Spiny Lobster Survey for Potential Improved Catch

Discussion in 'Lobster Fishing' started by lobsterboy, May 5, 2014.

  1. lobsterboy

    lobsterboy Member

    May 5, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    Hi everyone,

    I am currently a Masters' student (and lobster fisherman) at CSUMB and am doing my research on spiny lobsters. I have created a survey to gauge if lobster recreational fishers are willing to pay a one-time fee for a chance to improve lobster populations, and therefore, lobster catch.

    I have the survey pasted below. Please fill it out and email it back to me at swindell@csumb.edu if you have the time. It should only take ten minutes

    I am very curious to see what you all think, and whether this could fly in real life.

    Happy fishing!

    The following survey is aimed at finding out about recreational fishers' support and their willingness to pay an increased recreational spiny lobster report card fee in order to fund a lobster conservation project in Southern California. We will share some of this information in reports for a class project and with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. We will keep participants' answers anonymous.

    1. For how long have you been lobster fishing?

    2. What is your level of education? (underline one)

    high school graduate or GED/ some college/ college graduate/
    some graduate school/ graduate degree

    3. About how much do you earn annually? (underline one)

    less than $15,000/ $15,001- $50, 000/
    $50,001 - $100, 000/ greater than $100,000

    Now we wish to know your support for a proposed lobster fisheries management project. We will describe it as objectively as possible and wish for you to consider this as a real life scenario. We want to know if you would be willing to pay a one-time recreational lobster report card fee increase in order to fund the following project:

    To help reduce commercial fishing pressure on spiny lobster we are considering purchasing several commercial lobster fishing permits. Commercial lobster fishing permits range between $50,000 and $100,000. While no new permits are issued into this fishery, existing permits can be transferred to new owners. On average 30,000 recreational lobster fishing licenses are sold per year, and a $10 increase would allow us to have a purchasing power of $300,000, buying out between 3 – 6 commercial permits. Stopping this portion of the commercial fleet, which in recent years has landed 13,000 – 26,500 lobsters per season, may leave this amount available for fishing. There are also pending regulations that will limit the number of traps that each commercial vessel can set, which will increase the likelihood that this type of permit buy-out would amount to less fishing pressure.

    Reducing the commercial lobster fleet by this amount could benefit you, the recreational lobster fisher, by immediately making additional lobster available for recreational fishers, or by leaving additional lobsters in the environment which can increase their population size, leading to improved fishing for years to come. This increase in available lobsters may end up being localized to a particular area, but juvenile lobsters are transported by currents, so an increase in lobsters in one area can support higher populations elsewhere.

    It is important to remember, however, that 3 to 6 commercial vessels represent only a small portion of the total commercial catch and there is no way to guarantee the benefits will be experienced by recreational fishers. It is likely that removing some of the commercial fleet could benefit other permit holding commercial fishers by increasing their catch.

    Now we are going to ask you if you are willing to pay to buy out these commercial permits. This information may be used to inform policy and potentially impact future decision making on recreational license pricing.

    4. How much in addition to your current spiny lobster report card fee would you be willing to pay in order to fund the aforementioned project?

    5. If you wrote $0, please explain why:

    6. Do you believe that the commercial license buy-out project described above would benefit you or other recreational fishermen through improved fishing?

    7. Do you believe that the commercial license buy-out project described above would benefit California spiny lobster populations or the broader ecosystem?

    8. Were any portions of the above survey unclear? If so, what portion is confusing or vague?

    Thank you for your participation. Please email this completed survey to swindell@csumb.edu

  2. Paul the Great

    Paul the Great Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    1. I have been lobster fishing for 11 seasons.

    2. I have a AA/AS, BS.

    3. I earn over 100k a year.

    4. I would pay ZERO extra to your experiment.

    5. WHY? Because you propose taking away the livelihood of a working man trying to support a family by fishing. You propose one of the most disgusting ways to knee cap a guy and his career. Buying permits out from under him? Im not a commercial lobster fisherman, nor do I earn a penny from fishing, but I can see through this scam. Any experiment to take money/jobs away from honest working men is a shameful idea. Your plan isn't even to increase the lobster fishery, its to make the recreational fishery better for fishermen while eliminating commercial fishermen. If you took 3 to 6 permits away from the fleet of commercial anglers, the volume of lobster caught would not go down, and nor would the recreational volume caught go up for guys, the other commercial guys would just catch the lobsters available by missing 3 to 6 commercial vessels fishing for them. The majority of recreational fishermen don't even fish where the commercial guys fish. The lobsters don't move from the commercial grounds (nearshore outside of the kelp) to the recreational areas (bays, piers, harbors).

    Currently there are groups like yours who apply for big game tags and then receive the tag and throw them in the trash in an effort to save the deer or elk or whatever big game animal they can save. When in reality, if there are 100 hunters taking 30 animals, and now 50 tags have been unused by green tree hugging hippies, the hunters odds go up, because now there are 30 deer for 50 hunters. The same amount of deer get shot, its just better odds and less pressure in the woods.

    6 and 7. It makes no difference what I believe or what anyone believes. Fish and Game laws are in place to allow a healthy and bountiful fishery and game rich environment. These laws are generally posted after a scientific survey has been completed.

    Some laws are simply knee jerk reaction to cute and pretty animals being killed, for example, the Mountain Lion in California. This animal was never endangered, never an over hunted animal, it was just an animal that a certain number of hippies decided was too pretty to kill, so the state of California bit off and pandered to this special interest group. If you don't believe me, look it up. You can also listen to the most recent Fish and Wildlife Officer interview I conducted with Lt. Patrick Foy, from Wild Justice, speaking of this exact issue. This episode will go live in August on www.worldsgreatestfishing.com.

    By the way, taking out 3 to 6 commercial permits simply so "more recreational anglers" can catch the non-commercial caught lobsters doesn't make the lobster fishery any better. In your model, the same amount of lobster will be caught or taken, just not by the commercial guys.

    If you want 300k to buy commercial lobster permits, go ask the head of the MLPA, the Humane Society, and other tree hugging groups. They would love to give you money and prevent the poor souls of lobsters being harvested by the commercial angler. Don't ask the recreational fisherman for his money to help you not allow a commercial guy to work.

    Why don't you go ask all the commercial guys to pitch in and take the permits away from their fellow competition? Im sure they would rather have 3 to 6 less commercial boats working the same areas? Im sure they will jump all over this one.

    In conclusion, taking away permits, creating a new lobster conservation measure, asking for extra money from recreational anglers to shut down any portion of lobster fishing, is a hard no from me.

    Im curious if you have asked the commercial guys to pitch in 10 bucks to buy all the recreational lobster cards so that there can be a better commercial catch? Play one group against the other, why not? Obviously there is no limit to the amount of recreational permits, but you could show the DFW that too many recreational permits are being handed out and you could prevent that amount and help the lobsters.

    Leave guys alone. Quit asking for money to shut down lobster fishing.
  3. gatorfan

    gatorfan USN BMC (ret)
    SDFish VIP

    Jun 23, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Chula Vista
    Well said P-t-G. I'm glad I read your response before I replied! I was going to write something very similar with regards to the deer tag issue. I have heard from several people that is indeed what happened to a big number of tags.

    And Lobsterboy, what the hell do the answers to the first three questions have to do with lobster fishing?
  4. CrazyDonkey

    SDFish VIP

    May 19, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    When Paul the Great posts it's bound to be good. All good points made and the "program" makes no sense.
  5. Saintwho

    Saintwho Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    best thread on sdfish,
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