Posted by Brad on December 17, 2003 at 20:56:35:
In Reply to: Re: How to stop illegal game taking posted by Sonke on December 17, 2003 at 18:45:02:
There are many more anglers on the water now than there were 20 years ago and the pressure has increased, but the regulations for many species remain unchanged, except for the seasonal closures. I was grateful that the Dept saw fit to reduce the limits for juvinile yellowtail and bonito to 5 under 24", but that is a rare exception. (600,000 YT under 3lbs taken in 97!)
Don't ever forget that every fishery collapse in modern history was presided over by a regulatory agency... Bonito being one excellent example. That specie went from the single most abundant specie of sportfish in our waters to virtual extinction in 3 short years. Who was presiding over that one? Another example in contrast to the last one was when the good Mr Gregory helped put an end to the slaughter of the Giants. Protection works!
since the popularity of the hoop-net, the pressure on the lobster has gone up substantially. Is the dept going to wait until the catch numbers show the decline before they make adjustments?
Speaking from my personal experience (logged over 80,000nm in these waters!) there are many adjustments that are long overdue. The Dept needs to list certain species that are for take, and ALL others should be off-limits. Sunfish, fully mature sheephead, Triggerfish, Opah, Giant kelpfish, Mullet, B&Y, Grass, Tree, Kelp, and Blue rockfish, to name a few. They need to fully protect the WSB during the two prime spawning months to avoid the massacure that happened off PV a few years ago. The sand bass also need to be protected during their annual spawn. Look at the decline in the size of the spawners over the years! There is absolutely no reason for a person to take 10 yellowtail or calico bass per day. If anglers happen to encounter a rare and delicate aggregation of spawning halibut, there is absolutely no need for them to take a limit of 5 fish, yet they do..
Getting back to the original point, i would recommend that the cost of a license be raised substantially. Also, i would require an individual to take a test similar to a driving test before they can be licensed. (fish ID, bag limits, and tackle restrictions, etc)
Most importantly, the dept has understand that they are managing a wilderness and that if people are going to be allowed to kill the inhabitants of our shared wilderness, they must put a stop to the free-for-all that has been going on since the beginning of this of (political) fisheries management.
These waters should be managed by a guiding philosophy that acts on behalf of the NEXT generation. This generation has taken the biggest and best that these waters will ever have to offer, it is only just that we bear the sacrifice on behalf of those who come after us. They too will yearn to see the beauty and abundance that we once knew...
(loves the sea)
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