The other day a seiner caught 72 giant under the name of legality in the Cape Cod Bay, MA.
Here is a post on the other site.
A Seiner (the “Diane Marie”) made a set today in Cape Cod Bay and wrapped up 72 giant and medium size Bluefin Tuna in it’s net (as well as some undersize dead discards). To put it in perspective, there hasn’t been 72 giants caught by rod and reel or harpoon in the last 2-3 years (or more) in Cape Cod Bay.
This was a huge blow to the handful of us fisherman who have been fishing the Bay this year as well as the small fleet of boats drifting bluefish off Peaked Hill. Some guys have been fishing hard, drifting bluefish all season long and they’ve only caught “one or two” fish while many have caught “none”. One experienced commercial boat has been drifting bluefish for 40 days and hasn’t caught a single fish. The harpoon boats have only stuck a handful of fish. When we finally had a body of fish move in, this Seiner wrapped up more than the total catch from the Bay in years, on it’s second day in the Bay this year...
This boat has the size and capacity to fish anywhere from here to the Hague Line, unlike the small 30-40 ft “day boats” which have a limited range. No other commercial vessels of it’s size are allowed to operate in the Bay due to “Coastal Access” size restrictions. The boat in question spends the rest of it’s time scalloping offshore in areas that the smaller scallop boats can’t operate in. Due to it’s massive size it’s not allowed in the bay to scallop yet it can seine tuna in the bay?
A lot of guys have spent a lot of money to tuna fish commercialy this year. They spent a lot of money on boat maintenance, dockage, fuel and tackle that all goes to support the local economy. This Seiner is registered out of state, the crew lives out of state, they don’t even contribute to our local economy yet they are allowed to come into “state waters” (Cape Cod Bay being ecologically unique) and rape what little fish are around at the cost of the local fisherman scraping to make a living while contributing to the local economy?
There were no fish around this year (giants) except for a small window in the spring but those fish moved on. There was a handful of fish in the bay this season supporting the local fishery and contributing to the local economy yet this boat had to come in a squash what little fish there were? I think you can all see what’s wrong with this picture.
Last year the Seiner’s were not allowed in Cape Cod Bay for good reason.. This year was supposed to follow suit and assurances were made but NMFS dropped the ball. This is a problem that will persist (look at the damage "one seiner" did in "one day" in the bay) until the Seiners are banned from Cape Cod Bay and it will take pressure from all those concerned.
Those that are concerned need to contact the director of NMFS, Paul J. Diodati and voice your concern on the matter.