Re: What would you like to see changed as with the Lobster Fishery?

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Posted by Chris Knight on August 06, 2012 at 20:40:34:

In Reply to: What would you like to see changed as with the Lobster Fishery? posted by Chris on July 28, 2012 at 08:34:50:

I just have a few thoughts on this subject that I'd like to express. First off, we need to recognize that the commercial guys are not the big villains here. The number of commercial licenses is static so the take isn't expanding. Secondly, the commercial guys aren't the ones taking the large brood stock bugs out there. Their traps can't capture them. It's the recreational guys doing it, divers and hoop netters alike. That being said, the popularity of hoop netting is the biggest change this fishery has faced in 40 years. It's placed additional pressure that is upsetting what was an otherwise reasonably stable fishery. How much pressure, we do not know as of yet. We won't have much data for at least a few years, allowing time for the report cards to be tallied and read. Even then, we won't have a good idea on the effort being exerted on the fishery. How hard is it to catch the bugs people bring home?

I would suggest a conservative approach including adding maximum size limits and reducing the number of hoop nets that can be fished by one person at a time. I'd suggest decreasing bag limits but we don't know the extent of the stresses on the fishery yet. As for seasons, I think the report cards will give us an idea if the season is too long. If 90% of the bugs are being caught in the first 3 months of the season, then why do we need to fish to March?

I think the big problem with looking at this fishery is we don't have much recreational information. The commercial stuff is static in a lot of regards but we really don't know what's going on in regards to the recreational side. Until we do, we're just guessing on how this fishery is changing and how we need to manage it.

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