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janbfishinfolk
11-11-2007, 08:16 AM
Now the Commercial Crab boats are asking the Governor to close Dungeness to Sport Fishing. We need to step up and say no to this obvious ploy by the commercial fishing industy to protect their profits. Sniffers write the Governor at http://gov.ca.gov/interact or watch your rights be determined by the those who want to keep you out.

Cal.Kellogg
11-11-2007, 11:22 AM
I think you are jumping the gun....from what I've heard the commercials want the season rolled back until the crabs are safe to eat...They don't want the bad press that would go along with a bunch of private guys eating contaminated crab......It would stick in peoples minds that crabs are contaminated and they would not buy them even after the danger has passed....Let's not condem anyone before we have all the facts.....We stand to lose some fun days on the water, the commercials stand to loose a lot more....This is how they earn a living, pay their bills and buy their homes....

janbfishinfolk
11-13-2007, 06:55 AM
I am shocked and amazed by your position. Are not the majority of Fishsniffers sport anglers and Party Boat owners? A closure would shut down sport crabbing in areas not effected by the spill. What real difference is there between this and the 2001 rockfish closure.


A Virtual Declaration Of War On California's Sport Fishermen

By: Dan Bacher
December 12, 2001


In a virtual declaration of war on California's sport fishermen, the Fish and Game Commission at its meeting in Long Beach on December 7 approved draconian regulations reducing an already dramatically shortened sport fishing season for rockfish and lingcod.

The Commission voted to accept the Department of Fish and Game's recommendation that the rockfish season in the central rockfish management area, from a line near Cape Mendocino to Point Conception, be closed for eight months (March through June and September throughout December). This would leave rockfish anglers with the unprecedented season of only four months.

The Commission also closed the southern rockfish management area for four months, January-February and November-December. This leaves southern California anglers with an eight month groundfish season.

The adopted regulations also alter the months during which fishing for nearshore rockfish is allowed in waters less than 20 fathoms (120 feet) deep. The Commission closed the central management area during March, April, November and December "to prevent increased harvest rates of nearshore fish, which could result from the offshore shelf closure." The Commission also closed the nearshore fishery in the southern management area during January, February, November and December when the shelf fisheries are closed.


The proposed regulations are part of the DFG's 2002 sport fishing regulations package that the Commission adopted, in spite of widespread protests by recreational anglers. The recommended changes to the state's ocean sport fishing regulations were prompted by action taken in November by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) that lowered the allowable take of rockfish in federal waters, according to the DFG.

"It's important that California's regulations comply with the federal restrictions because these fish inhabit both state and federal waters," said LB Boydston, DFG's intergovernmental affairs representative, who is also the state's representative on the PFMC.

The only concession to sport anglers was that the Commission decided that if fish populations do well on the Central Coast, the Commission could reopen sport fishing in November and December.

"The Department will continue to monitor nearshore rockfish catches in the central area and may consider recommending a late season regulation change if additional fishing opportunities can be afforded in that area," said Boydston.

The new regulations also restrict anglers to the take and possession of two lingcod and two shelf rockfish in waters less than 20 fathoms deep feet during May, June, September and October, when fishing is open in nearshore waters and the offshore shelf fishery is closed.

The DFG said that the PFMC's actions and the changes to California sport fishing regulations are designed to help "build overfished stocks" of bocaccio, canary, cowcod and yelloweye rockfish, and lingcod. Populations of long lived shelf species like canary, cowcod, and yelloweye rockfish may take 80 to 100 years to rebuild.

However, there is little indication that these new regulations will do anything to restore the rockfish and groundfish populations, since sport fishing did not cause the problem in the first place. Years of heavy gill netting, intensive long line fishing and the creation of the highly destructive live fish fishery along the coast are the cause of the current decline, not sport fishing pressure.

Bob Strickland, president of United Anglers of California, urged the Commission to take special action on the commercial live rockfish fishery rather than restricting an already hard hit recreational fishing community. He was particularly concerned that the Commission's decision to restrict recreational anglers was based on a decision by the PFMC to reallocate 18 metric tons of nearshore rockfish from the recreational to the commercial fishery.

"I requested that the traps and sticks be taken out of the near shore fishery and that the recreational anglers get their sustainable fishery first, with the commercials only getting what's left," said Strickland. "They can't keep taking the amount of fish that are being taken now. They must not continue to catch and destroy bycatch species at current levels."

"Why are we only allowed to fish the shelf for four months," Strickland pleaded. "Who created this shortage of fish? It wasn't the recreational fishermen who pillaged the sea, since we have almost no by-catch."

Strickland emphasized that California Statute 7055(c) mandates that sport fishermen be given first priority over commercial fishermen in getting access to a fishery. "Where a species is the object of sportfishing, a sufficient resource shall be maintained to support a reasonable sport use, taking into consideration the necessity of regulating individual sport fishery bag limits to the quantity that is sufficient to provide a satisfying sport," the statute reads.

Recreational anglers generate significantly more to the economy than commercial fishermen. In California, more than 2 million license holders spend $791 million in expenditures generating more than $1.8 billion each year. Over 19,000 jobs directly related to saltwater fishing account for $500 million in salaries and wages, according to the American Sportfishing Association.

However, the Commission and PFMC approved the severe regulation package in spite of pleas to common sense and science by Strickland and other anglers. December 7 was truly a "day of infamy" in the lives of California's anglers.

It is clear that California anglers must unite to pass legislation that places a moratorium on all commercial fishing for rockfish in California waters until the population rebuilds to historical levels. I don't believe in the "sharing of the pain" theory; the brunt of the regulatory process must be put on the commercial fleet, who under encouragement by the state and federal governments, plundered rockfish and lingcod fisheries for decades.

We must follow the lead of anglers on the East Coast who have restored the redfish and striped bass populations by banning commercial fishing. Only by making rockfish and lingcod sport-only fisheries can rockfish populations finally recover from years of rampant destruction by commercial gill nets, trawls, long lines, traps and stick gear.

It's too bad you don't feel the same way about this. It was never about saftey it was always about the money.

Cal.Kellogg
11-13-2007, 09:17 AM
Once again you are speculating....Dan and I are getting all the latest information and there has been no decision on whether or not there will be a closure and what the boundaries of such a closure might be....Comparing this to the rockfish closure is a weak argument...The rockfish closure whether we agree with it or not was an attempt to bolster fish populations....so they say.....The crab closure if there is to be one is based protecting public health.....Once again the commericals are not worried about a limited number of sport guys impacting thier scores....they are worried about some sport guys getting sick from bad crab and creating a lot of negative press that effectively kills the crab market when commercial fishing is able to begin....

twoelk48
11-13-2007, 06:08 PM
Sorry Fish Writter the day commercial guys worry about us sportfisherman will be the day when the sun rises in the west, my vote is with Jan on this one, Kent

janbfishinfolk
11-13-2007, 06:51 PM
Well it's a done deal now. *Yes us sporties will have to wait it out. *We can still fish inland to lakes and rivers. *The big hit will be to the Bait and Tackle stores as well as the Party Boat Owners. *Depending on the extent of the closures and the time those areas are closed those businesses could go belly up. *The news is all over the place right now - some stations saying the ban could lift earlier than Dec 1 - some saying no sooner possibly later. *Bodega bay reports they never saw any oil and one station said the seas are pushing the oil south now. *The lady I spoke with at a Bodega Bait felt she was between screaming and crying. No one knows yet what areas will be closed. Nothing to do but wait and see. *Hopefully the powers that be won't take too long in deciding.

With 40,000 gallons unaccounted for, the question begs what do we do about that? *Everyone agrees this was about the nastiest stuff that *could have leaked into the water. *Has it sunk to the bay floor or is it out the gate? *How do we find it and remove it? *Even though I don't fish too much in the Bay and sure can't get my boat very far out in the ocean the thought of of leaving this stuff in the water bothers me.

strmanglr
11-14-2007, 06:22 PM
Its not about the commercial crab fishermen concerned about sport crabbing one way or another. Sport crabbing has no impact as it only accounts for 1% or less of the harvest. It is about the risk of having crab lines or pots getting oiled and then the pot hauler gets oiled and then the other pots and lines get oiled, etc

Then all it takes is one crab to make it on the evening news that is oiled and there you go. These guys aren't trying to to stop sport crabbing, they are trying to be able to pay the bills this winter.

johnv50
11-14-2007, 08:38 PM
I believe you are right in that the numbers sport fishermen take are not the issue. I was wrong to believe that at first. It was the possibility that someone might eat a bad crab and drive the demand and thus the price down. That and protecting their waters from other commercial boats.

Does that make it ok for them to try and close sportfishing? Once the closure was announced they wanted it closed all the way to Mexico. Was that out of a saftey concern too?

Excluding the obvious areas actually affected by the spill they had no problem if the closure brought hardship to the Bait and tackle stores or the Party Boat Owners outside of those areas. Driving others out of business didn't matter as long as their profits were covered.

I think that's pretty cocky for a business that only contributes a fraction of what sportfishing does to the economy. If it's ok for Commercial Fishing to be your spokesman fine - it's not ok with me.

strmanglr
11-14-2007, 09:45 PM
You are mistaking the concern that the oil might contaminate seafood and making it about commercial versus us sport fishermen, when it should be an oil spill issue. So the container ship that has contaminated the whole Bay and put all the fisheries in danger, not just crab, is off the hook? Now its the commercials are trying to put sports out of business? Because they were cautious and voted to close themselves down? F&G and the Agencies would have shut down sport fishing in the affected areas anyway. They had to to protect public safety or risk getting sued.

The small local boats argued the whole area should be closed so bigger boats that normally dont fish crab in HMB or Monterey would not all congregate in one area and catch the crab they would normally get a smaller but more sustained catch from. Its not about trying to put charter boats out of business, they do not wet tank the crab so they can still fish outside state waters anyways.

Lets not always assume everything is about commercial vs sport and insteads recognize that we as fishermen have a common interest in a clean habitat the provides a sustainable and robust fishery. You have to admit crabbing has been good for sport and commercial for decades.

Commercial crabbing provides more economic revenue by far than sport crabbing. Of course sport fishng of some types are more economic than commercial, like steelhead or bass fishing, etc. And Oil spills threaten those fisheries that are sport only and those that are both like salmon and crab. The De-Watering of the Delta is a far bigger impact on salmon, crab, sturgeon, stripers, steelhead, etc than any commercial fishing is.

Dan Bacher
11-14-2007, 11:44 PM
The commercial crab fishermen voted to ask the Governor to delay the commercial crab season until December 1 and to close the recreational crab season that started on November 3 as a precaution against contaminated crabs.

Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger instead made a executive order to close ALL FISHING outside the Golden Gate from Point Reyes to Pedro Point and inside San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The amazing thing is that the closure includes areas - San Pablo Bay and south San Francisco Bay - not impacted by the spill! Many anglers, charter boat skippers and bait shop owners are outraged about the complete fishing closure in areas not contaminated by the oil spill. This makes absolutely no sense at all.

A more sensible, rational approach would be for the DFG to issue a health advisory about not consuming fish in an area contaminated by bunker fuel. However, the DFG and Schwarzenegger are not known for taking sensible, rational approaches to situations like this. Completely closing the fishing in areas not impacted by the spill serves no purpose, other than kicking anglers, already burdened by excessive rules and regulations, off the water.

strmanglr
11-15-2007, 07:58 AM
During the Exxon Valdez spill all the fisheries were closed in many districts for the whole summer. I worked for 6 weeks on a clean up boat, actually we were a Bird rescue team. Al the birds we found on the beaches were dead and we were on Afognak Island hundreds of miles away from Prince William Sound. If the Bay had a spill like the Exxon Valdez it would destroy it for years.

drstressor
11-15-2007, 08:35 AM
I was up in Prince William sound this summer. After 20 years, the herring and crab fisheries have still not recovered.

Toxic_Waste
11-15-2007, 11:57 AM
Maybe the governor saw this as a good opportunity to get a pat on the back from the anti-fishing throngs and went "overboard" on the closure.

GiveItABreak
11-15-2007, 12:16 PM
Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger instead made a executive order to close ALL FISHING outside the Golden Gate from Point Reyes to Pedro Point and inside San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. The amazing thing is that the closure includes areas - San Pablo Bay and south San Francisco Bay - not impacted by the spill! Many anglers, charter boat skippers and bait shop owners are outraged about the complete fishing closure in areas not contaminated by the oil spill. This makes absolutely no sense at all.

A more sensible, rational approach would be for the DFG to issue a health advisory about not consuming fish in an area contaminated by bunker fuel. However, the DFG and Schwarzenegger are not known for taking sensible, rational approaches to situations like this. Completely closing the fishing in areas not impacted by the spill serves no purpose, other than kicking anglers, already burdened by excessive rules and regulations, off the water.


Maybe the governor saw this as a good opportunity to get a pat on the back from the anti-fishing throngs and went "overboard" on the closure.

Or . . . maybe the commercial fisher-folks asked for it . . . ::)



State leaves some crabbing grounds open
San Francisco Chronicle – 11/15/07
By Brian Hoffman, staff writer

* * *

Many local commercial crabbers had urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for a closure extending from Point Arena in Mendocino County south to the Mexico border, to protect their waters and Dungeness market.

"We are flabbergasted," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "The decision makes sense for the recreational fishermen, but not for the commercial crabbers. There now is real potential to bring contaminated crab into the market."

Commercial crabbers were set to drop their pots today, with the start of the season tomorrow. Over the weekend, however, Crab Boat Owners Association members from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay voted to delay their season.

Grader had word this morning that at least five large commercial crabbing boats from Crescent City in Del Norte County and Oregon, some carrying as many as 1,000 crab pots, already were dropping gear over the Dungeness grounds.

Of course - why pass up an opportunity to make something political?

Dan Bacher
11-15-2007, 06:59 PM
This latest fiasco - where recreational anglers end up penalized for something they had nothing to do with - is why I always recommend caution when pushing for any more regulations or closures. The commercial fishermen asked for a crab closure in an area (Point Arena south), but didn't get that.

Instead what the Governor and DFG did was close ALL FISHING in the area impacted by the oil spill from Point Arena to Pedro Point, in San Francisco Bay and in two areas not impacted by the spill - San Pablo Bay and South San Francisco Bay. This makes absolutely no sense, but it's what the DFG and Governor chose to do.

The crab fishermen's vote to delay/close the crab season resulted in a situation where the crab fishermen didn't get what they want while recreational fishermen are prohibited from fishing sections of bay not impacted by the bunker fuel spill.

That's why, in general, I don't support any new regulations or closures, temporary or long term, for recreational anglers. We have already been so over regulated that any new regulations will further erode our fishing rights. That's why I haven't jumped on the bandwagon for striped bass slot limits, leader lengths or other further restrictions on anglers. We already have too many regulations and seasonal closures as it is - the key is for the DFG to actually enforce the existing regulations.

This is a great example of "Watch out for what you wish for" because the final result may be very different than what you intended. I hope commercial and recreational anglers will learn something from this! The whole situation with oil contamination of fish, crabs and shellfish could have been dealt with in a rational and sensible manner with a simple health advisory by the state. Instead, we end up with another fishing closure.

johnv50
11-15-2007, 07:18 PM
Excuse me for asking but when did recreational anglers ask for this closure? When were they consulted? I want their names! ;D Kidding of course.

strmanglr
11-15-2007, 08:40 PM
Dan are you saying that this will be a new seasonal closure? Meaning every season even after the oil spill is past? Why would that be the case I am not following you you on that.

Dan Bacher
11-15-2007, 09:17 PM
That was a typo -I changed it to just "fishing closure." At this point, the bay is closed until December 1, or if the DFG decides, even longer. The thing that is incredible is that the Governor and DFG closed two areas to fishing - south San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay - NOT IMPACTED BY THE OIL SPILL! This is just plain wrong! The DFG and Governor have no scientific basis whatsoever for closing fishing in an area not impacted by the bunker fuel spill. *

GiveItABreak
11-15-2007, 09:23 PM
That was a typo -I changed it to just "fishing closure." At this point, the bay is closed until December 1, or if the DFG decides, even longer. The thing that is incredible is that the Governor and DFG closed two areas to fishing - south San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay - NOT IMPACTED BY THE OIL SPILL! This is just plain wrong! The DFG and Governor have no scientific basis whatsoever for closing fishing in an area not impacted by the bunker fuel spill.

So - are you also saying that there was no scientific basis for what the commercial crabbers requested - and what the PCFFA suported?

Can't have it both ways - unless your comment is purely political. ::)

Dan Bacher
11-15-2007, 10:13 PM
"So - are you also saying that there was no scientific basis for what the commercial crabbers requested - and what the PCFFA supported?"

Is this all political? Of course it is! Politics is what drives most of the decisions by the Fish and Game Commission, DFG and Governor. The crab fishermen's association made a political move to close crab fishing that back fired.

Their apparent strategy was to get all of the area *from Point Arena to the Mexican border closed to crab fishing, both commercial and sport, until December 1. The vast majority of this area was not impacted by the bunker fuel spill, so you could say it had no scientific basis. The closure was requested to (1) prevent the marketing of any potentially contaminated crab and (2) stop competition by Oregon and Washington crab fishermen in Bay Area waters.

Instead of doing this, the Governor and DFG decided to close ALL FISHING FOR ALL SPECIES from Pedro Point to Point Reyes and to close ALL FISHING FOR ALL SPECIES in San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, including areas NOT IMPACTED BY THE SPILL. Closing the area impacted by the oil spill might have some scientific basis, but closing areas not impacted by the spill has no basis whatsover.

In my opinion, it would be much better for the Governor or DFG to issue an emergency health advisory to not consume fish, shellfish, or crabs if they appeared to be tainted, but they decided to close all fishing instead. But at this point, the Governor's and DFG's decision is a done deal. Again, people need to be careful when they ask for a closure, temporary or otherwise, from politicians and the DFG because they may get a decision that backfires on them like it did in this case.

Another thing that really irks me about this situation is that the Governor and DFG solicited absolutely no input from recreational fishing groups in making the decision. They could have at least polled some of the leaders of recreational fishing organizations to see how they felt about a temporary closure, but sport fishermen were completely excluded from this process. *

But at this point, there isn't a whole lot we can do and fishing in San Pablo and San Francisco Bays is closed until Dec. 1 and possibly longer, if the DFG and Governor decide to do so.

I have worked closely with the PCFFA and other commercial fishing groups on Bay-Delta Estuary restoration, Klamath River dam removal and many other fishery issues. I greatly respect the political work they have done on many issues. However, I believe they made a political mistake in pushing for a closure of both commercial and recreational crab fisheries without soliciting the input of recreational fishing groups. Again, my opinion is that their political move back fired.

Also, I must add that the current Governor and DFG have been very enthusiastic about instituting recreational fishing closures, whether needed or not, for rockfish, sturgeon, salmon and other species, along with marine protected areas. Once you establish a closure, even temporary, it's hard to reopen the closed section of water. That's why I'm generally against any further restrictions or closures on our already overregulated recreational fishery.

If commercial or recreational anglers ask for closures, they're apt to get a lot more than what they bargained for. We have pages and pages of fishing regulations and closed areas that are imposed on us now. The problem isn't that we don't have enough regulations - the problem is that state of California is not willing to pay for enough wardens to actually enforce the regulations.

drstressor
11-16-2007, 08:23 AM
In my opinion, it would be much better for the Governor or DFG to issue an emergency health advisory to not consume fish, shellfish, or crabs if they appeared to be tainted,

Come on Dan, how are sport and commercial crabbers and fishermen supposed to determine if a catch is tainted. Contaminated fish and shellfish don't appear any different from those that have not been affected by the spill.


Another thing that really irks me about this situation is that the Governor and DFG solicited absolutely no input from recreational fishing groups in making the decision.

Again, what would the "opinions" of recreational fishermen contribute to a potential public health issue?

As an outsider, it appears to me that in this case the State of California made a prudent decision to shut down all areas that could potentially be affected by the spill until studies (toxicology testing) can determine the immediate extent of contamination. This protects both the commercial industry and private anglers. They did not give in to the request by the commercial crabbers to shut down most of the coast. If they had done that, your assertion that the decision was political would be valid.

A 1 month closure is about as long as it will take to properly assess the biological effects of the spill. The spill was really not that large and the effects are likely to be local. However, scientific data is required in order to learn if significant toxins have gotten into the food chain of the bay.

Anything that happens in California is always blown out of proportion by the media and the politicians. But if I fished the bay, I would wait until the real info comes in before I fished or crabbed for food. An I wouldn't be so quick to criticize every decision of the government. Schwarzenegger didn't make his decision in a vacuum. You can be assured that it was based on recommendations from experts.

FISHSTALKER
11-16-2007, 08:24 AM
The crab fishermen's association made a political move to close crab fishing that back fired.

Dan - Of course this is all after the fact but why aren't you chastising the Crab Fisherman's Association for opening the door in the first place? It seems that they shouldered the temporary closer with potential poisoning for their reasoning but did not take the initiative or consideration to pole other fishing organizations for their input or support. With the size of this spill and the environmental area that it would consume and the known facts from previous spills, one would be very suspect that most other fisheries would be involved.
My thoughts are that the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Award is theirs for the taking.
Never missing a beat to go political and paint the Governor as the bad guy in this mess. Your bad.

Another thing that really irks me about this situation is that the Governor and DFG solicited absolutely no input from recreational fishing groups in making the decision. They could have at least polled some of the leaders of recreational fishing organizations to see how they felt about a temporary closure, but sport fishermen were completely excluded from this process.

I'd say that after coming through with many cudo's for the way he handled the Southern Calif. fires and then being confronted with this spill, that his decision for the wide area closure just might be correct. Face up to it, this is another disaster that is not standing still and public safety is first and foremost. Armchair quarterbacking and expecting him to set aside the time to rally a consensus from you or groups of Democratic fishing interests is somewhat Pollyanna. My bet is that he has relied on the input from those professionals who's job it is to know what to do for his decision.

Having declared this spill a disaster, I have no doubt that the Governor will be asking the Feds for funds to financially aid those who's business has been impaired by it.

Silver_Hilton
11-16-2007, 09:16 AM
Interesting dialogue here - thanks to the posters.

Demerits to FISHSTALKER though, for making me have to look up Pollyanna ;D ;D ;D

FISHSTALKER
11-16-2007, 09:43 AM
SH - :P :P :P ;D

Seems Doc and I posted around the same time.

Dan Bacher
11-16-2007, 07:23 PM
Hey Dr. Stressor and Fishstalker

"As an outsider, it appears to me that in this case the State of California made a prudent decision to shut down all areas that could potentially be affected by the spill until studies (toxicology testing) can determine the immediate extent of contamination. This protects both the commercial industry and private anglers."

First, I must say that you appear to be willing to believe state and federal government claims before doing the research on this issue. You both might be able to do that, but I can't do that as a journalist. In my opinion, the role of a journalist in a situation like the oil spill is to question the actions of the state and federal governments. I am really glad that many journalists are asking a lot of hard questions about the response of the Coast Guard, the OSPR, DFG and other agencies to the bunker fuel spill.

Second, the bunker fuel spill isn't a Democrat or Republican issue, it's an issue that concerns everybody. We need to hold our politicians accountable for what they do; there is an increasing tendency among people in our society to accept the judgments and "facts" portrayed by those in power, Democrat or Republican, as the truth, rather than question their actions and motives. Criticism of those in power is a very healthy thing because it holds governmental officials accountable.

Third, you are both missing my main point: the Governor and DFG closed San Pablo Bay and South San Francisco Bays, both of which are areas NOT impacted by the spill. If the oil was in those areas of the bay, I wouldn't criticize the state's decision to close fishing. If you don't believe me, I've posted the latest report from OSPR and the Coast Guard at the bottom. It has the areas where clean up is being done or where beaches are closed. All of the areas are in the central bay or outside of the Golden Gate between Point Reyes and Pedro Point.

Fourth, the idea that I must defer to the DFG and Governor's advisors and trust their expertise and not question it is absurd. Dr. Stressor, you say, "Schwarzenegger didn't make his decision in a vacuum. *You can be assured that it was based on recommendations from experts."

However, the head biologists with both the state and federal governments have often been wrong on their assessments. I could write a huge book about all of the times where fishing groups and independent biologists proved the DFG biologists completely wrong.

For example, one biologist claimed that the kokanee salmon didn't exist at Lake Don Pedro, but they were actually king salmon! We proved them wrong - the biologist couldn't identify salmonids!

Another example was when the staff biologist on the American River said that there was no successful steelhead spawning when we knew there was actually lots of sucessful spawning. We did our homework by having another biologist doing studies and proved him wrong. But it took five years to do it.

A more recent example: a biologist misindentified a smallmouth bass as a Florida-strain largemouth. I proved him wrong also.

The point I'm making is that I've seen the DFG and federal government make many decisions based on questionable science, often prodded by supervisors to make a decision solely on political science, not natural science.

The majority of DFG biologists and federal biologists are competent folks, but I can see no reason whatsoever to close an area not impacted by the spill based on the assumption that DFG staff always know what's best.

I'm sorry, but I don't share the same faith in the Governor's and DFG's "experts" like you both appear to. We've proven them wrong way too many times.

Fifth, the discussion of the oil spill and who's at fault, along with the response of state and federal government authorities will be the subject of investigations and lawsuits for years to come. I just find it amazing how such a relatively small oil spill got out of hand.

We can argue all we want, but the fact is that the fishing closure is a done deal and we can't do anything about it. This is a moot point at this time. You both have your opinion on this issue - and I have mine.

Every angler I've personally talked to about the closure is against the closure in San Pablo and South San Francisco bays. But, Dr. Stressor, I understand your point about using the precautionary principle to close fishing in areas where the oil could possibly disperse to (but hasn't yet). The full economic and environmental impact of the bunker fuel spill will take years to understand.

The good thing is that this is a temporary closure (at least I hope) and fishing will resume after toxicology studies are done. It just goes to show you how a political move like that of the crab fishermen produced different results from those intended.

Dan

Here's the latest fact sheet on the Cosco Busan spill:

M/V Cosco Busan Incident
Fact Sheet #13
Date: 11/15/2007 Time: 10:00 A.M.
• 1399 people are officially participating in spill response
• 21,800 feet of boom has been deployed, 36,000 is available in staging.
• 16,419 gallons of oil liquid have been recovered. A total of 21,056 gallons
have been accounted for.
• Wildlife – 1728 birds have arrived at the wildlife care facility. 888 are alive,
830 dead.
• 3 helicopters in addition to one Department of Fish and Game fixed wing
aircraft.
• Other Numbers:
* 7 counties have been affected
* 50 vessels are deployed to remediate the spill. 4 spill response vessels
* 1 skimmer and 25 support vessels
* 20 volunteer fishing vessels in teams of two continue to support
skimming efforts inside San Francisco Bay.
* 8 wildlife teams - 16 search and recovery personnel are actively
collecting wildlife and additional boat operations.
* 23 personnel Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams
* 17 beach cleanup teams concentrating efforts in SF and Marin County
* 752 personnel are assigned to those clean-up teams
* 32 Oiled Wildlife Care staff and 163 volunteers are at the Cordelia bird
treatment facility
• The California Department of Fish and Game’s Industrial Hygienists, Robert
Ford and Jeff Westervelt trained volunteers for the San Francisco Bay spill
response over the past several days. Approximately 500 volunteers have
been given 4 hour training during 5 separate sessions in Hazardous
Communications which certifies them for work during an emergency oil spill
response.
• The Department of Fish and Game in conjunction with the Oiled Wildlife Care
Network has been utilizing 400 pre-trained volunteers and they have trained
an additional 350 convergent volunteers from the general public. There are
currently 1500 names that have been added to the list of potential volunteers
and the volunteers continue to call and email.
• Contact numbers at the San Francisco Bay Oil Spill Joint Information
Center (JIC) are: (415) 398-9621, (415) 398-9218 and (510) 772-8825.
• New phone numbers:
Claims hotline – (866)442-9650
Reporting oiled wildlife – (415)701-2311
Reporting oil sightings – (415) 398-9617
• NOAA and OR&R Health and Safety, as part of the Unified Command, has
released a public health advisory for the bunker fuel (IFO 380) spilled in this
incident .
• Beach closures still in affect;
* Clipper Cove Beach, T.I
* Aquatic Park
* Municipal Pier
* Ft. Point
* Baker Beach
* China Beach
* Ft. Baker
* Mile Rock Beach
* Kirby Cove
* Rodeo Beach
* Tennessee Valley
* Muir Beach
* Angel Island - Open to public, but shoreline closed
* Keller Beach
* Ferry Point
* Point Isabel
* Baxter Creek to Lucretia Edwards Park
* Coastal Access point to Cliffside; Pt. Richmond
* Middle Harbor Regional Park
* Steep Ravine Beach (Mt. Tamalpais)
* Red Rock Beach (Mt. Tamalpais)
* Crissy Field Beach
* Stinson Beach
* Linda Mar Beach
* Rockaway Beach
* Sharp Park Beach
* Ocean Beach has an advisory posted
* San Francisco Piers 1-39 Booms in place
• Beach cleanups today: Angel Island – Quarry beach to Quarry Point, and
Point Blunt. Muir Beach and Albany Beach.

janbfishinfolk
11-16-2007, 07:44 PM
I'm sticking with Daniel on this. Any thought that commercial fishing has more on its mind here than its wallet is pure fantasy. Their requests in this situation prove it.

Personally I think the Gov was following someone's recommendation who I thank god didn't say -Close the whole state and all tidal waters! Because I'm sure he would have. Recreational fishing has a tremendously higher economic impact than commercial fishing. Why shouldn't we be given a voice? Perhaps we might have agreed but don't offer up what's not yours to give. Maybe we need a lobby like everyone else. I've never been a radical before - never sent a message to any Politician. But this really ticked me off.

See now I'm all fired up again. Dang and just when I started to relax.
I'm imagining cab drivers asking the government to to make the legal driving age 30.

strmanglr
11-16-2007, 08:53 PM
The long term health of the Delta/Estuary is what is at stake, and what should be the overriding concern. This is the largest Estuary on the West Coast. It is the critical rearing habitat for all recreationally and commercially significant species in California aside from off shore highly migratory species like albacore. Salmon, crab, halibut, steelhead, stripers, sturgeon are all inextricably entertwined with its health. The only sizable Herring population on the California coast is getting ready to spawn along its beaches on kelp in the next 2 months. If this Oil spill is toxic enough to upset its rearing capacity our problems with Delta fisheries will far eclipse whether or not Crab fisherman wanted a precautionary closure, Don't you think?

When the Exxon Valdez spill occured no one really knew what would happen to the Herring runs, they haven't recovered. The trickle down effect has impacted the whole ecosystem. The Crab population in the Sound is still struggling to come back to pre-spill levels.

I would suggest that we should save our political capital and public outrage for the glaring failure to contain the relatively small Oil Spill in the San Francisco Bay/Delta. If we had a Exxon Valdez type event here we would not be arguing whether a temporary closure was a good idea. We would be debating whether crab, herring, halibut, etc would ever come back in our lifetimes.

I fail to see what criticizing the Crab Association for suggesting to delay the season will accomplish.

Dan Bacher
11-16-2007, 09:05 PM
"I would suggest that we should save our political capital and public outrage for the glaring failure to contain the relatively small Oil Spill in the San Francisco Bay/Delta."

I definitely agree with you that outrage over the glaring failure to contain the bunker fuel spill this should be the priority. Nonetheless, I still think that the Governor made a bad decision by closing San Pablo Bay and should be held accountable for it. Ironically, he issued this order the same day that he was campaigning for his peripheral canal, a canal that could potentially hurt the Bay-Delta Estuary more than a big oil spill, before an audience of 500 people

strmanglr
11-16-2007, 09:26 PM
Yes and one of the unfortunate consequences of all the attention on the spill is the lack of debate on the Delta Water issues. We really have to define the two issues, or find a way to link them in the public mind with the preservation of Californias' immensely valuable and unique natural resources that depend on a healthy Delta.

Dan Bacher
11-17-2007, 09:53 AM
Bob Simms on his KFBK Outdoor Show this morning disclosed some additional information on the fishing closure. After having to go through public information staff, Simms left a message for the acting director, John McCamman, to call him about the reasoning behind the closure. John called him back and was able to give the DFG's position on the closure.

In a nutshell, the Governor apparently made the decision to make the executive order BEFORE consulting DFG officials. He issued the executive order and then told the DFG to deal with it. The DFG was reluctant to close San Pablo Bay because it hadn't been impacted by the spill and would temporarily shut down angling, but they felt they had to do that based on the executive order.

The executive order reads: "The Department of Fish and Game, in consultation with the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), shall determine the geographic area impacted by the oil spill that poses a potential risk to human health that may come from the human consumption of marine life as a result of the oil spill."

The key words here are "potential risk to human health." The DFG said they would have had to do a study of the impacts on fish being brought up through oil to leave San Pablo Bay open. That would have taken around two weeks, the same amount of time as the suspension of fishing.

So, according to this account, the Governor made his decision to close all fishing first, without consulting DFG, and then ordered them to develop the boundaries of the closure. As far as I know, this is the first time that a California Governor has issued an executive order to close fishing, so we're in new territory here.

Any more arguing about this closure, at this time, is counter productive, in my opinion. It's a done deal - and the bigger issue, as many of you have pointed out, is the impact of the oil spill on the Bay-Delta Estuary, an estuary already in crisis because of the Delta pelagic organism decline (POD). If you want to volunteer to help with the oil spill clean up or contribute to a respected bay watchdog organization, here is the latest update from the San Francisco Baykeeper, www.baykeeper.org:

How Clean is Clean?

Cleanup officials have begun to tell us that their efforts are working and that our shorelines are clean. Yet we still see goopy oil along the shorelines and in our water, and distressed wildlife throughout the Bay. The San Francisco Bay's open water habitats, intertidal mudflats, rocky shores, salt ponds, and marshes all form the iconic waterway that defines the character and community of the Bay Area. Baykeeper will not let the polluter off the hook when there is more work to be done. We need your help to document oil sightings in your area so that we can get contractors and volunteers out to clean up every drop of oil. *Send accounts and photos of what you see this weekend (what, how much, where, and when) to volunteer@baykeeper.org. *Areas that are hard to see from flyovers or motor boats are of particular importance.

Baykeeper’s Walk the Docks Project
Local boaters who wash Cosco Busan bunker fuel off their recreational boats or other watercraft may contribute to the spread of toxins throughout the Bay. *Even in small amounts, the oil can be toxic to aquatic life, and cleaning solvents may also contain chemicals and other pollutants that can harm the environment. *We’ve developed a guide to green cleaning in the aftermath of the Cosco Busan spill. This weekend, Baykeeper volunteers will walk the docks to spread the word to marinas and boaters.

Volunteer Trainings and Shoreline Cleanups
You must participate in an official training to legally help out with beach cleanups. No pre-registration is required, but show up early because space is limited. Bring a photo ID.

San Francisco
Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Certification
Saturday, November 17
County Fair Building
9th Ave & Lincoln Ave in Golden Gate Park
One training at 8am - noon
THERE WILL NOT BE A SECOND TRAINING

The City of San Francisco will be leading daily cleanups for trained workers - call 311 to find out where to go or visit http://www.sfgov.org/site/sf311_index.asp?id=70813.

To join cleanup efforts, trained volunteers should check in at the red tent in the parking lot on Ocean Beach near Lincoln and the Great Highway. Buses will be provided to transfer volunteers to worksites. Bring your disaster service worker volunteer certification with you.

Berkeley
Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Certification
Saturday, November 17
Berkeley Senior Center
1900 Sixth St.
8am - noon

For cleanup schedules, see http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Manager/busanoilspill.html or http://www.ebparks.org/node/538.

Half Moon Bay
Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Certification
Saturday, November 17
IDES Hall
736 Main Street
One training at 8am - noon and one at 1pm - 5pm

For more info, visit smcalert.info

Many unofficial cleanups, which are not endorsed by Baykeeper, are being organized here http://sfoilspill.blogspot.com/ and here http://www.obviously.com/tech_tips/oil_spill_volunteer_instructions.html.

Oil Spill Response Fundraisers
Doc's Clock
Proceeds from select beer sales and donations accepted.
November 16
6 pm - 2 am
2575 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Bimbo's 365
Visit our table to make a donation.
Jose Gonzalez & Friends
plus Cass McCombs
November 25
Doors at 7 pm. Show at 8 pm.
Tickets are $22 in advance / $25 at the door.
21 & over are welcome

California Culinary Academy
$20 dinner tickets benefit Baykeeper.
November 30
5pm - 8pm
The Grill at 625 Polk St.
RSVP to Chef Steven Moore at (650) 348-2071

Email us at volunteer@baykeeper.org if you want to sponsor a fundraiser!

Please continue to contact friends to sign up for volunteer alerts or to make a donation to support San Francisco Baykeeper’s efforts out on the water to respond to this crisis.

FISHSTALKER
11-17-2007, 10:33 AM
Something that has not been covered was the potential risk that the tanker bridge issue could have been a subversive attack. I'm hypothesizing here but consider the ramifications if the bridge was taken out by a huge tanker explosion. :o Consider the date (going into the weekend of the 11th ) that this mishap happened. Is there more to the story that is unreported? Is our national security at risk here? Just asking questions. :-/

Cal.Kellogg
11-18-2007, 06:30 PM
I thought in the post 9/11 world the powers that be, after spending untold millions of dollars for homeland security, were suppose to be guarding things such as major bridges....I know in the past the coast guard had issued warnings to charter boats that got too close to the supports on the Golden Gate Bridge....I guess we are pretty lucky that it wasn't an attack because it looks as if it would have been successful.....I think you raise an interesting issue...Are the powers that be protecting the bridge from a potential 9/11 style attack and if not why?...We are told time and again that we are at war, yet a ship is able to run into a support that holds up one of the nation's major bridges without any action from the agencies that fall under the authority of the Office of Homeland Security...Perhaps they'll see this a red flag and our tax dollars will be better spent in the future....