Fishermen split over New Maryland rockfish quotas

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From a manager I know

This is being widely distributed online (mostly by the black-helicopter people) with tag lines like “this will end fishing as we know it”.  But VA and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission have been doing this for years and it’s worked well for them.   New York has arguably used a catch share variant for almost 15 years, although its tags aren't transferable.  I can’t for the life of me interpret this as a bad thing.  I mean, a dead fish is a dead fish whether it's caught under quota/season system or a catch share one.  In some ways, it may help.  Fishermen who reported their catch will get more tags;  those who tried to work around the system and not report will get fewer, which will actually mean something now that all fish have to be tagged.  You also run less risk of a derby fishery pushing harvest above quota.  On balance, I can't see much of a problem.  If I wanted to enter the theoretical realm, I  could say that catch shares are likely a death knell of any  "gamefish" effort as you are implying ownership with a catch share, but if we stay in the real world,  "gamefish" isn't going to happen in Maryland anyway, so it doesn't really matter.


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