HI Folks !
It has been sunnier than usual for the last couple of weeks, especially for latter April. Hopefully the increased sunlight has accelerated the water warming processes and the fish are heading up the coasts to us. I have seen the reports of blitzing bluefish down in Rhode Island. I haven’t heard from Edzo in too long actually, but I expect that they have been catching some nice bass in CT as well. The fish weirs have as of 2 days ago not been producing, so it’s about ready to bust open. Mike C tells me that he heard they were getting schoolies at River Road, but I don’t think he actually did any fishing. I saw my friend Moss, headed down the road last night with a schoolie rod sticking out of the rod holder in his truck, so I imagine there might be a few around………
Charter bookings are down to date for this time of the year. I expect the economical situation to be “cautious”. Notice I said “cautious” and not “DIRE” or “Recessive” or worse “DEPRESSED”, like the media seems to trumpet from the hilltops. My other business is booming and the phone is ringing off the wall with painting and deck work. I expect that most folks are just being careful with their dough and maintaining what they have. The stock market has given me some decent returns in the last couple of months, and I expect that the situation, while flat for now, won’t get any worse that it has been. As a result, with the exception of the 10-hour tuna trip, I have not increased charter rates from last year, and removed the fuel surcharges. The 10 hr tuna trip will go from $1200 to $1300. I also expect that as folks realize the world is NOT coming to an end, they will all be calling to book their summer fishing trips at the last minute, and as a result may not have the optimum day as for timing of departure or tide.
Speaking of tuna, we have a situation with our commercial bluefin fishery that is, well typical, of our political system. We have for years been WAY more conservative than our competing counties with how we set minimum sizes and quotas for US fishermen. Since the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas regulates the quota allocations of these fishes, and that the our US quota is currently not being caught as a result of our conservative regulations, ICCAT is proposing to reallocate (take away) the US quota to other countries, even those with poor track records of conservation or short history in the fishery. A problem identified by groups of tuna fishers, is that only mid level State Department staffers and NMFS at ICCAT represent the US interests. In contrast other nations send their high level diplomats to these meetings, leaving the US outmaneuvered and outgunned and increasingly dismissed. *
Concerns over this loss of historical quota have prompted US tuna fishermen of various groups to form one cohesive group. The new “Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Association”, recently went to Washington in April, and is asking Congress to intervene and preserve our US quota.
Specifically, the ABTA asked that:
1. NMFS revise domestic regulations to allow us to catch the allowed quota. 2. Designate a senate confirmed senior official to officially represent the US at ICCAT. 3. Develop effective strategy to achieve US objectives and secure the support of other ICCAT nations for US interests
Contributions to the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Association can be mailed to: ABTA - POB 447 - SALEM, NH – 03079
Capt. Bruce & “Marilyn S”
* …………… as reported by CFN May 2009