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View Poll Results: How should the Spearfishing community respond to the SAFMC 17A closures?

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  • FIGHT THE CLOSURE TOOTH AND NAIL REGARLESS OF AN SPEARFISHING EXEMPTION

    33 94.29%
  • Focus on guaranteeing the spearfishing exemption and accept the closure will occur no matter what.

    2 5.71%
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Thread: How should the Spearfishing Community respond to SAFMC Amendment 17A closures?

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    Default How should the Spearfishing Community respond to SAFMC Amendment 17A closures?

    How should the Spearfishing Community respond to the proposed SAFMC Amendment 17A closures?

    Here is the latest bulletin on the proposed closures, closing the entire area defined in the bulletin mostly lying in 98-300 feet depths from South Carolina-Georgia border to just south of Cape Canaveral, to ALL SPECIES of fish with the proposed exception of a spearfishing exemption to allow all species to be harvested EXCEPT red snapper.

    http://www.safmc.net/News/NewsReleas...2/Default.aspx

    What are your thoughts on how the Spearfishing community as a whole should react and respons to such proposal?

    Option 1) Should the community focus on accepting the closure, based on invalid and fatally flawed data, with the guarantee of the spearfishing exemption, potentially risking any future support from fisherman of other gear types in the future, and potentially risking losing the spearfishing exemption, as recently evidenced by the passing of a spearfishing prohibition in the Gray's Reef managed area, by the same NMFS leadership who is proposing the Amendment 17A spearfishing exclusion?

    Option 2) Should the spearfishing community bond with the hook-and-line community and together reject and oppose the closure tooth-and-nail with no regard to whether a spearfishing exemption is offered or not, based on the fact that closing the entire area for multiple species, which is based upon removing red snapper dead discard mortality, is unneccessary since the entire red snapper closure itself is unneccessary, since the data has been shown my many independent sources to be incomplete, invalid, fatally flawed and based on uncorrelated estimations, extrapolations, and wide assumptions, based solely on commercial landings with little to no regard on extraneous factors both socioeconomic and meterologic.

    My opinion is this: if you rally for a spearfishing exclusion, by default you are accepting the basis and need for such spearfishing exclusion to be required to begin with, which implies you approve the closure based on the presented data, both that red snapper are currently experiencing overfishing, and that present venting and dehooking tools, and circle hooks, are not enough to lower the estimated dead discard mortality. If this happens, I feel we will alienate ALL on-the-fence spearfishing supporters, and when history repeats itself in the near future regarding the spearfishing closure in the Gray's Reef managed area, which was instated by the same leadership of the NMFS who is proposing the spearfishing exclusion in the Amendment 17A closed area.

    What do you think?

    Should we stand together and fight all with risk of losing everything?

    -or-

    Should we accept the cookie of a spearfishing exclusion regardless of our beliefs of the validity of the closure, making the distinction that we are spearfishermen with zero bycatch gear and not hook-and-liners with a certain associated dead discard mortality/bycatch of only rough estimated magnitude, guarantee our exclusion for the near term, and risk losing the exclusion with any support in the near but nebulous future?

    I am a waterman, I scuba, freedive spearfish, polespear, I have been an avid hook-and-liner my entire life, and I surf and sail. For me, it is easy to delineate my associations between each label and cast no distinction. I know many of you are spearfishing only, and that is OK. I am not trying to belittle that by any means. In fact, it is those who are spearfishing-only that I would like to hear respond. In all honesty, the spearfishing exemption is something I agree with...ONLY IF THE DATA WERE CONCLUSIVE THAT THE SNAPPER ARE UNDERGOING OVERFISHING, AND THAT THE TOOLS TO PREVENT DEAD DISCARDS ARE INEFFECTIVE. However, I believe that this is NOT the case, and is far from the truth. One thing I see for certain, in my experience and opinion, is that this closure is completely unwarranted and THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS THE FATAL FLAW. THIS CLOSURE IS BASED ON COMPLETE HORSE SHIT. Wise men do not negotiate with horse shit.

    Any comment is welcome, regardless of opinion. We already know that this is a hot issue, and I suspect the community is almost evenly split on how to respond to such a undesireable closure with such a desireable exclusion.
    Last edited by inletsurf; 03-23-2010 at 06:05 PM.
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    Stand together.

    Divided we fall. Besides, all the different fisherman/spear groups are going to need to pool their resources together for the bigger fight, which I believe is going to happen in a court room. The other side has enough money for a brutal and sustained legal battle, and will no doubt try to stretch it out to curb moral/hope and drain resources. I also believe they will use this tactic because that's how they've been fighting the fight the last 20 years. Ask everything, get a little, repeat process... incrementalization. Their strategies are concieved for the long run. The last thing they probably want is a heavily publicized, protest laden, high profile court case.

    That's my opinion anyway.

    Steve: Are you going to post this on the other board? I'd really like to read what the people from Stupiter have to say.
    Last edited by Megabeast; 03-23-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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    Stand Together

    Spearos account for a very small user group of fisherman.

    Being able to harvest fish when hook in liners cant would make us an easy target for the HnL community to turn on. The HnL community already looks down on spearos for many reason and wouldn't hesitate exclude our gear from allowable gear.

    Currently we are battling NOAA,NMFS together as fisherman. Division between the two usergroups would be counter productive and destructive to the sport of spearfishing.

    The Federal Gov just shut down Grays reef in GA to spearing, dont think that they are willing to work with us. Any sugestion of a spearfishing exemption would be an example of the nmfs trying to fragmenting the fishing community of spearos and HNlers and pitting them against each other. While conquering the user group of fisherman because we are to busy fighting each other.

    Chris
    Chris Grauer- "To protect, promote, and grow the sport of spearfishing" www.spearfishingplanet.com

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    There are over 100 views but only 18 votes, only 1 in 5 people viewing the thread are even voting.

    The poll is completely anonymous, none of us mods can view who voted for what. I would like to think that this poll, and your opinion on this, is extremely important. My main objective with this poll is to show all hook and line recreational fishermen, the CCA, RFA, and others, that the majority of spearfishermen DO NOT wish to alienate the entire hook-and-line community as a whole, and are willing to stand up together for what is right for everyone and the fishery, not for what seems to be the best for the spearfisherman at the present time. Some people are sending out blanketed statements implying that spearfishermen are interested only in the spearfishing exclusion, and that spearfishermen shouldn't worry about the validity of the closure, nor the unity of the entire recreational community including hook-n-line dominant conservation groups like the CCA, RFA, etc, nor the fact that tools to prevent dead discard mortality of bycatch have not been thoroughly explored let alone legally required for any significant time on the east coast!!! I I don't believe these statements, I am more optimistic. I believe that spearfishermen as a whole do share a sense of unity with the hook-and-line community, and are willing to focus on the root cause at hand, ad directly opposing the validity of this closure, instead of signing the death warrant against our sport by accepting the closure by way of the spearfishing exclusion, which will drive any non-spearfisherman against us for good, negating over 10 years of good public relations and education between spearfishermen and hook and liners.

    Please vote and cast your opinion!
    Last edited by inletsurf; 03-24-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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    My thoughts:

    Unfortunately the closure is going to happen, the writing is on the wall with this one IMO. Does it make it right? NO, the data is still flawed but until the MS Act is amended IT DOESN'T F'N MATTER b'c they (SAFMC) are just following the letter of the law (MS Act).

    From what I understand the proposal was meant to allow spearfishing to target fish that are not being protected. Meaning a spearfisherman can go shoot mangrove snapper with zero red snapper bycatch. Spearfishing for red snapper would still be banned.

    The spearfishing community shouldn't plead for this exemption, we're all fishermen, whether we use a speargun or a rod. And I don't think I'm going out on a limb by saying that the vast majority of spearfishermen have always just asked to be treated under the same rules and access that hook and liners live under. Nothing extra, just the same.

    However, IF the closure is imminent are we going to stand together and tell the the Council that we as the spearfishing community DO NOT WANT the exemption? I hope we wouldn't, but that is NOT saying that we have to PUSH for it.

    Spearos account for a very small user group of fisherman.

    Being able to harvest fish when hook in liners cant would make us an easy target for the HnL community to turn on. The HnL community already looks down on spearos for many reason and wouldn't hesitate exclude our gear from allowable gear.
    Commercial fishermen account for a very small user group of fishermen and they are able to harvest fish when hook and liners can't yet the hook and liners haven't shut them out. And on top of that their gear is some of the most questionable of all harvesting gear!!

    From what I've seen in the last 6 or 7 years is that we as spearfishermen may be one of the smallest recreational groups but we have the loudest voice when it comes to fishery management circles. I've yet to attend a single fishery council meeting, workshop, etc., where the hook and line crowd outnumbered the spearfishermen.

    Times have changed for the spearfisherman, we are at the table now and defend ourselves very well and it would be difficult IMO for the hook and line crowd to "exclude our gear from allowable gear". Hell, Karl Wickstrom, FOUNDER of Florida Sportsman, posted a thread within the Conservation section on the FS forum about this exemption (trying to stir the pot)......it got 14, yes only 14 responses. Not a whole lot of opposition.

    Having said all that I still believe that everyone needs to stay the course; no new measures until the science and data gets fixed, and has a successful independent peer review. In 2007 when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 it said that NMFS needed to fix the science/data, then end overfishing. We (hook and liners and spearfishermen, i.e., recreational fishermen) need to hold them to that. The flexibility act (isn't this currently a House Bill??) is needed because of their failure to meet the timeline to repair the science/data.
    Last edited by NSEARCH; 03-24-2010 at 10:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSEARCH View Post

    However, IF the closure is imminent are we going to stand together and tell the the Council that we as the spearfishing community DO NOT WANT the exemption? I hope we wouldn't, but that is NOT saying that we have to PUSH for it.

    .
    That is not what I'm saying. Please review the comments made on both forums and understand that the focus is being placed on an exemption. Once this happens, where is the support going to come for a congressional investigative committee? From the happy spearfisherman shooting it up in the closed zones? NO. Why should they waste time fighting when they took the bribe? Conversely, when the rug is yanked out from under our feet with the precedence set by the spearfishing prohibition last week in the gray's reef managment area, by the same NMFS leaders who are promising this exemption, where is the support going to come from then?
    Lets look at it: No CCA. No FRA. No CFOA. None of the commercial organizations. NONE. NONE NONE NONE. Spearfisherman make up less than 10% of the total recreational community, we are shit on the stick when it comes to political persuation compared to these larger hook-and-line dominant organizations.

    REGARDLESS OF THE PROBABILITY OF THIS CLOSURE OCCURRING, IF YOU ACCEPT THE SPEARFISHING CLOSURE, YOU ARE IMPLYING THAT YOU AGREE THE CLOSURE IS VALID TO BEGIN WITH. PERIOD. This is what all hook-and-liners are saying RIGHT NOW, because this is what they are perceiving. The closure is HORSE SHIT, and only a fool negotiates with horse shit and throws and entire majority of oppositional population under the bus for such.

    The only way I'd except a spearfishing exemption is if valid data using sound science concluded that the red snapper were overfished, and the current hook-and-line tools used to prevent dead discard mortality from such bycatch, then I'd say yes, I DEMAND A SPEARFISHING EXEMPTION.

    Until then, I feel like I would be a sell-out by approaching this closure in the way some are by focusing 99.5% on the spearfishing exemption, and 0.5% on the validity of the closure to begin with.

    The reward is not worth the risk, and I will bet you bryan that the exemption will be removed in the future. Mark my words, the writing is on the wall and it says "GRAY'S REEF". You think anyone is going to reverse this decision? This issue has been on the table and opposed for over 5 years now. Same scientists, same administrator, same argument that spearfishing is associated with zero bycatch. Good luck. The wave is coming our way. I've been victim of bait and switch before, and I know shenanigans when I see them.

    Commercial fishermen account for a very small user group of fishermen and they are able to harvest fish when hook and liners can't yet the hook and liners haven't shut them out. And on top of that their gear is some of the most questionable of all harvesting gear!!
    IMO, that is entirely another issue that I had hoped to delineate from this discussion, although I tend to agree with you.

    From what I've seen in the last 6 or 7 years is that we as spearfishermen may be one of the smallest recreational groups but we have the loudest voice when it comes to fishery management circles. I've yet to attend a single fishery council meeting, workshop, etc., where the hook and line crowd outnumbered the spearfishermen.
    You are speaking from Gulf Council experience. Have you ever attended a SAFMC public input meeting? It is the opposite, especially now with the closures we face. Spearfishermen make up an extremely small percentage. Perhaps you will see the inverse of your observations if the Gulf Council proposes the same kind of closure on the West Coast that impacts the recreational hook-and-line community more severely.

    Times have changed for the spearfisherman, we are at the table now and defend ourselves very well and it would be difficult IMO for the hook and line crowd to "exclude our gear from allowable gear". Hell, Karl Wickstrom, FOUNDER of Florida Sportsman, posted a thread within the Conservation section on the FS forum about this exemption (trying to stir the pot)......it got 14, yes only 14 responses. Not a whole lot of opposition.
    Again, this is a political interpretation of the issue at hand, and a public relations disaster if we approach it the wrong way. Please read the discussions that have led up to this poll, and try to think of it in the terms of 5 years from now as opposed to accepting the bone thrown at us for the near term. In the end, fishing and spearfishing will end if we keep on this route.

    Having said all that I still believe that everyone needs to stay the course; no new measures until the science and data gets fixed, and has a successful independent peer review. In 2007 when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 it said that NMFS needed to fix the science/data, then end overfishing. We (hook and liners and spearfishermen, i.e., recreational fishermen) need to hold them to that. The flexibility act (isn't this currently a House Bill??) is needed because of their failure to meet the timeline to repair the science/data.
    I agree, that is a great point and I can add to that. But how serious are the politicians going to take us when we have someone who claims to represent ALL spearfishermen whispering in the ear of NMFS administrators? The same person who is discussing all other actions to work with the NMFS, including spearing inshore gamefish (which will totally sever our relations with the CCA), etc, but has said nothing regarding what you just posted in the quote above?

    What motivation will spearfishermen have opposing a >100,000 square mile closure if they are already allowed to spear in it, even if they believe its bogus? The exemption isn't the problem...the approach we are taking is the problem. We are rabid pit bulls heading to take a bite out of the NMFS, and they just tossed us a steak. What should we do, chomp on the steak right now, focus on the threat?
    Last edited by inletsurf; 03-24-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSEARCH View Post
    My thoughts:




    From what I've seen in the last 6 or 7 years is that we as spearfishermen may be one of the smallest recreational groups but we have the loudest voice when it comes to fishery management circles. I've yet to attend a single fishery council meeting, workshop, etc., where the hook and line crowd outnumbered the spearfishermen.

    Times have changed for the spearfisherman, we are at the table now and defend ourselves very well and it would be difficult IMO for the hook and line crowd to "exclude our gear from allowable gear". Hell, Karl Wickstrom, FOUNDER of Florida Sportsman, posted a thread within the Conservation section on the FS forum about this exemption (trying to stir the pot)......it got 14, yes only 14 responses. Not a whole lot of opposition.

    .

    Bryan,
    I mostly agree with what you wrote but I would warn the community just because we are able to turn out some people for some meetings doesnt mean we are being taken all that seriously, particulalry at the Federal level. At the State level, yes, but at the federal level? Not so much.
    See the following link:
    http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/recreation.htm

    This 22 member panel will basically act as "our" liasons for the recreational fishing community to the Feds.
    Last I checked there were NO spearfisherman on this panel but I dont know who exactly everyone is.
    It is plain to see that CCA has an overwhelming majority of representatives on the panel and we all know that CCA National is anything but a strong supporter of spearfishing.

    It does look like the spearfishing exemption may pass on the East Coast(of Florida) but I'm of the opinion that we should let it pass quietly while still fighting vehemently against the overall closure.
    Last edited by richt; 03-24-2010 at 12:50 PM.

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    I had a response and somehow I hit the tab button in junction with some other button and everything disappeared.

    Main points:

    I disagree that by accepting the exemption on the heels of the closure labels you as one who agrees with the closure.

    I believe we stay the course and not advocate for the exemption but if the closure is being voted on for final rule are you suggesting that we all should stand up and ask them to not vote on passing the exemption? I agree with Rich, at that point we should just let the exemption pass quietly. Yes, I agree, it could be removed in the future but what difference would it make then? Everyone would be shut out and would be in the same boat.

    I agree, that is a great point and I can add to that. But how serious are the politicians going to take us when we have someone who claims to represent ALL spearfishermen whispering in the ear of NMFS administrators? The same person who is discussing all other actions to work with the NMFS, including spearing inshore gamefish (which will totally sever our relations with the CCA), etc, but has said nothing regarding what you just posted in the quote above?
    I agree that this is a HUGE problem and I'll say it, THAT PERSON DOES NOT REPRESENT ALL SPEARFISHERMEN and when we are writing letters, emails, phone calls, or giving public testimony at the meetings that NEEDS to be addressed.

    I agree Rich, it's a whole different ball game on the federal level, we are only a gnat in the ear of an elephant.

    It does look like the spearfishing exemption may pass on the East Coast(of Florida) but I'm of the opinion that we should let it pass quietly.
    I agree.

    As I said else where, thanks for bringing this thread to discussion Steve because it is a very important topic and we need to have all viewpoints on the table.

    More later......
    Last edited by NSEARCH; 03-24-2010 at 01:50 PM. Reason: "not advocate for the exemption", not "closure"

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    The closure is wrong and needs to be overturned. Righting that wrong should be our focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSEARCH View Post


    I had a response and somehow I hit the tab button in junction with some other button and everything disappeared.

    Main points:

    I disagree that by accepting the exemption on the heels of the closure labels you as one who agrees with the closure.

    I believe we stay the course and not advocate for the closure but if the closure is being voted on for final rule are you suggesting that we all should stand up and ask them to not vote on passing the exemption? I agree with Rich, at that point we should just let the exemption pass quietly. Yes, I agree, it could be removed in the future but what difference would it make then? Everyone would be shut out and would be in the same boat.



    I agree that this is a HUGE problem and I'll say it, THIS PERSON DOES NOT REPRESENT ALL SPEARFISHERMEN and when we are writing letters, emails, phone calls, or giving public testimony at the meetings that NEEDS to be addressed.

    I agree Rich, it's a whole different ball game on the federal level, we are only a gnat in the ear of an elephant.



    I agree.

    As I said else where, thanks for bringing this thread to discussion Steve because it is a very important topic and we need to have all viewpoints on the table.

    More later......

    Understand Bryan, and I respectfully disagree with your stance, and so far apparently 92% of the voting sample also disagree. This has nothing to do with whether or not a spearfishing exemption based on zero bycatch should be allowed. This has to do with poor negotiating skills and focus of priorities of those who seem to think they represent the entire spearfishing community. The purpose of this poll was to actually attempt to survey how many people agree with the prioritization of fighting the closure with regards to the real risks of losing significant public relations and support with the hook-and-line population.

    But you and I are from different backgrounds regarding involvement in fishing/spearfishing, and many of my peers are exceptional hook-and-liners who know the truth and stand to lose their charter businesses, retail shops, and general lifelong interests based on the laziness and greed of some of those in the spearfishing community who prefer to "take the bone" and not address the root cause clearly and with resolute focus, as well as risk of disintegrating good public relations between the hook-and-line and spearfishing community that has taken over 10 years to build through online interaction and education, shedding the rumors and false perceptions of the harvest method (not sport, unless you practice shoot-and-release) of speafishing. Which is probably one of the very few good things to come from online fishing internet forums.

    As far as the power of one vs. the 1000's of letters...let's just say when you manage an outlet of communication with tens of thousands of experienced, intermediate, and fledgling spearfishermen, with controls of filtering, propaganda, and influence of what the general public perceived as occurring versus what really happens, let's just say there's more influence there than what you think. Not that I disagree with your statement...but I'm just saying that there's a lot to be said by fogging the community from an internal persuasion as opposed to an external persuasion such as the NMFS, etc.

    Remember, once the CCA and RFA and other groups are against us, we are done. Period. Rich said it best when he will "quietly allow the pass of the exemption" and I agree. Key word being quietly.

    The objective of this poll is to show the entire community of stakeholders, especially the recreational hook and line anglers and their associated conservation organizations, that we are doing everything we can to protect all of our interests alike by focusing on rejecting the closure altogether, and our position among groups is resolute such that our opposition cannot be influenced or swayed by an exclusion.
    Last edited by inletsurf; 03-24-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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    Stand Together

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    Quote Originally Posted by inletsurf View Post
    Understand Bryan, and I respectfully disagree with your stance, and so far apparently 92% of the voting sample also disagree.

    The purpose of this poll was to actually attempt to survey how many people agree with the prioritization of fighting the closure with regards to the real risks of losing significant public relations and support with the hook-and-line population.
    Let me state my position on this again so it's not confused.

    I believe that everyone needs to stay the course (the focus needs to be directed at PREVENTING the closure all together) ; no new measures until the science and data gets fixed, and has a successful independent peer review. In 2007 when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 it said that NMFS needed to fix the science/data, then end overfishing. We (hook and liners and spearfishermen, i.e., recreational fishermen) need to hold them to that. The flexibility act (isn't this currently a House Bill??) is needed because of their failure to meet the timeline to repair the science/data.

    IF that fails and a closure is imminent and an exemption is on the table then we say nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSEARCH View Post
    Let me state my position on this again so it's not confused.

    I believe that everyone needs to stay the course (the focus needs to be directed at PREVENTING the closure all together) ; no new measures until the science and data gets fixed, and has a successful independent peer review. In 2007 when President Bush signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 it said that NMFS needed to fix the science/data, then end overfishing. We (hook and liners and spearfishermen, i.e., recreational fishermen) need to hold them to that. The flexibility act (isn't this currently a House Bill??) is needed because of their failure to meet the timeline to repair the science/data.

    IF that fails and a closure is imminent and an exemption is on the table then we say nothing.
    OK maybe we're saying the same thing. I agree, the MS act is the primary mechanism by which the closure will be implemented. We need to have it modified. I doubt we'll have it changed by time of the closure, perhaps there are parallel political paths that may occur for having this changed.
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    Stand together to fight closures sounds like the best plan. However, if they come up with logical exemptions for spearos i.e. allowing spearfishermen to do what we do, there is no reason for any spearo to say "if you're not going to let them (h&L'ers) fish in this are, then you shouldn't let spearos either. If this closure is approved, which it seems like it will, I don't see any reason not to take the guys up on their offer to allow us to spear fish, excluding red snapper, in that area.

    The key difference between H&L'ers and spearos is the reason behind the exemption. We don't catch fish that we don't see. We make sure the fish is legal size, legal species and then shoot them and put them on the table. There is nothing wrong with catching mangroves in an area where Red Snappers are being protected. Just like shooting Gags when Jews are protected. So why shouldn't we?

    I do agree with fighting the closure tooth and nail, with all recreational fishermen, but not the exemption. The exemption is totally logical.

    Lets say the closure and the exemption are approved even though we all held hands and sang kumbaiya and fought it. At least someone will be able to get out in that area and fish. More people would be pissed if they just closed the whole area off. If the H&L'ers get pissed and alienate themselves from other people who have different methods, of gathering fish, it will make no difference in the end result. Just like everyone standing together. If said plan gets approved.
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    in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in side ways,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skinydiver View Post
    Stand together to fight closures sounds like the best plan. However, if they come up with logical exemptions for spearos i.e. allowing spearfishermen to do what we do, there is no reason for any spearo to say "if you're not going to let them (h&L'ers) fish in this are, then you shouldn't let spearos either. If this closure is approved, which it seems like it will, I don't see any reason not to take the guys up on their offer to allow us to spear fish, excluding red snapper, in that area.

    The key difference between H&L'ers and spearos is the reason behind the exemption. We don't catch fish that we don't see. We make sure the fish is legal size, legal species and then shoot them and put them on the table. There is nothing wrong with catching mangroves in an area where Red Snappers are being protected. Just like shooting Gags when Jews are protected. So why shouldn't we?

    I do agree with fighting the closure tooth and nail, with all recreational fishermen, but not the exemption. The exemption is totally logical.

    Lets say the closure and the exemption are approved even though we all held hands and sang kumbaiya and fought it. At least someone will be able to get out in that area and fish. More people would be pissed if they just closed the whole area off. If the H&L'ers get pissed and alienate themselves from other people who have different methods, of gathering fish, it will make no difference in the end result. Just like everyone standing together. If said plan gets approved.

    good input Skiny, thanks for your opinion!
    we are all wayfarers with a wish to stay alive
    for a cause for a dream
    theres much to move in a moving sea

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    My biggest fear is that we are somehow being led to slaughter with our eyes wide open.
    NMFS is saying all the right things (spearfishing selectivity, low bycatch, etc) to make us believe they are doing this for the right reasons but I just keep going back to Grays reef and Flower Garden Banks where pretty much the exact same people in the exact same agency did everything to exclude spearfishing gear as an allowable gear type.
    Something just doesnt smell right...

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    Quote Originally Posted by richt View Post
    My biggest fear is that we are somehow being led to slaughter with our eyes wide open.
    NMFS is saying all the right things (spearfishing selectivity, low bycatch, etc) to make us believe they are doing this for the right reasons but I just keep going back to Grays reef and Flower Garden Banks where pretty much the exact same people in the exact same agency did everything to exclude spearfishing gear as an allowable gear type.
    Something just doesnt smell right...
    I agree!
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    I think the issue is that we can't just roll over on the closure because we can still spearfish. If we do that (or it even appears that we did that), we will likely become the targets of the hook and liners. To summarize, here are the arguments in order of priority as I see them:

    1. There should be no closure because the red snapper stock is not in trouble. The "science" being used to support the proposition of overfishing is biased speculation at best.

    2. If we lose #1, there should not be broad area closures of all species just to protect red snapper. Piggy backing should not be allowed and sets a dangerous precedent.

    3. If we lose #1 and #2, spearfishing should still be allowed because there is no bycatch mortality like the alleged hook and line release mortality. Closing areas to spearfishing accomplishes nothing in protecting red snapper. This is a point that should not be conceded.

    Spearfishermen have become a very vocal minority. I am sure that the regulators would like to see us alienated from the rest of fishermen. However, if we keep our priorities straight and vigorously fight the closures in the order above, we will be subject to less criticism from the hook and liners.
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    Grays Reef elected to exclude spearos & let the H&L continue.
    I also think we should stay the course & fight the closure as FISHERMEN!
    The exemption will or will not happen. Chances are that if we continue to rub it in the face of H&Lers, it will become an issue.
    If we let it lie as it is now, we may be in the clear.
    Out of sight, out of mind.
    Prepare our defense for the moment it is needed.
    Continue to fight the closure as a whole.
    Remember how close the vote was.
    SUPPORT the FRA!
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    I agree Kite, as usual your clear and concise logic prevails. I added one comment to your order:

    Quote Originally Posted by kitefisherman View Post
    I think the issue is that we can't just roll over on the closure because we can still spearfish. If we do that (or it even appears that we did that), we will likely become the targets of the hook and liners. To summarize, here are the arguments in order of priority as I see them:

    1. There should be no closure because the red snapper stock is not in trouble. The "science" being used to support the proposition of overfishing is biased speculation at best.

    2. If we lose #1, there should not be broad area closures of all species just to protect red snapper. Piggy backing should not be allowed and sets a dangerous precedent.

    3. If we lose #1 and #2, spearfishing should still be allowed because there is no bycatch mortality like the alleged hook and line release mortality. Closing areas to spearfishing accomplishes nothing in protecting red snapper. This is a point that should not be conceded. My comment: Also, due diligence in performing the proper studies must be exhibited by the governing fishery management organization(s) to prove the actual effectiveness of legally-required onboard tools to prevent dead discard mortality, which includes but is not limited to 1) circle hooks, 2) vent tools 3) dehooking devices, before ever considering a prohibition of hook-and-line gear

    Spearfishermen have become a very vocal minority. I am sure that the regulators would like to see us alienated from the rest of fishermen. However, if we keep our priorities straight and vigorously fight the closures in the order above, we will be subject to less criticism from the hook and liners.
    Last edited by inletsurf; 03-24-2010 at 10:22 PM.
    we are all wayfarers with a wish to stay alive
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