The meeting was called to order by President Chris Voss at 1700 hours in the Community Room at Santa Barbara Harbor. Other attendees were: Vice President John Colgate, Secretary/Treasurer Michael Harrington, Board Members, Mike McCorkle, Gary Burke, Harry Liquornik and Kevin McCeney. Other members attending were: Shane Robinson, Jeff Maassen, Bernard Friedman, Jim Colomy, Billy Gerard, Tom Dabney and Jonathan Gonzales representing the Ventura County Commercial Fishermen Association. Thirteen voting members were present.
A request was made by McCorkle to include lobster transferability to agenda. Voss made a motion to approve the minutes and financial report from the 03.01.16 meeting. Harrington seconded and the vote was unanimous.
Crab Closure: Gerard gave a report on the stone walling by all of the powers that be regarding the recent closure. No answers asked by fishermen to any questions are given and any attempts to apply any lessons learned seem to be stymied by the bureaucracy. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) seem to be running the show with no accountability or transparency. Fishermen requests for more than one lab (local) in the state to be used for testing and testing meat when testing viscera have been met by blank stares. It was noted that it is important to keep lines of communication open and to keep an eye on the Disaster relief money trail. It was noted that testing is to be done by block number. Stephanie Mutz was credited for her tenacity in dealing with the “blank stares.”
Voss noted that Kim Selkoe has been hired by the Chamber of Commerce and tasked to assist CFSB. She will have 30 hours a week allocated to such projects as; Domoic Acid issues, hard caps, ground fish quotas, industry promotion, the list of issues that need time is endless.
Burke gave an update on the movement to shut down the drift gill net fishery. Burke says, that environmental pressure is overwhelming. A planned obsolescence of the retirement of permits using experimental fishing methods (buoy) that to date are not feasible commercially seem to be the rigour. Raising the permit fees 500% and sending a bill to the Democratic congress next week is not encouraging. CFSB is to send a letter of support for reasonable, rational, science based fishery management to congress ASAP. Gonzales, who is taking the lead said that the deck is stacked. Voss made a motion to send a letter in opposition to SB111. Harrington seconded.
A discussion on VMS ensued. Costs and types of VMS and the notion that the fishermen themselves were part of some grand experiment in social control. Sable fish, VMS update and quota shares pretty much melded into a generic debate of those three issues and more. Costs and types of VMS along with the expense of observers would certainly make some fisheries uneconomical. Obviously, VMS needs to be required for recreational fishermen also, but it is not being addressed.
McCorkle requested that CFSB support the fishermen, who do not have transferable lobster permits, pursue making their permits transferable. Colomy, who participated in the process of categorizing lobster permits gave a summary of the process, wished non-permit holders good luck in their pursuit, but noted CDFW would probably be steadfast in staying the course. It was generally agreed that CFSB should not take sides in an inter-fishery management issue.
The biennial nomination for CFSB board members was closed and the election was opened. Twelve attending members voted with Harrington choosing to vote online (to test). Members who have not voted may do so online. Membership may also be paid on CFSB website. Voting will close on 04.05.16 at 2100 hours and a meeting of newly elected board members will be on the 6th to elect the executive committee.
Colgate gave a brief overview of the state of the “Trawl Fish Rationalization Program.” Noting that the program was the main contribution to exactly what the program was designed to eliminate. …………”a race to fish and a tragedy of the commons.” Colgate’s and Chris Hoeflinger’s letters to the NMFS will be posted on www.cfsb.info
Harrington gave a Fishermen Storage Yard Report. He reported that CFSB received a $5100.00 grant from the South Bay Cable/Fisheries Liaison Committee (SBCFLC) to repair the last eight container roofs.
Harrington gave a short treasures report. He noted Q1 revenue reflected tenants that paid a year in advance and that the revenue would smooth out during the year. He also mentioned that CFSB was going to commit a few thousand dollars in matching funds to fix container roofs.
The meeting was adjourned around 1900 hrs by Chris Voss. These minutes were prepared by Michael Harrington, secretary/treasurer, to the best of my recollection 04.03.16 at 0500 hrs.
New on CFSB:
Trawl Catch Share Review Comments Due Monday April 4 [PDF] may be downloaded here.
Trawl Catch Share Review Comments Due Monday April 4 [letter] may be read here.
Reminder: the CFSB Board Member Election process is still open for paid members. An online ballot is available, but will close April 5th - 9:00pm. Contact Michael Harrington to pay current membership dues and cast your votes for the CFSB Board Members.