Ridiculous! Of course a size limit doesn't change personal C&R policies but it will definitely impact the populations due to commercial and sport harvest rates.
What is the rationale behind this? Did we have representatives from organizations (CCA, MSBA, etc) at policy meetings? We should look into how this happened, what the reasons were, and who pushed for it. I doubt sportsmen wanted this change in the wrong direction.
With so many people thinking the same way, how do decisions get made to the contrary???
The rational behind the change was it used to be 28". After a new report came out that showed the fish were in better shape than was previously thought they decided it was best to put the limit back to 28". The sad part about this is that I think they may have kept it at 30" if there was a strong show of support at the hearings. But know one goes, there were four people at th MMA hearing. CCA had a rep there but it means nothing if the members don't show to voice their support also. We meaning rec fisherman as a group are pathetic when it comes to protecting our good freind the Striped Bass.
I can't speak to this years round of DMF meetings since I wasn't able
to attend...but i've been to the Gloucester ones for the past several
There are a number of aspects of these so-called "hearings" that are
readily apparent. First, that if the DMF were to pay heed to the data
which their OWN scientists are generating, they would raise the size limit
to 34" or higher.
Second, that no hard stats exist regarding the actual impact which rec
fishing has on the fishery.
Third, that there seems to be concern on the DMF that since states to our
south/west have lower limits, we need to somehow come closer to them - my
sense is the argument is based on the absurd notion along the lines of "...well,
since Mass already does "more" than other coastal states on this issue, why should
we "take the hit" even further...." -- ODD thinking if one takes that the view
that the fishery should be of paramount concern.
Fourthly, (and I've brought this one up for years on other boards) just because
the DMF is mandated to hold public hearings, there is NOTHING to suggest that they
make up their minds subsequent to the hearings -- rather, I would argue that the DMF
merely goes through the mandated formality of holding the hearings, but that public sentiment to whatever degree it is expressed, never plays a role in the decision-making
If they were truly interested in feedback and input, they would do a FAR better job
of publicizing the hearings in the first place.
I don't think people will ever learn. We devistated the populations in the 70-80's. I guess here we go again. I guess history and a beautiful natural resource aren't as important to the politicans as the money the Cat food companies make them in taxes and pay offs. I hope they @#$^*$ choke on it.
Jared's points pretty much sum it up. I also usually go to the Gloucester meetings, which are pretty pro-recreational compared to the Cape, but it's like talking to a wall. We all pushed at the meetings a year ago to go back to 36" after the first stock assessment came out, when they were trying to get Amendment V or VI through quickly. Literally everyone voted for 34" or more, and we got a token 2" to 30". Then all of a sudden this "new scientific data" came out that said stocks weren't in trouble after all and they have pulled back those two inches because they say there is no meaningful difference or benefit to the stocks between 28"-30".
There was less than 1 weeks notice for the meetings this past fall, they were not advertised on the DMF website, and they don't publish notice in the Globe or Herald.
My advice, if you want to attend these meetings, is to go on the DMF website right now, and sign up for their snail mail newsletter. generally, it is the only way to guaranty some advanced notice of the hearings. Problem is, they really don't care what we say in our public comments...
All the y seem to care about is what the other states are doing and that we get our "fair share" of fish to kill. Don't ask, there is no logic...