I spent a lot of time revisiting projects I am in the middle of at Barnacle Billy's and the Bunny Clark. One of the projects for the Bunny Clark was replacing the two 8-D AGM batteries I use for the house system. We had to change the starting batteries on the fly at the end of last season. The house batteries are a bit older. It's time. Actually, I had planned to change all four batteries this winter. Today I set up the order so they would be ready to install (at the latest) by mid February. I was on the phone a lot after that. I was expecting to start right in with the Guestletter after the calls but ......
At 10:00 AM, I was notified that the Council was having a hard time passing a motion to accept 100% observer coverage on the mid-water herring boats. So I drove down there and attended the meeting being held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I didn't speak but I did talk to many of the participants (this mostly during the lunch break). And the motion did pass. This doesn't mean it's a done deal but we are closer to what I believe is a big step in regulating the way herring are caught and decreasing the bycatch, the big issue in the mid-water herring fleet.
When I got home at 2:00 PM, I was in no condition to write so I worked on orders for both businesses again. I was done at 4:30 PM.
The recreational fishing sector is going to have to face the data brought forth by the National Marine Fisheries Service that we went over the sub-ACL in 2013 (this is the cap total of fish we are allowed to land on an annual basis). In other words, we took more haddock and cod than recreational fishing vessels were supposed to in 2013. To be specific, the Recreational Advisory Panel is going to have to address this at the meeting on February 19 (at Danvers, MA, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 9 AM start). I don't have the preliminary figures on haddock. But I was sent a preliminary cod chart by a good friend down south (who I have never met personally - only on line). This chart appears below.
I spent a surprising amount of time crafting the update with the chart for yesterday's entry. I wanted to make sure I covered some of the more important points. And I wanted to be accurate so I spent some time on research as well. And, as you saw, information gathering of this type is not an exact science. Actually, the science may be exact but the numbers certainly leave a lot of room for interpretation - either way. And this is indeed unfortunate. Today I was able to procure an MRIP table of the 2013 recreational catch of haddock. This table appears below in the same format as the cod table in yesterday's entry.
The problem with the table is, again (as it was with the cod), the private/rental boats. They show 37,135 individual fish caught in May/June off the coast of Massachusetts. That seems to me to be a very inflated value. And it's certainly an extrapolation. It has to be. And the PSE is even too low. Although any statistician worth his salt would throw out a value like that with a PSE of 56.1. So I'm not sure how these figures will be treated by management. But I wouldn't go to the bank to secure a bank loan with them if it were I. I will tie this all up with another chart on Sunday or Monday.
Most of my morning today, after this entry, was spent in the office at Barnacle Billy's. The afternoon was spent working on orders and "getting set up" for the Guestletter (gathering JPEGs).
The end of the afternoon and part of the night was spent getting set up to take reservations.
Deb got up at 11:30 PM, last night, to start the process of taking reservations for the upcoming Bunny Clark fishing season. She has traditionally taken the first two hours of reservations (she tells me I talk too much and slow down the process - it is a heck of an advantage to be able to talk to those you know and have loved over the years). She did this year as well. I got up at 1:30 AM and took over at 2:00 AM. It was very busy, as normal, for the first hour and a half, okay from 2:00 AM to 4:00 PM, better until 8:00 AM and as normal for the rest of the day. I love the first day of reservations. But it also means that our winter becomes that much busier. And that's a good thing.
One thing to remember as well. I got lots of questions about the regulations for the upcoming season. The fiscal fishing year starts on May 1, 2014. The regulations have not been determined yet for the 2014 fishing season (May 1 through November 1). However, until May 1, the same regulations we had in 2013 apply. So if you book a trip in April, the regulations will be as they were when you went last year.
I spent the rest of the day on Guestletter. But I was pretty useless on the writing end of things. So I ganged up on things that didn't require a lot of thought - the figures (i.e.: most pools won, biggest double, etc. etc.). I still haven't figured out the fisherman of the year yet. I plan to have that done by the end of the day on Monday.
I worked until 7:30 AM. I took the rest of the day off.
I spent the time from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM working on this entry and on the upcoming marine recreational regulations. I'm trying to get as prepared as I can be before the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting on the 19th. By 10:00 AM, I was in the office at Barnacle Billy's, my home every late morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I actually had a good conversation with Phil Eastman (Eastman Docks) just as I was leaving the office (fishery regulations). So for two hours I worked on Barnacle Billy's stuff.
The rest of the day was spent working on the Fisherman of the Year, the Bunny Clark's most prestigious angler of the 2013 season. And I was very surprised to see who won this year, the high point of my day, actually. And that took me to the time when I donned my running shoes and felt horrible for about a half hour. I think snails were passing me on the beach. And Greg Veprek, in crutches with a broken jaw, could have had his way with me this evening.
I talked with Ian Keniston at the Bunny Clark. Looks like we are going to need a new bushing between the rudder post and the shoe. I had anticipated as much and had a Delron bushing made up at H & H Propeller (Salem, Massachusetts) earlier. I will drive it down to them tomorrow.
Once I get my ducks in a row, I will post my final view of the potential recreational regulations and why we might need more - according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Again, I worked on this update and the Guestletter until 9:00 AM. At 9:00 AM I had a meeting with our grounds manager, our carpenter, my brother and the crew from the company that is going to be replacing the retaining wall at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. patio, Cove side. We went over the logistics and planning for about an hour or less. I signed papers, sent everyone on their way and then proceeded to take pictures of the area as a part of the permitting process for the Town of Ogunquit and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Along with some office work, I was done at the restaurant at noon.
The rest of the day was spent working on the Guestletter. I love writing this missive but it is always so frustrating that I just couldn't sit down and do it until it's done. But that is the nature of my life; jack of all trades, master of none!
I was in contact with Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston. They worked at the Bunny Clark all day doing enamel work. At 4:30 PM, they came by the house to pick up extra reels that needed to be worked on. They were planning to work on these reels tomorrow instead of making the trek to the Barn in the snowstorm to work on the boat.
The letter below is a note from the Regional Administrator of the Northeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Gloucester, Massachusetts (John Bullard). The note, or letter, is directed to the N. E. Fishery Management Council. It basically says that preliminary findings (the charts that appear in this entry on dates: January 30th & 31st) show that the recreational anglers on party/charter boats and recreational vessels have exceeded the sub-ACLs (catch limits or quotas) set by the NMFS for fiscal year 2013 before that fiscal year has ended (the 2013 fiscal fishing year ends on April 30, 2014).
I was at the computer working on the update, posting it and then on the Guestletter. At 10:00 AM, we had a managers meeting at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. to go over the employee letters we received. We go over each letter/application and see if we can fill the requests for certain positions at the restaurant for the summer. It's a juggling act for our top manager at Etc and at BB's to make sure all the positions are filled and to try to give everyone what they want as well. That meeting lasted until noon. From noon until 1:30 PM, I stayed in the office to get all the work done I had to finish there. I went home, had lunch and finished the day working on the Guestletter. I had forgotten how nice some of the digital images of anglers and their catch came out last year.
I started the day at 5:00 AM, after checking the air temperature (I always look at the temperature at 5:00 AM.), by shoveling snow. I didn't want to start last night because I wasn't sure how much more was going to fall. So I spent two hours at it before finishing this update entry. At 7:45 AM, I opened up Barnacle Billy's, Etc. so I could get Melonie Cole and her CPR equipment into the building. At 8:00 AM we started a CPR/AED/First Aid class that went into the afternoon. Jared Keniston, Ian Keniston and I took it along with seven of the management staff at Barnacle Billy's. So it was pretty much a full house for Melonie. And she is always very good. After a late lunch, I went back to shoveling again. It was well after dark when I finished. It was the most shoveling after a storm that I have done this year. So maybe we did get more than twelve inches. It certainly seemed like a lot. And with the colder than normal weather predicted, it will probably be staying around for a while.
And, before I forget, I want to thank Steve Cannizzo (NY) and Capt. George Lemieux (MA) for their contributions, research and time they saved me on the charts I posted above. I kept wanting to recognize them but would always remember after I put this entry up! So thank you for the help!
I worked on the Guestletter today along with a lot of Barnacle Billy's stuff and all the other things I do on a daily basis. And I worked on the fishery management issues at my own slow pace. Despite what it might seem, it was a very busy day for me. And I was very glad when the Friday work day officially ended at 5:00 PM.
Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston worked on the Bunny Clark all day. I called Ian at one point to discuss the dimensions of the new Delron bushing on the rudder post.
And a note of hope and a note of sorrow in the cancer problem today. Actually, there were two notes of sorrow I learned about today but one I can't mention. Dana Ferrande (NH), a good friend (and Bunny Clark fisherman) of mine I first met at the Dover Ice Arena when both our sons were playing on the same hockey team together, contracted cancer a couple of years ago. I didn't realize this until the email I received today. He has been battling it ever since but looks to be winning the battle. He has been getting treatment in the Dover, New Hampshire area but his surgeries and care plan were developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, the focal point of all my cancer donations I try so hard to get with the help of the Pan-Mass. Challenge. So Dana's treatments, thanks to DFCI, were all able to be done in Dover, close to home, at the Seacoast Cancer Center. While there he met Lydia Valdez, a 9 year old with terminal cancer who succumbed to her disease in the spring of 2013. Her father owns a restaurant in Dover and is a friend of Dana's as well. After not thinking he was going to be alive today, Dana is now involved in a cancer fund raising event in Lydia's name. He is going to attempt to ski 100,000 vertical feet in one day for the Make-A-Wish foundation. This is the link to his page: Make-A-Wish. I wish him the best of luck and hope to see him on the boat in good fishing form in April!
I did nothing today except upload this entry, answer emails and work on the Guestletter. That took me until 4:00 PM.
I stayed in and worked on the Guestletter all day. And I got a lot done. Hopefully, I'll get another shot today to work on it. I left the house to go for a run on the beach at 4:30 PM. I completed a slow four miles and was happy to finish.
I started the day with a little Guestletter work and then Barnacle Billy's stuff from 10:00 to 12:00. I did about an hours worth of shoveling snow, maybe more. At 12:30 PM, I headed to the Bunny Clark. There I talked with Dave Pease and Ian Keniston and Jared Keniston about the scope of future projects (this year's projects). From there I went to Navtronics to order a new piece of electronics. Once I got home I ordered a new scale, finished our line order for the upcoming season and ordered reel bearings from New York. By the time I had answered emails, it was 5:00 PM.
After posting this entry, I worked on the Guestletter a bit (another paragraph) and then headed to Portland to get two brand new AGM batteries. They weigh 140 pounds a piece so I needed help getting them in the truck and help getting them out of the truck when I went to the Bunny Clark. I also had an email I had to draft concerning the gross neglect in recreational landings associated with the tables (haddock & cod landings) in this entry on Jan. 30 & 31. A group of us on the Recreational Advisory Panel are trying to get answers to the misrepresented numbers in the tables well before the meeting on February 19.
The end of the day was spent working on the Guestletter.
My son, Micah, called me from Hawaii. He and Captain Kenton Geer are running the smaller boat (the longliner has been tied to the dock with mechanical problems) for one to two or three day trips, much closer to shore. Micah told me that they landed 8,000 pounds in three short trips. I don't believe the price was great. And the fish were small as they normally are out there this time of year. But there is a lot more action and fun associated with jigging tuna on these trips. He survived a bout of food poisoning on the last trip.
Exciting to see Sophie Caldwell from Vermont, yes, "the" Caldwells from Putney Relay fame in Vermont, taking 8th in the X-C sprint qualifier this morning. No American woman has ever had a medal in X-C skiing. She also was the only American woman to qualify for the semi-finals and finals but did not place in the top three, obviously. But she did place 6th overall. That is 6th best in the world as the Olympics is the Super Bowl of X-C skiing, even better than the Super Bowl, really. Some people look at the World Cup as the Super Bowl as it happens every year. However, the World Cup is only viewed by skiers where as the Olympics is the venue for everyone. I can't believe a US woman has ever placed as high. And she wasn't even the favored American skier but she has been doing well this year so I have been told.
The day today was spent getting this entry on line, working on the Guestletter and spending some time at Barnacle Billy's. There was nothing really much more exciting than that. However, I have been getting up really early to watch the Olympics while I do core exercises. So that's been exciting but nothing you don't already know.
Jared Keniston and Ian Keniston worked on the Bunny Clark today.
Captain Kenton Geer and Micah Tower were fishing together on a tuna trip off Hawaii.
So I started shoveling at 3:30 PM, at that time we had about a foot of snow. I was done in an hour. Of course, there was a lot I couldn't shovel because I was waiting for a plow. And, later in the night when the air temperature climbed above freezing and the rain started to fall, that 12 inches of light snow turned into 8 inches of wet snow with the consistency of wet cement.
I spent the day indoors continuing on with the Guestletter. I plan on having this completed by Sunday. It is the latest I have ever been with it. And this was mostly because I thought I would be able to put up the new regulations in order to have some place someone can go to see what the new rules will be before booking a fishing trip. Alas, this will not be available before I post the Guestletter.
I spent three hours this morning shoveling snow that was six to eight inches deep. An hour was spent shoveling the Petrel and skiff. It was heavy stuff but soft and easy enough to move. But it was also heavy. Watching them plow the driveway this morning was interesting. It took many attempts to get the load up to the end. And it was important to get it done today because you know it was going to turn into a block of ice later.
I worked on computer stuff until 10:00 AM and then off to the office hole at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. until noon. After lunched I chaired a meeting of the Perkins Cove Harbor Committee. That lasted over an hour with good input from our Town Manager and Harbor Master. I had another hour's worth of work at the town office. After that I worked on documents sent to me by the New England Fishery Management Council in preparation for the Recreational Advisory Council meeting on Wednesday.
I started the day doing core exercises and watching the women's 4 X 5k X-C relay. Amazing finish to see Charlotte Kalla from Sweden come from 25 seconds behind on the last leg to win the race. From there I finished this update, went to the Cove to go over storm preparations with Fred Mayo our harbormaster and then sat in front of the boob tube to watch the men's USA/Russia hockey game. During the shoot out I could not sit down. I thought for sure we would lose until T. J. Oshe took center stage. And although the US didn't win the game outright, it's still better to get two points than 1, as the Russians did.
From there, I had a meeting with my brother. Finished there, I rowed out to my boat and Mike Parenteau's boat and put storm lines out. Shoveling the deck at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. came next. More snow would be just too much with what we already have. And then it was up to the parking lot on the hill where I have been keeping the Bunny Clark truck. With six inches more snow, I wouldn't be able to get the truck out. So I went up, shoveled it all out and barely made it through the snow, down the hill and onto the open road. Once I got it out it took fifteen more minutes to completely glean it of snow.
Lunch was next (1:45 PM - just as the first snow was starting to fall. After lunch I wrote up the minutes to the Harbor Committee meeting we had yesterday and sent it as a file to all the members for approval. I always do this just to make sure I didn't forget anything. I always take notes but I can very easily miss the point on certain issues. The rest of the day I worked on the Guestletter before taking a snowy run on the beach at 5:00 PM.
I worked on this update first thing in the morning after watching the Olympics men's 4 X 10K X-C relay. Very exciting if you like that kind of stuff. I was fortunate to race with many Americian Olympic X-C skiers and hopefuls in high school, college and as an amateur out west (Sun Valley, Idaho, mostly). So I feel like I'm right out there with them when I am watching it. It was the sport I enjoyed the most growing up. And I really enjoy critiquing the announcers on what they think is going on with what I think is going on. I watched the USA/Slovenia hockey game over breakfast. In between periods I shoveled snow around the house, finishing up after the game was over. The rest of the day was spent finishing up the Guestletter. I got the whole thing completed at 5:00 PM. It's been a hard winter to work on the Guestletter. I've had a lot of distractions. It needs to be proofed a couple of times before I put it up. So I expect it will be up on Tuesday at some point during the day.
Manic Monday. Once I got this entry up, I worked on proofing the Guestletter (and recruiting others to do the same) and some on the web site. The last two hours of the morning were spent at the office in Barnacle Billy's, Etc. After lunch, I had errands to do in and out of town. I check on some new electronics due to arrive any day. I also stopped at the Bunny Clark to see if the bushings that I had made (and were with me) fit as they should so I could put them away. From there I went to Portsmouth to pick up a few things before heading home.
At 6:00 PM there was a Maine Coast Cycling Club meeting. The Club has come up with a new design for the new Club kit. So we were trying on different kits to see exactly what clothes we were interesting in putting the new designs on. I was back home at 8:30 PM.
After this update, I started working on the Guestletter. I continued through the morning with it. At one point, I had to take a break to write a reference letter for one of our former employees who is trying to get into the Peace Corps. That took about an hour. I posted the completed Guestletter at approximately 2:00 PM. For the rest of the day I worked on getting ready for the Recreational Advisory Panel (to the New England Fishery Management Council) meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts tomorrow. That is going to be an interesting meeting.
After shoveling snow for an hour and a half, putting this entry up and having breakfast, I headed to Danvers, Massachusetts for the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting. It was a sloppy drive in but still only took me an hour to get there from Ogunquit. I had a second breakfast there (all the bad stuff that I don't make for myself at home).
It was a tough meeting. I went in there knowing in my heart that the recreational anglers did not catch the numbers of fish the statistics portray that we did. I don't believe the catch rates were that high for a number of reasons. We are a long way from getting significant true data on a number of fronts, we never seem to be given enough tools to work with (slot limits, etc.) and we have no way to know what the private recreational sector boats are landing (the numbers they are giving us are very inflated). The methods for collecting data are very flawed. Having said all this, we had to use this flawed data to craft a meaningful motion that would keep the recreational angler in the fishery. We also had to present a motion to the Council that they would accept. And we had to try to insure that the landings for fiscal 2014 would be low enough so that we don't have to go through the same thing again next year or lose our ability to go fishing in the future.
The first motion on the floor was to maintain the status quo. I agree with this in principle but not in process. That failed. Another motion split recreational groups into the for-hire fleet and the private boats. No one really wanted this. I ended up crafting a motion that I didn't like but that I thought complied with the Science Center's determination on the best way to get landings reductions. This was to increase the cod limit to a minimum of 22 inches or less, raise the haddock minimum to 22 inches or less and put a prohibition on landing haddock during the "second wave" or March/April. This, I felt, was the minimum reduction we could take under the recommendations. I was not keen on including the two closed months (it would hurt our business tremendously) but there is going to be a benchmark haddock assessment in July. I'm banking on the fact that they come out of that meeting with higher ACL numbers for haddock on both the commercial and recreational sides so that we can go back to opening these months next year.
The months of March and April are only affected for 2015. So this isn't something we will have to worry about for this season.
We passed several other motions that will go to the full Council meeting coming up next week. The other motions were basically saying that we approve the status quo with respect to the closed areas of the Western Gulf of Maine, the Cashes ledge/Jeffrey Bank closed area and the closed areas I & II on Georges Bank. We also pushed a motion to the Council stating that we are in total disagreement with the number of fishing trips in the private sector recreational fishing fleet as presented to us in the MRIP data.
The Council has to accept these motions in order for the new regulations to take place. We hope they do. That meeting is on Tuesday. The National Marine Fisheries Service have to embrace the motions as well after they are accepted by the Council. So who knows what is going to happen. There is still a bit of wiggle room and a platform available to express your opinions on the motions presented. I am going to the Council meeting on Tuesday to defend our position on the poor data we had to work with and to defend our motions. We'll see what comes of it.
I took a little extra time to write up the this entry yesterday. From there I headed to Ocean Graphics to go over the new "Tackle Breaker" shirts for this season and the new PMC shirts with the new design. That took about an hour. The rest of the day was spent shoveling snow. I had all the shoveling I missed because of the meeting the day before. And I had the extra shoveling due to the three inches of snow on the day of the meeting. Except for a few business decisions, that's about all I did.
After posting the update, I spent the rest of the day printing day sheets, POB manifest sheets, emergency check list sheets and stocking order check lists. This along with Barnacle Billy's meetings and the like. I drove down to Navtronics to pick up the new sounding machine that I had ordered earlier. I brought this to Dave's Boat Shop with verbal instructions from Tim Greer on installation - the common sense things with this new type of transducer. I also spent some time organizing snow shoveling. And a fair amount of time was spent with the retaining wall project we have going at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I also had to set up a fire inspection for the boats and compile all our fire extinguishers.
One of the other problems I had was that I heard that our RAP motion the other day didn't reduce haddock landings enough. In other words, there was a good chance that the New England Fishery Management Council (and the National Marine Fisheries Service) was not going to accept the motion. So I spent the day talking to my contemporaries about what they would accept and how we could go further. And I put in calls to the Science Center to see if they would run other models for us. And this they did. The huge problem that the for-hire (party/charter) industry faces is the lack of true landings statistics. They are telling us we landed well more than we did. So the frustration of knowing we really didn't go over the limit and still having to give up more brought out the worst in some who I talked to. And why shouldn't it. That took a lot of my time today. And it shouldn't have. There should be three RAP meetings a year with the first one set up so we can tell regulators what we need for tools to work with. Without all the tools (the scene now) we can't come up with viable options for our industry.
The last thing I did before I gave up work for the day was to talk to Phil Eastman (Eastman's Docks). He had been giving me ideas all day and took on the task of talking to others in the industry while I worked on everything I could. Anyway, our conversation ended a little after 5:00 PM. I cleaned up the office area where I had been at Etc and went home to get ready to go for a run on Ogunquit Beach. It was pouring rain at the time. By the time I got to the beach the rain had slowed to a sprinkle and the fog wasn't as thick as it had been. There was still a little easterly wind blowing. I started running (at 5:45 PM) in the dark and fog down a beach that had softer sand than I expected and not much area because of a nearly high tide. I ran up the beach in the fog but kept noticing flocks of black ducks at the wave line as I went. On the way back these flocks of ducks would take off into the wind, except one that ran across my path wings flapping with the wind up to the snow line. So I ran after this duck and caught it just as it hit the snow. I kept running on my way with this duck in my right hand/arm when the thunder and lightning started up. I was going to take a selfie but I thought better of it and put the duck down. As the rain started up again I wondered if I was going to get hit by a bolt of lightning for my actions. All I got was a soaking downpour just as I got back to the truck. Weird. But that's been my life this winter - weird. Just another example.
Tom Bruyere & the Saint Lawrence River Rats (NY) were thoughtful enough to give me another donation (they donate every year) to support this year's ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bicycle ride to solve the cancer problem. Their donation was a very generous $250.00. The money goes to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts where they have been doing wonderful work under the fund raising arm called the Jimmy Fund. Thanks, all you River Rats, I really appreciate the support!
I spent the day running around getting things completed. I worked on recreational measures to some degree, as much as I could. I was over at the Bunny Clark setting up the sounding machine with David Pease and going over the items that have been completed on the work order. I spent some time researching exhaust flaps (It's near impossible to find one for an eight inch exhaust). I called in a monofilament order and stocked a line order that came in yesterday. I hauled the skiff up to Ian Keniston's house so he can work on getting it painted as he and Jared did last winter. And I worked on the retaining wall project at Barnacle Billy's, Etc.
I didn't have any desire to watch the hockey today. I did hear the results.
I stayed in and worked on fishery management issues, the computer and book work. I never left the house except to get a cup of coffee and to run on the beach later this evening. I didn't see a duck this time!
It was manic Monday again today. I ran around, was on the phone all day and at both offices (it seemed continuously). I did find time to go to Portland (NEDDA) to pick up oil and filters for the Bunny Clark's engine.
I spent the day at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting in Danvers, Massachusetts. It was a long session and not much fun. The motion set up by the Recreational Advisory Panel went forward but the actual regulation for fishing year 2014 (starting May) will be determined by the Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service. And I suspect the rules will be different. I would expect a higher size limit on cod (maybe 23 inches) and more strict measures on haddock.
As far as the habitat questions went, the Western Gulf of Maine closure (Jeffreys Ledge closed area) was voted to continue as is. This recommendation will be forward to NMFS as the most preferred alternative of the selections offered in that area. I spoke for this. Whether this had anything to do with their acceptance of this alternative, I do not know. Probably not much.
The other important question, leaving the Cashes Ledge closed area the way it is, failed. The Council adopted a new set of plans, opening up all of Fippennies and most of Cashes Ledge to commercial fishing. I spoke to keep it the way it is. But those words fell on deaf ears. To me it is such a short term gain for long term damage to the fish stocks there, particularly the halibut population. All isn't lost yet as this has to go through the public comment period and won't be implemented until fishing year 2015. But I was not encouraged by the NMFS regional administrator, John Bullard, giving his nod to the Council on the acceptance of Alternative 4 instead of the status quo. I really don't care if no one is allowed in there. I don't want to see the Cashes Ledge closed area opened to mobile gear.
Tomorrow, they will discuss Georges Bank and areas 1 and 2. And they will probably open those up as well. We have this wonderful year class of haddock that have moved in everywhere, all due to the closed areas. We will surely be wondering where the haddock went in the future. Again, short term gain for long tern short fall.