noaa bft esa public hearings sandy hook new jersey on 1 5 2011 prepared by john logioco n.
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NOAA / BFT ESA Public Hearings Sandy Hook, New Jersey on 1/5/2011 Prepared by John LoGioco PowerPoint Presentation
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NOAA / BFT ESA Public Hearings Sandy Hook, New Jersey on 1/5/2011 Prepared by John LoGioco. Aggregate Sample # BFT Per Year. ~22%. ~57%. Typical upward YOY trend line for BFT recreational fishermen ~22% increase last two years Sample taken from several most active NJ charter boats

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noaa bft esa public hearings sandy hook new jersey on 1 5 2011 prepared by john logioco
NOAA / BFT ESA Public Hearings

Sandy Hook, New Jersey on 1/5/2011

Prepared by John LoGioco

slide2

Aggregate Sample # BFT Per Year

~22%

~57%

  • Typical upward YOY trend line for BFT recreational fishermen
  • ~22% increase last two years
  • Sample taken from several most active NJ charter boats
  • ~ 90% Released and/or Tagged
canyon runner
Canyon Runner
  • 2007 – 2009 NJ Fishery only
  • 2010 - Includes New Jersey and Carolina catch totals
    • # BFT New Jersey = 400, # BFT North Carolina = 200
  • Data Submitted by Adam LaRosa and Capt. Mark DeBlasio
canyon runner1
Canyon Runner

2010 Avg #/Trip:

8.7 BFT

  • Several Year Classes Making Up 2010 NJ Fishery
  • Size of fish changed through Summer/Fall (smaller to larger)
  • Represents majority of BFT sizes caught
canyon runner2
Canyon Runner
  • NJ - 60 Miles = Highest QTY
  • NJ Inshore fishery strong
  • NJ Larger fish furthest out
canyon runner north carolina fishery
Canyon Runner – North Carolina Fishery
  • Pinnacle fishery (200 BFT Caught)
  • 2010 Avg # Per trip = 11.7 BFT
  • All large fish 65” – 72”
  • Lowest CPUE (Catch Per Unit Effort) - close to shore, large fish, high QTY
andreas toy n j
Andreas Toy – N.J.
  • YOY Increasing catch trend line
  • Avg # BFT / Trip: (8) 2009/2010, (4) 2007/2008
  • 2008 saw on average larger fish
  • Data submitted by Capt. Freddy Gamboa
benchmark sportfishing nj
Benchmark Sportfishing, NJ
  • 1.) & 2.) In general I feel the stocks of Bluefin tuna have improved in the 12 years as a charter captain, the last 3 years in particular have been oustanding. The amount of bait, in particular sand eels I have noticed to be abundant at times from less than 20 miles up to 72 miles out of Manasquan inlet in any direction. We have also encountered just in the last few years a large amount of Bluefin sighted while fishing for striped bass within 3 miles of the beach on just about every trip from the last week of October until the second week of December depending on the water temps. We did not pursue or try to catch a Bluefin but at times they were mixed in with the schools of bass and bait throughout the day. During the 2010 season we began tagging seriously for the first time the weather was tough and only allowed us get in 8 out of 21 bluefin trips we had scheduled but the numbers were surprisingly good. Every trip except for one we kept our over and under fish and we had a grand total of 65 out of 73 hooked fish brought to boat side, 50 of those fish were tagged and released alive.
  • 3, I have several theories as to why the fishing or abundance of Bluefin seems to have improved over the last few years. 1, Abundance of bait, if you have bait the fish will not be far behind them. 2. The canyon has been a little slow from 2008 on so maybe we just finally noticed what we passed over for years. 3. cycles, I have noticed several fisheries go through natural or maybe un natural cycles that have made fishing better or worse over the years. 4. clarity of the water has been better compared to previous years.
  • 4. Over the last 3 years We have had good Bluefin fishing in our area from Barnegat ridge up to the oil wreck and all the way out and through the glory hole, chicken canyon, and just west of theHhudson canyon.
  • 5. We have had a variety of sizes of Bluefin in recent years, this past year 2010 we had a 58" fish and then a 25" fish followed by a constant bite of 35-38 inch fish for a couple of hours. I noticed at 54-65 miles out we would encounter mainly 40-50lb fish, at 65 miles we had mainly bigger fish 65-100lbs but as we got into late September this is where we ended up having sizes ranging from 20 pounds to 100lbs in the same area.
  • 6. I now wish we had started tagging a few years ago but based on this past seasons numbers I have come up with a fairly accurate number of fish that we have caught, tagged and released since 2008.
  • (2008) 108 total, 22 retained, 86 released, 18 trips
  • (2009) 168 total, 29 retained, 139 released 21 trips
  • (2010) 65 total, 15 retained, 50 released, 8 trips
    • Capt Nick Neuberg
    • Benchmark Sportfishing Charters, LLC.
    • 732-851-5103 office
slide9

Coastal Charters Sportfishing, Portsmouth RI

  • 1. What are your general impressions of the abundance and distributionof Atlantic bluefin tuna over time?  Over the past 10 seasons both as a mate and as a captain in the charter industry, I have targeted bluefin from south of Block Island to north of Gloucester, and most coastal areas in between 2-40 miles offshore. I also commercially fished on vessels routinely running 80-140 miles offshore. At every point from shore to the submarine canyons in 1000 fathoms plus I have seen bluefin in numbers over the seasons.  Over the past 6 seasons in particular starting with 2004, we have noticed a steady increase in the numbers of school tuna, in particular a certain year class which we have now watched grow from 36 inches or so to just about 70 inches. The past 2 seasons we have seen a very large mix of year classes visiting the near shore areas, with a good mix of small sub 27" bft off Block Island, to a good crop of healthy 40-60 inch fish also being seen and caught regularly. This is my small area of the range of BFT along the US coast, at times when positive catch reports from widely dispersed ports shows their range to be quite extensive throughout the temporal range of May-Dec. when they are primarily targeted by rod and reel.2. If you have experienced a decline or increase in bluefin tuna catcheswhat do you attribute this to (abundance, distribution, availability,gear changes, regulatory effects, etc.)? I have experienced a serious increase of school tuna over the past 5 season in particular, in the same areas where we used to see far fewer in years past. This is a direct result of the Western BFT stock management, at a great sacrifice and cost to US and Canadian fisherman, which is in line with the recent ICCAT and over international asessment as well. The BFT appears to be on a good course to recovery, given its wide distribution and fecundity as a species.3. Are there particular areas where you typically encounter largernumbers of bluefin tuna? Yes, Each season we see large numbers of bluefin from near shore waters along RI sound, south and east of Cape Cod, Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bay, up through Ipswich bay and north to the Hague line primarily within 5 miles of land out to about 30 miles south of the Cape. My unique perspective also has shown large schools of both school sized as well as giant bluefin tuna in the far eastern waters along the shelf and on George's bank. In this past season while commercially giant fishing 140 NM east of Provincetown, MA we witnessed large schools of small and medium bluefin at the surface for hours while near shore waters reported fewer numbers due to the very hot water temperatures experienced early in the season.4. If so, where are they (e.g., inshore or offshore)? See above5. Do these areas change on an annual basis? Absolutely, from day to day even throughout any given season. The abundance of forage species plays the biggest role, but also water conditions and even atmospheric influences. In the areas south of RI and the Cape, the bluefin will range over great distances, following ideal water temperatures and bait abundance. Along the outer cape and up through southern NH, each season the fish are present in substantial numbers, you simply have to move around with them in order to account for there whereabouts on any given day. Never mind the vast water few boats transit or work in where they are known to travel and feed.6. What is the average size of bluefin tuna being caught by different geartypes or fisheries? As I only fish hand gear in both the general and angling category, I can only speak of the catch from a rod and reel perspective. While targeting giant tuna over 73", the methods employed and the size of the baits used usually discourage any smaller fish from getting captured. Because we fish circle hooks, it is extremely easy to free a sub-legal sized fish under 73" CFL without ever removing them from the water. The past few seasons we have seen a great increase in 70-90 inch fish available to us in near shore fisheries, and the past 2 seasons a real good push of fish over 100" and 600 pounds.  The recreational fish we target and catch range from tiny 25" models off RI to upwards of 70" over the past 3 seasons. In years past, these fish did not roam regularly in the waters as they have recently.7. Has this changed over the time that you have been fishing for bluefintuna? see above8. What other information can you share with us that you believe isrelevant to the review of the status of bluefin tuna? (Please focus yourresponse on pertinent information on the status of the species thatneeds to be considered in the status review and not on the petition).  Over the past 3 seasons in October every year we have seen great numbers of bluefin ranging from 55"-65" caught in 50-100 fathoms while trying to fish commercially for yellowfin. These fish are never reported as they aren't recorded on any catch sheets as they aren't retained by the commercial vessels. At that time of year there are very few recreational boats fishing, so very few are landed. In the 2008 season, on 3 separate trips spanning 20 calendar days, we were unable to fish from Veatch canyon to West Atlantis canyon as it was covered with bluefin out along the canyon edges at 70 fathoms all the way out to 1000 fathoms. The area we encountered them in was staggering, traveling 45 miles east to west one evening looking for fishable water. At every stop, almost as soon as we dropped baits in the water we had bluefin swimming in the lights eating cut up chunks of buttterfish.
  • Capt. Domenic PetrarcaCoastal Charters Sportfishing63 Ormerod Ave. Portsmouth, RI 02871401-862-0358 / 401-207-4095www.coastalcharterssportfishing.com
slide10

Patterson Guide Service, Bristol RI

QUESTIONS:1. What are your general impressions of the abundance and distribution of Atlantic bluefin tuna over time? There has been a steady increase of new class Tuna over the past three years.  I have seen more 20-80 lb fish appear earlier and stay longer in Cape Cod (Wood End Beach area and Naussett).  Last year’s slot fish has grown and now appear individually as large school tuna.  We saw this increase starting in 2009.  Fish were more spread out this year versus last year, but in 2008 they were again congregated.  Pattern?2. If you have experienced a decline or increase in bluefin tuna catches what do you attribute this to (abundance, distribution, availability, gear changes, regulatory effects, etc.)? While environmental factors play a role in the number of fishermen going for tuna (weather, financial cost), the other regulation of monitoring the illegal sale of tuna directly to restaurants has also been a factor in decreasing the high kill rate.  There has also been an increase in bait fish in the fishing area longer. Sand eels stayed much longer this year and in higher numbers while half beaks decreased in the Cape Cod area.  From the Fairway buoy to Cox ledge, there used to be a transient amount of tuna, while this year, they stayed much longer, while the bait was still in the area.Gear has been developed extensively for tuna fishermen over the past few years.  While we have slot limits in place and with the number of light tackle fishermen, the amount of treble hooks on tuna have increased.  With the number of break offs, the fish would have a better chance of feeding (and shaking the single hook) versus having a treble.  This should be a mandatory change with the number of break offs reported this year.  

Total catch decreased this year by charter captains due to the decrease in bookings with the regulation changes.  I personally did 27% less tuna charters this year versus 2009.  The slot size definitely impacted catch rates.3. Are there particular areas where you typically encounter larger numbers of bluefin tuna? There were less tuna inside Cape Cod bay this year (2010), but larger numbers on Stellwagon Bank and off Chatham.  From June to July, most tuna encountered were from Provincetown to Naussett.  Over the past three years, most of the tuna my charters have seen have been following the three mile line around Provincetown.4. If so, where are they (e.g., inshore or offshore)? 3 miles to 6 miles off shore for Provincetown to Stellwagon5. Do these areas change on an annual basis? Yes, based upon the bait supply and tides. Slack tide produces larger numbers of fish on Stellwagon, while incoming tides produce more fish closer to shore.  As the bait gets pushed out with the outgoing tides, we have seen tuna out for 12 miles northeast of Naussett beach.6. What is the average size of bluefin tuna being caught by different gear types or fisheries? Most of the fish caught this year were 55 to 65 inches via rod and reel.  There were many break offs of larger fish this year (but also an increase in smaller fish).  As noted above, there were a larger amount of smaller fish seen this year closer to shore (20-80 lbs).  Due to the large number of "lost fish",  Fishermen either need to increase their gear, get a charter captain to teach them or eliminate the slot size and make it one fish per boat per day for all categories.  That many fish with trebles in their mouth will not help the survival rate post release.

7. Has this changed over the time that you have been fishing for bluefintuna? There have been more light tackle fishermen over the past 5 years.  There has also been an increase in live liners going for giants. I don’t believe this impacts the fishery due to their low catch rate per day. The amount of school tuna has increased over the past three years while last years slot fish has dispersed to random giants.8. What other information can you share with us that you believe is relevant to the review of the status of bluefin tuna? (Please focus your response on pertinent information on the status of the species that needs to be considered in the status review and not on the petition).In 2010, my season started on June 12.  June 15th, we saw fish in the usual spots off Provincetown, MA with 2 break offs.  June 16, they were off Naussett, again, normal activity.  June 19th, Naussett again with a slot size tuna that was released. This activity continued through July with both large and small fish from Wood end beach to STellwagon with two more fish that were broken off during the fight.  High temperatures and low bait in August to September did lower the amount of fish seen.  Many people had to travel north to find fish.  As the temperatures and the wind patterns stabilized (many more days with North winds this year) and we returned to the southwest winds, the fish did return to the stellwagon bank area for a productive fall.Tally for 2010 was a total of 11 tuna caught on my charters with on one kept (55 inches).  We had one tagged fish and the rest broke off during the fight.2009, we had a total of 14 fish landed, 2 tagged and 7 lost during the fight.

  • Capt. Brain Patterson
  • Phone :  401-396-9464
  • Email : PattersonGuideService@yahoo.com
slide11

Contact: John LoGioco

Email: savethebluefintuna@gmail.com

Web: www.savethebluefintuna.com

Phone: 917-721-4061

Address: 81 Oak Place, Fair Haven, NJ 07704