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MakingWaves Waves Winter Summer 2016 Making 2016

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The Official Publication of the Recreational Fishing Alliance

Sector Separation: Cap & Trade for Fisheries Meet Barry Gibson, NE Regional Director Summer Flounder Quota Nightmare Dusky Shark Regulatory Over-reach

The Real War on Science S.C. Winter Speckle Trout RFA News & Views and more!

FALL2016 2016 Winter


Making Waves Winter 2016



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MakingWaves Waves Winter Summer 2016 Making 2016

The Official Publication of the Recreational Fishing Alliance

FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK By Gary Caputi After a torturous presidential election and with the holidays just around the corner everyone at the RFA is thankful for a lot of things. Obviously, the election of Donald Trump as our 45th president is high on the chart. Why? Here your right to fish and pragmatic fisheries management reform is our paramount concern and we knew that if Hillary Clinton prevailed we might as well kiss our fishing goodbye. President-elect Trump is a business man and he is determined to reduce the burden of regulation strangling business in this country. During the campaign Trump's team signaled a willingness to work with us to fix MSA and stop the insanity that has passed for fisheries management that past 8 years. We are expecting this to be a very big breath of fresh air. Right now anglers in the Mid-Atlantic are staring down the barrel of another massive reduction in summer flounder quota and another year of reduction in the quota for black sea bass. MRIP keeps tossing out garbage landings data for recreational fishermen that keeps us with our backs against the wall of statutory overfishing that we might never emerge from if NOAA doesn't fix the data collection process. We're being restrained from fishing on perfectly healthy fish stocks at the cost of great damage to coastal economies and businesses all over this country. Let's give our new leader a chance to get his administration in order and we'll hit the ground running again in 2017. If you're going to be in Florida in January make it a point to fish the 54th Annual Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Tournament with the knowledge that every penny it generates is donated to the RFA. For more information on the tournament, last year's winners, the payouts and to enter online go to www.buccaneercup. com. Happy Holidays everyone, we'll see you on the other side.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Publisher’s Desk


Our Velvet Revolution Exec. Director's Report


RFA Profile: Barry Gibson New England Director


Memorial: Red Bartley California Champion


Breaking Regulator News Summer Flounder Quota Nightmare


Guest Editorial: Tom Hilton on Sector Separation


Dusky Shark Regulatory Overreach - Capt. Mike Pierdenock


The Real War on Science Reprint from City Journal


Catching S.C. Winter Speckle Trout Capt. T..J. Cheek


SKA Nationals Raffle Benefits RFA RFA News & Views


Trip of a Lifetime - Wild Strawberry Lodge Take 2


On the Cover: Do you remember when you could fish black sea bass year round? No more my friend!

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Executive Director’s Report By Jim Donofrio

OUR VELVET REVOLUTION The Election of Donald J. Trump


he RFA was proud to

endorse Donald J. Trump as our next president and we were the only national fishing organization that did. We also predicted a landslide and to see the voters in states across our great nation come out in numbers as never seen before was a testament to American resolve and patriotism. Voters of all color, party, and religious beliefs who work hard, pay taxes, and most importantly, love this great “American experiment” as founded, had enough of what was going on over the last 8 years and voted to save the republic by ballot rather than by bayonet. James Madison and the Founders are smiling down on us after this election. So what will the next 4 years and a Trump administration bring us? Hopefully, from a fishing perspective,

the influence of extreme environmentalism and regulation for regulation’s sake will be over and replaced with accurate and improved science, unbiased management, and priorities that allow for conservation, increased access and longterm sustainability of our fishing resources. All three of these are attainable, if we work at it. The RFA and our coalition partners are working on a new Magnuson Act that will be introduced shortly. The new bill will have these goals in mind; that is better

access, conservation, and long-term sustainability and more. Let us all be patient, give Mr. Trump a chance, work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and get our message out. I also ask that you say a prayer for our new president that he does the right thing for us and helps us heal the wounds of partisanship that were sewn over the last decade. The American Experiment is alive and well. God Bless the United States of America and all those who came out to vote.

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RFA PROFILE Page 77 Page

MakingWaves Waves Winter Summer 2016 Making 2016

by Gary Caputi

BARRY GIBSON New England Regional Director Former editor of Salt Water Sportsman Sportsman,, award award--winning writer, charter captain, fisheries activist and fishery manager - Barry Gibson is the RFA New England Regional Director.


he Recreational Fishing Alliance has been lucky to attract a host of loyal supporters and like-minded fishermen to its ranks over the years, but few came with the credentials of our New England Regional Director, Barry Gibson. His love of the sport is all encompassing and lifelong, his devotion to the resource and desire to see his fellow anglers have fair and reasonable access to it is undying. His salty personality and downeast persona are often used to mask his more erudite qualities gained

during 27 years living in Boston while working for the oldest and most cherished saltwater fishing magazine in the nation. Throughout his metropolitan years he maintained his residence and his roots on the rocky coast of Maine. Now that he has retired from the publishing business and shucked off the city he’s back in beautiful Boothbay Harbor full time, where he still dabbles at charter fishing and works as a part time marine surveyor. But his heart is still in the fisheries fight as he continues to work tirelessly for

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doing a pretty clumsy job of it, but I remember Barry welcoming my idea and encouraging me to submit it for consideration. He was easy to talk to, especially when the subject was fishing, and his advice was freely given and gratefully accepted. He bought that article, the first of many I would pen for the magazine. Some years later, after leaving a position as the associate publisher of the Big Game Fishing Journal I called on Barry again, this time to explore the possibility of writing for SWS on a more frequent basis as a member of its field staff. The conversation quickly grew into a regular gig as Offshore Editor and a little later he wrote a recommendation that landed me a position as Sportfishing Editor at Motor Boating & Sailing magazine, a title owned by the same publishing company.

From a young age Gibson was fascinated by fishing and the outdoors.

the future of sport fishing through his association with the RFA.

I’ve been lucky to be able to call Barry Gibson a friend for many years as our interests and professional lives have intertwined; fishing, writing, photography and multi-year jaunts into the world of fisheries manager, Barry on the New England Fishery Management Council and me on the MidAtlantic. We both became activists with the goal of impacting the fisheries management bureaucracy to better service its recreational component. We would talk for hours about fisheries, and still do, but it wasn’t until he retired from Salt Water Sportsman that I approached

Captain Barry Gibson spent 27 years with Salt Water Sportsman and was the magazine’s editor and driving force from 1982 through 2004. He supervised 30 masthead staffers, art directors, field editors and worked closely with nearly 100 contributors during that time. He was responsible for the editorial content and direction of the magazine for 22 years, and he also penned hundreds of feature articles and editorials during his tenure. It was in 1991 that I first came into contact with Barry Gibson as a would-be contributor to the magazine. I was working full time for the Fisherman, a group of regional weekly fishing magazines, and I had a national story I was trying to sell. Here I was approaching the editor of the top fishing magazine in the country, and probably

Gibson aboard his first boat Sasanoa at the dock in Boothbay, Maine. Circa 1971

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him about taking on the role of an RFA regional director. Familiar with the work the organization was doing he graciously accepted the offer and he has been ensconced in the position ever since for the betterment of the organization and his fellow saltwater fishermen.

Making Waves Winter 2016

poon pulpit and used it to chase everything from striped bass to giant bluefin tuna during the summer months when not back in the city keeping a steady hand on the reigns of the magazine. His current boat, Shark Six, is a 28’ Whitewater center console that he uses to pursue stripers in the complex river and bay system surr o u n d i n g Boothbay and bass, codfish and haddock in the nearby ocean waters

Gibson has been a wellknown and respected charterboat captain and guide in Boothbay Harbor for 45 years. He was always able to find time to Barry served on maintain a regthe New Engular clientele land Fishery even whi le Management working at the Council from magazine. His 1986 through bought his first 1995, the maxicharterboat in mum number 1971 and of consecutive named her the years allowed Sasanoa, after by law. After which he stepping down owned a suche became the cession of vesvolunteer chairsels that were man of the all named Council’s Recre“Shark” as a tribational Fishing ute to Joe RusAdvisory Comsell, a Key West mittee, a posicharter captain tion he mainwho was a pertains even tosonal guide to Gibson and friend Terry Lewis with a tournament-winning 845day. During his Ernest Heming- pound giant bluefin tuna caught in 1980. tenure on the way. Russell’s NEFMC he boat was name the Shark and Gibson has great served as the chairman of the Groundfish Commemories of fishing with him aboard it in 1967. mittee during some of its most tumultuous years. In 1993 Barry built a cutting-edge Downeast- “My experience at the NEFMC was the most enstyle 36’ sportfisherman complete with a har- lightening and frustrating nine years of my life,”

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Gibson says. “It took two years before I had the courage to make a motion during a council meeting, which might sound strange, but I was the only representative of recreational fishing on the council and I wasn’t taken very seriously by the mostly commercial fishing membership.” Commenting on his time at Salt Water Sportsman, Gibson said he felt very fortunate to have spent so many years as its editor. “Not many people can say they enjoy going to work every day, but I did. I love fishing and writing so what better place to be. The day after I left, it was hard to wake up and realize I had no place to go. I still miss it sometimes, but I knew it was time to move on. Now I have more time to devote to my involvement in aiding the recreational fishing industry, my fellow fishermen and improving Gulf of Maine groundfish, like this 45 pound cod, have been part of Gibson's life groundfish stocks whether fishing for them or working in fisheries management to maintain the stocks.

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here in the Gulf of Maine.

Barry tries his hand at the art of harpooning tuna off the Maine coast, circa 1977.

“I don’t charter as much of late, a couple or three times a week, but I still enjoy it, especially with kids aboard,” Barry told me. He still writes the saltwater fishing colu m n fo r Maine Sportsman magazine, contributes to Salt Water Sportsman, the Fisherman and Anglers Journal.

"Having Barry on staff at the Recreational Fishing Alliance has been an enormous help to our success," says Jim Donofrio, executive director. "His years of experience in fisheries management and his contacts in the industry in New England and nationally are invaluable. His reputation among fishermen, captains and people in the media add great credibility to the RFA’s mission and effectiveness. To top it off he is one of the finest gentlemen you will ever meet."

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Rest in Peace Red Bartley President - California Striped Bass Association

California Fishermen everywhere lost a champion with the passing of Red Bartley. He was the president of the California Striped Bass Association and a friend and supporter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "Red Bartley was a supporter of the RFA and was instrumental in our work on the West Coast for many years," said Jim Donofrio. "He was also a great friend. He will be sorely missed."

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BREAKING REGULATORY NEWS MASSIVE REDUCTION IN SUMMER FLOUNDER QUOTA LOOMING NOAA proposes 40% reduction is fluke quota for 2017 on top of another quota reduction for black sea bass and scup. Bad recreational landing data triggers overfishing worries. Can it be stopped?

Courtesy Jim Hutchinson


here’s no way to sugarcoat this, the coastwide quota for summer flounder (fluke) in 2017 is expected to be cut by about 40%. That means a shorter season, lower bag, an increase in size limits, or any combination of the three. The question is, what can we do about it? By the time you read this the comment period deadline of November 30, 2016 will have elapsed, but you should have received the action alerts sent to you from the RFA. The next chance to be heard will be at the joint meeting of the MAFMC and ASMFC in Baltimore on December 14, 2016. The more we can pack the room with dissidents the better. (Click here for details.) NOAA Fisheries recently announced that their July 2016 summer flounder assessment shows continued overfishing and a fluke stock biomass in decline; in response, the federal government proposes a 30%reduction from catch limits previously implemented for the 2017 season, along with a 16% reduction from current 2018 allocations.

gram (MRIP) showed gross overharvest in the recreational sector in 2016, that means we’re officially “overfishing” the fluke stock. That’s not to say the stock is in trouble, but because MRIP showed anglers caught too many fish this past summer, we now have a summer flounder stock that is experiencing statutory overfishing. Combine a quota reduction in both the commercial and recreational sector with penalties for recreational overage stemming from the latest MRIP numbers, and we’re looking at a total cutback somewhere in the neighborhood of 40%. The result would be something in line with a two-fish bag limit for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and perhaps even Rhode Island, a 19-inch minimum size and a three-month season spanning June, July and August at best; all along the Atlantic Coast, states will invariably be forced to increase the size limit at minimum.

Imagine of course when summer visitors see the “Two Fish at 19-Inch” size limit on the sign at the party boat dock – alongside the already anemic seasonal black sea bass regulations which are also set to get cut back again in 2017. Makes you Because the Marine Recreational Information Prowonder if this 40% hit will actually result in some-

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thing more in line with a 70% to 80% reduction surveys, mesh sizes, historic trends and someby way of lost business stemming from decreased times arbitrary reference points. angler interest and effort. So, are you happy with our federal government? Not to mention the cost and expense to the priDo you trust the data? Think one more cutback in vate angler, paying $50 for a tank of gas, bait, ice the recreational harvest of summer flounder will and the tackle required for the opportunity to be the last? Remember those days when they bring home just two fish (three if you’re lucky pledged, “sacrifice today, rebuild the fluke and enough to get your weakfish bag limit too) – the sea bass fishery, and in a few years you’ll have American public is essentially being denied acthe best regulations you ever had”? Sounds more cess to a natural public resource based on trawl like a campaign pledge, doesn’t it?

RFA LETTER TO MAFMC/ASMFC ON SUMMER FLOUNDER QUOTA REDUCTION RE: 2017 and 2018 Summer Flounder Specifications The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) respectfully submits the following comments in regards to the 2017 summer flounder specifications. RFA acknowledges the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) 16 U.S.C. 1852, § 302(h)(6) which mandates that the regional fishery management councils may not develop annual catch limits that exceed the recommendation of its scientific and statistical committee (SSC). Noting that guidance, the MidAtlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) put forward a 2017 acceptable biological catch (ABC) for summer flounder of 11.30 million pounds for 2017 and 13.23 million pounds for 2018 consistent with their respective SSC’s recommendation. However, NOAA, in its final approval of the 2017 specifications, is not bound by this section of MSA. Therefore, the agency has the ability to set the 2017 and 2018 ABC’s at but not exceeding the overfishing limit (OFL) set by the 2017 assessment update. Such action, if taken by NOAA represents the maximum allowed by law and legal precedence. With that in mind, the RFA requests that NOAA sets the 2017 and 2018 ABC’s for summer flounder at the 2016 ABC of 16.26 million pounds for each year. This

number is below the 2017 and 2018 overfishing limits of 16.76 million pounds and 18.69 million pounds respectively. As you are aware, the departure of the SSC ABC recommendation of 11.30 million pounds from the OFL 16.76 million pounds is a product of the Council risk policy that mandates a reduction of available quota based on uncertainty. Specifically, section §648.21(b)(2) that deals with a fishery not under a rebuilding plan with a typical life history. RFA must assume that when this section of the policy was adopted that few could foresee the pending implications. The RFA does not support the principle of above section as it applies to rebuilt fisheries. Specifically, the application of the risk policy language to the summer flounder fishery in concert with MSA § 302 (h)(6) is extremely problematic. With a stock that has a long management history with NOAA and which has undergone significant rebuilding success, it is not in the best interest of the Council or the fishing industry to defer all authority to manage risk to the SSC. Summer flounder was rebuilt in 2010, continues to be extremely robust and will have stronger year classes moving into the fishery beginning in coming years. In addition, RFA believes the 2013 benchmark assessment produced an extremely conservative OFL due to an as-

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sumed lower level of steepness of the stockrecruitment relations, lower than observed natural mortality rates and an assessment model that does not account for the sexually dimorphic characteristics of the summer flounder stock. The 2016 assessment update also set OFL’s for 2017 and 2018 unnecessarily low. It is unfortunate that a benchmark assessment could not be conducted in early 2017 as it is widely accepted that the 2013 benchmark assessment sets biological reference points and management objectives that are not reflective of the changes being experienced with the stock. The expansion of the stock, both northward and eastward, is not being proper represented in the current sampling approach. With this knowledge of the summer flounder assessment it is clear that there is ample justification to set the 2017 and 2018 ABC’s at the 2016 ABC of 16.26 million pounds.

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losses to jobs and livelihood in response to the pending cuts to summer flounder must be avoided.

Another negative impact of an increased minimum size limit in response to an 11.30 million pound ABC would be focusing nearly 100% of the recreational summer flounder landings on large, female fish. This concentration of recreational mortality exclusively on female fish is predicted to have a detrimental impact on the longterm productivity on the spawning stock biomass. Factor in continued high abundance and availability to anglers and it is clear that any reduction to the ABC in 2017 will have a compounding negative impact on the ability to set reasonable, fair recreational measures in 2017 and beyond. RFA makes this point to demonstrate why it is critically important to minimize the pending reduction going into the 2017 fishing season as As a matter of record, RFA believes that a 29% much as legally possible. For these reasons, RFA reduction of the ABC in 2017 on top of a 28% cut is in support of NOAA approving 2017 summer that has already occurred in 2016, if approved, flounder specifications that are equal to the 2016 would have a significant and devastating impact ABC and assuming that the recreational sector on the recreational fishing industry. Of even met but did not exceed the 2016 recreational greater concern is the additional reduction to the harvest target. recreational harvest limit due to a reported overage in 2016. The recreational measures in New In closing, summer flounder is one of the best asYork and New Jersey which represents the focal sessed fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic region. Yet, point of the coast-wide recreational summer there continues to be deficiencies. Significant flounder fishery are already extremely truncated. and rapid changes are being experienced in the A meager 127-day season has made it extremely summer flounder stock and the frequency of difficult for for-hire, head boats, and tackle shops benchmark assessments has not kept pace. A to derive the majority of their annual income benchmark assessment is gravely needed and the from the summer flounder fishery as they did in RFA cannot support any reduction to the sumthe past. This situation has been exasperated by mer flounder ABC until a benchmark assessment cuts in other summer season fisheries such as is conducted. RFA has outlined the legal and soblack sea bass and scup. There have been discus- cioeconomic rationale why NOAA can and sions about possible recreational regulations in should maintain the current ABC of 16.26 million response to a 11.30 million pound ABC and pounds through 2018. (See RFA letter that folthose regulations, if enacted, would all but elimi- lows) Knowing the history of this fishery and how nate shore-based anglers from the fishery due important it is to the fishermen of the midlack of legal sized fish available to them. Using Atlantic region, a 29% ABC reduction going into NOAA Fisheries and US Fish and Wildlife eco2017 is unnecessary and reactionary. RFA renomic data, a 40% cut to the recreational sumquests that NOAA approve a 16.26 million pound mer flounder fishery would cause $206 million in ABC for 2017 and 2018 and assume that the reclost income, $438 million in lost sales, and 4,377 reational sector met but did not exceed its recreain lost jobs. RFA firmly believes that predicted tional harvest of 5.42 million pounds in 2016.

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understand the motives behind Sector Separation you must first understand who is pushing it, and why. Do a little research on the primary driver, The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from non-profits like the Walton Foundation (the founders of Walmart) and individual donors all for the purpose of saving us from ourselves while fundamentally transforming marine fisheries management and not for the better. EDF was instrumental in getting “Cap and Trade” implemented for the carbon emissions industries a few years back. This is the definition of carbon emis-

sions cap and trade as published in Wikipedia.

“Emissions trading or cap and trade is a government-mandated, market-based approach to controlling pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. Various countries, states and groups of companies have adopted such trading systems, notably for mitigating climate change. A central authority (usually a governmental body) allocates or sells a limited number of permits to discharge specific quantities of a specific pollutant per time period. Polluters are required to hold permits in amount equal to their emissions. Polluters that want to in-

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crease their emissions must buy permits from others willing to sell them. Financial derivatives of permits can also be traded on secondary markets. In theory, polluters who can reduce emissions most cheaply will do so, achieving the emission reduction at the lowest cost to society. Cap and trade is meant to provide the private sector with the flexibility required to reduce emissions while stimulating technological innovation and economic growth.” In reality however, Cap and Trade is stumbling badly and facing an increasingly hazy future in those places were it has been instituted. (Click here to learn more about California's failing cap and trade scam).

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Gulf red snapper to a select few, wellconnected commercial fishing corporations FOR FREE via the initial Catch Shares/IFQs allocation. In any other industry that profits from the harvest of Public Trust Resources (grazing or mining on federal lands, oil leases, bandwidth, etc.) they are required to pay the nation a royalty. But not in the Gulf of Mexico Catch Shares scam. These shares today are worth somewhere around $300 million, and many of the share owners don’t even go fishing anymore - they simply lease their shares to fishermen who have become nothing more than modern day “sharecroppers” for the going rate of $3.00 to $3.25/pound.

With that in mind, it becomes obvious that there is only one reason for using Sector Separation in the management of living ocean resources. It is, quite simply, a prerequisite for implementing EDF’s version of Cap and Trade for our recreational fisheries, which it calls Catch Shares and here's that definition.

In 2009, EDF released their Progress Report” where they laid out the master plan to bring this all to fruition. It started with procuring “key positions” on the Gulf Council where they could get IFQs for the Gulf headboats and charter boats AND fish tags for everyone else. They are well on their way to completing that Plan.

Catch Shares are a market based approach to achieve reductions in fish landed in our nation’s fisheries. The federal government allocates a limited number of shares to a select few corporations to catch a specific percentage of the Total Allowable Catch each year. Fishermen who want to catch more than their allotted share must buy additional quota from others willing to sell it. Financial derivatives of permits can also be traded on secondary markets.

The Gulf Council voted in favor of Amendment 40 (Sector Separation) in October 2014 based on a 3 year sunset - it would expire after 3 years. Of course, everyone knew that was just an excuse to get the camel’s nose under the tent, and as we saw at the last Gulf Council meeting, they have voted to extend the sunset another 5 years. Is lying and deception going on at the NMFS and Gulf Council level to implement EDF’s Plan? You bet.

Catch Shares were introduced into the Gulf commercial red snapper fisheries in 2007 when EDF was successful in getting their Cap and Trade agenda put into law via the 2006 Reauthorization of Magnuson Stevens Act. Back then, the federal government literally gave ownership rights for 51% of our

Sector Separation was approved without any details of what it would entail - the Gulf Council later did a “study” to ascertain how they should split the fish among the newly formed sectors. Guess what? They decided to go back 30 years to get the “data” to justify the overly generous allocation given to the head-

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boat and charter boat sectors. This allocation equals about 43% of the recreational quota even though data from recent years show that the for-hire boats have only accounted for about ½ that amount. Where did these extra fish come from? Stolen from the third sector - the private recreational fishermen, as evidenced by our 9 day season this year compared to the 45 day season for the for-hire vessels. Hopefully, the lawsuit by the FRA against AM 40 is still ongoing and will hopefully correct this tragedy. Proponents of Sector Separation point to the fish landed in state water seasons, which are longer than the federal seasons, to justify the longer federal season for their clients. The problem with their argument is that their clients have the ability to fish the state water seasons like everyone else. The owners of the federal permits are not the fishermen catching the fish - they are simply providing the means to access the fish, much like a taxi driver takes a customer to their desired destination. To put it in perspective via the analogy, the federal fisheries managers feel that it is proper to give the taxi drivers exclusive access to the public roads while everyone else who owns their own car is prohibited from driving on those same roads for 98% of the year (hence our 9 day season this year). If you want access, you are forced to pay the taxi driver to get you there. The days of anglers going out, catching a fish and putting that fish in the cooler ostensibly for free are coming to an end if these Socialists get their way. You are going to have to pay someone, most likely the current catch share owners, or Walmart to purchase a fish tag.

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Speaking of fish tags, the Gulf Council did a recent study with about 17 headboats, giving them their own allotment of fish tags. Some headboats would charge their customers their usual fee, with the added bonus of offering the opportunity to catch (and keep) 1 red snapper during the trip - IF they paid $25 for the fish tag. What a deal, NOT! Recently, many of the pro-sector separation EDF shills have been clamoring for the formation of a private recreational advisory panel. Does anyone else not see the irony and hypocrisy of their actions? What part of Sector SEPARATION do they not get? They won. They got their own sectors, SEPARATE from the private recs. Why then, do they feel they have the right to stick their noses into our sector’s business? Oh yeah, because they know that the final piece of the Master Plan has yet to be implemented - the imposition of Fish Tags. Of course, the predetermined outcome of this AP will be the suggestion to the Gulf Council to implement fish tags for the private recreational angler. Never mind that the NMFS and the Gulf Council have absolutely no idea how many fishermen fish for red snapper or how many times a year they go fishing for red snapper. So, they will issue a predetermined number of fish tags that have absolutely no basis in reality, but will achieve the ultimate goal of Cap and Trade for our fisheries with the reduction of the number of fish landed by private recreational fishermen, conversion of our fish into private commodities for the benefit of corporations, and closure of access to our fish for future generations.

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By Capt Mike Pierdinock, RFA Massachusetts Chairman A top Massachusetts shark skipper explains why the proposed measures won’t do the job as intended, and offers some sensible alternatives.


ecreational anglers are once again faced with impending action by NOAA, this time as a result of a lawsuit by Oceana requesting the implementation of recreational shark fishing measures in federal waters from Maine to Texas to protect the dusky shark stock. Dusky sharks have been prohibited from being retaining by the commercial fleet and by recreational anglers since 2000. According to NOAA, one of the primary problems facing them is misidentification. Members of the ridgeback shark family are similar in appearance, and in addition to the dusky include bignose, Caribbean reef, Galapagos, night, sandbar, and silky sharks. Ridgeback sharks that are permitted to be retained include the tiger, oceanic whitetip, and smooth hound sharks, but not the dusky. The northern range of dusky sharks is said to be Cape Cod, and according to NOAA they are encountered close to

shore. In my years of shark fishing in New England I have never seen or landed a dusky, and that is consistent with my conversations with recreational anglers and charter boat captains throughout the Northeast. Based on these interviews, they are rarely encountered nearshore or out in the Canyons.

not appropriate, since they are not found in waters north of Cape Cod, and are rarely encountered in federal waters south of the Cape. Unless fishing close to shore, anglers in our area don’t normally catch sharks that are similar in appearance to the dusky, thus there is little chance of misidentification. Therefore, implementation of the proposed shark fishing restrictions In New England few anglers target in all federal waters from Maine to Texsharks offshore with any hookups typias is not recommended, since the purcally caught while targeting other spepose of this action is to address dusky cies. One has to wonder if any dusky misidentification. My recommendation sharks reported hooked near shore in is to create a north/south) demarcation the waters south of Cape Cod are misiline south of Cape Cod in Mid Atlantic dentified and actually sandbar or tiger waters. No additional shark fishing shark. Most captains I interviewed from measures would be necessary north of Maine to Georgia said they have never the demarcation line. seen or encountered a dusky, and a few reported only a rare hookup with Proposed Shark Fishing Test, HMS Shark Endorsement, and Misidentificaa dusky in federal waters. tion Implementation of measures to reduce dusky shark hookups in our waters are

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Dusky sharks are rarely if ever targeted by recreational fishermen. They are most likely encountered while fishing for other shark species or bait fishing for tunas. Retention is even rarer because they are not considered good to eat like mako and thresher sharks. NOAA is recommending that an HMS Permit holder also obtain a shark endorsement and the successful completion of a test. The purpose of the shark endorsement is to get a sense as to how many people are actually fishing for sharks. I can attest to the fact that there are few, such as myself, who target them. If NOAA wants accurate data it should require that HMS Permit holders report their shark landings, as already required for many other pelagic species.

angler fishes in fresh or salt water. The anglers and charter captains I spoke with were dismayed to hear of such a proposal, and some were ready to simply stop shark fishing altogether if a test was mandated. (As an aside, one has to wonder if this type of draconian measure is not the goal of some to make recreational fishing so burdensome that many will abandon the sport.)

and Gulf of Mexico and HMS Recreational Compliance Guide”) to recreational anglers are flawed since they only indicate “prohibited” ridgeback sharks and do not provide details or features of other prohibited shark species. These sources need to be updated and made available to anglers in order to reduce misidentification.

NOAA has included a proposal to make it mandatory for a shark placard Requiring anglers to report details con- to be displayed on an HMS permitted cerning dusky and other sharks is, in vessel. As an alternative, why not place NOAA recommends that the angler or my opinion, the most effective apthe details concerning shark identificacaptain take a test “due to species misi- proach to minimizing misidentification tion right on the HMS Permit that is dentification or a lack of knowledge of similar-looking species. Taking a one already required to be placed on the about prohibited shark species regula- -time test can result in the angler forvessel for quick identification when tions or safe handling to minimize getting the identification details in the necessary. harm to accidentally caught fish.” Re- future. The NOAA shark details that are An additional option is to consider raquiring an angler to pass a test in order presently available (“Shark Identificadio announcements on VHF channel to obtain a permit is unheard of in the tion and Federal Regulations for the 16 by the United States Coast Guard recreational community, whether the Recreational Fishery of the U.S. Atlantic

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Page 30 (USCG) when dusky sharks arrive in local waters. They make such announcements when right whales arrive in our waters in order to make the public aware that they are present and to provide information on how to avoid them.

Proposed Mandatory Use of Circle Hooks When Shark Fishing Additional draconian measures being proposed include the mandatory use of circle hooks when recreational shark fishing. The public continues to be misled that circle hooks are the panacea of hooks for catch and release. I use both hook types and there are a lot of variables that impact the ability of a circle hook or J hook to result in a gut-hooked shark. I am all for sound catch and release methods, but there are few recreational shark fishing studies that include all the species of concern that we land in our waters. There have been a number of sharkrelated studies conducted by the commercial fleet, but few conducted by recreational anglers. To assume that the hook type and mortality observed by commercial fishermen is applicable to recreational shark fishing is inappropriate due to the differences between shark species, equipment, fight time and catch and release methods utilized by anglers. A recreational shark fishing study conducted in Australia agrees with this assertion and concludes:

“Additionally the need for fishery specific assessments may be as important as species-specific assessments where gears and handling techniques are expected to vary between the users.”

Sharks in our waters primarily consist of blue, porbeagle, thresher and mako and these species all have different feeding and fighting behaviors and these characteristics impact the rate of gut-hooking and the benefits of using one hook over another. As set forth in a NOAA shark study entitled “A Com-

parison of Circle Hooks and J Hook Performance in the Recreational Shark Fishery off Maryland,” the gut-hook

Making Waves Winter 2016 other. According to the study, no porbeagles or threshers were landed, and only 15 blue sharks and 7 makos were caught as part of the study. The lack of data or a poor data set associated with the species that we land in our waters is such that the implementation of mandatory circle hooks is premature and not scientifically valid without further study. The potential for gut-hooking is also influenced by feeding behavior. Sharks typically bite and cut the bait with their upper and lower rows of teeth and will hold onto the bait, in many instances, for quite a long time without swallowing it. This is prevalent with porbeagles that you think you have set the hook on, and after a long battle they come to the boat, open their mouth, and out comes the hook which was never set because they never swallowed the bait. Such behavior are different for each shark species.

become mandatory, then all details are required, -- hook size, barb length, barb angle, etc. There is a whole range of “circle” hooks available to the public, but many are actually modified J hooks and not true circle hooks. Details are required in order to enforce use. If circle hooks are mandated, non-offset models are recommended, which result in fewer gut hookups. NOAA should consider the use of barbless J hooks, and study the associated mortality accordingly.

Wire and Monofilament Leaders for Sharks NOAA also proposed that: “A vessel is

considered to be fishing for sharks when using natural bait and wire or heavy (200 pound test or greater) monofilament or fluorocarbon leader.”

Wire leaders are commonly used to land other species such as bluefish, so wire gauge needs to be defined specifically for shark fishing. Wire breaking Studies have shown that a fast moving strength greater than 200-pound appelagic such as a bluefin tuna has less pears reasonable. I would recommend of a potential for a gut hook with a increasing the monofilament or fluorocircle hook since they inhale the bait carbon leader to greater than 300and take off like a missile, resulting in pound test since some anglers utilize the circle hook piercing the corner jaw. 200 –pound mono leader for kite fishAttributing that same result with ing for non-shark species such as billsharks does not take into consideration fish. their different feeding and flight behavior. Education of recreational anglers to minimize misidentification, and impleI use both hook types, and my greatest mentation of a north/south demarcasuccess with a circle hook that does tion line, are recommended to address not result in gut-hooking occurs on a the dusky shark stock. The proposed fleeing mako or other species of shark mandatory use of circle hooks for all that is moving away from the boat at shark species lacks adequate science to great speed. If the shark is moving tosupport the measure, so additional wards the boat, hookup is not possible study is recommended. with a circle hook but can occur with a J hook. Comments on the proposed NOAA shark proposals can be submitted elecAnother option that we utilize in our tronically to NOAA concerning the waters after landing the one shark perproposed measures at the following mitted per day, or during a day of link The comment catch and release, is to utilize barbless J deadline is December 22nd, 2016. hooks that are easier to remove with a de-hooking device than a barbed circle or J hook. Attempting to remove a barbed hook (circle or J) with a dehooker is difficult on a thrashing shark next to the boat.

rate with both hook types while recreational angling for various shark speNo details by NOAA were provided on cies is 3% to 6%, which is statistically circle hook construction in the proinsignificant. Therefore, there is no posed measures. If circle hooks are to clear benefit of the use of one over the

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Making Waves Winter 2016

Reprinted with permission from City Journal Magazine

The Real War on Science The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress. by John Tierney Editor's Note: While this well documented article on how political ideology has negatively impacted scientific research and the honesty of its outcome never touches on fisheries science, the parallels are unmistakable. The infiltration of the progressive agenda on universities that live off grants from providers like NOAA, Pew and others left-leaning foundations and the scientists they spawn, has set back true fisheries science and pragmatic fisheries management in ways you might have never imagined. For that reason I found this article a worthwhile read and thought you might, also.


y liberal friends sometimes ask me why I don’t devote more of my science journalism to the sins of the Right. It’s fine to expose pseudoscience on the left, they say, but why aren’t you an equal-opportunity debunker? Why not write about conservatives’ threat to science? My friends don’t like my answer: because there isn’t much to write about. Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science. I know that sounds strange to Democrats who decry Republican creationists and call themselves the “party of science.” But I’ve done my homework. I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties?

cy). Mooney rails at scientists and politicians who oppose government policies favored by progressives like himself, but if you’re looking for serious damage to the enterprise of science, he offers only three examples. All three are in his first chapter, during Mooney’s brief acknowledgment that leftists “here and there” have been guilty of “science abuse.” First, there’s the Left’s opposition to genetically modified foods, which stifled research into what could have been a second Green Revolution to feed Africa. Second, there’s the campaign by animal-rights activists against medical researchers, whose work has already been hampered and would be devastated if the activists succeeded in banning animal experimentation. Third, there’s the resistance in academia to studying the genetic underpinnings of human behavior, which has cut off many social scientists from the recent revolutions in genetics and neuroscience. Each of these abuses is far more significant than anything done by conservatives, and there are plenty of others. The only successful war on science is the one waged by the Left.

Where are the scientists who lost their jobs or their funding? What vital research has been corrupted or suppressed? What scientific debate has been silenced? Yes, the book reveals that Republican creationists exist, but they don’t affect the biologists or anthropologists studying evolution. Yes, George W. Bush refused federal funding for embryonic stem-cell The danger from the Left does not arise from stupidity research, but that hardly put a stop to it (and not or dishonesty; those failings are bipartisan. Some surmuch changed after Barack Obama reversed the poli- veys show that Republicans, particularly libertarians,

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are more scientifically literate than Democrats, but But they’ve been mostly oblivious to their own diversithere’s plenty of ignorance all around. Both sides ty problem, which is vastly larger. Democrats outnumcherry-pick research and misrepresent evidence to ber Republicans at least 12 to 1 (perhaps 40 to 1) in support their agendas. Whoever’s in power, the White social psychology, creating what Jonathan Haidt calls House plays politics in appointing advisory commisa “tribal-moral community” with its own “sacred valsions and editing the execues” about what’s worth studutive summaries of their The lopsided ratio (of conservatives ying and what’s taboo. reports. Scientists of all ide“Morality binds and blinds,” ologies exaggerate the im- to liberals) has led to another wellsays Haidt, a social psycholoportance of their own redocumented phenomenon: peo- gist at New York University search and seek results ple’s beliefs become more extreme and author of The Righteous that will bring them more when they’re surrounded by like- Mind: Why Good People Are attention and funding. But two huge threats to science are peculiar to the Left—and they’re getting worse.

minded colleagues. They come to assume that their opinions are not only the norm but also the truth.

Divided by Politics and Religion. “Having common values

makes a group cohesive, which can be quite useful, but it’s the last thing that should happen to a scientific field. The first threat is confirmaProgressivism, especially anti-racism, has become a tion bias, the well-documented tendency of people to fundamentalist religion, complete with antiseek out and accept information that confirms their blasphemy laws.” beliefs and prejudices. In a classic study of peer review, 75 psychologists were asked to referee a paper Last year, one of the leading scientific journals, Behavabout the mental health of left-wing student activists. ioral and Brain Sciences, published an article by Haidt Some referees saw a version of the paper showing and five colleagues documenting their profession’s that the student activists’ mental health was above lack of ideological diversity. It was accompanied by normal; others saw different data, showing it to be commentaries from 63 other social scientists, virtually below normal. Sure enough, the more liberal referees all of whom, even the harshest critics, accepted the were more likely to recommend publishing the paper authors’ conclusion that the lack of political diversity favorable to the left-wing activists. When the conclu- has harmed the science of social psychology. The ausion went the other way, they quickly found problems thors and the commentators pointed to example after example of how the absence of conservatives has with its methodology. blinded researchers to flaws in their work, particularly Scientists try to avoid confirmation bias by exposing when studying people’s ideology and morality. their work to peer review by critics with different views, but it’s increasingly difficult for liberals to find The narrative that Republicans are anti-science has such critics. Academics have traditionally leaned left been fed by well-publicized studies reporting that conpolitically, and many fields have essentially become servatives are more close-minded and dogmatic than monocultures, especially in the social sciences, where liberals are. But these conclusions have been based Democrats now outnumber Republicans by at least 8 on questions asking people how strongly they cling to to 1. (In sociology, where the ratio is 44 to 1, a student traditional morality and religion—dogmas that matter is much likelier to be taught by a Marxist than by a a lot more to conservatives than to liberals. A few othRepublican.) The lopsided ratio has led to another er studies—not well-publicized—have shown that liberwell-documented phenomenon: people’s beliefs beals can be just as close-minded when their own become more extreme when they’re surrounded by like- liefs, such as their feelings about the environment or minded colleagues. They come to assume that their Barack Obama, are challenged. opinions are not only the norm but also the truth. Social psychologists have often reported that conGroup think has become so routine that many scien- servatives are more prejudiced against other social tists aren’t even aware of it. Social psychologists, who groups than liberals are. But one of Haidt’s coauthors, have extensively studied conscious and unconscious Jarret Crawford of the College of New Jersey, recently biases against out-groups, are quick to blame these noted a glaring problem with these studies: they typibiases for the underrepresentation of women or mically involve attitudes toward groups that lean left, norities in the business world and other institutions. like African-Americans and communists. When Craw-

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ford (who is a liberal) did his own study involving a wider range of groups, he found that prejudice is bipartisan. Liberals display strong prejudice against religious Christians and other groups they perceive as right of center.

Making Waves Winter 2016

tists have joined Heterodox Academy, a group formed by Haidt and his coauthors to promote ideological diversity among scholars. That’s a good start, but they’re nowhere close to solving the problem. Even if social-science departments added a few conservatives, they’d still be immersed in progressive academic comConservatives have been variously pathologized as munities becoming less tolerant of debate because of unethical, antisocial, and irrational simply because pressure from campus activists and federal bureauthey don’t share beliefs that seem self-evident to libercrats enforcing an ever-expanding interpretation of als. For instance, one study explored ethical decision Title IX. And their work would still be filtered to the making by asking people whether they would formalpublic by reporters who lean left, too—that’s why the ly support a female colleague’s complaint of sexual press has promoted the Republican-war-on-science harassment. There was no way to know if the commyth. When Obama diplomatically ducked a question plaint was justified, but anyone who didn’t automation the campaign trail about the age of the Earth (“I cally side with the woman was put in the unethical don’t presume to know”), the press paid no attention. category. Another study asked people whether they When Marco Rubio later did the same thing (“I’m not believed that “in the long run, hard work usually a scientist”), he was lambasted as a typical Republican brings a better life”—and then classified a yes answer ignoramus determined to bring back the Dark Ages. as a “rationalization of inequality.” Another study asked people if they agreed that “the Earth has plenty The combination of all these pressures from the Left of natural resources if we just learn how to develop has repeatedly skewed science over the past halfthem”—a view held by many experts in resource eco- century. In 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan pubnomics, but the psychologists pathologized it as a lished a paper presciently warning of the dangers for black children growing up in single-parent homes, it “denial of environmental realities.” was greeted with such hostility—he was blaming the To combat these biases, more than 150 social scien-

MakingWaves Waves Winter Summer 2016 Making 2016

victim, critics said—that the topic became off-limits among liberals, stymying public discussion and research for decades into one of the most pressing problems facing minority children. Similarly, liberal advocates have worked to suppress reporting on the problems of children raised by gay parents or on any drawbacks of putting young children in day care. In 1991, a leading family psychologist, Louise Silverstein, published an article in the American Psychologist urging her colleagues to “refuse to undertake any more research that looks for the negative consequences of other-than-mother-care.”

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of racism and sexism for studying genetic influences on behavior.

Studying IQ has been a risky career move since the 1970s, when researchers like Arthur Jensen and Richard Herrnstein had to cancel lectures (and sometimes hire bodyguards) because of angry protesters accusing them of racism. Government funding dried up, forcing researchers in IQ and behavioral genetics to rely on private donors, who in the 1980s financed the renowned Minnesota study of twins reared apart. Leftists tried to cut off that funding in the 1990s, when the University of Delaware halted the IQ research of The Left’s most rigid taboos involve the biology of race Linda Gottfredson and Jan Blits for two years by refusand gender, as the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker ing to let them accept a foundation’s grant; the rechronicles in The Blank Slate. The book takes its title search proceeded only after an arbitrator ruled that from Pinker’s term for the dogma that “any differences their academic freedom had been violated. we see among races, ethnic groups, sexes, and indiThe Blank Slate dogma has perpetuated a liberal verviduals come not from differences in their innate consion of creationism: the belief that there has been no stitution but from differences in their experiences.” evolution in modern humans since they left their anThe dogma constricts researchers’ perspective—“No cestral homeland in Africa some 50,000 years biology, please, we’re social scientists”—and discourago. Except for a few genetic changes in skin ages debate, in and out of academia. Early researchers color and other superficial qualities, humans in sociobiology faced vitriolic attacks from prominent everywhere are supposedly alike because there scientists like Stephen Jay Gould, who accused them hasn’t been enough time for significant differ-

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ences to evolve in their brains and innate behavior. This belief was plausible when biologists assumed that evolution was a slow process, but the decoding of the human genome has disproved it, as Nicholas Wade (a former colleague of mine at the New York Times ) reported in his 2015 book, A Troublesome Inheritance. “Human evolution has been recent, copious and regional,” writes Wade, noting that at least 8 percent of the human genome has changed since the departure from Africa. The new analysis has revealed five distinguishable races that evolved in response to regional conditions: Africans, East Asians, Caucasians, the natives of the Americas, and the peoples of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Yet social scientists go on denying the very existence of races. The American Anthropological Association declares race to be “a human invention” that is “about culture, not biology.” The American Sociological Association calls race a “social construct.” Even biologists and geneticists are afraid of the R word. More than 100 of them sent a letter to the New York Times denouncing Wade’s book as inaccurate, yet they refused to provide any examples of his mistakes. They apparently hadn’t bothered to read the book because they accused Wade of linking racial variations to IQ scores—a link that his book specifically rejected.

Making Waves Winter 2016

ponderance of men among professors of mathematics and physical sciences at elite universities. While acknowledging that women faced cultural barriers, like discrimination and the pressures of family responsibilities, Summers hypothesized that there might be other factors, too, such as the greater number of men at the extreme high end in tests measuring mathematical ability and other traits. Males’ greater variability in aptitude is well established—it’s why there are more male dunces as well as geniuses—but scientific accuracy was no defense against the feminist outcry. The controversy forced Summers to apologize and ultimately contributed to his resignation. Besides violating the Blank Slate taboo, Summers had threatened an academic cottage industry kept alive by the myth that gender disparities in science are due to discrimination.

This industry, supported by more than $200 million from the National Science Foundation, persists despite overwhelming evidence—from experiments as well as extensive studies of who gets academic jobs and research grants —that a female scientist is treated as well as or better than an equally qualified male. In a rigorous set of five experiments published last year, the female candidate was preferred two-to-one over an equivalent male. The main reason for sexual disparities in some fields is a difference in interests: from an early age, more males are more Some genetic differences are politically acceptainterested in fields like physics and engineering, ble on the left, such as the biological basis for while more females are interested in fields like homosexuality, which was deemed plausible by biology and psychology (where most doctor70 percent of sociologists in a recent survey. ates go to women). But that same survey found that only 43 percent accepted a biological explanation for male - On the whole, American women are doing female differences in spatial skills and communi- much better than men academically—they recation. How could the rest of the sociologists ceive the majority of undergraduate and gradudeny the role of biology? It was no coincidence ate degrees—yet education researchers and fedthat these doubters espoused the most extreme eral funders have focused for decades on the left-wing political views and the strongest com- few fields in science where men predominate. It mitment to a feminist perspective. To dedicated was bad enough that the National Science leftists and feminists, it doesn’t matter how Foundation’s grants paid for workshops featurmuch evidence of sexual differences is proing a game called Gender Bias Bingo and skits duced by developmental psychologists, primain which arrogant male scientists mistreat tologists, neuroscientists, and other researchers. smarter female colleagues. But then, these Any disparity between the sexes—or, at least, workshops nearly became mandatory when any disparity unfavorable to women—must be Democrats controlled Congress in 2010. In reblamed on discrimination and other cultural sponse to feminist lobbying, the House passed a bill (which fortunately died in the Senate) refactors. quiring federal science agencies to hold Former Harvard president Lawrence Summers “gender equity” workshops for the recipients of found this out the hard way at an academic research grants. conference where he dared to discuss the pre-

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It might seem odd that the “party of science” would be dragging researchers out of the lab to be reeducated in games of Gender Bias Bingo. But politicians will always care more about pleasing constituencies than advancing science.

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than 35,000 Americans. Even after Hitler used eugenics to justify killing millions, the Left didn’t lose its interest in controlling human breeding.

Eugenicist thinking was revived by scientists convinced that the human species had exceedAnd that brings us to the second great threat ed the “carrying capacity” of its ecosystem. The from the Left: its long tradition of mixing scimost prominent was Paul Ehrlich, whose scienence and politics. To conservatives, the fundatific specialty was the study of butterflies. Undemental problem with the Left is what Friedrich terred by his ignorance of agriculture and ecoHayek called the fatal conceit: the delusion that nomics, he published confident predictions of experts are wise enough to redesign society. imminent global famine in The Population Bomb Conservatives distrust central planners, prefer(1968). Agricultural economists dismissed his ring to rely on traditional institutions that proideas, but the press reverently quoted Ehrlich tect individuals’ “natural rights” against the and other academics who claimed to have scipower of the state. Leftists have much more entifically determined that the Earth was confidence in experts and the state. Engels ar“overpopulated.” In the journal Science , ecolgued for “scientific socialism,” a redesign of so- ogist Garrett Hardin argued that “freedom to ciety supposedly based on the scientific method. breed will bring ruin to all.” Ehrlich, who, at one Communist intellectuals planned to mold the point, advocated supplying American helicopNew Soviet Man. Progressives yearned for a so- ters and doctors to a proposed program of comciety guided by impartial agencies unconpulsory sterilization in India, joined with physistrained by old-fashioned politics and religion. cist John Holdren in arguing that the U.S. ConHerbert Croly, founder of the New Republic and stitution would permit population control, ina leading light of progressivism, predicted that a cluding limits on family size and forced abor“better future would derive from the beneficent tions. Ehrlich and Holdren calmly analyzed the activities of expert social engineers who would merits of various technologies, such as adding bring to the service of social ideals all the tech- sterilants to public drinking water, and called nical resources which research could discover.” for a “planetary regime” to control population and natural resources around the world. This was all very flattering to scientists, one reason that so many of them leaned left. The Right Environmental science has become so politicited scientific work when useful, but it didn’t cized that its myths endure even after they’ve enlist science to remake society—it still preferred been disproved. guidance from traditional moralists and clerics. Their ideas went nowhere in the United States, The Left saw scientists as the new high priests, but they inspired one of the worst human rights offering them prestige, money, and power. The violations of the twentieth century, in China: power too often corrupted. Over and over, scithe one-child policy, resulting in coerced aborentists yielded to the temptation to exaggerate tion and female infanticide. China struggles totheir expertise and moral authority, sometimes day with a dangerously small number of workfor horrendous purposes. ers to support its aging population. The intellecDrawing on research into genetics and animal tual godfathers of this atrocity, had they been breeding from scientists at Harvard, Yale, Johns conservatives, surely would have been ostraHopkins, and other leading universities, the eu- cized. But even after his predictions turned out genics movement of the 1920s made plans for to be wildly wrong, Ehrlich went on collecting improving the human population. Professors honors. taught eugenics to their students and worked For his part, Holdren has served for the past with Croly and other progressives eager to eight years as the science advisor to President breed a smarter society, including Theodore Obama, a position from which he laments that Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Margaret Americans don’t take his warnings on climate Sanger. Eventually, other scientists—notably, in change seriously. He doesn’t seem to realize England—exposed the shoddy research and asthat public skepticism has a lot to do with the sumptions of the eugenicists, but not before the dismal track record of himself and his fellow eninvoluntary sterilization or castration of more vironmentalists. There’s always an apocalypse

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requiring the expansion of state power. The visions of global famine were followed by more failed predictions, such as an “age of scarcity” due to vanishing supplies of energy and natural resources and epidemics of cancer and infertility caused by synthetic chemicals. In a 1976 book, The Genesis Strategy , the climatologist Stephen Schneider advocated a new fourth branch of the federal government (with experts like himself serving 20-year terms) to deal with the imminent crisis of global cooling. He later switched to become a leader in the global-warming debate.

Making Waves Winter 2016

and diabetes, as journalists Gary Taubes and Nina Teicholz have chronicled in their books. (See “The Washington Diet,” Spring 2011.)

The dietary-fat debate is a case study in scientific groupthink—and in the Left’s techniques for enforcing political orthodoxy. From the start, prominent nutrition researchers disputed fat’s link to heart disease and criticized Washington for running a dietary experiment on the entire population. But they were dismissed as outliers who’d been corrupted by corporate money. At one hearing, Senator McGovern rebutted the skeptics by citing a survey showing that low-fat Environmental science has become so politicized that diet recommendations were endorsed by 92 percent its myths endure even after they’ve been disproved. of “the world’s leading doctors.” Federal bureaucrats Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring set off decades of chemo and activists smeared skeptics by leaking information phobia with its scary anecdotes and bad science, like to the press about their consulting work with the food her baseless claim that DDT was causing cancer in industry. One skeptic, Robert Olson of Washington humans and her vision of a mass avian die-off (the University, protested that during his career, he had bird population was actually increasing as she wrote). received $250,000 from the food industry versus more Yet Silent Spring is taught in high school and college than $10 million from federal agencies, including ones courses as a model of science writing, with no menpromoting low-fat diets. If he could be bought, he tion of the increased death tolls from malaria in coun- said, it would be more accurate to call him “a tool of tries that restricted DDT, or of other problems—like the government.” As usual, though, the liberal press fospread of dengue and the Zika virus—exacerbated by cused only on corporate money. needless fears of insecticides. Similarly, the Left’s zeal These same sneer-and-smear techniques predominate to find new reasons to regulate has led to pseudosciin the debate over climate change. President Obama entific scaremongering about “Frankenfoods,” trans promotes his green agenda by announcing that “the fats, BPA in plastic, mobile phones, electronic cigadebate is settled,” and he denounces “climate deniers” rettes, power lines, fracking, and nuclear energy. by claiming that 97 percent of scientists believe that The health establishment spent decades advocating a global warming is dangerous. His statements are false. low-salt diet for everyone (and pressuring the food While the greenhouse effect is undeniably real, and industry to reduce salt) without any proof that it pro- while most scientists agree that there has been a rise longed lives. When researchers finally got around to in global temperatures caused in some part by human doing small clinical trials, they found that the low-salt emissions of carbon dioxide, no one knows how diet did not prolong lives. If anything, it was associat- much more warming will occur this century or whethed with higher mortality. The worst debacle in health er it will be dangerous. How could the science be setscience involved dietary fat, which became an official tled when there have been dozens of computer modpublic enemy in the 1970s, thanks to a few selfels of how carbon dioxide affects the climate? And promoting scientists and politically savvy activists who when most of the models overestimated how much allied with Democrats in Congress led by George warming should have occurred by now? These failed McGovern and Henry Waxman. The supposed link predictions, as well as recent research into the effects between high-fat diets and heart disease was based of water vapor on temperatures, have caused many on cherry-picked epidemiology, but the federal govscientists to lower their projections of future warming. ernment endorsed it by publishing formal “dietary Some “luke-warmists” suggest that future temperature goals for the United States” and creating the nowincreases will be relatively modest and prove to be a infamous food pyramid that encouraged Americans net benefit, at least in the short term. to replace fat in their diets with carbohydrates. The The long-term risks are certainly worth studying, but public-health establishment devoted its efforts and no matter whose predictions you trust, climate science funding to demonstrating the benefits of low-fat diets. provides no justification for Obama’s green agenda— But the low-fat diet repeatedly flunked clinical trials, or anyone else’s agenda. Even if it were somehow and the government’s encouragement of carbohyproved that high-end estimates for future global drates probably contributed to rising rates of obesity

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warming are accurate, that wouldn’t imply that Greens have the right practical solution for reducing carbon emissions—or that we even need to reduce those emissions. Policies for dealing with global warming vary according to political beliefs, economic assumptions, social priorities, and moral principles. Would regulating carbon dioxide stifle economic growth and give too much power to the state? Is it moral to impose sacrifices on poor people to keep temperatures a little cooler for their descendants, who will presumably be many times richer? Are there more important problems to address first? These aren’t questions with scientifically correct answers.

and the federal government spends $10 billion on climate research and technology to reduce emissions. Add it up, and it’s clear that scientists face tremendous pressure to support the “consensus” on reducing carbon emissions, as Judith Curry, a climatologist at Georgia Tech, testified last year at a Senate hearing.

Just as in the debate over dietary fat, these dissidents get smeared in the press as corporate shills—but once again, the money flows almost entirely the other way. The most vocal critics of climate dogma are a half-dozen think tanks that together spend less than $15 million annually on environmental issues. The half-dozen major green groups spend more than $500 million,

of City Journal , coauthor of Willpow-

“This pressure comes not only from politicians but also from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists,” Curry said. “This advocacy extends to the professional societies that publish journals and organize conferences. Policy advocacy, combined with understating the uncertainties, risks destroying sciYet many climate researchers are passing off ence’s reputation for honesty and objectivity — their political opinions as science, just as Obama without which scientists become regarded as does, and they’re even using that absurdly unmerely another lobbyist group.” scientific term “denier” as if they were priests That’s the ultimate casualty in the Left’s war: sciguarding some eternal truth. Science advances entists’ reputations. Bad research can be exby continually challenging and testing hypotheposed and discarded, but bad reputations enses, but the modern Left has become obsessed dure. Social scientists are already regarded in with silencing heretics. In a letter to Attorney Washington as an arm of the Democratic Party, General Loretta Lynch last year, 20 climate sciso their research is dismissed as partisan even entists urged her to use federal racketeering when it’s not, and some Republicans have tried laws to prosecute corporations and think tanks (unsuccessfully) to cut off all social-science fundthat have “deceived the American people about ing. The physical sciences still enjoy bipartisan the risks of climate change.” Similar assaults on support, but that’s being eroded by the green free speech are endorsed in the Democratic Parpoliticking, and climate scientists’ standing will ty’s 2016 platform, which calls for prosecution plummet if the proclaimed consensus turns out of companies that make “misleading” statements to be wrong. about “the scientific reality of climate change.” To preserve their integrity, scientists should A group of Democratic state attorneys general avoid politics and embrace the skeptical rigor coordinated an assault on climate skeptics by subpoenaing records from fossil-fuel companies that their profession requires. They need to start and free-market think tanks, supposedly as part welcoming conservatives and others who will spot their biases and violate their taboos. Makof investigations to prosecute corporate fraud. ing these changes won’t be easy, but the first Such prosecutions may go nowhere in court — step is simple: stop pretending that the threats they’re blatant violations of the First Amendment—but that’s not their purpose. By demand- to science are coming from the Right. Look in the other direction—or in the mirror. ing a decade’s worth of e-mail and other records, the Democratic inquisitors and their scientist allies want to harass climate dissidents and intimidate their donors. John Tierney is a contributing editor

er: Rediscovering the Greatest Strength , and a contributing science columnist for the New York Times ,

where he previously wrote “The Big City” column.

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By Captain T.J. Cheek RFA Southeast Regional Director Featuring Captain Jamie Hough, Flat Spot Charters


tip its hat to the southeast Trout run. Things start to get interesting in October and only ramp up as the water temperature drops below 70 and night ach Fall season in the marsh estuaries of time temperature begin to stay in the 50s or bethe southeast, anglers that aren't too consumed low consistently. The Trout will continue to bite with deer hunting and football get to experience aggressively into February before transitioning some of the best Trout fishing you will find anyinto their Spring patterns. where. Even the famed Louisiana fishery has to No one is more in tune with the habits of Speck-

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Making Waves Winter 2016

led Trout than Capt. Jamie Hough of Flat Spot Charters in Charleston, South Carolina. With a lifetime of fishing in the low country and a log book with detailed notes that spans almost 2 decades of fishing charters, he's managed to dial a few things in and he was happy to share some pointers.

rips. These are visibly noticeable differences in the current caused by sudden changes in depth (usually resulting in a "rip"), fast moving water meeting slow moving water (usually resulting in a seam), and turbulence from water meeting from different directions causing a swirl (eddies). Any other terrain features such as docks, rip rap, Jamie suggests that you consider the Trout's mo- trees, or oysters are a major bonus. tive when you are narrowing down your locaNow that you have found a spot that meets all of tion. Trout, and all fish, are essentially performing this criteria, it's time to give it a try. Jamie fishes a "cost / benefit analysis" and want to be in the with a variety of baits ranging from live shrimp areas that require the least amount of calories under a popping cork, to curly tail grubs, to free burned per calories consumed. In other words, lined DOA shrimp. We'll break down several they don't want to work any harder than they techniques , baits, and presentations. have to in order to find a meal. Probably the most well known and commonly used method is the popping cork with live bait. Jamie prefers the Bomber Paradise Popper paired Where this becomes imperative is during full moon and new moon tides when you can see as with a 1/0 Owner live bait hook. Capt. Hough much as a 9 foot tide swing depending on which part of the coast you're on. Capt. Hough explained that while some anglers will stay near the inlets and catch, perhaps, a dozen "pecker" Trout, he prefers to find winding creeks with tight turns when the tides are higher than normal. These tight bends provide relief from the current for the Trout and satisfy the requirements of the cost / benefit analysis. Rather than catching a few Trout, Jamie describes days of fishing such as "110 Trout in two and a half hours and 108 of them were between 18 and 26 inches". Location Heading

Once you have selected some areas that fit the description, Jamie recommends that you look for two other traits to dial in your spot even closer; clean water and current. Too much current can be a bad thing, and no current at all can be even worse. Trout primarily hunt by sight and they prefer to ambush passing prey. They need the current to push the prey (baitfish or shrimp) through and they need the clean water so they can see them. Rigging and Presentation Heading Now that you have found a creek bend with clean water and current, it's time to zoom in even further and find the "spot within the spot". Live shrimp fished under a popping cork is deadly, but Hough, knowing that Trout will use the current jig heads with plastic bodies and DOA shrimp imitato their advantage, looks for eddies, seams, and tions have their time and place.

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marsh. Most often Jamie goes to a 1/4 ounce Bomber jig head and uses several colors until one proves to be out-fishing the others. In slower current or shallower water a 1/8 ounce jig head can be preferable for a slower fall and therefore a longer presentation in the strike zone. Cast your bait into the current and vary your retrieve until you find one that works best. Presentations can vary from a slow steady retrieve to a "hop-hop-pause" cadence. Just keep in mind what you are attempting to imitate. The final technique that Jamie discussed with me in depth was free lining DOA shrimp. A DOA shrimp tied straight to a fluorocarbon leader presented by allowing it to be swept with the current is a deadly winter tactic that I have used often myself. Hough says to just imagine a shrimp being carried along with the current and do your best to create that presentation. When casting into the current, retrieve your line just fast enough to keep most of the slack out. When presenting your bait with the current, start with your rod tip near the water and fan slack out by raising your rod overhead and returning it to just above the surface. This will provide enough slack for a natural presentation while still being able to set the strongly suggests that you pay attention to the hook if a strike is detected. Because your line will depth and adjust your leader accordingly. The likely have a considerable amount of slack, detectfish are less likely to come toward the surface and ing the strike can be tricky. Even a subtle tap warfind a bait suspended two feet beneath a cork rants a hook set. when you are in ten feet of water. As a rule of thumb, begin your search within a couple of feet Closing Heading from the bottom but be vigilant for signs that the Winter Trout fishing can be some of the most profish are suspended mid-column. Indications of ductive fishing of the year. Conquering it is not suspended fish while cork fishing can be seeing easy and requires some planning and diligence. your cork dart sideways before your bait has time Narrow down your areas using tools such as to sink or noticing your shrimp being chased back Google Earth or topographic charts. Once you've to the surface. Try to always allow your cork to found your areas, narrow them down further by drift with the current so that your shrimp is prelooking for subtle differences such as docks, sented naturally. Using your judgment and mak- bluffs, shells, and current variations. Finish it off by ing micro adjustments can be the difference in a dialing in the right presentation whether it be live good day and a spectacular day. bait or artificials. Increase your chances by adding scent to your baits with ProCure in shrimp or ladyThe second technique that Jamie mentioned is certainly not a new technique, yet it is often over- fish flavor. Most importantly, and as always, putlooked. A simple jig head and curly tail grub is still ting your time in will pay off and you'll know that winter isn't just for football and deer hunting. a deadly combination to chunk and wind in the

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performance center consoles on the water today to family teams consisting of three generations, getting to compete is strictly he Southern Kingfish Asso- by invitation and you have to earn your ciation, the largest and way into the competition. most prestigious saltwater fishing tourna- The competition was fierce, but in the end ment trail held its national championship it was the RFA that took one of the most in Fort Pierce, Florida on November 8 coveted prizes—a check for in excess of through 13, 2016 and once again show$10,000 from a specially prepared tournacased the top fishing talent in the country. ment and silent auction held the evening From hardcore pro tournament teams of the awards dinner. Every year for the sporting some of the hottest highpast decade the SKA has hosted this raffle

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at the Nationals to benefit the work of the RFA in addition to promoting membership in the organization among its thousands of competition members all year long.

wife Deona, were on hand selling tickets and overseeing the final drawings. The hall had several thousand SKA members and their families on the edge of their “The SKA has been a proud partner of the seats as over a hundred valuable tackle RFA for many years,” said David Worsham, and marine items were drawn and given out. SKA Director of Operations. “We are so happy to donate 100% of the funds raised The RFA extends its thanks to the memfrom the raffle at our Championship event bers and staff of the SKA for their loyal supfor the 10th port over the year in a years. We row.” would also like to thank When asked all the compawhy the SKA nies, large and is a strong small, that doproponent of nated the the RFA Damerchandize vid said, “We that generatare so grateed the ticket ful to have a sales. Thanks strong politiagain y'all. cal action organization Thank you to like the RFA AFTCO, watching Bluewater All eyes were on long strings of raffle tickets as the numbers were out for the Candy, picked and the goodies handed out. best interest Boone Baits, Bufkin Art & Design, Costa Del Mar, of our anglers and fisheries.” Crowder Roads, Daiwa Corporation, EconThat’s what we do, David, strive to keep your members on the water by protecting omy Tackle, Elec-tra-Mate, Folsom Corporation, Ford's Foods, Garmin Marine Electheir right to fish and working for true common sense fisheries management re- tronics, GEM Products, Half Hitch Tackle, Hayabusa, Hilton's Offshore, J-CAMM Fishgimes that rightfully recognize the iming Lures, Lee's Live Bait, Marine Metal portance of recreational fishing. Products, Mercury Marina, Moonlighter, The raffle was put together with a lot of Penn Reels, ProMarine USA, Raymarine effort from RFA BOD member Bob Flock- Marine Electronics, Strike Zone Tackle, en, who was the competition director of Swisher International, Tailwalker Marine, the SKA for many years. The night of the Tuppens Marine & Tackle, Yamaha Marine, event Jack Holmes, the former managing Z-Tuff Products, Diamond Fishing Proddirector of the SKA, along with his lovely ucts and Big Rock Sports.

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RFA NEWS & VIEWS Environmentalists Clamoring for More MPAs

to WCS, the National Aquarium has hundreds of millions in assets and several associated foundations and entities that it uses to promote conservation of aquatic resources and other priorities.

definition section of the Act, Sec. 302(8), a sanctuary resource is defined as any living or nonliving re-

source of a national marine sanctuary that contributes to the conserNew Gretna, NJ - On the heels of vation, recreational, ecological, histhe Obama Administration creating torical, educational, cultural, arThis flurry of sanctuary nominations a near 5,000 square mile national chaeological, scientific, or aesthetic is in direct response to NOAA revismarine monument in New Engvalue of the sanctuary. Section 306 ing the sanctuary nomination process back in 2014 to encourage more organizations and community-based campaigns to nominate areas. A review of the public comments submitted to the agency's proposed changes for the sanctuaries nomination process back in the spring of 2014 illustrates the massive push by the environmental industry to implement changes to the nomination process. Of the over 18,000 comments, the majority are from individuals who were clearly just clicking a button to a electronic campaign created by the environmental industry. This appears to be a well planned and timed effort to coincide with the current adminThe proposed Hudson Canyon ma- istration's final months in office and rine sanctuary nomination is being its political appointee heading the pushed by the Wildlife ConservaDepartment of Commerce. tion Society (WCS), a non-profit The problem with the National Mabased out of New York City. WCS is rine Sanctuaries law is that there both privately and state/federally are no guarantees that fishing will funded. With over $253 million in be allowed to continue regardless revenue in 2014 and $746 million of what the entity doing the nomiin assets, the WCS is an ENGO pownating promises. The Act includes erhouse. As per its IRS 990 returns, vague language that could apply the WCS does grassroots lobbying to just about any activity. Section campaigns on federal legislation 1431 et seq, section 306 dealing with conservation. It also (Prohibited Activities) states that it advocates for funding for is unlawful for any person to -(1) zoos. The proposed Wilmington destroy, cause the loss of, or injure and Baltimore canyon nominations any sanctuary resource managed are being pushed by the National under law or regulations for that Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Similar sanctuary: If you then refer to the land, several campaigns have materialized in the past week that propose to nominate extremely popular recreational fishing areas in the Mid-Atlantic region through the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. The areas in question include the Hudson, Wilmington and Baltimore Canyons which are arguably the best offshore fishing grounds along the Atlantic coast. Anyone who fishes offshore, runs an offshore tournament, sells or manufactures offshore fishing gear, boats or equipment should be extremely concerned about this organized crusade to create marine sanctuaries off the Atlantic coast.

of the law coupled with the definition for natural resource clearly indicates that a recreational angler injuring a fish through catch and release could be considered a prohibited act. More importantly, these sections clearly give Sanctuary management statutory authority over fishing. Additionally, sections 311(b-c) allow the Secretary of Commerce to enter into agreements with nonprofits to solicit private donations and to accept donations to carry out the purposes and policies of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. Considering the budget and assets available to many of the national environmental organizations, like the WCS, it's clear that nonprofits can have an inordinate amount of influence on sanctuary management. "One only needs to look to our unfortunate friends on the west coast and how the partnership between the State of California and the Packard Foundation to fund the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) worked out for fishermen," explained Jim Donofrio, Executive Director. "This is a dangerous situation." RFA will be working with federal and state legislators organizing a strong, grassroots opposition to

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these proposals. In addition, RFA will work to develop a long-term solution that affords recreational fishermen legal protection from marine sanctuary designations.

New Report Urges Modernization In Federal Fisheries Management New Gretna, NJ - The nation's leading marine conservation and trades associations today released a landmark series of recommendations for the incoming Administration and the new Congress that strive to balance improving access to public waters, creating economic growth, and enhancing the conservation of marine fish stocks. The guidance for federal policy makers in A Vision for Marine Fisheries Man-

generates 455,000 jobs. However, outdated federal management policies threaten to stem this positive economic trend. "The report represents the culmination of considerable thought and discussion put forward by the recreational fishing community," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "It defines the policy priorities that our industry must advance with the incoming Administration and new Congress in order to achieve a much needed balance between meeting conservation goals and providing ample recreational opportunities and access."

The report recommends a shift away from using the same tools to manage commercial fishing and recreational fishing at the federal level. New approaches should reflect the reality of demand for recreational access to our marine fishery resources, the current economagement in the 21st Century: Priorities ic activity associated with that acfor a New Administration calls for an cess, and the scientific data of the light footprint recreational access end to antiquated federal policies that have inhibited a vital source of has on our fishery resources. economic growth and a proud "It's important that lawmakers and American tradition. policymakers understand that commercial and recreational fishing "We are deeply committed to enneed to be managed differently," suring a bright future for marine said Ted Venker, Conservation Direcreational fishing," said Jeff Anrector of Coastal Conservation Asgers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. "It's a critical sociation and Chairman of the Center for Coastal Conservation's Govcomponent of our economy, and it's a proud part of America's herit- ernment Relations Committee. "The Vision report's recommendaage of conservation. The recomtions suggest taking a clear-eyed mendations in this report will ensure that we as a nation do all we look at our nation's fisheries, using modern science and technology to can to continue this legacy." guide decision-making." The Vision report highlights the economic value of recreational fish- "Fishing is a treasured pastime and tradition for millions of Americans ing in coastal waters. Today, 11 and needs to be treated as such," million American anglers fish for continued Angers. "The new Adrecreation in saltwater. From license sales to retail sales, the recre- ministration and Congress should take steps to keep this tradition ational saltwater fishing industry alive - for the benefit of all those contributes more than $70 billion who enjoy fishing, for the hunannually in economic activity and

dreds of thousands employed in the recreational fishing industry, and for future generations of anglers who will fall in love with the sea." Contributors to the report include American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation,Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation, andTheodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The RFA Anticipates Positive Change under President Trump's Leadership New Gretna, NJ, - When the news broke this morning that Donald J. Trump had been elected to serve as the 45th president of the United States, the Recreational Fishing Alliance's Executive Director Jim Donofrio couldn't have been more pleased.

The RFA was the only sport fishing organization in the country that supported and publically endorsed Mr. Trump right from the beginning," explained Donofrio. "He obviously understands business as well as anyone, and we quickly realized that an administration under his leadership would benefit the recreational fishing industry, particularly those in the manufacturing sector such as boat and engine builders and tackle companies, which have been operating under increasing governmental restrictions for years. We believe these businesses will now be better able to improve their products and

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expand their markets as we move him and his new administration in improving access for recreational forward. anglers and energizing those in "The RFA is also optimistic that the our sport fishing businesses," addnew administration will provide a ed Donofrio. "I think we're going to more balanced approach to manstart seeing some positive changaging the country's marine rees." sources. "The days of the environmental zealots running the show are, for the most part, over," continued Donofrio. "I think we'll start to see a more balanced approach between access to our resources, responsible stewardship, and common-sense conservation. This, of course, has always been a major goal of the RFA, but in many areThank you to all of the RFA memnas it's been an uphill battle. So, bers who voted for Donald Trump we're excited about this new directo be our 45th president. We untion, and look forward to some derstand that there were members positive changes to the Magnusonthat felt that we shouldn't endorse Stevens Act that will benefit our a candidate and didn't agree with sector, along with a new attitude our choice. The fact is that, much towards fishery management." like the NRA does with second And finally, an issue that has con- amendment issues, we look at cerned recreational anglers and which candidates we will be able the sport fishing industry during to work with in order to maintain the past year is unlikely to persist access to our fisheries while mainunder President Trump's leadership taining a healthy balance of con- the use of executive action and servation to ensure a sustainable o t h e r l e s s - t h a n - t r a n s p a r e n t fishery for our children to enjoy. schemes to circumvent the public In this election, Donald Trump was management process. President clearly the candidate that we needObama's unilateral use of the Aned to back. We expected that you tiquities Act of 1906 to designate would weigh our endorsement vast areas of the oceans as along with how each candidate "national monuments" in order to aligns with any other views that increase restrictions and ban fishyou may have and vote for the one ing has been particularly troubling. that most closely mirrors your own "We're hoping that President ideals and beliefs. Of course, we Trump will reverse some of these didn't expect you to base your vote designations in the near future," solely on who the RFA endorses. said Donofrio. "They represent an We only sought to make clear unacceptable level of governmenwhich candidate would serve rectal overreach, and we already have a transparent public process to reational fishermen better. manage our resources in the form We look forward to working with of the Magnuson Act." the Trump administration to correct issues with the Magnuson In short, the RFA congratulates Stevens Act, water quality, sector President-Elect Trump, and is gratiseparation, limited entry, and other fied to have supported him during issues. Our hope is that with a preshis entire hard-fought campaign. ident that isn't indebted to Pew "We look forward to working with

RFA Letter to Members Regarding Endorsement of Donald J. Trump

and other extremist groups that we can make historic progress in returning fairness and freedom to our fisheries. We have to be mindful of how we treat our fragile ocean fisheries, and at the same time ensure that we don't continue to allow recreational fishermen to be pushed aside and mired in red tape while special interest clears the way for commercial groups and environmental extremism. Going forward, we trust our membership to vote their conscience and to use our input from a fisheries policy standpoint as a piece of the puzzle, not the entire puzzle. Thank you for your support and trust.

Poor Striper Recruitment Seen in Chesapeake Bay YOY Very successful striper spawning years, as recently as 2011 and 2015, should more than compensate for Maryland’s below-average 2016 year class. Back on October 15, the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources announced that the 2016 young-ofthe-year striped bass index (YOY), a measure of spawning success in Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay, is 2.2, well below the 63-year average of 11.7. The index represents the average number of lessthan-one-year-old fish caught in 132 samples taken in seine nets in Maryland waters. Although some 90 percent of the striped bass that migrate up the East Coast each season originate in Chesapeake Bay, it’s not all gloom and doom. “While this year’s striped bass index is disappointing,

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The reason for the low abundance of spawned striped bass and other anadromous species (fish that live in salt water but spawn in fresh) often is the result of environmental factors such as dry weather that contributes to low river flows, a combination that hit the Chesapeake Bay area this past spring. The normal number of breedingage female stripers were found on the bay’s historic spawning grounds, but it is theorized that conditions just weren’t ideal for the sensitive striper eggs and larvae.

Maryland Young of the Year Indexes are done with hand seine nets at regularly surveyed spots. Each immature bass is counted. it is not a concern unless we observe poor spawning in multiple, consecutive years,” said David Blazer, Maryland’s Fishing and Boating Director. “Very successful spawning years, as recently as 2011 and 2015, should more than compensate for this below-average year class. Nevertheless, the department and our partners will continue to work to maintain a sustainable striper fishery.”

The department has monitored the reproductive success of striped bass and other fish in the bay since 1954. The survey is conducted annually at designated sites distributed through four major spawning areas. During this year’s survey, fisheries biologists collected and identified over 38,000 fish of 62 different species, including 291 young-of-the-year striped bass. –

Historically, striped bass have exhibited great variability in spawning success from year to year. Large year classes are occasionally produced, but are often interspersed with average or belowaverage year classes. One-year-old Capt. Barry Gibson, New England stripers in the very successful 2015 Regional Director Maryland year class were found in abundance, so production should pretty much even out over the two -year span.

Too Many Cod Caught by Anglers in Gulf of Maine?

Unless the final recreational catch data changes significantly, which is unlikely, it is quite probable that we will see a prohibition on the retention of any cod again in 2017. As most RFA members already know, cod stock in the Gulf of Maine have diminished over the years. In fact, recreational fishermen couldn’t even retain a single cod in 2015. However, this past season the recreational sub-quota was adjusted upward by some 30% to 157 metric tons, an amount large enough so that fishery managers felt that anglers could keep

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one cod per day in August and Sep- 1 through August 30th of both Believe me, it’s not much fun to report all this, but I’ll stay on top of it tember. years. and let member know what hapUnfortunately, however, the num- So, it looks like anglers went well pens in the next edition of Making ber of angler groundfish trips over the recreational quota, and Waves. –Capt. Barry Gibson, New jumped up this year (likely due to this is going to be problematic for England Regional Director the higher haddock bag limit of 15 the 2017 cod season. Unless the fish per person) so more cod were final data changes significantly, caught and released than in 2015. which is unlikely, it is quite probaA 15% mortality figure is assigned ble that we will see a prohibition to released cod, so when you add on the retention of any cod again the number of cod kept, plus the in 2017. A reduction in the hadnumber that supposedly died after dock bag limit is also possible in release, it ends up being a lot of order to discourage anglers from taking as many groundfish trips this fish. season as they did last year, thus How many? Only preliminary catch reducing the number of released data has been processed as of this cod. writing, but it appears that the total number jumped from 74 metric The final cod data should be tons in 2015 to 218 mt in 2016, just crunched and new groundfish regin the four-month period from May ulations posted later this winter.

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RFA TRIP OF A LIFETIME Back By Popular Member Demand Another Chance to go to Wilderness Alaska's Wild Strawberry Lodge


he RFA is please announce that in response to the popularity of our 2016 Trip of a Lifetime Sweepstakes, RFA will be again offering an opportunity to win a trip to Wild Strawberry Lodge in Sitka Alaska. Thanks to RFA member Theresa Weiser, the owner and operator of Alaska Premier Charters, Inc., the winner and a guest will be going to beautiful Wild Strawberry Lodge in Sitka, Alaska where they will experience world-class fishing for halibut and salmon! This comfortable and well equipped lodge is located on Thomsen Harbor nestled between panoramic views of mountains and the Pacific. Their fleet consists

of rugged 30’ aluminum fishing boats run by knowledgeable, friendly captains whose goal is to put you on the fish and teach you about this wild and beautiful place.

The RFA will be mailing five tickets to its membership in the coming weeks. Tickets cost $25 each or you can purchase all five for the discounted price of $100. Tickets can also be purchased online at the RFA Store or Here’s how it works. In by calling the RFA headMarch of 2017, we will quarters office at 888-JOINdraw one winning ticket at RFA. random. The winner will receive a trip for two to Wild Remember, 100% of your Strawberry Lodge ticket donations will be (www.wildstrawberrylodge used to further the critical .com) including three days work of the Recreational of fishing and four night’s Fishing Alliance and its misaccommodations, meals in- sion to protect your right to cluded, plus a travel vouch- fish! er for $1000 to offset your airfare. Total value is over Will you be going to Alaska? Act now and tell $7,000. The winner will aryour friends if they range travel dates directly aren’t already members with the lodge between early May and mid- to join today and get September, 2017 (subject their tickets for this amazing trip. to availability).

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To enter the all new 2016 RFA Trip of a Lifetime Sweepstakes for your chance to win a trip to Wild Strawberry Lodge Click Here and follow the instructions. Credit cards are accepted.



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The Official Publication of the Recreational Fishing Alliance

The RFA Mission Safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers Protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs Ensure the long-term sustainability of our nation’s fisheries. Anti-fishing groups and radical environmentalists are pushing their agenda on marine fisheries issues affecting you. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is in the trenches too, lobbying, educating decision makers and ensuring that the interests of America’s coastal fishermen are being heard loud and clear. Incorporated in 1996 as a 501c4 national, grassroots political action organization, RFA represents recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues on every coast, with state chapters established to spearhead the regional issues while building local support. “The biggest challenge we face is the fight to reform and bring common sense and sound science into the fisheries management process, says James Donofrio, RFA founder and Executive Director. “Antifishing and extreme environmental groups are working everyday to get us off the water.” Despite the threats to diminish access to our nation’s resources, Donofrio says that RFA offers members hope in an organization that’s designed from the ground up to fight back. “As individuals, our concerns will simply not be heard; but as a united group, we can and do stand up to anyone who threatens the sport we enjoy so much – fishing!” After nearly 20 years working inside the Beltway and within state capitols along the coast, RFA has become known as one of the nation’s most respected lobbying organizations, and our members have a lot to celebrate.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance Headquarters P.O. Box 3080 New Gretna, New Jersey 08224 Phone: 1-888-JOIN RFA toll free Fax: (609) 294-3812

Jim Donofrio Executive Director

Capt. Barry Gibson New England Director

Jim Martin West Coast Director

John DePersenaire Managing Director

Gary Caputi Corporate Relations Director

T. J. Cheek Southeast Director

Making Waves - Winter 2016  

The Official News Magazine of the Recreational Fishing Alliance

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