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ACs- A Stacked Deck (Fodrie and Buckel Examples)

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    Posted: 18 January 2017 at 10:12am
What we saw yesterday was a stacked decked.

The advisory committee members are appointed by the chairman.  As in the past they are loaded up with commercial sector members, sympathetic commercial supporters, university level commercial supporters and a few out-voted recreational/conservation members.

I have recently contacted (tried to contact) the AC members in an attempt to discuss the NCWF petition.

Overwhelmingly, the message of the recreational/conservation voice was the high level of frustration and intimidation they feel as members of the ACs.  The intimidation is open and direct in the meetings.

The biggest problem with the ACs is that the science seat, which is suppose to be one of decisions based on "science", is truly driven by commercial fishing economic interest.  The scientists are beholden to senior staff at NCDMF to recommend their grant monies. 

Senior staff at NCDMF is commercial friendly.  Trying to manage overfishing with unsustainable gear and practices on stocks listed as "Depleted" and "Concern" is job security at DMF.  You can't manage the unmanageable so they'll never be out of a job.  When the stocks collapse, they manage their return.  It's job security going and coming...if the stocks ever come back.

Here is a perfect example of regulatory capture by NCDMF/NCMFC.

Dr. Joel Fodrie (Associate Professor of fish and estuarine ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences) as a member of the Habitat and Water Quality AC was charged with the duty of-
  • Listening to the NCWF present the petition.
  • Listening to public comment on the petition.
  • Debating the merits of the petition with his fellow AC members.
  • Formulating an opinion.
  • Voting his conscience.

Instead, Dr. Fodrie sent out a letter the day before the meeting to the commission expressing his official views on the petition and basically asked the commission to deny it.

January 16, 2017

To whom it may concern:

I am an Associate Professor of fish and estuarine ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences. Our laboratory group (currently myself, 1 postdoc, 8 graduate students, and 6 technicians) focuses our research on: (1) linkages between coastal habitat quality and fishery production; (2) marine population connectivity (i.e., patterns of larval, juvenile, and adult fish movement over a range of spatial scales); and (3) improved approaches for habitat restoration. Our group has also explored the response of fish populations to stressors such as climate change (warming), oil spills, and harvest. Among other appointments, I sit on the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee.

I am writing with regard to the Petition for Rulemaking submitted by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation to: (#1) designate all North Carolina coastal and estuarine waters not already designated as nurseries as Special Secondary Nursery Areas (SSNAs); and subsequently, (#2) modify existing rules and regulations regarding the when, where, and how shrimp trawling is allowed in State waters. These actions are proposed to reduce bycatch and benefit populations of finfish – particularly sciaenids including croaker, spot, and weakfish. Despite some time spent observing on shrimp trawlers and a general familiarity with the dynamics of the fishery and ecosystem, I could not claim to have a strong background in the drivers, consequences, and mitigation of shrimp-trawl bycatch. Therefore, I would largely defer on the merits of issue #2 above to those better informed to make comment. Like nearly all managers, conservationists, and fishermen, I recognize bycatch as a serious concern and certainly support rigorous, science-based efforts to minimize bycatch.

With regard to issue #1, designating North Carolina waters as SSNAs, I do possess significant expertise to evaluate the ecological support for this action, including the points raised in the Petition’s main text as well as Exhibit B (report by Travelstead and Daniel) and Exhibit E (report by Barbieri) with regard to nursery habitat function. The nursery role(s) of coastal habitats has been a long-term academic and applied focus of my research, and already I have published >10 peer-reviewed studies on this exact topic. Examples of this include:

Gittman, RK, CH Peterson, CA Currin, FJ Fodrie, MF Piehler, and JF Bruno (2016) Living shorelines can enhance the nursery role of threatened coastal habitats. Ecological Applications 26: 249-263.
Fodrie, FJ, LA Levin, and AJ Lucas (2009) Use of population fitness to evaluate the nursery function of juvenile habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series 385: 39-49.
Fodrie, FJ, and LA Levin (2008) Linking juvenile habitat utilization to population dynamics of the California halibut. Limnology and Oceanography 53: 799-812.
(see also: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=imy3JY0AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao)

Given my research background, properly identifying and protecting nursery habitat is a matter of professional pride to me, without concern for whether my comments are viewed as “pro-shrimper” or “anti-shrimper”. With emphasis on scientific rigor informing management, I do think that the petition misuses nursery definitions in its attempt to rationalize for rule and regulation changes. I can find no strong science-based argument in the Petition or attached Exhibits that merit designation of ALL North Carolina waters as SSNAs (leaving aside those areas not already designated as primary or secondary nurseries).

Exhibits B and E both fail to properly cite or synthesize the broader literature on nursery roles, and some citations that are included are misapplied with respect to North Carolina. For instance, the “nursery-role hypotheses” as formulated by Beck et al. (2001) stands as the single most influential definition of what constitutes key juvenile habitat, and as a result has been cited over 1500 times in the academic and technical literature (but is absent in Exhibit B and only vaguely cited in Exhibit E). This definition of nurseries explicitly points out that not everywhere juveniles occur merit special designation - a point directly in conflict with the notion of making all North Carolina waters SSNAs. Rather, Beck et al. (2001) define nurseries such that “A habitat is a nursery for juveniles of a particular species if its contribution per unit area to the production of individuals that recruit to adult populations is greater, on average, than production from other habitats in which juveniles occur.” This definition is hard to reconcile with the Petition in at least two significant ways. First, across all North Carolina bays, sounds (particularly Pamlico Sound), rivers, creeks, and wetlands, that all systems are capable of ‘greater, on average, unit-area production” is impossible. Not all areas of Pamlico Sound, for instance, likely contribute as much per unit area toward adult recruitment as wetland-dominated rivers and creeks where many sciaenids or paralichthyids initially reside as young-of-year fishes. Establishing all North Carolina waters as SSNAs nullifies any ecological meaning of the term, as it designates nurseries at far too broad of a scale and without the ecological underpinnings defined in the literature. Indeed, the scale dependence of how nurseries may be defined was of specific interest to Beck et al. (2001), who advocated for nursery identification at smaller, more meaningful scales (i.e., seagrass versus mudflat).

Notably, Exhibit E repeatedly cites Heck and Crowder (1991) as justification for making all North Carolina waters SSNAs – unsettling in that the Heck and Crowder paper focuses largely on predator-prey interactions in vegetated aquatic systems, rather than establish a coherent framework that suggests all coastal waters are by default nurseries.

Second, the Petition (including Exhibits B and E) fails to demonstrate quantitative links between juvenile residency within any specific water body and recruitment to the adult population. This is a key consideration in both Beck et al. (2001) as well as Dahlgren et al. (2006) who defined “effective juvenile habitats” as those areas that “have a small per-unit-area contribution to adult populations, but may be essential for sustaining adult populations” (as before, the Dahlgren et al. citation is surprisingly absent in the Petition and associated Exhibits despite over 230 literature citations). Personally, I suspect many areas in North Carolina’s sounds and estuaries are certainly contributing many recruits to the adult stock, but quantitative data to support this assertion are surprisingly quite rare (e.g., Kroll and Fodrie, submitted). As noted in Exhibit B, declines in croaker (see pg 5) and spot (see page 7) are regional rather than North Carolina specific, casting uncertainty with regard to the strength of linkages between the dynamics/processes that impact juveniles in North Carolina waters and recruitment to the reproductive/fishery stock. This appears true at the state scale, and we are even more uncertain what role more specific areas, such as Core Sound, for instance, play in supporting juvenile-to-adult recruitment of fishes.

In North Carolina specifically, secondary nursery areas are defined as “…those areas in the estuarine system where later juvenile development takes place. Populations are comprised of developing sub-adults of similar size that have migrated from an upstream primary nursery area to the secondary nursery area located in the middle portion of the estuarine system”. While there are aspects of this definition that are laudable and ecologically sound, perhaps future revisions could incorporate the nursery-role definition or effective juvenile habitat definition to generate a more precise and applicable meaning. What does seem obvious is that not all North Carolina waters exist in the “middle portion of the estuarine system”. I might suggest, however, that a liberal interpretation of this term is perhaps the most ecologically defensible, meaning that the middle of the estuarine system might be best defined by the salinity (and temperature, and dissolved oxygen, etc.) regime, which can move up- and down-system given multiple environmental drivers. Therefore, the “middle of the system” might be quite large given these fluctuations, or perhaps the “middle of the system” should be allowed to migrate given existing conditions and perhaps reflective of existing fish distributions documented in fishery independent sampling. Again, this definition of secondary nurseries cannot, however, be reconciled with the Petition calling for all North Carolina waters to be designated SSNAs.

Outside of nursery definitions, one aspect of the bycatch issue that I suggest might be worth consideration is how discards act as a subsidy for North Carolina blue crab populations and fisheries, as well as other opportunistic scavengers such as rays and small sharks. I know of little work that has been published on this topic, but given the importance of blue crab as a fishery and food source for higher predators such as red drum, as well as the potential negative impacts of elevated ray/shark populations, this strikes me as a notable aspect in considering the consequences of bycatch in North Carolina. I mention this here as the food-web implications of bycatch are raised in the Petition, but also without much depth of content.

I hope you will find these comments useful in the deliberations regarding the proposed Petition. From a strictly scientific standpoint, I would not want to see nursery definitions abused as a means to nearly any end, regardless of whatever that end might be.

Yours sincerely,

Joel Fodrie
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
3431 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
Tel: 252 726 6841 (ext. 149)
Email: jfodrie@unc.edu
Web: http://fodriefishecol.wixsite.com/unc-fish

Citations:
Beck, M.W., and 12 Others. 2001. The identification, conservation and management of estuarine and marine nurseries for fish and invertebrates. Bioscience 51: 633–641.
Dahlgren, C.P., and 8 Others. 2006. Marine nurseries and effective juvenile habitats: Concepts and applications. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 312: 291–295.


I sent an email to Fodrie challenging him on not only the content of his letter to the commission but also the appropriateness-

Dr. Fodrie,

I just finished reading your public comment letter (see attached) regarding concerns about the requested nursery area designations in the NCWF Petition for Rule Making.  I hope that you have read my comments and reviewed the linked file sent last week.  If not, for your convenience I have included the letter below.

I find the following comment in your letter interesting to say the least.

"Outside of nursery definitions, one aspect of the bycatch issue that I suggest might be worth consideration is how discards act as a subsidy for North Carolina blue crab populations and fisheries, as well as other opportunistic scavengers such as rays and small sharks. I know of little work that has been published on this topic, but given the importance of blue crab as a fishery and food source for higher predators such as red drum, as well as the potential negative impacts of elevated ray/shark populations, this strikes me as a notable aspect in considering the consequences of bycatch in North Carolina. I mention this here as the food-web implications of bycatch are raised in the Petition, but also without much depth of content."

I would ask that you re-evaluated the thought process that suggests shrimp trawl bycatch discards act as a subsidy for North Carolina blue crab populations and fisheries.

You should first consider the fact that the P195 trawl survey finds that juvenile blue crabs are consistently one of the top seven species sampled.  Kevin Brown's 2009 Pamlico Sound bycatch characterization study confirmed this fact with blue crab being the 6th most often landed bycatch species with a count of 7.3 individual crabs per pound of blue crab bycatch.  As mentioned in my letter below, the blue crab stock status is listed as "concern" with recent landings below historic levels with both decreased abundance and adult recruitment.  To suggest that bycatch is a "subsidy" to the blue crab stock seems to be misinformed at best and disingenuous at worst.  It is hard to imagine any significant benefit that comes from trawl discards pushed into 80+ degree waters to rot quickly into a slimy mess that contributes to nitrification and anoxia.

The ecological importance of a balanced and diverse eco-system certainly cannot be understated when you consider the predator-prey relationship for many of our economically important fin and forage fish species.  It is certainly too important to be trivialized by suggesting that killing 20+ million pounds of juvenile finfish, 1/2 billion individual species, is somehow of benefit.

Dr. Daniel is on public record at the ASMFC Management Board Meeting in February, 2014 stating

"But I think Wilson's point is the key one I'm thinking about, and that is the ecosystem component; particularly for spot, and how important they are as a forage base and what we might be able to do. To me they are just as important for the inshore fishery as menhaden."    

My observation and greatest concern is the inability to manage our resources under the present system.  There seems to be an incestuous relationship that exists between academia, SeaGrant and NCDMF.  NCDMF's bureaucracy is predicated upon attempts to manage unsustainable commercial gears and practices.  NCDMF controls the grant monies that SeaGrant's existence is built upon with our university's being dependent on those grant monies to fund their research.  To say that there is potential conflict given the relationship is an understatement.  The research universities are beholding to senior staff at NCDMF and mostly toe the line.

Maybe one day soon the NCDMF will be truly focused on it's mission statement, "The Division of Marine Fisheries is dedicated to ensuring sustainable marine and estuarine fisheries and habitats for the benefit and health of the people of North Carolina", so that we can all win not just those seeking job security in fisheries management and those commercial fishing for personal profit.

The CHPP is clear, as is the MSA.Not only is it important to protect the nursery areas, it is also important to provide safe buffers around those important habitats.

Dr. Fodrie sent the following reply to my email-

I found your email below, as well as your previous commentary on the Petition, to be well constructed and useful. Figures such as the juv weakfish distribution and trawl locations you included in your comments are particularly interesting and helpful to me. In many ways, I found your comments to be superior to the content of the Petition (referred to below).

I gather from your message that you were able to delineate the two separate issues I see in the Petition: is trawling/bycatch too damaging, and what merits SSNA designation. Given a (hopefully informed) layman's understanding, I'm not positioned to make, or invested in, any robust attack or defense of current bycatch levels. If the Petitioners want to attack the merits of reducing/eliminating bycatch on its face, then I suppose it's obvious at this point that I would appreciate that rather than misapplying (to me) nursery definitions.

On that matter, you've nailed me below for stepping just a bit over the line that I wanted not to cross. That last paragraph on bycatch was the one I debated on for several hours regarding whether to include. Factually, I would stand by it. Even though trawlers are catching 'tons' of blue crabs, my scientific question was regarding whether those blue crabs exist (to be caught) in part because of discards. I posed it as a question that could be tested, not a fact. But I had a gut feeling I wasn't being as clear/careful as possible, which you are very right to call me on. As a general rule, a lot of human activities tend to favor scavengers. In the text you cited below, blue crab subsides are noted hand-in-hand with ray/shark subsidies (also opportunistic scavengers). I don't think increased ray/shark numbers would be viewed as a benefit to the ecosystem. But again, it may be an ecological reality that I think we are unfortunately data-poor on.

I feared that paragraph might be viewed as a defense (or attack) of bycatch, and I sincerely apologize for my lack of eloquence in getting a point across. To be frank, regardless of what my biases for/against trawling may be, I do think that a stronger Petition could have been drafted, both in terms of the data presented and logical arguments made. Exhibit B made a few references to what the food-web implications of bycatch might be (scientifically speaking, our understanding on this at the food-web level is not as good as any of us might like - it's a very tough and complicated problem). In the part of my comments you've hit on, you find me pointing out a few questions largely to highlight the incompleteness of the arguments in the Petition (refer to last line of paragraph below). 

While I would stand by that I don't think I mis-stated any facts (rather, simply posed questions), I do apologize for perhaps responding some petulantly to aspects of the Petition that I did not find strong. In doing so, I merit some criticism. Hopefully that is not a mistake I would routinely make, as these are very important issues for many people.
       
Yours,

Joel Fodrie
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
3431 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
Tel: 252 726 6841 (ext. 149)
Email: jfodrie@unc.edu
Web: http://fodriefishecol.wixsite.com/unc-fish


While I do appreciate Dr. Fodrie's reply and acknowledgement that he failed to clearly think through the issues, I still have concern about his incestous relationship with senior staff at NCDMF...staff that will fight the petition in anyway possible.

Dr. Fodrie currently has four proposals in front of NCDMF staff requesting grant monies from the CRFL Grant Program. He voted against the petition as a member of the Habitat AC.

Dr. Jeff Buckel (Ph.D. Professor Department of Applied Ecology Center for Marine Sciences and Technology NC State University) who sits on the Finfish AC and spoke against the petition at the New Bern hearing has also requested grant monies from the CRFL.  He voted against the petition.

The crazy acting Professor Luckovitch from ECU that spoke at the New Bern meeting against the petition and in support of one of his grad students who thinks trawling is beneficial to the bottom also has requested grant monies from the CRFL.

Boys the deck is stack against us. 

Fisheries science is managed like the oldest profession in the world, a cheap one at that.

Fisheries management in NC is a political science.

Get involved.  Up the ante. 


Edited by Rick - 19 January 2017 at 10:43am
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NC Fisheries Management- Motto: Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad   Slogan: Shrimp On! Mission Statement: Enable Commercial Fishing At Any and All Cost, Regardless of Impact to the Resource.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bmac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 11:32am
I was amazed that a university professor with a Fudd in marine biology would publically claim that because of the high levels of marine worms and other benthic critters coinciding with an area of high bottom trawling that, ipso facto, bottom trawling is good for the environment and promotes aquatic life. And he's in the process of elevating another great mind to that high perch for the research & dissertation that backs that astonisher up. Yet another reason why I respectfully disagree with Mr. Brown that fisheries management decisions should be left in the hands of scientists. Some of them are dumber than the rest of us, so which ones?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 11:48am
How does getting involved remotely influence such a perfidious and encapsulated process of relentlessly stacking the deck? Where have the assurances that our brave new governor is a "resource guy" gone? What degree of determination does Braxton Davis have toward changing this evidently inert phenomenon?(evidently none, if his university resources are incestuously writ large in mid-felatio with their industrial opinion providers) How can we have any respect for this "process", if it amounts to a recurring series of events where the resource side is just sent packing, wiping the blood from its very intimate regions? Whose naïveté do we lament when we think actual university educated geniuses who are keepers of great knowledge about global warming are capable of dismissing the body of knowledge painstakingly assembled by those, such as yourself, who really put forth unassailable data and evidence that caution, at a bare minimum be exercised in the management of a giant estuary which gives us an equally giant portion of our identity as North Carolinians? Aren't we to be optimistic that our members on the MFC can affect the process in some other way than just accepting this thoroughly compromised professor's dismissal of the idea that we should designate some habitat to protect gray trout, which would appear to be more than a species of concern, and more greatly resemble an endangered form in general, coastwide? How much influence is wielded by hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars as tranferred to them by the Wanchese Fish Company sale? How much influence do average Canadians have upon the well documented relationship between their government and their industrial fishing interests? How does North Carolina differ from Canada in this respect, with regard to us? Is this not a measure of the globalization of what we thought of as our fishing hole of choice, which arguably now belongs to the world, because surely it no longer belongs to us?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 7:19pm
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This whole thing is getting more bizarre.  Fisheries biologists who support shrimp trawling?!?!?!



Can somebody please explain how seagrant is related to DMF.  Does DMF get to decide who gets funding??


If yes, that's downright scary.  



"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 7:33pm
Seagrant NC is part of the national Seagrant program.

I served two  3-year terms on Seagrant committees, the last one being funding.

DMF does not control the funding directly.

The DMF recommends appointments to the committees and the MFC chair makes them as I remember.

It was a lot of work reading through those grant proposals, and difficult for those of us that didn't understand all the scientific terminology.  We were assigned "x" amount of requests to study up on and present our findings to the full committee for vote.

I considered it a flawed process and resigned. But I can tell you some of the proposals were "doosies" for sure.

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Thanks Marker 39!


So the grant review committee is basically formed in the exact same manner as the AC's we saw in action yesterday.    

That makes NCSeagrant an EXTREMELY flawed (and downright conflicted) process.



SO after the grant review committee scores the grants, do they get to decide which ones will get funded?

Or do the recommendations/scores go somewhere else for a final decision?


I'm just sitting here shaking my head.  This system is more screwed up than I could imagine.  Half afraid of how my last question is going to get answered.  Please tell me that the MFC chair doesn't have any additional influence.






Edited by bakesta - 18 January 2017 at 7:52pm
"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 7:55pm
I sat behind Sea Grant yesterday with Tim H. AND Tom R. We watched the Sea Grant folks converse the entire time with NC Dept of Ag. Folks, and watched as both groups cheered and clapped with the shrimp industry. Just saying.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 8:00pm
Things may have changed since I served, but the committee I was on was pretty much the final word on funding a grant request.

Also, I did not mean to imply that the MFC chair appointed ALL the committee members. Just some of them,  and there was Seagrant staff involved as well.  

Below is a link to the grant funding requirements.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 8:31pm
Thanks!  

Kind of hard to believe that they allow the MFC Chair, with no scientific background, to influence the funding process at all.   

That's a major flaw.
"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 8:31pm
There's layer after layer of malfeasance implicated here. A web of conspiracy. Seemed obvious to me for a long time now, but this debacle, somehow must bring that home to the willfully blind or ignorant. Roy Cooper was the AG for quite a while. I don't remember any input from that office on stacking the deck with regard to the MFC during the numerous instances of malfeasance and unfair administration of state resources by these observable abuses then. It won't be hard to see if he's a more active governor in addressing the criminal bent the dmf, et all, have steadily stepped up over that time. At minimum, Sam Corbett and Nancy Fish should lose their jobs, positions, etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by bakesta bakesta wrote:

Thanks!  

Kind of hard to believe that they allow the MFC Chair, with no scientific background, to influence the funding process at all.   

That's a major flaw.

The real major flaw as I saw it was having commercial fishermen requesting funds for a study that was written up by scientists and biologists on their behalf. And then having people like me expected to understand all the technical jargon the experts  injected for a relatively simple request.

Seemed overly complicated to me and almost intended to confuse on purpose.

That was my complaint, and the reason I resigned.

BW #2


Edited by marker39 - 18 January 2017 at 8:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mattrich21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 10:52pm
Can someone with knowledge clarify the roll of the AC's in this matter. Is the MFC bound by any of the AC findings?   Or do the ACs simply "advise" and the MFC can do what the MFC wants regardless of this "advice."

The WRAL article implied that since the ACs were against the trawling restrictions, they would likely fail to pass. Is this correct?



Edited by mattrich21 - 18 January 2017 at 10:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bizzyb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2017 at 11:59pm
Originally posted by mattrich21 mattrich21 wrote:

Can someone with knowledge clarify the roll of the AC's in this matter. Is the MFC bound by any of the AC findings?   Or do the ACs simply "advise" and the MFC can do what the MFC wants regardless of this "advice."

The WRAL article implied that since the ACs were against the trawling restrictions, they would likely fail to pass. Is this correct?

AC stands for advisory committee. That is all they are. The MFC will take their input and do with it what they want. More times than not, they do not follow what they recommend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chuck Laughridge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 7:43am
The comment above by bizzyb is short,concise, and accurate.  It also spans decades, not just recent recommendations by current ACs.   

Good Fishing!!!
 


Edited by Chuck Laughridge - 19 January 2017 at 7:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 9:19am
Here's a link to 2017 CRFL Projects to be reviewed for approval next week-

http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/2017-crfl

Jeff Buckel has three projects under consideration-

2017-F-052 NCSU Buckel Survival and stock structure of cobia 

2017-F-053 NCSU Buckel Developing indices of abundance for NC Sheepshead abstract

2017-F-048 NCSU Buckel Beaufort Bridgenet Ichthyoplankton Sampling Program


Joel Fodrie has four projects under consideration-

2017-F-051 UNCCh Fodrie Mortality of Atlantic blue crabs Abstract

2017-H-065 UNCCh Fodrie Effect of seagrass species on the value of NC seagrass meadows abstract

2017-H-069 UNCCh Fodrie Marsh islands and fringing mainland marshes in tidal estuaries abstract

2017-F-050 UNCCh Fodrie Life history parameters of cobia-Abstract

 

“Crazy” Joe Luczkovich has one project under consideration-

2017-H-064 ECU Luczkovich Development of Procedures for SAV Habitat Restoration Abstract



The public is being asked to fund the grants above, specifically the recreational fishing sector, and we are reaping little in the way of essential habitat protection and implementation of sustainable commercial fishing methods due to decisions being made by those we are funding.

Time for change. 









Edited by Rick - 22 January 2017 at 11:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 10:17am
Go figure!!!

I know something that we could change that will help restore submerged aquatic vegetationWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 11:50am
What is the breakdown of how CRFL funds are spent? Is there a dollar or percentage limit for grants and other categories? 
"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."

"Never argue with a man who loves the sound of his own voice."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by Glacierbaze Glacierbaze wrote:

What is the breakdown of how CRFL funds are spent? Is there a dollar or percentage limit for grants and other categories? 


You always ask some great questions. 

I don't know the answer.  Why don't you put "a little backbone and sweat" into the processSmile, do a little research and inform us.  I'm sure the answers can be easily found on the NCDMF website.  I'll thank you in advance for the effort and the information.  Knowledge is power.  This loaded freight train is gaining momentum and we're about to crest the top.




Edited by Rick - 19 January 2017 at 12:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 12:22pm
So then, you guys feel that we are in a watershed moment with regard to make up, and sentiment within the council. I recognize that you have little use for my relentless pessimism, yet I cannot let that attitude go, because the trajectory of this thing is as if the seagull was still running the show from his hidden perch, somewhere in the bowels of a dmf office complex. That is, might my dark, conspiratorial view of mutant, recalcitrant resource mobsters holding us in perpetual thrall fall away in contrast to a swelling invigoration of resource minded folks on the MFC, with like minds behind them, who may actually prevail in this pivotal regulatory dilemma? For example, should we read more into the breathless NCFA missive about how Our side now has the MFC stacked in our favor? Is it possible the flotilla of steel juggernauts is itself an expression of endangerment of their heretofore relentless paradigm? Is my vituperous fuming, in you guy's minds, wasted effort and needless negativism?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 12:47pm
cnaff, really no offense intended, but my little brain has trouble following most of your posts and therefore it renders to zero my ability to judge your "usefulness".  I enjoy Far Side but you're beyond my capabilities or patience.  I'm certain that you're engaged in the process outside of this forum and those communications are structured to be effective.

Negativism is useless. 

Play the hand you're dealt, conserve your resources until dealt a better hand and then bet accordingly.  I'm mostly all in, but then I'm an optimist.  I believe that people with common sense and a sense of decency can't help but do what is right once they fully understand the issue...except those with a personal economic interest as their only concern and one that is opposing what is right...that's the devil at work.  Truth and righteousness will prevail.  Sometimes it just takes time and a lot of help.


Edited by Rick - 19 January 2017 at 1:05pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote themoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 1:12pm
I have to agree with Rick... I am a very bright guy with an extensive vocabulary, but I have difficulty following those posts as well.

Not sure who your target audience is, but a little less style and more content would be appreciated by me. Paragraph breaks at the end of completed thoughts would help as well.

Not wanting to be insulting... just agreeing that you may not be communicating as effectively as you want to be.
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cnaff - you crack me up!   but i have a limited vocabulary and refuse to expand it by looking up unknown words so sometimes i don't know what the hell you just saidLOL.

I might even be vituperous but I'll never knowLOL
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 1:49pm
"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."  Part of Glacierbaze's tag line.  Thumbs Up

Always thought thought this was so appropriate in a forum or discussions as contentious as fisheries management.

Obviously lost on some who post here.  Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 2:20pm
Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."  Part of Glacierbaze's tag line.  Thumbs Up

Always thought thought this was so appropriate in a forum or discussions as contentious as fisheries management.

Obviously lost on some who post here.  Wink




I noticed you didn't stay long watching the charade of fisheries management through the AC process.  Busy or just no longer interested enough to be "properly" engaged or have you recognized the declining value of being a minion to status quo? 

So again, exactly what are you doing to "help" the fisheries besides posting your ego boosting comments on NCW, Hull Truth, Saltwater Central and NC Angler?

I pretty much see things black and white.  You're either with us against us.  Trump's going to put barbwire on top of that fence.

GB's tag line is correct.  "Never argue with a man who loves the sound of his own voice."  I should listen to GB. 



Edited by Rick - 19 January 2017 at 2:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scalez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 2:40pm
Rick & Glacierbaze -

I'm here to help out because I agree that "time for a change" must eventually happen with the structure and funding provided by CRFL monies. Synopsizing my aging memory, I recall that in order to get Basnight to allow a vote for SW rec fishing licenses, he required that NO funds be used for enforcement.

Additionally the legislation set up a system for directing approximately one third of grants to each category of People, Habitat and Fish. My research of several years ago yielded the following numbers.

CRFL Grants funded:
2009 $1.7M  People 647.5K Habitat 422.97K Fish 619.096
2010 $3.1M   1,951.3K    310.283K 375.144
2011 $1.7M no info no info no info
2012 $1.99M   857.369K    732.266K 400.710K
2013 $2.43M  1,210.3333K    743.277K 479.825K
2014 $1.78M 1,177.798K    176.5K 428.815K

Interestingly I broke it down roughly for my own understanding so that:

2009 Municipal 122.5K  DMF 767.59K University 299.48K NCWRC 500K   Other -
2010        782.9K        458.56K 693.95K     725K              -
2011       no info ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2012         0        550K 541K     490K   -
2013 333.3K        665.3K 707K     650K 41K+
2014           65K        303.16K 303K     475K 637.5K+

I'm guessing the accounting for category does add up because "other" caught the differences.

My only intent here is to share knowledge, not draw conclusions. Where you see "People" getting $647K in 2009 I assume that NCWRC monies were used for people access, etc., etc


Edited by scalez - 19 January 2017 at 2:51pm
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Edited by scalez - 19 January 2017 at 2:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaitWaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 2:52pm
Originally posted by Rick Rick wrote:

Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."  Part of Glacierbaze's tag line.  Thumbs Up


I noticed you didn't stay long watching the charade of fisheries management through the AC process.  Busy or just no longer interested enough to be "properly" engaged or have you recognized the declining value of being a minion to status quo? 

So again, exactly what are you doing to "help" the fisheries besides posting your ego boosting comments on NCW, Hull Truth, Saltwater Central and NC Angler?

I pretty much see things black and white.  You're either with us against us.  Trump's going to put barbwire on top of that fence.

GB's tag line is correct.  "Never argue with a man who loves the sound of his own voice."  I should listen to GB. 

As usual the ad hominum comments.  Ego boosting?  If you have a mirror, you should prolly use it.

Sure you loved Dr. Buckel's comments in agreement with me on the coastwide decline of weakfish was not thought tied to our trawling. 

I am on the ASMFC South Atlantic Species Advisory Panel and I'm am currently on a conference call on cobia currently going over public comments from Ga-Va. So that's what I'm doing to "help fisheries.  Prolly more worthwhile than yammering here with you. 




Edited by BaitWaster - 19 January 2017 at 2:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 3:14pm
Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

I am on the ASMFC South Atlantic Species Advisory Panel and I'm am currently on a conference call on cobia currently going over public comments from Ga-Va. So that's what I'm doing to "help fisheries. 


God help us boys.  The commercials are getting ready to get some of your cobia quota if Bernie has anything to do with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 3:26pm
Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

 Sure you loved Dr. Buckel's comments in agreement with me on the coastwide decline of weakfish was not thought tied to our trawling. 

Repeat a false statement numerous times and hope that it sticks.  



Here is a fact.

The weakfish committee did NOT consider shrimp trawler bycatch when trying to come up with a model for weakfish decline.  I was told by a member of that committee that they purposefully excluded North Carolina trawler bycatch because it totally destroyed their models.    Killing about 30 million 2.5 inch weakfish every year caused all models to point to only ONE possible answer.  And that answer was not politically acceptable.   The conversation ended with statements to the effect that nobody wanted to "gore NC's ox" and that "NC shrimp trawling is a problem that can only be fixed by NC".







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2017 at 3:38pm
Originally posted by bakesta bakesta wrote:

Originally posted by BaitWaster BaitWaster wrote:

 Sure you loved Dr. Buckel's comments in agreement with me on the coastwide decline of weakfish was not thought tied to our trawling. 

Repeat a false statement numerous times and hope that it sticks.  



Here is a fact.

The weakfish committee did NOT consider shrimp trawler bycatch when trying to come up with a model for weakfish decline.  I was told by a member of that committee that they purposefully excluded North Carolina trawler bycatch because it totally destroyed their models.    Killing about 30 million 2.5 inch weakfish every year caused all models to point to only ONE possible answer.  And that answer was not politically acceptable.   The conversation ended with statements to the effect that nobody wanted to "gore NC's ox" and that "NC shrimp trawling is a problem that can only be fixed by NC".


Exactly!

The MFC just voted asking the ASMFC to include shrimp trawl trawl bycatch in the next assessment because it's not there.

The ASMFC documents clearly state that weakfish bycatch in the shrimp trawl fisheries are not included in management decisions.

People get confused when they read a statement like "discards in the trawl fishery are not impacting..."  The "trawl fishery" being referenced is the fly net fishery for Atlantic Croaker.

Buckel made a broad statement that clearly is not supported by the "facts" that he tried to present.





Edited by Rick - 19 January 2017 at 3:42pm
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