Author Topic: Shark Attacks and "Chum-Boats"  (Read 8339 times)

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citizensscience

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North Carolina Shark Attacks - What's really swarming under those boats?








« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 05:23:31 PM by citizensscience »
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Jerry Schill

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The most recent post by Citizens Science last night is from a story by WWAY over 2 years ago. Along with that story is one that followed later by one of the fishermen who was fishing close to the beach. You will find out that it wasn't a shrimping boat or even a commercial fishing operation but some folks that were involved in a fishing tournament using rod & reel.

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Some fishermen in Carolina Beach are defending their boats after some surfers brought up concerns.

Tuesday, Carolina beach surfer Bobby Small told us he’s seen fishing boats very close to the shoreline this summer.  He thinks there should be some kind of regulation to keep them a certain distance away, because he is concerned they are attracting sharks closer to the shore.

Here's the link on the WWAY website:
https://www.wwaytv3.com/2015/07/15/fishermen-defend-boats-close-to-shore/


Fisherman Jeff Smith said he was one of those boats close to the shore recently, because of a weekend fishing competition. He said there should not be a concern, because fishermen are not bringing sharks closer to shore. He said sharks will be where bait is.

“The fishermen that are in catching bait, if you’re talking about sharks, the bait is already in on the shore,” Smith said. “The sharks are with the bait. They don’t follow the boats in. When a boat comes in to catch bait, they probably scare the sharks off more so than bringing any in.”

Smith also said fishing boats do not go past the breakers. The town manager and marine fisheries both said there are no laws against fishermen coming within a certain distance from the shoreline.

citizensscience

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)

— A surfer in Carolina Beach is questioning regulations on fishing and shrimp boats near the shoreline.

Bobby Small took pictures of these boats one morning after finding them near a surfing area. He said it is not unusual for him to see fishing boats somewhere in the water. In the last few weeks though, he said they are much closer.

“Three or four of us kind of looked over our shoulder,’ Small said. “We couldn’t believe how close they were to the surf line.”

Small said they were so close, he could see into their boats.

“We could see whatever they would pull in and reject as far as marine life and throw it off the back,” Small said. “Then there would be like a bird feeding frenzy and I’m sure below the water there was stuff feeding too.”

That sent Small looking for answers.

“It just seems like there should be something in place to benefit the fishermen and the people swimming or surfing,” Small said.

When we called the town harbor master, he said he did not know of any laws and referred us to Marine Fisheries. Marine Fisheries told us they do not regulate that and sent us back to the town. The town manager told us there are no laws or regulations for fishing boats near the shoreline. Small found that strange.

“Since we have to stay away from their pier, I think it would be nice if they had to stay away from our surf line,” Small said.

While he said no one can get rid of sharks, maybe they can at least keep incentives away from the shore.

“I’m definitely all for local fishing, but it just seems they were a little too close for comfort,” Small said.

For now, Small said he is going to do some more research, before he proposes anything to officials.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:11:40 PM by citizensscience »
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Rick Sasser

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Contrary to the perception that Jerry Schill would like to plant in your mind, this is not a farming operation.  A farmer can't afford to waste four bushels of soybeans for every one bushel of corn that he harvests.  That farmer would quickly go bankrupt...that is unless he was destroying four bushels of his neighbor's beans for every one bushel of his other neighbor's corn that he was harvesting for his own profit with his only expenses being his equipment, labor and diesel fuel.

This is a shrimping operation legally harvesting a public trust resource for which he pays nothing to the people of NC for the harvest of that public resource.  He obviously pays taxes, license fees ($200 for annual license to fish and $200 as a pass-through cost to subsidize his or other's gillnet operations so that NOAA can monitor endangered species killed in NC's gillnet fisheries), boat registration fees, etc.  These do have a multiplier effect on the local economy.  It's a stretch to say that NC's shrimp industry is providing "fresh catch" to NC citizen's.  Most of the shrimp, and all of NC's seafood, are shipped out-of-state to processors supplying large Northern urban areas.  Once that product leaves the state, the multiplier effect benefiting NC stops.

https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu/ncseagrant_docs/products/2010s/supply_chain_analysis_nc_commercial_fishing.pdf 

Numerous studies conducted by NOAA and NCDMF show that, on average, a shrimp trawler will discard about four pounds of bycatch ("Chum") for every one pound of heads-on shrimp landed.  So, that means they'll discard about six pounds of bycatch for every one pound of edible shrimp (heads-off). 

Think about that.  Six pounds of bycatch, waste, trash, "chum"...whatever you'd like to call it...for one pound of shrimp on your plate.

This bycatch consists mainly of juvenile finfish that is predominately made up of croaker, spot and gray trout.  These are 3" to 7" fish that average about 22 fish per pound of bycatch.  Think about buying shrimp by the "count".  A 21-25 count shrimp is a pretty good eating size.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that a net designed to catch shrimp is going to catch juvenile finfish of about the same size. 

While Jerry Schill may chime in to reply to this post, please beware and keep in mind that Jerry is a paid lobbyist for the commercial fishing industry.  He works for the North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA) which is heavily funded by Brent Fulcher.  Fulcher owns Beaufort Inlet Seafood and was interviewed during the 2016 election by Fox News.  During that interview, Fulcher claimed to control 60% of the typical average shrimp harvest in NC.  http://video.foxnews.com/v/5116226862001/?playlist_id=5100383878001#sp=show-clips

Schill will falsely claim that the "industry" has reduced bycatch by 30% to 50% over the last three years through gear modifications.  It is not so.  The gear trials were a last ditch effort by the industry to stave off impending regulations mandating bycatch reductions or a curtailment of effort while juvenile finfish are present in the important nursery areas where shrimping is allowed.  The gear modification trials are seen by many as a pure delaying tactic while the industry works to change the make-up of the Marine Fisheries Commission and influence members of the NC Legislature.

The videos below show what that six pounds of trash, "chum", waste or bycatch that is discarded for every one pound of shrimp on your plate looks like, try to find the shrimp.  Yes, it does feed some gulls, crabs and sharks but most of it just rots on the bottom due to the sheer volume dumped at one time in 80+ degree water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLl4GSZLqGU

https://vimeo.com/118417412

...and yes, all that waste does attract sharks.  Those sharks go somewhere when the trawler stops shrimping and leaves for the dock.

One man's trash could be another man's treasure if those 1/4 to 1/2 billion (yes, that's a "B") spot, croaker and gray trout killed annually in the shrimp trawl fishery were allowed to reach maturity instead on becoming shark food or bird food, or rotting-

https://vimeo.com/176753195

There's a reason that South Carolina has trawl restrictions that do not allow trawling near beaches popular for swimming.  The question is...Are those restrictions sufficient given prevailing wind and currents?  I'm not aware of such restrictions in NC.

Here's a link to the SC trawling regulations.  Maps that are worth a 1000-words are at the bottom of the file.  Please note the closed "No Trawl" areas off popular beaches for swimming.  Also note that SC does NOT allow trawling in its inside estuaries.  SC understands the importance of protecting critical habitat nursery areas.  Every state on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts understands the importance...except NC.

http://www.dnr.sc.gov/licenses/pdf/FY2018_Trawler.pdf

I commend those who as Schill likes to say "wear out their deodorant" in a hard honest day's work.  Many of these men and women work day and night in a profession that is often ranked as the most dangerous industry sector in America.  Look at those videos and you can see why.  These men and women are doing what NC's rules and regulations allow them to do.  It's not their fault that NC allows what no other state in America allows.  It is the fault of our legislature, the NCDMF and past Marine Fisheries Commissions that we allow trawling in critical habitat nursery areas and refuse to honestly address juvenile bycatch discards in the shrimp trawl fishery...facts that make that fishery unsustainable. 

There are alternatives that will keep the small family owned operator fishing.  While Schill may publicly support such operations, his real support is for the large fish dealers, like Fulcher and Cooke Inc, that own numerous ocean going steel hulled multipurpose trawlers.  The large dealers use these trawlers to flood the market with shrimp thereby crashing the price.  The dealer can buy cheap shrimp from everyone, including himself, that he can then wholesale at a nice profit to those out-of-state markets in Baltimore, NJ and NY.  The dealer may lose money, or make little, on his own boats but he keeps his crew together in the summer months and then moves his boats to the highly lucrative fall and winter fluke and scallop fisheries off New England.

The average price for shrimp paid at the dock (ex-vessel or dockside price) for the last ten years has been $2.09 per pound with the low being $1.58 in 2009.  When adjusted for inflation the pound of shrimp that brought $1.97 in 1979 should be worth $6.60 today. 

Effort is not down, don't believe that big lie when you hear it. 

Both Schill and the NCDMF will tell you that effort is down as much as 75% today when compared to the 1970's and 1980's.  The implication is that bycatch is down by as much..."Hey, no need to address the issue.  Attrition solved it!" 

BULL!

Are there less boats, absolutely.  However, the big industrial boats are pulling 220-feet of net versus the 45 to 60 feet of net that the smaller traditional boats pulled.  For the last 45-years shrimp harvest has average 6.7- million pounds annually.  For the last ten it averaged 7.3-million pounds.  For the last five it averaged 7.6-million pounds. In 2016, NC shrimpers landed 13.2-million pounds, more than double the long-time average.  When properly measured, effort is NOT down.  Has a big boat put several little boats out of business, absolutely.  Landings (Harvest) are going up, not down.  Bycatch is a function of CATCH.  Catch= Harvest + Discards. 

Please, get involved to bring positive change to management of our important coastal resources.  We must have sustainable fisheries.  We have lost our river herring.  We have lost our gray trout with no hope of recovery in sight. We are close to losing our flounder.  Spot runs that once filled ocean fishing piers with anglers standing shoulder-to-shoulder have disappeared.  A two-pound croaker that was common in 1980 doesn't exist today, it has been replaced by a 10" croaker.  This is called recruitment overfishing that leads to truncated age structures- small fish.

History shows that you can't have abundant and healthy finfish stocks by killing 1/4 to 1/2 billion juvenile croaker, spot and weakfish (gray trout) annually in the shrimp trawl fishery as discarded bycatch.

You can start here-  http://ncwf.org/conservation-priorities/sound-solutions/



« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 08:27:35 AM by Rick Sasser »

Jerry Schill

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The fishing vessel “Linda Ann” is based out of Sneads Ferry, NC, and is owned by 73 year old John Norris and operated by his son, 43 year old Liston Norris. The boat provides a living for Liston, his two man crew and his Mom & Dad. Liston has been a commercial fisherman all of his life. They were shrimping, not involved in a "chumming operation".

The pictures of the boat shown at the beginning of this thread were taken off Topsail Beach about 2 weeks ago by a fisherman who was recreationally fishing off a boat of one of Liston’s friends. It’s not uncommon for recreational fishermen to follow a commercial fishing boat in an effort to target the sharks and other critters that are feeding behind the shrimping operation. If you’ve ever watched a farmer plowing or otherwise working the land, you will see dozens of gulls and other birds looking for easy pickings behind the tractor.

Citizens Science is very disingenuous when calling this a “chumming operation” and intentionally giving the uninformed the impression that it’s the intention of the captain and crew to get sharks into a feeding frenzy that may harm children. The boat is at least a half mile offshore and not posing any threat to anyone. If there are some that may be concerned about the sharks due to safety issues, they should be thankful the recreational fishermen are following behind to catch them!

The pictures of the “Linda Ann” were originally posted on Facebook by one of the recreational fishermen and apparently copied by Citizens Science. The underwater photographs came from somewhere else, probably found on the web. Again, very deceiving.

This brings up some interesting questions:
First, who is Citizens Science? I have no idea, but most legitimate sites have some name or attribution connected to it. Otherwise, where is the accountability?

Also interesting that when one signs up as a registered user for the site, you have to agree to a number of terms, including:

"You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law. You also agree not to post any copyrighted material unless you own the copyright or you have written consent from the owner of the copyrighted material."

Perhaps the administrator of the site should go back and read their own rules.

Jerry Schill
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 02:30:12 PM by Jerry Schill »

Terri Huie

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I find the title of this article as well as the article itself totally disgusting! Shrimping & fishing is the livelihood all up & down the coast of North Carolina and has been for generations. Do you like fresh seafood or would you rather eat the imported trash grown in ditches overseas? The ocean is the sharks home not humans. Maybe if people starting watching their children, used common sense about the creatures who live in the ocean, these attacks wouldn't be happening. I have seen unsupervised children running up & down the beach, in & out of the water with no adult supervision whatsoever. How dare you blame our fishermen in such a derogatory manner! They are The hardest working people I know who work daylight to dark just so you can dineon fresh wholesome seafood. The Photo of the "Linda Ann" needs to be removed & you owe that kind & generous Fisherman an apology! This whole thing is about money! Put the commercial fishermen out of business so more tourists can lay claim to what used to be beautiful, serene untouched beaches.

citizensscience

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What is a "chumming operation"?



#WITN describes this practice as a ... "crew throwing off fish and other refuse from their catch"



« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 01:30:05 PM by citizensscience »
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Norris

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Do you think you aren't going to take food out of children's mouths if you support this and they actually do discontinue the shrimping industry in NC. Many of these families have a lot of money tied up in their boats and equipment. If they were to be put out of business it would devastate many families along the coast. Many of them have relied on commercial fishing as a career since they were kids, they would have no means of supporting their families as they have no other trade...and that is on top of the loss of their equipment. While our area does have a lot of tourism, you have no clue what kind of revenue these guys put into the economy. It would blow your mind. As well as providing food. This is not a game. So when you introduce this to your "gardening club" friends, who will probably not know much about the situation but will jump on the bandwagon because you ask them to...remember that you have not educated yourself or your friends on the matter. Fishing piers attract sharks, are you going stop throwing a hook in the water when you came with your children to vacation? Maybe we should focus more on the fact that these sharks are protected because they are said to be an endangered species. Do they look scarce to you?

Norris

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These are not "CHUM BOATS"! These are working boats, that bring fresh local NC seafood to your tables. We feed your families. Without them you would be feeding your children imported farm raised seafood from other countries full of unknown chemicals that are harmful. They don't drive around and chum for their catch, I think we need to make this clear. If you want to take a stand for something and put a mass amount of people out of business I think you should all do your homework first.

Jerry Schill

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What is a "chumming operation"?