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COMMERCIAL FISHERIES NEWSLETTER JUNE 1998

NOTE: This newsletter may contain outdated material. Please review the Regulation Index and the What’s New pages to obtain the most recent versions of the Regulation information.

VMRC Fisheries News

June 1998 
PLANS & STATISTICS
1-800-937-9247

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS NEWSLETTER IS SUMMARY INFORMATION. PLEASE REFER TO THE REGULATION CITED FOR LEGAL DOCUMENTATION.

THIS NEWSLETTER PROVIDES ONLY A SUMMARY OF MANAGEMENT MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION AND HAS NO LEGAL FORCE OR EFFECT. TO READ THE REQUIREMENTS IN THEIR ENTIRETY, YOU ARE URGED TO OBTAIN A COMPLETE COPY OF THE REGULATION BY CALLING 757-247-2248 or accessing the VMRC HOMEPAGE: http://www.mrc.virginia.gov.

 

 

 

 

Some Regulatory Changes

"Pertaining to Hard Crab and Peeler Pot License Sales"

"Pertaining to the Catching of Eels"

"Pertaining to Shellfish Management Areas"

"Pertaining to Tautog"

 

New Striped Bass Tag Transfer Procedure

Effective immediately, striped bass tag transfers can be conducted through the mail on a form provided by the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC). Call the Plans & Statistics office (757)247-2245 to obtain this form and an instruction sheet will be provided as well. The licensed registered commercial fishermen involved in the transfer must complete and sign the transfer form; have the form notarized and return it to the Commissioner for approval. Any striped bass permits held by those fishermen must be returned to the Commission with the transfer form. Striped bass tag transfers will continue to be conducted at the VMRC office in Newport News and can usually be completed the same day.

 

Mandatory Reporting

We have started to get the new forms into the office; we would like to thank all the watermen who have followed the instructions. However, there are a few occurring errors we would like to bring to your attention: 

1. Please do not cut the forms into daily tickets; there is a serial number on each sheet that must stay with the sheet. The forms are designed to cut down repetitive writing. The "top ticket" is the header (fill out completely); you only have to put information that changes on the additional four tickets.

2. Do not use each "sheet" as a daily report form. Please continue down the sheet with additional dates. You were given a yearly supply; if you don't use the sheets properly, you will run out of sheets before the year is out.

3. Only check the "Cont Box" when you are continuing information from the same date to an additional ticket.

 

Compliance:

There are three compliance areas that are the focus in the Mandatory Reporting Program for the 1998 season:

1. FAILURE TO REPORT!

2. FAILURE TO REPORT ACCURATELY!

3. LATE REPORTS!

If you have any questions about how to fill out the Mandatory Reporting Forms please call us at ? 1-800-937-9247 between 8:15a.m. and 5:00p.m. After 5:00p.m. please leave a message on the answering machine. Leave your name and commercial registration number. SPEAK CLEARLY!!

 

 

Fishermen, Scientists & Managers

Must Work Together!

by

Gregg T. Waugh

Deputy Executive Director

 

(The views expressed are Mr. Waugh's alone and are not meant to reflect the views of the South Atlantic Council or the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. If you have questions, would like more details, or would like to comment on the views expressed, please contact Mr. Waugh at the Council office (803) 571-4366 or via internet at gregg.waugh@noaa.gov.)

"Fishery Stock Assessment" should include the biological information about the species as is currently done. However, where we fall short is not including economic and social factors within the computer model. Why is this information lacking?

1. Biologists got there first and many in the system feel this is the most important information. That is, management should be based on "good" biological information and let the chips fall where they may.

2. While the biological information is not as good as we would like, at least there is some. The levels of economic information are beginning to increase but fishermen, dealers and processors are VERY reluctant to provide economic information.

3. Social information is the new kid on the block. So new in fact, that many in the system are still trying to understand just what "social information" includes, much less how it would be used to actually make a management decision.

 

There are two factors which would greatly improve cooperation and trust within the management process:

1. Fishermen and scientist MUST talk and work together. Fishermen are expert observers by virtue of thousands and thousands of hours spent on the water. Where fishermen get into trouble is in interpreting what they see. On the other hand, scientists are expert interpreters - that is what they are trained to do. Where scientists get into trouble is making their interpretations based on tens or hundreds of observations rather that the thousands of observations by fishermen. By getting these two groups together in MEANINGFUL discussions where there is actually some give and take, the strengths of one group can complement the weaknesses of the other group.

2. Provide the required biological, economic and social data. To still be attempting to estimate the numbers of vessels, fishermen and catch this late in the management process is a major shortcoming. The models cannot yield more accurate results without more accurate input. Remember, garbage in - garbage out. Fishermen, dealers and processors are going to have to trust the management process and provide accurate biological, economic and social information.

"Groundtruthing" the scientific conclusions with fishermen, and increasing the quantity and accuracy of biological, economic and social data being provided will provide input parameters for a dynamic computer model which accounts for biological, economic and social impacts in reaching a management decision.

In my opinion we have two choices. Hop off the merry-go-round for a short time and get our data collection, research programs, and assessments right OR continue to withhold or not collect information and critique the management process as flawed. The choice is ours.

 

 

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