddie?

We want the truth!
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:08 PM
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Talking Re: A breath of fresh air

Dam right and very proud of it One striper was killed this year. ONE ask the government they were on my boat almost everyday. That's the truth
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Picker,
Did you loose other fish because you set the gill net correctly not to catch stripers? That would suck.
It makes me so mad that you cant keep bycatch. Makes no sense. Nobody wins.
Also why so much oversight on your boat? Or is it industry standard?
Lastly, do you ever have visitors ride along just to check the scene out. Like if me and Tank came aboard for a trip...would insurance let that fly or would the captian just rather keep some dumb recs (speaking for myself here) off the ship?
I would be very curious to see what a day in your life looks like.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Pisses me off to no end. What make it worse is watching the horizon and seeing all of the boats blatantly laughing at the law, But I'm the bad guy ?????
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: A breath of fresh air

Shipwreck,
Maybe when the backwaters open up come March we could run down that way. Marty is real cool and early season backwater and bay fishing rocks down there.

Give me a call!!!

We can kill a goose while we're there!!!
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