NEFMC Scientists are Laughing about River Herring: Take Action Today
On Monday May 17 in Portsmouth NH the NEFMC Herring Committee will consider options to reduce River Herring ByCatch.
On April 8 the New England Council's Atlantic Herring Plan Development Team (PDT) (aka scientists) was supposed to analyze and develop options to reduce river herring by catch to be in an upcoming management document. These regulations would cover both the mid water/pair trawl and the small mesh bottom trawl off block Island that get most of the big by catch numbers of river herring.
Instead of doing their job the scientists went...my words..."off the hook". Statement were made that offend every recreational fisher I know.
For your reference I have included below several specific examples of the inappropriate and unproductive behaviors exhibited. (Line numbers refer to the meeting transcript that can be found at www.fishtalk.org)
On page 111, lines 23 - 24 are near the end of Dr. Matt Cieri's Maine Department of Natural Resources) presentation concerning by catch in the Atlantic herring fishery. Dr. Cieri is talking about the quality of the data in the presentation. While concluding he makes the statement, "The Cv's are, you know, on a yearly basis, are .96, .8. This Sucks." I am not sure what the scientific definition of this term is, however I am pretty sure it means this data is not of good enough quality to use in the management decision making process. BUT next Monday Dr.Cieri will make the presentation to the NEFMC Herring Oversight Committee meeting in Portsmouth NH.
On page, 122 lines 18 - 20 Dr. Cieri is being questioned about the Maine portion of the data used in his river herring by catch presentation. During his answer, Dr. Cieri admits he has not really looked for river herring in the Maine data and makes the statement, "I don't work on river herring, so I could care less." If the point of the meeting was to analyze river herring by catch, why is Dr. Cieri involved? Dr. Cieri works for the State of Maine, where the harvest of river herring is still allowed. As a representative of a community under a moratorium on harvest, this comment is offensive to every fisherman that gave up our right to harvest for the sake of the fishery. Cieri owes each of us an apology
On page 140, lines 19 - 20 show another of Dr. Cieri's revelations on how unprepared he is for this meeting. Under discussion about information he has just presented he states; "I mean I did this at my sisters kitchen table last night."
On page 151, lines 4 - 18 start off with Dr. Mike Armstrong of Mass DMF questioning the need for an amendment even though there have been multiple votes by the full NEFMC and the Atlantic Herring OSC to have the amendment. "Our estimates are 500.000 pounds. Why are we going for an amendment? Do people think 500,000 is horrifying, or is it not?" Lori Steele responds by trying to get the PDT to actually do some work and then an unidentified woman asks the question, [B]"What do you do in a situation where your PDT refuses to do any analysis that they want?"[/B]
On page 158, lines 9 - 25 contain an exchange where the newest PDT member member from Woods Hole, Mr. John Deroba expresses frustration over the lack of progress of the meeting and states,"But I'm saying we've gotten nowhere in an hour and a half and we should have gotten somewhere." His comments are met with sarcasm by more than one member of the committee and then laughter breaks out.
ITS TIME TO HOLD THE SCIENTISTS ACCOUNTABLE
HELP URGE THE HERRING COMMITTEE TO TAKE ACTION
DON'T LET THE NEFMC OFF THE HOOK THIS TIME
PLEASE WRITE AND EMAIL THE FOLLOWING:
Anglers in MA Anglers in RI
David Pierce Mark Gibson
MA DMF RI Div Fish & Wildlife
All Angers All Anglers
Paul Howard Terry Stockwell
Exec Director NEFMC ME Dept Marine Resources