A View from Here

Bill's Sisson's weekly Trade Only blog

‘Fatally flawed’ science killing America’s No. 1 pastime

A 2004 report by the National Research Council (NRC) titled Improving the Use of the “Best Scientific Information Available” Standard in Fisheries Management called on the National Marine Fisheries Service to implement important guidelines for use of scientific information in preparing fishery management plans. The NRC report went on to state that “anecdotal” information like that available from the recreational fishing industry in terms of fuel and tackle sales as examples should be acknowledged and evaluated during the scientific process, particularly in terms of helping validate other sources of information currently being used to survey the recreational harvest of coastal fishes.

Nearly five years after the NRC’s official results proved that the current approach to statistical analysis in the recreational sector is wrought with “serious flaws in design or implementation” and uses “inadequate analysis methods that need to be addressed immediately,” the National Marine Fisheries Service is still using the same “fatally flawed” data as the “best available” science within the recreational sector.

As the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) points out, when you couple this faulty science with arbitrary rebuilding deadlines required under federal law, it’s a recipe for disaster that’s denying anglers access to America’s No. 1 outdoor pastime while leading to a financial collapse within coastal communities nationwide.

The federal fisheries service’s inability to implement these congressionally mandated changes coming from the scientific community is having a grave impact on the entire marine industry. As boat, motor and marine manufacturers and dealers weather the continuing economic storm, the RFA warns it’s time to brace for a new round of gloomy NOAA advisories.

Click here for the full text of Hutchinson’s position paper/treatise.

Jim Hutchinson Jr.
Managing director
Recreational Fishing Alliance


4 comments on “‘Fatally flawed’ science killing America’s No. 1 pastime

  1. Sunshine State

    Many days pass without reader comment—-the subject is either over the heads of most,or perhaps those interested in the subject look to material offering more depth.

  2. David Alan

    The real truth is that the “stakeholders” in the process, ie: everyone EXCEPT those for whom this is intended to serve/protect, make every attempt to obfuscate, avoid sunlight, schedule meetings in remote areas and at inconvenient times, etc all in a attempt to move the process forward without pesky intervention by “the people”. Unfortunately, our industry trade organizations are too busy feathering their own nests to actually do what we pay them to do -represent us. Hello NMMA, NMEA, et al

  3. Reach

    How many times can you beat your head against the wall with no success ?

    The so-called conservationists think that they are saving the world, and no one
    will dissuade them from their absurd and erroneous ways of thinking.

    These are people who don’t hunt or fish, don’t boat or camp, but plant flowers galore and
    house several cats, try to save every derelict dog, and want us all to call fish sea kittens.

    They are well funded and have the politicians ears b/c they donate oodles of money
    to their campaigns. It seems inconceivable that we will lose our rights to fishing, but
    our rights are being eroded. The die has been cast, and by the time most Americans
    realize what has occurred, every fishing rod in the country will be snapped in half over
    some administrator’s knee in an irreversible debacle.

    We are watching it happen as we type these observations. The Magnuson-Stevens act,
    although well intentioned, was the start. It has become written in stone and the
    enemies of fishing and hunting have this law on their side. It’s not easy to fight
    federal law, or to point out that maybe some aspects of this law are wrong.

  4. Jim Miller

    jimmiller5417 wrote:
    Sep 24th 2010 8:19 GMT
    re: The carp tsar’s struggle
    1. The budget struggle. The main issue is not Asian carp but how much money can be sucked out of Congress and added to the Federal agencies and state agencies and NPO’s budgets. The Asian Carp Crisis only will be solved when the Carp Czar finds the solution and directs funding for that solution. More studies, testing and killing native fish are not solutions but serve only to balloon budgets.
    2. The solution. There is only one reasonably good (not perfect) solution, and that is to depopulate the Asian Carp on a commercial, wholesale basis. The Asian carp are “top” feeders, not “bottom” feeders. Their flesh is very good and some cuts can command $15.00 per pound. They have large rib bones, easy to remove when the fillet or steak is cooked. There is a modest Asian Carp fishing industry in Illinois, using local skiff-based fisherfolks and gill nets. The Mississippi River Basin national waters is huge and a few skiffs will hardly make a dent in the Asian Carp population. The solution is to build a fleet of ships, specially designed to catch large quantities of Asian carp. Such a fleet exists on paper (actually on my hard disk). Take a look at the Carp Catchers Cooperative website: http://carpcatchersco-op.wetpaint.com. Then send me an email of your comments.
    Jim Miller

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