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Industry Meeting on Bycatch Reduction

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    Posted: 16 February 2016 at 10:49am
If you missed the press release from the NCFA and NCDMF that they've found a miracle device that will reduce finfish bycatch to less than a 1:1 ratio to shrimp, well here it is disguised as an unbiased news article.

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/environment/devices-to-keep-fish-out-of-n-c-shrimp-nets/article_f731708b-314d-5e1c-ab1c-c97d01ea10a0.html


Keep in mind that this is an industry led effort with no involvement of independent observers at this time.

The premise is that two Federal Fisheye BRDs in conjunction with 1.875 mesh tailbag reduced bycatch by 38%.


Bycatch Reduction Workgroup Meeting – Jan. 25th, 2016

Team Members Attending- Steve Davis, Steve Parrish, Clyde Phillips, Mikey Daniels, Brent Fulcher, Kenny Rustic, Kenny Midgett, Gordon Whitley and John Brome.

Team Leaders- Kevin Brown and Blake Price

The goal of the workgroup was stated to be a 40% reduction in bycatch per the MFC directive.




The test was done on three boats- the large wooden vessel the Capt. Phillips owned by Clyde Phillips and on two steel hull trawlers owned by Brent Fulcher. All three boats were “4-bangers” or “4-barreled” trawlers pulling four nets with up to a combined 220-ft of head rope with a try-net down the middle in front of one of the middle two position nets.

The test net and the control net were pulled on the two outside positions with sides switched at some interval, which was not documented that I saw and certainly not constant.


The contents of the tail bag for both the test net and control net where separated. Shrimp were pulled out and weighed. Finfish were pulled out and weighed. The reduction in shrimp weight between the control and test net was compared as was the reduction in finfish. The workgroup called this “whole haul” sampling with 100% of the tail bag sampled. As you will read in my comments below, it was “whole haul” only after throwing out 18.5% of the typical bycatch that they don’t consider worthy of concern and after removing marketable finfish that they don’t consider to be bycatch.


The original intent was for one observer to not only weigh the haul after sorting, but to also characterize the bycatch. The work load overwhelmed the observer. Percentage sampling was temporally tried, but the industry quickly stopped that due to actual or perceived issues with representative sampling. A second observer was placed on each boat in order to handle the tasks of the study.


The 2015 study money came from the MFC through the “Conservation Fund” to support the MFC’s request that the 30 paired tow Federal guideline be increase to 60 for this study. The boats were to be paid $500 per day for test costs, but both Phillips and Fulcher declined payment so that there would be adequate funds to complete the study and pay for two observers. There was a discussion on how to handle sampling in 2016. Both owners agreed to forgo the boat fee in order to keep two observers on board. It is possible that funding in 2016 will not be adequate and that percentage sampling of the tail bag will be required with only one observer. Two NOAA grants will be funding the 2016 tests.


There was discussion, led mainly by Steve Parrish, about gear modifications made during the study. It was obvious that gears were “tweaked” or practically abandoned due to major modifications during the course of the tests. You’ll see that in both Test #2 and Test #3. Test #2 had a float in the net during the initial phase that had been removed for the final phase. It is my understanding that the mesh size of the tail bag was also increased. Spacing of BRDs was based on mesh lengths not measured distances. By changing mesh sizes, BRD spacing was also changed, which may have had a major impact on the performance of the gears tested. Only in hindsight did the workgroup understand some of the gear design issues that may have affected the success of the tests. It’s obvious that the group does not fully understand them today.

The test was based on two hour tows. My understanding is that standard may not have been strictly adhered to, which needs to be verified. The industry wants longer tows in 2016.

The wing-trawl system designed by Randy Skinner is not under consideration due to excessive shrimp loss estimated to be 30% from preliminary data in Alabama.

The group voted that an acceptable shrimp loss will be in the 3% to 5% range.

The group voted to test three gears in 2016.

  • · Two Federal Fisheyes, a 4” bar spaced TED and a 1.75” tail bag
  • · Two Federal Fisheyes, a 3” bar spaced TED and a 1.75” tail bag
  • · A Virgil Potter Ring of Square Mesh Netting. I didn’t note additional info. I assume a 4” bar spaced TED and 1.75” tail bag

The 2015 Test is discussed below.


Control Net-



  • · One Federal Fisheye
  • · One 4” bar spaced TED
  • · 1.5” mesh tailbag


Test #1




Test #2




Test# 3



A Ricky BRD consists of two Federal Fisheyes with a float placed in the bag ahead of the fisheyes. It is my understanding that in theory the float will create turbulence in the water flow at the fisheye allowing the fish an easier exit from the net.

Here is a NMFS study on the Ricky BRD-
http://www.gulfsouthfoundation.org/u.../105_final.pdf
The Ricky Brd test net after 15 tows showed little bycatch reduction so it was decided to modify Test #3 by removing the float. This decision was supported by anecdotal evidence that nets in the #2 and #3 positions were having less bycatch that the test or control nets. The #2 and #3 position nets were already using two Federal Fisheyes per Proclamation SH-2-2015 as mandated in the 2015 Shrimp FMP that an additional BRD device be installed as a means of immediately reducing bycatch while new BRD gear is tested during the three year period.

http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamation-sh-02-2015?p_p_id=56_INSTANCE_jP2i&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-2&p_p_col_count=2&page=10


You can see in the slide for Test #3 that 26 tows resulted in an average of 1.54% gain in shrimp and a 38.33% reduction in finfish. Please keep in mind that 16 species, 18.5% of traditional trawl bycatch, was excluded from the bycatch reduction calculation.



Summary table for all three tests.


The conclusion of the work group



Potential Problems with study design-


1. These were large four net boats. The control net and the test net were only tested in outboard positions 1 and 4. Net positions 2 and 3 were trawled as normal outside of the test. The NOAA standard for testing a BRD candidate requires the control net and the test net to be set in the outboard positions with any other nets being towed during the test to be in compliance with approve bycatch reduction devices. It appears that the design meets NOAA standards. There is the question of whether bycatch reduction in a test net is equal in all four positions. I questioned Kevin Brown on whether he would expect bycatch or the effectiveness of a BRD to be different in positions 2 and 3 versus 1 and 4. Kevin said his observations show bycatch to be higher in the outboard nets. The trawler is pulling a try-net in front of either position 2 or 3. This smaller net is used to gage the level of catch in the larger nets to time haul-back. The try-net would invalidate results on the middle two nets.




2. The test did not look at the difference in Day/Night effectiveness of bycatch reduction. A lot of the trawling time was during daylight hours, time not recorded. BRD effectiveness may depend on both the bycatch’s ability to sense an opening through light transmission and through change in turbulence. Obviously, light transmission is different in daylight versus night hours.

3.
Towing speed was not held constant during the study. Tow speed will certainly affect bycatch reduction.

4. While set as a parameter, it is my understanding that tow times were not strictly adhered to.

5.
The control net used a 1.5” mesh tail bag and the test nets used a 1.875” mesh tail bag. The bycatch reduction attributable to increased escapement through the larger mesh may not be a true reduction in normal practice due to the fact that the larger boats in the industry may already use a 1.75” mesh tail bag with some using a 1.875” tail bag. The effectiveness of bycatch reduction from larger tailbag mesh is diminished or elimated once the mesh becomes blocked with gilled juvenile finfish.

6. Not all bycatch was counted.


  • · Marketable finfish were allowed to be removed from the pile before sorting. Clyde Phillips clearly stated this in the meeting implying that all were removed. On questioning, Kevin Brown downplayed the practice saying that “maybe a nice flounder was removed for lunch, but I don’t think there were baskets of marketable fish removed.”
  • · Only finfish and eels were counted as bycatch. From data in the 2010 Kevin Brown study Characterization of the inshore commercial shrimp trawl fishery in Pamlico Sound and its tributaries, North Carolina the 2015 study removed from consideration 18.5% of total bycatch observed by Kevin Brown in 2010.
  • · Did the MFC mandate a 40% reduction in bycatch or a 40% reduction in finfish bycatch?


It’s important to note that anecdotal evidence suggests that 2015 had an extremely high abundance of shrimp. The DMF has not yet released harvest data, but it may show a record harvest prior to the heavy rains that moved the shrimp. One year doesn’t make a study, especially when conditions were not average.

While the initial results of bycatch reduction in Test #3 are promising, much work is needed to validate those results in all conditions with independent observers without a vested economic interest in harvest. It should also be noted that 1:1 bycatch during a 9 million bumper harvest shrimp landing year is still killing 1/4 billon (yes, billion) croaker, spot and gray trout.

It should also be noted that blue crab was excluded from this study's bycatch calculations. The blue crab fishery is the single most important fishery in NC, typically 5 to 6 times more valuable than the shrimp trawl fishery. The stock status is listed as Concern. There have been historical low landings during the period of 2007-2013. 2014 showed a significant decrease in recruitment and adult abundances. The Pamlico Sound estuary continues to have harvest levels below historical averages.

Edited by Rick - 16 February 2016 at 1:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 11:22am
Curious as to the comment "independent observers." 

Appears Kevin Brown was involved and assume the same Kevin Brown whose shrimp trawl bycatch characterization studies are often cited. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 11:35am
Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

Curious as to the comment "independent observers." 

Appears Kevin Brown was involved and assume the same Kevin Brown whose shrimp trawl bycatch characterization studies are often cited. 


How is trolling this morning?

I know you didn't miss my post on "Why the NCDMF Can't Manage Our Fisheries".


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 12:08pm
I came back to edit my post to thank you for posting this. 

And I do agree, while the the results are promising, it is a single season study (like the characterization studies).  I was involved in a couple of clinical trials where the phase two studies looked promising but the phase three studdies (big $$$) showed no significant difference in the drug/device.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 12:24pm
You're welcome.

If you find time, please review the link to the Ricky BRD and see if there is data from the federal trials.  I plan on doing so when I get time.

It makes little sense that removal of the float improved on the federal design other than the fact that the industry test did not use a properly sized float for the original 15 samples. 

I heard the panel say that the float was too large and lifted the net in such away that it interfered with overall functioning of the net.  Instead of changing the size/position of the float, it was removed.

The float in the federal trial was obviously intended to provide increased bycatch reduction.  It's going to be difficult to believe that by removing the float in the NC trials that bycatch reduction was improved over the federal trials.

Again, I've not fully reviewed the federal trials to see what level of reduction they found.

Again, here is the link to the Ricky BRD trial-

http://www.gulfsouthfoundation.org/uploads/105_final.pdf

As you can see in the link above, there have certainly already been significant studies done on bycatch reduction.  I can see why there is fear that NC is re-inventing the wheel as a delaying tactic.






Edited by Rick - 16 February 2016 at 2:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 12:31pm
As to the modification, probably a great example of why you need experienced folks in the industry providing input and will to modify as needed.

In the early days of TED design, I believe the feds came up with TEDs that were both dangerous and ineffective. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 12:41pm
Agree with the need for industry input, I just don't believe that the industry should be leading the study.  Doing so has already raised a lot of questions with many more surely to come.

And I really don't think that the Ricky BRD float is a "great example" of how the industry provides valuable input.

I was there and heard the conversation. 

I give credit to Steve Parrish, obviously a smart man who understands his profession well, yet he clearly said that only in hindsight did the work group understand some of the gear design issues that may have affected the success of the tests.

It’s obvious that the group does not fully understand some of the issues today, gear standards based on mesh spacing versus measured distance being one.




Edited by Rick - 16 February 2016 at 12:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 February 2016 at 12:57pm
The article is either wrong or if it accurate then this study group did not do what the MFC asked them to do.

The MFC clearly asked them to test any proposed gear against what most of our boats were using now. That being a single Florida Fish Eye and TED versus whatever they wanted to test.

The article said the control net had no BRD.

Also....if what the study group published is correct, then they too have failed to follow what the MFC instructed. They used the NMFS gear test protocol where only stations 1 and 4 were interchanged while the MFC expected that the port side of a boat be "as is" and the starboard side using a pair of the test nets to get comparisons of bycatch from our current levels, not against NMFS protocols. The MFC sought a "real world" test flipping total gear from side to side, because the net being pulled on the same side of the boat as another does affect that other net according to gear specialists from SC to Texas.

Several groups who have an interest in this did ask for a single observer to represent them during tests and all such requests were denied. I understand there are emails that deny the request.

When the group was formed and chose to not let anyone who has concerns with trawling be allowed to observe the tests, or be on the panel, it became clear that objectivity was going to be secondary.

Also, if you read the minutes of the last shrimp FMP this series of tests was requested by the industry who at the time volunteered to pay for the costs.   Federal grants and money from the NC Conservation fund would up being used to pay for it.

So if everything that gave impetus to its beginning changed as time went along, then are we to accept findings at face value or are we allowed to look closer in year two? If not, why not?

This would be a lot better for the process if the groups concerned about trawling could provide one common observer on board just to eliminate any perceived issues.

Obviously they would have several in their pool, but only one at the time, and only one representing all concerned.

If a single observer is not allowed on all trials this summer then we have to assume there is something there that no one is to see. If the results are this good, then you would think there would be encouragement to have everyone see this not avoid them.

Edited by Ray Brown - 16 February 2016 at 1:00pm
I am a native of NC. The "bycatch captial of the east coast of the US". Our legislature lets us kill more fish for no reason than any other Atlantic Coast state. I hope they are proud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 8:33am
What Ray is saying:

If elevator companies tested and inspected elevators, we would all be taking the stairs.

We know that we cannot believe what comes from the commercial industry.  
Example 1.  There we NO sea turtle interactions reported in the absence of observers last year, when perhaps 500 should have been reported.  

That is why many people have asked for independent observers.  The refusal to comply with independent observers negates any results that are obtained-period.

Scientific studies are published (if deemed acceptable by an editorial board of reviewers) and then are subsequently confirmed by other groups.  

The only place such a study described should be published is in the Journal of Irreproducible Results, since we don't know the conditions of the study,  If you don't know what was done, you cannot repeat it.  
This study is a "trust me" study, from a group that cannot be trusted.


Edited by chriselk - 17 February 2016 at 8:39am
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 9:28am
Again, wasn't Kevin Brown involved, the same who ran the characterization studies so frequently quoted and extrapolated here. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 9:38am
Does Kevin's characterization study have more detailed info re: tow times etc then seems to be in this preliminary report?

BW as you know a good scientist can do good work if allowed to/wishing to/has time to, or their ability to do so can be impaired by any number of factors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bmac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 9:49am
Encouraging, but not definitive. I hope they can repeat and refine.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 1:49pm
I liken it to a phase-one/-two study.  You have a hypothesis, plan a study and then "tweak" it as you gain information.   Once refined, you test the 'final" product against the control.

I agree removing jellyfish, mantis shrimp, lizard fish, etc. as bycatch is reasonable and concentrate on commercially/rec important juvenile finfish.  And not counting marketable bycatch kept seems reasonable.

I agree one year isn't enough and apparently it was a good shrimp year inshore until the rain pushed them outside.  But many don't have a problem extrapolating a one-year characterization study to other years.

And adding observers to observer observers?  Ray, Chris, Rick?  You want to volunteer to observe the observers?  Evil Smile Wink Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 2:15pm
Was the study a nonmarketable bycatch study or a bycatch study. It it was strictly a bycatch study, a commerical/rec important species of any size should be counted. If not then the true amount of bycatch isn't shown only the bycatch of non saleable comm/rec important species. Some of the folks I know that trawl keep crabs, flounder and other finfish they can sale or eat. These are bycatch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 2:26pm
Are you comparing apples to apples if in the FIRST bycatch study all marketable species were counted toward the bycatch sampling and now, in the SECOND study, those marketable fish are removed from consideration?

What difference does it make now (sorry, I'm channeling Hillary)? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 2:27pm
Thinking the goal was to identify an improved BRD to reduce dead discard of commercially/rec important species.  But then I may be in the minority here. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 2:47pm
Kevin Brown personally told me that observers left the dock on Sunday and didn't get back until Friday.  He also said there was a three day period in which he got 4 hours of sleep.  That is certainly not something that three old men can handle, and I'm not sure it is safe for anyone to be doing that.

I guess transportation laws for legal hours of service don't apply to commercial fishing?  It's easy to see why the commercial fishing industry has a fatality rate 39 times higher than the national average.

Let's look at protocol from the Characterization Study you keep mentioning, notice the section that I've marked in red.

"Each observer was trained to collect data under NCDMF protocols including species identification, sampling methods, gear specifications, and safety. NMFS staff provided training on protected species identification, handling, and tagging protocols. Observers sampled nearly every tow (less than 20 tows not sampled for various reasons, i.e., fisherman dumped overboard after deeming too fishy or observer fatigue). Observers randomly sampled approximately one fish basket (32 kg) from a well-mixed sample of all nets to determine species composition. Data collections included: enumerating, measuring, weighing, and recording disposition of target and bycatch species; noting date, time, location, and net characteristics [headrope length, mesh size of wing and tail bag, turtle excluder device (TED) type, bycatch reduction device (BRD) type, etc.] of all sets and retrievals; and recording all protected species interactions, including tagging. Miscellaneous includes invertebrates not identified to genus level. Length frequency of commercially and recreationally important species in this study was stratified by area and season and categorized into 10 mm groups. There are two classifications of discards: regulatory and unmarketable. Regulatory discards are defined as any fish that must be discarded due to size, season, or quota restrictions. Unmarketable discards account for all other discards, including discretionary discards."

Bernie, credibility of the results as the test is currently designed will be a big issue.  The industry cannot be trusted on an issue that affects income.  How many turtles did they self-report in 2015 under a federal mandate- zero.  How many should have been reported- about 700 + some.

Tell me about mantis shrimp.  It's the 4th most often landed bycatch species caught in the Pamlico Sound shrimp trawl fishery after croaker, spot and weakfish.

Several studies have voiced a major concern about how trawl bycatch may be eliminating important forge sources.  The Director himself is on record saying that spot may be a more important forge species in the Pamlico Sound than menhaden.

Is mantis shrimp an important forge species?

It is illegal to trawl for finfish in NC waters.  Shrimp trawlers are given a bycatch allowance to help prevent regulatory discards.

If something is illegal to target and the only way that it is legal is as a "bycatch allowance", what is the rational for not counting it in a study in the way it is classified under law, as bycatch?






Edited by Rick - 17 February 2016 at 2:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 3:09pm
Observers should be neutral, without skin in the game.
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 3:22pm
Can one logically conclude that there would be less bycatch if there are less of the three main finfish species (croaker, spot, and gray trout) due to decades of wasteful trawling practices? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sea byrd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by 23Mako 23Mako wrote:

Can one logically conclude that there would be less bycatch if there are less of the three main finfish species (croaker, spot, and gray trout) due to decades of wasteful trawling practices? 

IMHO any results done now are bogus due to the fact that all those species are at historically low levels due to the devastation done by otter trawls over the past several decades. Find some old pics from back in the seventies when stocks were at normal levels. It's all just a bunch of BS smoke and mirrors. I you fish with explosives your gonna kill everything within range, SAME WITH A DAMNED OTTER TRAWL.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 3:53pm
I agree 100% that the success of bycatch reduction in the test gear may be affected by overall abundance of bycatch.

Likewise, success of bycatch reduction in test gear may also be affected by abundance of shrimp.  As I said above, 2015 appears to be a year of great shrimp abundance.

Common sense tells you that in a 1:1 finfish to shrimp bycatch ratio that there are going to be fewer finfish that gill in the tail bag than in a 4:1 ratio. 

More shrimp equals shorter tow times and less bycatch to gill.  Fewer shrimp equals longer tow times and more bycatch to gill. 

Once that bycatch gills in the tail bag the reduction attributable to a larger mesh size tail bag is negated.




Edited by Rick - 17 February 2016 at 3:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 23Mako Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 4:13pm
The otter trawls need to get out of the sound or at least decrease maximum head rope....period. 

Edited by 23Mako - 17 February 2016 at 4:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2016 at 4:40pm
Originally posted by 23Mako 23Mako wrote:

The otter trawls need to get out of the sound or at least decrease maximum head rope....period. 


Agree 100%. 

Everyone should be writing their state representative and senator to let them know that you support removing gill nets and trawling from our estuarine waters.  Write both the Democrats and the Republicans, copy Sen. Berger and Rep. Moore.  Please let them know that not only do you support it, you demand it...in a nice way...as the only way to have sustainable fisheries.  Tell them that the overwhelming majority of NC's citizens support such action and that you are tired of our public trust resources being mismanaged and wasted for pennies on the dollar.

Find time to attend a MFC meeting and make public comment.  There just happens to be that opportunity tonight and tomorrow morning at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2016 at 4:27pm






Bringing this back to the top.

I lot of discussion at today's MFC meeting on the 2016 trials.  I'll be asking for the data and presentation as soon as it's available.

One Kevin Brown quote that should be noted for the public record-

"last year (2015) was one of the cleanest years ever" 

In other words, there were a lot of shrimp and they didn't pull and pull and pull catching bycatch while trying to make the shrimp haul-back worth their while.

2015 landings certainly support Brown's statement, it was the 8th highest landing year in the last forty-four years, over 9-million pounds, certainly not the typical 6 million pound landing year.  In fact it was 50% higher. 

Also, again as in 2016, they did not address daytime versus nighttime differences.  They also didn't count all bycatch, just the species deemed "important".







Edited by Rick - 20 November 2016 at 9:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2016 at 4:59pm
And once again...they took public funds and did not allow any non trawling member of the public with a concern for what bycatch and habitat destruction may be doing to observe results on the water.

Why would they not want everyone to see if the results are as they say?
I am a native of NC. The "bycatch captial of the east coast of the US". Our legislature lets us kill more fish for no reason than any other Atlantic Coast state. I hope they are proud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2016 at 5:12pm
One possible reason it was cleaner is that there might have been more shrimp.  And/or less croaker, spot, weakfish and Southern flounder.

Before any results are accepted, there are several questions that have to be answered.  Then an independent lab has to replicate it.  Independent means one that has no financial interest in the results.


The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrackishWater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2016 at 8:12pm
I warned Kevin Brown and Louis Daniel that this trawl gear study would not be so easily accepted by the public unless they included representation from the conservation and recreational communities. But what do I know...
A rising tide lifts all boats...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2016 at 9:04pm
Originally posted by BrackishWater BrackishWater wrote:

I warned Kevin Brown and Louis Daniel that this trawl gear study would not be so easily accepted by the public unless they included representation from the conservation and recreational communities. But what do I know...

What he said...LOLLOLLOLLOL





It's just ridiculous that an industry with a huge financial interest in the outcome of a study was allowed to refuse independent observers when interested parties were questioning the validity of the study even before it began.

In any scientific discipline, that will set off huge warning bells and the results obtained will not survive a true peer review.  


Total waste of time and money --- but a good way to do what North Carolina fisheries managers do best --- stall stall stall!







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapRandy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2016 at 11:52am
Why would they not want everyone to see if the results are as they say?

Well probably because the results are false maybe ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2016 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

Thinking the goal was to identify an improved BRD to reduce dead discard of commercially/rec important species.  But then I may be in the minority here. Smile

Proof of concept (POC) is a realization of a certain method or idea in order to demonstrate its feasibility, or a demonstration in principle with the aim of verifying that some concept or theory has practical potential. ... A proof of concept is usually small and may or may not be complete.

In my world, this is what this study was.  If if failed, then it failed.  If it proved promising, then additional studies and a certification process for general application.


Edited by BaitWaster - 21 November 2016 at 7:14pm
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