Latest Update (Aug 28, 2014)
Here is the link to the preliminary red snapper reporting results.
(Click on the link below the logo)
Jeri Park, Biologist Aide
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Marine Resources Division
Hello My Friends and Fisherman,
Today I forwarded to our entire distribution list, as well as Dauphin Island Marina’s facebook page, a letter in support of adding a little bit of administrivia to what is otherwise considered by some a great passion, a fun hobby and a challenging sport. The DCNR needs our help. We need to help ourselves. The entire fishing community needs to become involved! I know fishing and reporting are as far on opposite ends of the spectrum as it gets. Doing a report is office work, however if you had the access to the charter skippers that I have and spent the time that I have as a marina owner trying to understand what is happening between the Commercial fisherman, the National Marine Fisheries and the segment that the rest of us (private boats and boats for hire or charter boats) are in, you would understand the need for a real grass roots effort. If you read the letter posted this AM, it refers to a reporting requirement upon return from fishing where red snapper have been caught. Perhaps something similar to reporting the deer harvested during this most recent hunting season, or maybe something as easy as a free application on a smart phone “i-snapper”, to document your catch. But, it is important to understand that there is no guaranty this will eliminate the struggle between all the parties involved in this dispute. As most of you know the entire snapper catch number is split into two parts. 51 % of the total catch allocation goes to Commercial fisherman, 49% is allocated to the recreational sector, which is the for hire boats “Charter Boats” and all of the rest of the folks that go buy a fishing license and keep their boat in a marina or on a trailer and fish when they can.
As this morning’s posting discusses someone has to try to track these landings, in order to know when the sector has caught the total pounds of their allocation. At best, and the conservation officers would be first to admit this as fact, the surveys that are being performed cannot accommodate every fisherman and therefore the numbers are extrapolated to create a catch pounds number. But at least they try and are using a number based on real sampling of fisherman. On the other hand the National Marine Fisheries (NMFs for short), in my humble opinion, is more along the line of witchcraft. That’s probably a little hard, but either way you must see the urgency that I speak about. We must take on this challenge to be in control of our ability to fish in the future. If we allow them to continue to cut our fishing seasons shorter and shorter on their data alone, shame on us. If we are not willing to take an xtra 10 minutes to text a report on a great day of fishing, we don’t deserve to call ourselves sportsman. The State guys need our help in order to push this reporting process which will begin to create some accurate data.
I need each of you to copy the letter or just send your agreement on this effort to create the reporting process to the commissioner’s office via note, letter, email , text or fax.
This is not just about a fish, this is about a way of life and the right of sportsman to participate in the management of his and her passion! Take action now!!
Dauphin Island Marina