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"The Swamp" of NC Fisheries Management

Old 01-14-2021, 06:52 AM
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Default "The Swamp" of NC Fisheries Management

The link below to a WRAL article is a perfect example of why there is general overall distrust in our fisheries management system that starts with NCDMF and extends to APNEP, SeaGrant, the NC Coastal Federation, NC Catch, our research universities and the commercial fishing industry.

There exists an unhealthy and deeply conflicted relationship between these groups and individuals which has clouded the vision of those with missions to research, regulate and restore of our important coastal resources. There has been almost complete industry capture of both the research and regulatory sectors of management. Industry has captured the agencies responsible for regulation and agency grant funding has captured research.

This incestuous relationship blocks any attempt to manage unsustainable commercial gears and practices in NC. The research universities are beholding to senior staff at NCDMF/Sea Grant and mostly toe the line. There are no grant requests to legitimately study the effect of killing 1/2-billion juvenile fin and forage fish annually in the Pamlico Sound shrimp trawl fishery. Such a request would make that research professor persona non grata as a grant recipient for any future agency backed grants.

But, our tax dollars will fund plenty of studies like this one on how climate change might contribute to larvae entering the Pamlico Sound two months early and not have adequate forage or hiding places due to seasonal changes in marsh and sea grass habitats.

The concern is "
they could have trouble finding food AND a safe place to hide from predators, making it harder to survive".

This is a study to which there is no answer for control- https://www.wral.com/is-climate-chan...oast/19470426/

This study will surely be used as an excuse for why we are seeing decline in our spot, croaker and weakfish populations in the Pamlico Sound- the larvae are entering the sound too early and not surviving!

If that would be the case, it is all the more reason to study the effect of annually killing 1/2 billion of our economically important fin and forge species as bycatch in the Pamlico shrimp trawl fishery. Let's do all we reasonably can to protect those larvae that do survive to juvenile stage.




Why is a researcher concerned about larvae not having "a safe place to hide from predators" when the number one predator in the Pamlico Sound is this-







As many as fifty of those trawlers will be working the Pamlico Sound on a single day during shrimp season and can be seen in satellite imagines like the one below. There is literally no place to hide!





The recent issue of CCA-Tidelines summed up the problem with these words-
As Mary Christina Wood wrote so eloquently in her book, Nature's Trust, "government will continue to impoverish natural resources until our society can no longer sustain itself. Environmental statutes passed to protect resources can fulfill their purpose only if the agencies act on behalf of the public they constitutionally serve. Environmental statutes do not declare a purpose of allowing rampant resource destruction, but we know from experience that they will accomplish precisely that result if the agencies stay captive to the industries they are supposed to regulate."

Dr. Wood lays out two paths for leadership: "The direction in which government chooses to devote its energy depends on whether leaders pursue the politics of scarcity or the politics of abundance." With politics of scarcity, we watch as "officials use the power of the state primarily to divide the last crumbs (allocating to the most politically powerful individuals). The politics of abundance, by contrast, reach persistently and undauntingly toward protecting and building natural wealth." Fisheries management in North Carolina has often come down to arguing over who gets those last crumbs as our coastal fish stocks have been stretched to the breaking point. Look for it in the upcoming Southern flounder and Estuarine Striped Bass FMP's later this year. Instead of arguing over those crumbs, and giving them to the most politically powerful, we need leadership to start rebuilding the natural wealth of North Carolina for the people of North Carolina.
We cannot depend on our agencies to do the right thing and the universities aren't going to help by shedding light on the real problems.

Our conservation groups like CCA-NC, NCCFRG and NCWF are our only answer at this point.

https://ccanc.org/ccanc_lawsuit/
https://www.nccfrg.org/
https://ncwf.org/something-fishy/somethingfishyarticle/

Last edited by Rick S; 01-14-2021 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:01 AM
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interesting info - where do you find this "land viewer" website?
Old 01-14-2021, 07:24 AM
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https://eos.com/landviewer/?lat=35.4...reen,Blue&anti

Sign up. Ten images per day are free.
Old 01-14-2021, 07:58 AM
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We should trust them to do the best for us. Our government knows what is best for us.
Old 01-14-2021, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by nccoaster View Post
We should trust them to do the best for us. Our government knows what is best for us.


So you won't be taking that government-developed COVID vaccine. Or any other medicines which the government says is best for you.

Essentially all vaccines and medicines are based on government (NIH)-funded basic science studies. Big Pharma comes along and uses that information to develop their products.

Often vaccine studies are done in relevant animal models or in vitro correlates of protection by academia and proven effective there first, then Big Pharma moves them into human trial.

Thank goodness for Darwinism.
Old 01-14-2021, 02:10 PM
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I saw the article on water temps.
I can kind of see some of the hypotheses being true, but wondered what to make of the article in general.

I get the grant scenario where if you use grant $ for research someone/anyone doesn't like, you get no more grant $.
Old 01-14-2021, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CAP1 View Post
I saw the article on water temps.
I can kind of see some of the hypotheses being true, but wondered what to make of the article in general.

I get the grant scenario where if you use grant $ for research someone/anyone doesn't like, you get no more grant $.
I'm not doubting that water temps are rising. I'm not doubting that spring is kickstarting early or that winter is being delayed. You only have to look at the winter shrimp trawling happening off our coast right now and compare it to five years ago and see that warm water temps are affecting marine species.

Five years ago there would not be 18 trawlers working the beach from Nags Head to the VA state line landing record shrimp harvests.




I find it absolutely absurd that we're worried about warming water causing larvae to potentially enter the estuaries two months earlier than normal only to find insufficient food and not enough habitat to hide from predators. What's the solution? There is none.

There may be a solution to our declining spot, croaker and weakfish. Let's honestly study bycatch and honestly estimate the impact of killing 1/2-billion viable 3" to 7" juveniles annually. But, no one wants that hot potato to choke a career on.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:57 PM
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Trust the government, they know what is best for you. Science!
Old 01-14-2021, 07:02 PM
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If they all got killed off each year, how come there are so many of them to cry about being killed the next year? And the next? And the next? And year after year Going back to when trawling was invented.

Give me me a break.
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by FisherforHim View Post
If they all got killed off each year, how come there are so many of them to cry about being killed the next year? And the next? And the next? And year after year Going back to when trawling was invented.

Give me me a break.
Aghhhh this argument again.... You can continue to kill them off year after year, but one thing is for sure, they never grow to become of age if you continue to kill them. If they never come of age they never are large enough for the population of humans to consume. If they never become large enough to consume that means the public has lost that viable part of the resource.

One thing is for sure, the spot and croaker fishing in this state is nothing like it was 20 years ago. Just the kind of thing that would eventually happen from your quote "being killed the next year? And the next? And the next? And year after year Going back to when trawling was invented."

History has told us when you do destructive things over and over, it's only a matter of time before it causes a noticeable consequence. Guess we hit that time 20 years ago.
Old 01-15-2021, 04:54 AM
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Shrimpin didn’t start 20 years ago.
Old 01-15-2021, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by FisherforHim View Post
Shrimpin didn’t start 20 years ago.
agh.... this come back again....
It didn't, we all know it didn't but I see you failed to understand the post or how your own post from above was used to help you understand.

It's kind of like being a coal miner, you can remove millions of tons from the earth a year, or more, but your post says "If we can remove millions of tons every year, that means there is plenty of it" but in reality we all understand that removing coal everyday eventually leads to a depletion of the coal mine. It's about understanding the effects that people experience (today) from bad practices 100 years ago. The Ocean doesn't heal in 1 year, and populations can't recover in 1 year, but we can continuously remove millions of tons of juvenile fish that never make it to reproduce and cause changes in population structure for years. It's simple Biology.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mattbowen61990 View Post
agh.... this come back again....
It didn't, we all know it didn't but I see you failed to understand the post or how your own post from above was used to help you understand.

It's kind of like being a coal miner, you can remove millions of tons from the earth a year, or more, but your post says "If we can remove millions of tons every year, that means there is plenty of it" but in reality we all understand that removing coal everyday eventually leads to a depletion of the coal mine. It's about understanding the effects that people experience (today) from bad practices 100 years ago. The Ocean doesn't heal in 1 year, and populations can't recover in 1 year, but we can continuously remove millions of tons of juvenile fish that never make it to reproduce and cause changes in population structure for years. It's simple Biology.
Now since I’m so slow to help myself understand from my posts and yours, I may be totally wrong, but I am fairly certain coal does not reproduce.
Old 01-15-2021, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FisherforHim View Post
Shrimpin didn’t start 20 years ago.
That is correct. But 20 years ago the trawlers weren't pulling 250 foot nets 40 at a time in Pamlico sound because other states hadn't banned inshore trawling at that time. Now they are concentrated here because all other states have either outright banned the practice or severely limited it but good ol' NC still allows large scale inshore trawling.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:39 PM
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You are wasting your time Matt, many of the people who are in denial of the reality couldn't pass a biology course if they had the answer sheet. I do feel sorry for some of them, because many don't have the ability or skills to adapt to another industry and fear makes them argue a position that has no scientific defense. Only the political corruption has kept these practices alive and these folks will argue to the bitter end, no matter how pathetic it makes them look. Desperation and logic are not friends.
Old 01-15-2021, 06:50 PM
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You boys are a freaking joke.
Old 01-16-2021, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by nccoaster View Post
We should trust them to do the best for us. Our government knows what is best for us.
Right, and I agree, that falls into "I am from the government and I am here to help."

Last edited by RaginRed; 01-16-2021 at 12:20 PM.
Old 01-16-2021, 01:18 PM
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Why do line graphs of so many NC fish populations look like mining curves?

Why are fish smaller than they used to be?
Old 01-18-2021, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by FisherforHim View Post
Now since I’m so slow to help myself understand from my posts and yours, I may be totally wrong, but I am fairly certain coal does not reproduce.
That's what you got out of that? Coal doesn't reproduce, but there are untapped coal resources, for the lamest of the layman: What you do today can have impacts on tomorrow, what you do today can also have impacts on the tomorrow of 100 years from now. Nothing good can ever come from being wasteful, and when you run out, you run out. It doesn't matter what resource you use, if you abuse it, there will be consequences for yourself, and for generations to come. It really is that simple, not a single thing to be confused about it, history lives so you can learn from it, I'd suggest you look into instances where people thought "oh there are plenty of xyz", then x,y,z didn't exist past 100 years..... There are plenty of examples... It's history.
Old 01-18-2021, 05:58 AM
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I have a question as I have never been on a shrimp trawler. I understand how the by catch is caught. My question is concerning the by catch. Is the mortality rate due to the fact that the fish are not returned to the water because of the amount of time during the sorting process or are the fished doomed from the start because of being crushed in the nets?

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