[Coral-List] A Truth Too Big to Ignore

Michael Newkirk michaeljnewkirk at gmail.com
Mon Jul 10 03:05:21 EDT 2017

Hi Sarah,

I agree. "Limited take" is a horrible idea for an endangered species,
particularly a critically endangered one. In fishing, there is a "catch
limit" and a "possession limit," both of which depend on
monitoring/policing. Although fishers are required to record their catches,
underreporting happens all the time.

Hopefully, the wildlife commission down there in Florida will come up with
something else. I'm not sure what their motivation would be for instituting
limited take. In controlled game hunting, for example, a wildlife
commission would have a limited take policy if their
population/conservation data supported it, and then they might financially
support the commission by issuing a limited number of tags to hunt a
certain animal at a premium price. Up here in Canada, there is a stamp
system for fish, where a fisher has to pay an extra surcharge on her/his
license to fish for a certain species. The stamp still only allows for
limited take.

Using a local example on my end (west coast of Canada), rockfish take a
very, very long time to mature. Thus, there are rockfish conservation zones
in many areas of BC waters. I recall no point in my time here when
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has asked the public about its
conservation strategy. It seems as though they've left that up to the
scientists. DFO will change the boundaries of a conservation area, the
dates of the fishing season per species, species one can take, etc., and
the public adjusts accordingly (as far as I can tell).

I took a look at the FWC's website. It seems as though they hope the public
will say that they've waited long enough for goliath grouper stocks to come
back. Although crowd/citizen data can be used in various contexts, the
language on the FWC's page could potentially send an array of bad messages
(when the meetings get going), with the worst one potentially being that
public opinion should direct science or at least be in the position to do
so. Presumably, FWC has data, but they want the public's opinion, which for
some meeting attendees might invalidate any data presented to them.

Let's hope for the best!


Academic Research Editor

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 8:46 AM, Sarah Frias-Torres <
sfrias_torres at hotmail.com> wrote:

> to Coral-Listers interested in Goliath Groupers
> The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has proposed
> to open a "limited take" on the critically endangered Goliath Grouper. This
> proposal is not supported by science.
> The "limited take" will allow the killing of up to 400 Goliaths of
> breeding size over a 4-year period. If approved, this take will basically
> destroy the new spawning aggregations currently forming in east Florida.
> Such spawning aggregations were fished to extinction in the 1970s-1980s.
> Here's an open letter to FWC I wrote in my blog on the issue of ignoring
> science when proposing the killing of endangered species and what it means
> for Goliath Groupers
> https://grouperluna.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/a-truth-too-big-to-ignore/
> Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D.
> Twitter: @GrouperDoc
> Blog: http://grouperluna.wordpress.com
> http://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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