Archive for February, 2011


February 28, 2011

Under New England’s sector management regime, groundfishermen are expected to accommodate federally funded fisheries ‘observers’ on 30%  of the trips conducted within each individual sector.  These observers are supposed to record what is caught and sold; record the weights of groundfish that are discarded in order to credit the fisherman’s allocation; and record all ‘by-catch’ to determine levels of incidental take.  We have all fished with observers before sector management and while they are a bit of a nuisance it really is not that big a deal to have them aboard.  30% of the time.

As of late, Jane and the folks at NOAA have been happy to declare that sector management has created a more consistent job market for fishermen.  I, for one, was quite happy to hear that because I was beginning to wonder where all of the fishermen went.  Well, Scott and I untied the mighty Ashley and Anthony on February 17th for its FIRST fishing trip of the season (May 1st 2010-April 30 of 2011 is considered to be the 2010 season).  On nine of our first ten trips, we have been assigned observers.  It seemed like a bit more than 30% to me, so I began to inquire.  Wouldn’t you know it, but the observers can’t seem to find any fishermen to observe.  They, under their contracts, are supposed to complete 13 days of observation per month.  Seems easy enough.   However, our lovely young lady today informed us that she was able to complete only 5 this month.   Her friend was even less successful, completing only 2.

It seems somewhat ironic to me that on the heels of a scandal that saw its enforcement division purchasing more vehicles than it had employees, NOAA seems to have ‘purchased’ more observers than there were boats for them to observe.   Or did they just under-estimate how fast they could force fishermen to not fish and then choose to ignore the fact that a majority of the fleet is collecting dust?



courtesy of Good Morning Gloucester

February 26, 2011

Perfectly normal behavior

February 25, 2011

I finished fourth out of ten contestants last night…but I’m fairly certain I’m the only one up at 3 am getting ready to feed a hungry nation.  I feel like I am pregnant with Shaquille Oneil’s baby….Rufinol’s a hell of a drug.

More this afternoon…

How I would like this to go down

February 24, 2011


How it most likely will


February 23, 2011

“For Christ’s sake, stay away from Somalia.  Jesus.”

We’re all fucked. I mean screwed. Shit.

February 22, 2011

The X-flare recorded by NASA on Valentine’s day is the largest recorded in four whole years.  Depending on who you talk to, this is either an indication of our coming into a period of higher solar activity or the end of the world as we know it.  You may be surprised to hear that some wicked smaat scientists are leaning towards the latter.  I just hope that we can hold on until I can find out whether or not Britney really did steal some lyrics; or if John Travolta’s hair piece is the real deal.

Why is everyone starting to act like tofu eating, petrouli soaked sensationalists?  I mean, every snow-storm is now a ‘blizzard’; every public gaff is a career ending peek into the lives of the famous; if you raise your voice to a child (hell, even a pet) you’re going to jail; if you don’t spend twice as much money as you can actually afford you’re low-brow; every trend is turned into the new reality.  Between video games, TMZ and Whole Foods I am starting to feel a little out-of-place.  Maybe I should explore the possibility that I am a Neanderthal and everyone else is right.  That’s it!  Maybe with a little therapy and some moderate effort I can change.  My only alternative would be to continue not giving a shit.

DTF prep

February 20, 2011

I don’t know much about eating competitively, but I do know that mental preparation will be the key to my attendance.  Lets cook.


February 19, 2011


Noaa enforcement

February 17, 2011


NOAA’s 2011 budget

February 15, 2011

Straight from the horse’s mouth:  “Perhaps most significantly, this budget clearly recognizes the central role that science and technology play in stimulating the economy, creating new jobs and improving the health and security of Americans.  Americans rely on NOAA science, services and stewardship to keep their families safe, their communities thriving, and their businesses strong. Our work is everyone’s business.”  Dr. Jane Lubchenko

According to the NOAA web site this years budget is around 5.5 billion dollars, or about $50 million less than 2010.  This is a drastic cut for the fastest growing job market in the industry, the regulators.  How are our small fishing communities going to survive if the hoards of recent college grads can’t keep their fluffy govt jobs?

All sarcasm aside, perhaps Obama should be looking a little closer at NOAA and its methods.  Washington has massive budget cuts to make just to maintain the astounding national deficit, let alone reduce it.  At this point it’s clear that Jane Lubchenko is untouchable.  But lets look at what she has created.  On any given day, two guys out trying to catch a couple of fish to help feed a hungry nation will have to: report their planned trip days in advance; sign up for an on-board observer; log into a vessel monitoring system; make a detailed trip log for each different size fishing gear used; report back in several times a day; call in at the end of the day to line up a weigh-master; contact sector management to let them know how many fish were landed.  That’s an observer, someone to handle the vessel monitoring system info, someone to log who’s fishing when, someone to handle the trip reports (hopefully the same people who handle the trip report from the weigh-master and the dealer, seeing as it is all the same report), weigh-master, sector manager, and I forgot to mention the floaters from NOAA that will occasionally come down to drink coffee and watch.  And, I suppose I should mention that all of these folks have managers, offices and supplies.  Seems like  a lot of money wasted so a few fish can be landed.

Jane, you have officially stimulated the economy.  Well done.   As much as I hate the idea of loosing jobs it seems like our money could be spent more efficiently.