Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams
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Summary of Scoping Meetings on Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and Accountability Measures (AMs). Caribbean Fishery Management Council 131 st Council Meeting June 23-24, 2009 Carambola Beach Resort & Spa St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Location and Dates of Public Meetings.

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Summary of Scoping Meetings on Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and Accountability Measures (AMs)

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Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Summary of Scoping Meetings on Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and Accountability Measures (AMs)

Caribbean Fishery Management Council

131st Council Meeting

June 23-24, 2009

Carambola Beach Resort & Spa

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Location and dates of public meetings

Location and Dates of Public Meetings

  • April 27, 2009, San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • April 28, 2009, Ponce, Puerto Rico

  • April 29, 2009, Fajardo, Puerto Rico

  • May 4, 2009, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico

  • May 6, 2009, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

  • May 7, 2009, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands


Number of attendees

Number of Attendees


What are acls and ams

What are ACLs and AMs?

  • Annual Catch Limits (ACL) is the level of annual catch of a stock or stock complex that serves as the basis for invoking accountability measures.

  • AMs are management controls to prevent ACLs, including sector-ACLs, from being exceeded, and to correct or mitigate overages of the ACL if they occur.

These need to be determined for all fisheries in the US.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

3. How does one determine the actual values for the ACLs?

Corresponds with yield at MFMT (FMSY)

Estimated during stock assessments

Overfishing Limit (OFL)

Catch (lbs)

MFMT is the maximum fishing mortality threshold.

It is the fishing mortality rate that produces the

maximum sustainable yield (or a proxy thereof)

OFL is an annual amount of catch that corresponds

to the best estimate of MFMT applied to a stock or

complex’s abundance; MSY is the long-term average

of such catches.

Increasing


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

3. How does one determine the actual values for the ACLs?

Overfishing Limit (OFL)

Set by Council’s SSC

ABC ≤ OFL

Should account for scientific uncertainty (from stock assessment)

Acceptable Biological Catch

Catch (lbs)

Increasing

ABC is a level of a stock or stock complex’s annual

catch that accounts for the scientific uncertainty in

the estimate of OFL


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Catch (lbs)

Increasing

3. How does one determine the actual values for the ACLs?

Overfishing Limit (OFL)

Set by Council

ACL ≤ ABC ≤ OFL

Triggers accountability measures if met or exceeded

Acceptable Biological Catch

Annual Catch Limit

ACL is the level of annual catch of a stock or stock

Complex that serves as the basis for invoking

accountability measures.


Stocks and stock complexes needing action in this amendment

Stocks and Stock Complexes Needing Action in this Amendment

  • The following species need action before 2010:

    • Parrotfishes – 10 species

    • Snapper Unit 1 – silk, blackfin, black and vermillion snapper (wenchman)

    • Grouper Unit 4 – yellowfin, tiger, red, black (yellowedge and misty)

    • Queen conch (only in St. Croix, USVI)


Action 1 amending the stock complexes in the reef fish fishery management unit

Action 1: Amending the Stock Complexes in the Reef Fish Fishery Management Unit

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not change the stock complexes in the Reef Fish FMU

    • COMMENT: Preferred by all deponents in the USVI

  • Alternative 2. Modify the FMU by:

    • Sub alternative A. Separating the Parrotfish Unit into 2 complexes. Parrotfish Unit 1 would include princess, queen, redfin, redtail, stoplight, redband, and striped parrotfishes and Parrotfish Unit 2 would include blue, midnight, and rainbow parrotfishes


New parrotfish unit 2

New Parrotfish Unit 2

Rainbow (guacamayo)

Midnight (judio)

Blue (azul)


Action 1 amending the stock complexes in the reef fish fishery management unit1

Action 1: Amending the Stock Complexes in the Reef Fish Fishery Management Unit

  • Alternative 2. Modify the FMU by:

    • Sub alternative B. Separate Grouper Unit 4 into 2 complexes and add black grouper to Grouper Unit 4. Grouper Unit 4 would include yellowfin, red, tiger, and black grouper and Grouper Unit 5 would include yellowedge and misty grouper.


Action 1 amending the stock complexes in the reef fish fishery management unit2

Action 1: Amending the Stock Complexes in the Reef Fish Fishery Management Unit

  • Alternative 2. Modify the FMU by:

    • Sub alternative C. Add cardinal snapper (Pristipomoides macrophthalmus) to Snapper Unit 2 (with the queen snapper) and move wenchman (Pristopomoides aquilonaris) into Snapper Unit 1.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Moved to Snapper Unit 1

Pristipomoides aquilonaris

Pristipomoides macrophthalmus

Added to Snapper Unit 2


Snapper units

Snapper Units


Grouper units

Grouper Units


Parrotfish units

Parrotfish Units


Action 1 amending the stock complexes in the reef fish fishery management unit3

Action 1: Amending the Stock Complexes in the Reef Fish Fishery Management Unit

  • Alternative 3. Examine reef fish FMU and reassign species not targeted, retained, sold, or used for personal consumption as ecosystem component species.


Action 1 amending the stock complexes in the rf fmu comments

Action 1: Amending the Stock Complexes in the RF FMU Comments:

  • Suggests that the midnight and rainbow parrotfish species be separated from the rest of the parrotfishes. Deep water species.

  • Red grouper is rarely seen in the free diving depth range, suggested it be treated as the Nassau grouper, as threaten.

  • Red grouper is a small grouper that has been fished and there is a need to evaluate the species and treat it as a separate unit.

  • Action 1, Alternative 2, Sub alternatives A, B and C


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 2: Annual Catch Limits for Queen conch (Strombus gigas) off St. Croix

  • Alternative 1. Do not set an ACL for queen conch off St. Croix.

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for queen conch off St. Croix equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994-2006 = 90,000 pounds. The ACL would include both state and federal water landings.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 2: Annual Catch Limits for Queen conch (Strombus gigas) off St. Croix (cont.)

Alternative 2. Set the ACL for queen conch off St. Croix equal to:

  • Sub alternative C. The current allowable catch level established by the U.S.V.I. government for St. Croix = 50,000 pounds. The ACL would include both state and federal water landings. The season for queen conch would run from November 1 – June 30, or until such time the ACL is met; additionally, there would be a 200 conch per boat limit.

  • Sub alternative D. Zero in the EEZ. The state waters ACL would be set equal to the current allowable catch level established by the U.S.V.I. government for St. Croix = 50,000 pounds.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 2: Annual Catch Limits for Queen conch (S. gigas) off St. Croix: Comments

  • Action 2, Alternative 1:Do not set an ACL for queen conch off St. Croix. No Action preferred by all deponents in the USVI (STFA, STXFA, Fishers, other stakeholders)

  • (D.O./STT): “St. Croix was over harvesting its conch resources due to the negligence of DPNR in carrying out its management responsibilities. However in 2008, when I was Director of Fish and Wildlife, a 50,000 lb quota was established and the closed season expanded. On April 8, 2009 DPNR announced that the quota had been exceeded and that the season would be closed until next November. Current Territorial rules are sufficient to regulate conch fishing which occurs primarily within Territorial waters.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Comments On Queen Conch

  • Comment (F.L./PR Fisher) : “The Queen Conch Fishery in the EEZ has been closed for over Five Years and I was wondering, "What is the state of the Queen conch population in the west coast of Puerto Rico EEZ“ Answer; No one knows, In state waters the catch of Queen Conch has been steady for the past five years, logic suggests that would mean that the Queen Conch population in the EEZ has been rebuilt.

  • Suggestion: The council might consider issuing 5 limited entry permits to fisher(s) in the region who can be trusted to submit daily catch data, this could be done over a three year period. That data might prove that the Queen Conch is not over fished, however fishers might choose to keep the area closed for stock enhancement purposes or allow some limited fishing be performed. (This idea would also allow fishers to have more input, which can lead to less confrontation between legislators and the user groups)”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Comments On Queen Conch

  • (D.O./STT): “Puerto Rico. PRDNER studies are clearly indicating resource recovery of the conch resource there. Therefore prior overfishing is not currently taking place.”

  • (D.O./STT): “St. Thomas/St. John. There is virtually no fishery for conch. Prior studies contained in the CFMC conch management plan indicate potential yield over 200,000 lbs. Recent yields have been less than 10,000 lbs. Clearly there is no overfishing.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2

  • Alternative 1. No Action.

    • Sub Alternative A. Do not set an ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 or Parrotfish Unit 2.

    • Sub Alternative B. Do not establish an ACL for Parrotfish Unit 2, but include Parrotfish Unit 2 in the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2: Comments

  • Alternative 1. No Action.

    • STFA

    • St. Thomas stakeholders (n=8)

    • STXFA

    • St. Croix Fisher (n=1)

    • St. Croix Fisher not clear if No Action and re-evaluate in 5 years or ACL=0 in EEZ and re-evaluate in 5 years


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 2. For Parrotfish Unit 2:

    • Sub alternative A. Set the ACL equal to zero in the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish 5 years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. Set the ACL equal to zero in the EEZ and recommend to Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. that the ACL be set equal to zero in state waters.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2: Comments

  • Alternative 2. For Parrotfish Unit 2:

    • Limit of 1 of the 3 parrotfish per person per day; the records are from Puerto Rico (largest individuals) for midnight and rainbow.

    • Allow only recreational harvest.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1999-2006 = 80,000 pounds (ACLG February 2009 recommendation)

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994-2006 multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2: Comments

  • Alternative 3. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish five years after implementation.

      • One Fisher in Puerto Rico supported this alternative.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2: Comments

  • Alternative 3. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to

    • Proposes to establish an ACL for parrotfish units and divide it on a 50/50 between the commercial and recreational fishers. For example, multiply the average amounts calculated from the commercial catch by 2 and then divide it by 2. (e.g., 80,000 x 2 = 160 ÷ 2= 80,000 pounds for each sector).[The commercial and recreational fishers fish the same kind of fish and in the same areas. There are many more recreational fishers than commercial fishers.]


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 4. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 off St. Thomas/St. John equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1999-2006 = 50,000 pounds (ACLG February 2009 recommendation)

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994-2006 multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 5. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit1 off St. Croix equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1999-2006 = 250,000 pounds (ACLG February 2009 recommendation)


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 5. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 off St. Croix equal to:

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994-2006 multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).

    • Sub alternative D. The average landings during 1976-1990 = 82,000 pounds (discussed at the ACLG and SSC February 2009 meeting).

    • Sub alternative E. The average landings during 1983-1990 = 82,000 pounds (SEFSC recommended time frame for pre-gillnet fishery).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 3: Annual Catch Limits for Parrotfish Unit 1 and Parrotfish Unit 2 (cont.)

  • Alternative 6. Set the ACL for Parrotfish Unit 1 in the U.S. Caribbean equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for parrotfish five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1999-2006 = 380,000 pounds.

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994-2006 multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Comments on parrotfishes

Comments on Parrotfishes

  • “Puerto Rico. One of the NMFS proposals is to set the ACL at 80,000 lbs (current landings levels). By definition, the ACL is less than the overfishing level. Therefore Parrotfish in Puerto Rico (by the MSRA definition) are not overfished.” (D.O./STT)

  • “St. Thomas/St. John. One of the NMFS proposals is to set the ACL at 50,000 lbs (current landings levels). By definition, the ACL is less than the overfishing level. Therefore Parrotfish in St. Thomas/St. John are not over fished.” (D.O./STT)

  • “St. Croix. In April 2008, DNER closed the primary fishing technique for Parrotfish in St. Croix which was accounting for as much as 90% of the parrotfish landings. This clearly should address claims of overfishing.” (D.O./STT)


Comments on parrotfishes1

Comments on Parrotfishes

  • Allow for recreational harvest

  • Requested that a quota be established for recreational fishers (free divers). Free divers are interested in record fish by spear fishing and he stated that the divers can select the largest fish.

  • Limit of 1 of the 3 parrotfish per person per day; the records are from Puerto Rico (largest individuals) for midnight and rainbow.

  • The commercial and recreational fishers fish the same kind of fish and in the same areas.

  • There are many more recreational fishers than commercial fishers.

  • No change in amount of parrotfish harvested commercially


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not set an ACL for Grouper Unit 4

    • COMMENTS:

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas stakeholders (n=8)

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fisher (n=1)

      • St. Croix Fisher not clear if No Action and re-evaluate in 5 years or ACL=0 in EEZ and re-evaluate in 5 years


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4 (cont.)

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Grouper Unit 4 off Puerto Rico equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero in the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Grouper Unit 4 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average corrected landings for identified Grouper Unit 4 species during 1994-2006 = 10,000 pounds. The ACL would include both state and federal water landings.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4 (cont.)

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Grouper Unit 4 off Puerto Rico equal to (cont.):

    • Sub alternative C. The average corrected landings for identified Grouper Unit 4 species during 1994-2006 plus the average proportional corrected landings estimate for Grouper Unit 4 species landed in the generic “Sea Basses” category during 1994-2006 = 15,000 pounds.

    • Sub alternative D. A sufficient level of catch for collecting needed data on the fishery. This catch level would be established by SEFSC, in cooperation with Puerto Rico, for purposes of scientific data collection.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4: COMMENTS

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Grouper Unit 4 off Puerto Rico equal to (NEW):

    • “Sub alternative E. Establish a preliminary 50,000 lb ACL in the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Grouper Unit 4 five years after implementation.” (F.L./PR: Commercial fisher disagrees with all other sub-alternatives. No rationale provided in the written comments.)


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4 (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Set the ACL for Grouper off St. Thomas/St. John at:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ off St Thomas/St John and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Grouper Unit 4 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Grouper species = 61,000 pounds as part of a Grouper ACL

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Grouper species multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4 (cont.)

  • Alternative 4. Set the ACL for Grouper off St. Croix at:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ off St Croix and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Grouper Unit 4 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Grouper species = 32,000 pounds as part of a Grouper ACL

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Grouper species multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 4: Annual Catch Limits for Grouper Unit 4 (cont.)

  • Alternative 5. Set the ACL for Grouper in the U.S. Caribbean equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state water ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Grouper Unit 4 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1999 - 2006 = 203,000 pounds

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Comments on grouper unit 4

Comments on Grouper Unit 4

  • “Puerto Rico. One of the NMFS proposals is to set the ACL at 10,000 lbs (current landings levels). By definition, the ACL is less than the overfishing level. Therefore Grouper Unit 4 in Puerto Rico is not overfished.” (D.O./STT)

  • “St. Thomas/St. John. One of the NMFS proposals is to set the ACL at 61,000 lbs as part of a single grouper unit (current landings levels). By definition, the ACL is less than the overfishing level. In addition, the primary spawning aggregation for yellowfin groupers was closed in 2005 and the Hind Bank MCD has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing red hind average sizes and numbers. Many of the remaining species are Ciguatoxic and are simply not harvested. Therefore Grouper Unit 4 in St. Thomas/St. John are not overfished.”

  • “St. Croix. One of the NMFS proposals is to set the ACL at 32,000 lbs as part of a single grouper unit (current landings levels). By definition, the ACL is less than the overfishing level. Therefore Grouper Unit 4 in St. St. Croix are not overfished.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not set an ACL for Snapper Unit 1

    • COMMENTS:

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas stakeholders (n=8)

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fisher (n=1)

      • St. Croix Fisher not clear if No Action and re-evaluate in 5 years or ACL=0 in EEZ and re-evaluate in 5 years


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Snapper Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state waters ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Snapper Unit 1 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average corrected landings for identified Snapper Unit 1 species during 1999-2006 = 300,000 pounds


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1 (cont.)

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Snapper Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to (cont.):

    • Sub alternative C. The average corrected landings for identified silk snapper during 1999-2006 = 200,000 pounds for silk snapper. Silk snapper would be the indicator species for Snapper Unit 1.

    • Sub alternative D. The Average landings for 1999-2006 for the current Snapper Unit 1 plus the average landings for wenchman for 1999-2006 =300,000 pounds

    • Sub alternative E. The Average landings for 1994-2006 for the current Snapper Unit 1 plus the average landings for wenchman for 1994-2006 = 355,000 pounds


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1(cont.)

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Snapper Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to (cont.):

    • Sub alternative F. The average 1999-2006 landings for identified Snapper Unit 1 species plus the average landings for wenchman during 1999-2006 plus the average proportional corrected landings estimate for Snapper Unit 1 species landed in the generic “Snapper” category during 1999-2006 = 316,000 pounds.

    • Sub alternative G. The average 1994-2006 landings for identified Snapper Unit 1 species plus the average landings for wenchman during 1994-2006 plus the average proportional corrected landings estimate for Snapper Unit 1 species landed in the generic “Snapper” category during 1994-2006 = 374,000 pounds.

    • Sub alternative H. 1.2 times the value selected from sub alternative B-G.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1: COMMENT

  • Alternative 2. Set the ACL for Snapper Unit 1 off Puerto Rico equal to (NEW):

    • “Sub alternative I. Establish a preliminary 500,000 lb ACL in the EEZ and do not establish a state waters ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Snapper Unit 1 five years after implementation.” [F.L/PR-One fisher presented this alternative but there is no rationale in the written statement. Disagrees with all sub alternatives.]

    • “Sub alternative J: Suggests that equal amounts be established for commercial and recreational fishers of 374,000 pounds for each sector.” [R.P./PR-Total of 748,000 lbs.]


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1(cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Set the ACL for Snapper off St. Thomas/St. John at:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ off St. Thomas/St. John and do not establish a state waters ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Snapper Unit 1 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species =160,000 pounds as part of a Snapper ACL

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1(cont.)

  • Alternative 4. Set the ACL for Snapper off St. Croix at:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ off St Croix and do not establish a state waters ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Snapper Unit 1 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species =112,000 pounds

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 5: Annual Catch Limits for Snapper Unit 1(cont.)

  • Alternative 5. Set the ACL for Snapper in the U.S. Caribbean at:

    • Sub alternative A. Zero for the EEZ and do not establish a state waters ACL, but rely on the data collection program described later in this document and revisit ACL for Snapper Unit 1 five years after implementation.

    • Sub alternative B. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species =1,529,000 pounds

    • Sub alternative C. The average landings during 1994 - 2006 for all Snapper species multiplied by an uncertainty scalar (see Action 7 for uncertainty scalar).


Comments on snapper unit 1

Comments on Snapper Unit 1

  • Keep ACL for SU1 separate for Puerto Rico.

  • “Puerto Rico. Analysis by Dr. Gedamke of the SEFSC indicates a potential for a 20% expansion of fishing effort. It is therefore, not overfished in Puerto Rico in any sense of the word.”

  • “St. Thomas/St. John. Deepwater snappers are almost entirely unfished in St. Thomas with one fishermen fishing traps for 3 to 4 months each year. Clearly, these species are not overfished in St. Thomas.”

  • “St. Croix. The small line fishery cannot possibly be overfishing the resource.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 6: Annual Catch Limits for the Recreational Sector

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not set ACLs for the Recreational Sector

    • COMMENTS:

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fishers and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 6: Annual Catch Limits for the Recreational Sector

  • Alternative 2. Use Puerto Rico recreational average landings data from MRFSS during 2000-2007 to set recreational ACLs in the EEZ and state waters of Puerto Rico for Snapper Unit 1, Grouper Unit 4, and Parrotfishes. Use the proportion of Puerto Rican recreational landings relative to the total of recreational and commercial Puerto Rican landings to set an ACL proxy in the EEZ and state waters for the USVI Recreational Fishery. For the USVI, proportions would be assigned to fish family (e.g., groupers, snappers, parrotfishes), until sufficient landings data are available to specify ACLs by unit. ACLs would equal zero for queen conch in the EEZ off St. Thomas/St. John and Puerto Rico; the recreational ACL for queen conch in the EEZ off St Croix would be XXX (will depend on Council’s choice for commercial ACL in St. Croix). All island based recreational ACLs for Nassau grouper would equal zero.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 6: Annual Catch Limits for the Recreational Sector (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Use Puerto Rico recreational average landings data from MRFSS during 2000-2007 to set recreational ACLs in the EEZ and state waters for Snapper Unit 1, Grouper Unit 4, and Parrotfishes. Use the proportion of Puerto Rican recreational landings relative to the total of recreational and commercial Puerto Rican landings to set an ACL proxy in the EEZ.

  • Alternative 4. Do not establish a recreational ACL in the USVI EEZ and state waters, but use the Commercial ACL for each unit or family as a proxy for the ACL for all sectors in the fishery.

  • Alternative 5. Set the recreational ACL in the USVI equal to 10% of each islands commercial ACL.

  • Alternative 6. Establish a separate charter boat sector ACL based on MRFSS data for Puerto Rico.


Comments on recreational acls

Comments on Recreational ACLs

  • (NEW) “Alternative 7. Set the recreational ACL in Puerto Rico equal to 50% of the islands EEZ commercial ACL and allow this number strictly for Recreational fishers to:

    • Sub alternative A. Harvest all species managed by the Council in the EEZ as well as state waters.

    • Sub alternative B. Harvest only fish species managed by the council that is not listed as "Over fished" or under going "over fishing" in the EEZ as well as state waters.”


Comments on recreational acls1

Comments on Recreational ACLs

  • As in Alternative 3, use recreational fishing average landings in Puerto Rico, and if no data is available, establish a 50% for recreational and 50% commercial. [The ACL calculated for the commercial sector is used to establish the ACL for the recreational sector. See Action 5 above.]

  • The commercial and recreational fishers fish the same kind of fish and in the same areas.

  • There are many more recreational fishers than commercial fishers.

  • Need data from the recreational fishing activity.


Comments on recreational acls2

Comments on Recreational ACLs

  • Suggest that Charters be included in the commercial sector. Numbers reported to MRFSS, be reported as commercial.

  • Recreational fishing licenses are needed.

  • None of the Council managed species should be harvested by recreational fishers. Species such as conch, red hind and silk snapper among others are rebuilding.

  • Recreational fishers harvest as much as commercial fishers but it is the commercial fishers who is always regulated.


Comments on recreational acls3

Comments on Recreational ACLs

  • At present, as an example, the commercial freezers are full of dolphin fish because even with the government regulations banning sale of fish by recreational fishers, they still sell the fish having a negative impact on the economy of the commercial fisher.

  • Need to establish a recreational quota and bag limits.

  • Given the great number of recreational fishers in Puerto Rico, allow recreational harvest of 25 -50% of the landings.

  • Given that commercial fishers land about 4 million pounds, recreational harvest should be an additional 1-2 million pounds.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 7: Accounting for Uncertainty

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Set the ACL at the level specified in the previous actions

    • Comments

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fisher

      • PR 2 fishers


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 7: Accounting for Uncertainty

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Set the ACL at the level specified in the previous actions

  • Alternative 2. In the USVI, for ACLs based on average catch, use:

    • Sub alternative A. 90% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty.

    • Sub alternative B. 75% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty (recommendation from the national SSC meeting).

    • Sub alternative C. 70% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty.

    • Sub Alternative D. 50% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty (recommendation from the national SSC meeting).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 7: Accounting for Uncertainty (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. In Puerto Rico, use:

    • Sub alternative A. 82% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty (based on the ratio of the reported landingsversus the 85% CI for calculated landings in Puerto Rico across all species groups by year).

    • Sub alternative B. 78% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty (based on the ratio of the reported landingsversus the 90% CI for calculated landings in Puerto Rico across all species groups by year).

    • Sub alternative C. 75% of the specified level in the previous actions to adjust for uncertainty (based on the ratio of the reported landingsversus the 95% CI for calculated landings in Puerto Rico across all species groups by year).


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not implement alternative methods for reducing fishing mortality by establishing proxies for ACLs

    • COMMENTS:

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fishers and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies

  • Alternative 2. Extend Area Closures in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ to account for 40% of fishable bottom in the EEZ.

  • Alternative 3. Extend Area Closures in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ to account for 30% of fishable bottom in the EEZ.

  • Alternative 4. Extend Area Closures in the U.S. Caribbean EEZ to account for XX% of fishable bottom in the EEZ as determined by the SEFSC.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies: COMMENTS

  • No closed areas (No to Alternatives 2, 3, and 4)

    • STFA

    • St. Thomas stakeholders

    • St. Thomas Fishers

    • STXFA

    • St. Croix Fishers

    • Sr. Croix stakeholders

    • Legislators of the USVI

    • PR Fishers (commercial and recreational)

    • PR stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies: COMMENTS

  • No closed areas (No to Alternatives 2, 3, and 4)

  • (D.O./STT): “We totally oppose such an action. It would decimate our fishery and force all fishing effort into Territorial waters.”

  • Other areas are also closed to fishing (HOVENSA, Refinary, etc.)

  • Other restrictions in place (no nets)


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies (cont.)

  • Alternative 5. Work with fishermen to develop measure to reduce fishing effort towards F=Fmsy.

    • Comments

      • Instead of closing areas (a) establish daily quotas for charters and recreational fishers, (b) catch and release for charters, (c) establish bag limits of 1 fish per day for recreational fishers, (d) use the recreational limits and regulations established by the PR-DNER (e.g. no SCUBA and spear for harvesting fish), (e) selectivity by gear (e.g., spears) also reduce by catch.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies (cont.)

  • Comments

    • Limited entry programs

    • Enforcement

    • Monitoring of the regulations in place and the fisheries

    • Examine other issues (pollution, development)

    • Socio economic impacts need assessment

    • Data collection with fishers input

    • Trap vents; changes in trap fisheries (poaching, cost of materials, etc.)

    • Catch and release for recreational fishers

    • Compatible regulations are in place to curb overfishing

    • Foreign Fishing (longliners)

    • Incentives


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 8: Alternative Methods for Reducing Fishing Mortality and Establishing ACL Proxies (cont.)

  • Comments

    • “The fishers or Puerto Rico have been filing data sheets for years (My case 21 years). This data even though inaccurate has shown that fishers are willing to file data, however as a fisher myself, I have seen where the data that was collected, is subsequently used to close down our resource which has resulted in the confrontations seen at meetings past. Fishers need to be guaranteed in some way that the data rendered in future methods will in fact be used properly and with the users involvement. This would insure an easier transition to establish regulation changes.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 9: Permits

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not establish a permit system for fishing in the EEZ

    • COMMENTS:

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas Fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fisher and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 9: Permits

  • Alternative 2. Require a federal permit for fishing in the EEZ.

    • Sub Alternative A. Require a federal permit for recreational fishing in the EEZ.

      • COMMENTS

        • Need to establish a recreational license, once established by the local government do not duplicate in the federal government. If there is a fee for the license/permit the money should go to the government of Puerto Rico. Only if moneys go to PR would they agree with the federal permits, otherwise, No Action.

        • Need a federal license for recreational fishers and bag limits


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 9: Permits

  • Alternative 2. Require a federal permit for fishing in the EEZ.

    • Sub Alternative B. Require a federal permit for commercial fishing in the EEZ.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 9: Permits

  • Alternative 2. Require a federal permit for fishing in the EEZ.

    • Sub Alternative C. Require the use of trap tags for all (lobster and fish) trap fisheries in the EEZ.

    • Sub Alternative D. Require a federal permit for charter boats fishing in the EEZ.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 9: Permits (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Require a federal permit to sell Council managed species.

  • Alternative 4. Require a federal permit to purchase Council managed species.

  • [Council managed species are reef fish, lobster and queen conch]


Comments on permits

Comments on Permits

  • (F.L./PR): “I have chosen Alternative 2 and all sub alternatives A thru D.

    • Comment: By choosing all the Sub Alternatives the council will have a tool to get an estimate of how many individual(s) are actually using the EEZ and information as to the numbers of Commercial, Recreational and Charter Boat activity, this is information we have been lacking for some time and is Vi[t]al for regulation frame work.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 10: Monitoring and Enforcement of Annual Catch Limits

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Set the ACL at the level specified in the previous actions.

    • Comments

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fishers and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 10: Monitoring and Enforcement of Annual Catch Limits

  • Alternative 2. Require any person landing Council managed species to submit an appropriate data collection form, as developed by the SEFSC or the Council’s SSC, after every trip with enough detail such that CPUE per species can be calculated for each gear.

  • Alternative 3. Require any federal permit holder to submit an appropriate data collection form, as developed by the SEFSC or the Council’s SSC, after every trip with enough detail such that CPUE per species can be calculated for each gear.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 10: Monitoring and Enforcement of Annual Catch Limits

  • Alternative 4. Develop an updated catch report form in coordination with the SEFSC, local and territorial governments, fishermen, and the Council’s SSC which has enough detail such that CPUE per species can be calculated for each gear

  • Comments:

    • Preferred by fishers in PR


Comments on monitoring and enforcement

COMMENTS on Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Decreased use of traps because of poaching

  • No enforcement of existing regulations

  • Recreational fishers selling their catch and no enforcement

  • Monitoring is very important, especially managed species should be monitored

  • Monitoring of management measures should be done with the help of fishers

  • Monitor the data collection


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 11: Accountability Measures

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not establish Accountability Measures.

    • Comments

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fishers and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 11: Accountability Measures

  • Alternative 2. Implement accountability measures for exceeding an ACL based on:

    • Sub alternative A. A single year of landings/catch.

      • Comment: Preferred in PR by free divers

    • Sub alternative B. A 2-year average of landings/catch.


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 11: Accountability Measures

  • Alternative 2. Implement accountability measures for exceeding an ACL based on:

    • Sub alternative C. A 3-year average of landings/catch.

      • Comment: Preferred by 1 commercial fisher in PR

        • “Comment: This is a very slippery slope we walk on, I understand this is for balancing a fishery and providing stability, however if a more acceptable data collection method is not developed, then I am afraid this accountability measure is useless. If we do not improve monitoring and include privately contracted fisherman in this process like is done in other states. Example Alaska receives federal money annually to monitor Salmon stocks and they use that information to adjust their ACL Accountability Measures. What funding do we have in Puerto Rico to conduct stock assessment •••••• NONE. When will Puerto Rico ever get funding to conduct such studies? Good question ••••••”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 11: Accountability Measures (cont.)

  • Alternative 3. Reduce the fishing season in the following year by a length determined to be appropriate to account for exceeding the ACL.

  • Alternative 4. Increase the size of closed areas as identified in Action 9 by an appropriate amount to account for exceeding the ACL.

  • Alternative 5. For queen conch exceedences in St. Croix, close the EEZ to queen conch harvest.

  • Alternative 6. Reduce the ACL in the subsequent fishing year by an amount equal to an overage in the previous year.

    • Comment: Alternative 6 Preferred in PR by free divers


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 12: Allowable Gear for Reef Fish

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not alter allowable gear in the U.S. Caribbean

    • Comments

      • STFA

      • St. Thomas fishers and stakeholders

      • STXFA

      • St. Croix Fishers and stakeholders


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 12: Allowable Gear for Reef Fish

  • Alternative 2. Review the list of allowable gear under 50 CFR 600.725

    • Comments from PR free divers and 1 commercial fisher:

      • Allow spearfishing commercially and recreationally

      • Do not allow powerheads for either commercial or recreational fishing

      • “Comment: I am a spear fisher and have been for 23 years, this is no doubt one of the cleanest fishing methods in the Caribbean to date. Example; (l) there is no by-catch (2) you are not going to shoot the spear gun at a anything that might cause damage to the spear (costing average $ 40 - $ 60 a shaft) (3) If diving you are on a limited amount of time to catch the species your after. Example; If diving in 100 feet of water you have about 15 - 20 minutes to shoot reload and shoot again, if your good you might get three chances, because after all you can miss. Everyone thinks fish are just going to sit there after you shoot the one next to him! I don't think so, so now you reload and the chase is on for number two. You figure the rest out! Spear guns don't Kill fish, People Kill fish. Do not regulate the gear, regulate the man using the gear.”


Summary of scoping meetings on annual catch limits acls and accountability measures ams

Action 13: Establish Framework Measures for ACLs and AMs in the Reef Fish FMP

  • Alternative 1. No Action. Do not establish a framework for ACLs and AMs

  • Alternative 2. Establish a framework procedure for setting and adjusting ACLs and AMs

    • Comment: Preferred by free divers and 1 commercial fisher from Puerto Rico

    • “Comment: I must point out my previous comment in section 4.11 and I quote, if we do not improve monitoring and include privately contracted fisherman in this process like is done in other states. Example Alaska receives federal money annually to monitor Salmon stocks and they use that information to adjust their ACL Accountability Measures. Then we will have wasted all this time for nothing, and it just won't matter what amount you put for an ACL if fishers are not involved in the process they will not respect the regulations. Sounds familiar that is because it happens every day right now.”


Comments summary

Comments: Summary

  • STT – No Action in all 13 Actions, Alternatives and sub-alternatives (STFA represents xx commercial fishers)

  • STT: 1 for table the actions

  • NO Closed Areas

  • Use of the data (socioeconomics, etc.)

  • No new data and no determination of effectiveness of recently implemented compatible regulations

  • No re-evaluation of the status after the implementation of the SFA in 2005; ciguatera; escape vents

  • STXFA–limited entry; evaluate the FMPs in place (seasnoal closures, area closures, etc.)

  • STX – other issues (development, sewage)


Cfmc comments

CFMC Comments:


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