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Old 08-21-2022, 08:46 PM   #76
captadam123
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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I’m not saying I’m for closures but if you want it to be like it was I feel it’s the only way


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Your 100% correct
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Old 08-22-2022, 07:01 AM   #77
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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we can have that fishery back, all they have to do is stop selling fish to the public. You want it go get it. The only way
are you saying that we should apply the same wild game principles that we have for deer, waterfowl, turkey, ect... to our fisheries?
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Old 01-02-2023, 07:53 AM   #78
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Word on the street was right. Looks like the NMFS and the Gulf Council think that the gag grouper fishery is in shambles. For the Gulf of Mexico commercial sector there has been an 83% reduction in allowable catch from 1,200,000 lbs in 2022 to 199,000 lbs for 2023. I wonder what the recreational season is going to be for 2023?

It has been obvious to me for years now that there is a problem with our entire Gulf reef fish fishery but no one has wanted to look at what the fishery used to be and what it is now. The party is over and now the next mornings hangover is starting to creep in.





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Old 01-02-2023, 08:16 AM   #79
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Ben rec. gag instead of opening June 1 will open September 1 to November 10. I'm sure the poundage reduction numbers are in one of the fishery memos.
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Old 01-04-2023, 08:36 AM   #80
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

It's starting to feel like 2011 all over again. If the cycle repeats itself fishing should be open and good around 2028. Too bad the NMFS can't figure out how to prevent these booms and busts.




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Old 01-08-2023, 08:13 PM   #81
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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Word on the street was right. Looks like the NMFS and the Gulf Council think that the gag grouper fishery is in shambles. For the Gulf of Mexico commercial sector there has been an 83% reduction in allowable catch from 1,200,000 lbs in 2022 to 199,000 lbs for 2023. I wonder what the recreational season is going to be for 2023?

It has been obvious to me for years now that there is a problem with our entire Gulf reef fish fishery but no one has wanted to look at what the fishery used to be and what it is now. The party is over and now the next mornings hangover is starting to creep in.





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These groups are as crooked as they come, not many people trust their "science". They only look out for the big guy and trust me, its not us. Our gag season this summer was amazing. There are plenty of fish out there. Its all BS
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Old 01-09-2023, 09:24 AM   #82
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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These groups are as crooked as they come, not many people trust their "science". They only look out for the big guy and trust me, its not us. Our gag season this summer was amazing. There are plenty of fish out there. Its all BS

Who do you think is the big guy in this situation? Is it the commercial fishing interests? They just lost about $7 million dollars in potential income due to the massive reduction in Total Allowable Catch. (TAC)

I would like to know what the play is here? There has to be other people that are involved in the fisheries that could enlighten the rest of us on the forum.

Here is what I know.

Around 2007 a vote on the Individual Fishing Quota program was cast by every commercial fisher-person that held a Gulf Reef Fish permit. The IFQ system was voted down. The National Marine Fisheries Service changed the the eligibility of the voter to a permit holder that lands in excess of 8,000 lbs of grouper a year or more. The IFQ system passed and was implemented in 2010. This system was touted as a cure-all for the fish populations and the fish markets problems. Since derby fishing was no longer allowed there would no longer be a flood of fish into the markets at the beginning of the year. This was supposed to allow for stability for fish prices. Also this system was supposed to eliminate overfishing. The IFQ system was also supposed to prevent fishermen from fishing in foul weather because derby style fishing is a race to catch the fish before the TAC was met.

A huge transfer of money happened between large quota holders (the people who received large allotments of quota due to their catch history) and the relatively new participants like the boat I started working for in 2009 right before the IFQ system was in place. We sank all our money in to buying quota so we could continue fishing. Some fishermen sold all their quota and retired. Some fishermen spent all of their money buying what they thought they needed to make a living. Other fishermen couldn't afford to buy what they needed so they leased quota from the large quota holders. (essentially turning many fishermen into share croppers) 2010 the Gag TAC was set at 1.2 million lbs. All the small time hook and line or spearfishing boats were doing well. We had a good year and caught the 3,000 lbs of gags that we bought. Fish seemed to be abundant. With no prior warning in 2011 the NMFS said that the gag fishery was on the brink of collapse and cut the commercial TAC by 90% from 1.2 million lbs to 120,000 lbs. The gag quota that we had bought was now worth 300 lbs for the entire year. The lease price on gag went from around $.50 a lb to about $3.00 a lb and the price at the dock for gag was only $4.00. If you leased gag quota landed a 20 lb fish worth $80 you gave the person who owned the quota $60. This was the beginning of the end for Capt. John and the Under Pressure. It seems to me that the plan all along was to suck all the savings out of the small time guy through buying IFQ and then take him out at the knees by reducing the fish that he makes the most money by 90%.

I know most of the recreational guys won't cry any tears for commercial guys and I'm not asking you to. I sold my whole operation at the beginning of 2022 right before talk leaked out that gag TAC was going to be catastrophically reduced. That just happed to be dumb luck. What I would like to point out is that this has been done before to the commercial and recreational fisher-persons and now they are doing it again.

The only options that I see for why this is happening is either gross incompetence by the government managing our fishery or this is being done on purpose to eliminate fisher-persons.

Does anyone have any other potential options for the actions of our Gulf Council and NMFS?





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Old 01-10-2023, 09:01 AM   #83
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Back in 1990 when the NMFS started the Gulf of Mexico commercial permitting program, I was told by a high level NMFS staffer that the long term goal of the NMFS was to “reduce the capacity of the fleet”. If you look back at virtually every rule the NMFS has implemented in the past 32 yrs, the direct result was it forced more and more fisherman out of the fishery, myself included. The most powerful tool in the NMFS is “attrition” and they wield it like a mighty sword!
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Old 01-11-2023, 08:03 AM   #84
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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Back in 1990 when the NMFS started the Gulf of Mexico commercial permitting program, I was told by a high level NMFS staffer that the long term goal of the NMFS was to “reduce the capacity of the fleet”. If you look back at virtually every rule the NMFS has implemented in the past 32 yrs, the direct result was it forced more and more fisherman out of the fishery, myself included. The most powerful tool in the NMFS is “attrition” and they wield it like a mighty sword!
The capacity of the "commercial" fleet has been reduced. Now that there are no longer any locations in the gulf that are unknown it takes less commercial fishermen to catch the same amount of fish. Our technology has eliminated any place for a fish to hide other than closed areas.

The amount of recreational fishermen has dramatically increased and their ability to find places that only a handful of "old timers" had in their black books is now easier than ever. The bottom line is that there are far fewer fish in the gulf than there was in the 90's and this trend seems to be getting worse.

This is on the front page of the Gulf Councils web site.

"Managing fishery resources to achieve the greatest harvest year after year while ensuring the health of fish stocks, ecosystems, and habitat.

The Council relies on sound science and public opinion to make fishery management recommendations that aim to balance competing interests and achieve the greatest overall benefit to the nation."

This is what doesn't add up to me. If the goal was to reduce fishermen in general that has not happened. If the goal is to increase fish stocks that has also not happened. What is the comprehensive long term plan that is going to keep the fishery healthy?




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Old 01-11-2023, 05:13 PM   #85
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Sound science? That’s total bullshit IMO. Their idea of sound science has historically been nothing more than a slightly educated dart throw. They base their rule making on “best available science and data”. However, they conveniently leave out the part where the science and data they collected was done with about 10 or 20% of the money that would have been required to collect truly reliable and complete data. I pressed them on this one night at a public input meeting and their response was, “Well we collected the data using the amount of money that was appropriated for this stock assessment”. So basically, this allows them to always fall back on their “we implemented this rule with the best available data” and we are are all left powerless to challenge their decisions. Once I realized how corrupt fisheries management really was, I sold my boat and permits and got into the Speargun Mfg. business. The irony is, they still maintain a certain level of control over my business.
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Old 01-12-2023, 07:24 AM   #86
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

You are on the trail I'm trying to drive on! Are these decisions being made by incompetent government officials, by government officials with an agenda or large corporate interests that are pulling the strings of the government lawmakers? There has to be someone in those offices that would be willing to spill the beans.

I'm not sure if you have been paying attention to the Alaska crab fishery for the past two years but their IFQ system has seemed to have failed miserably. How can the Bering Sea Snow Crab (BSS) fishery go from 5 millions lbs in 2021/2022 to Zero for 2022/2023 without any warning? 2021/2022 Landings

Again I see only two options for this situation. Either NOAA is completely incompetent or this is a play to remove more fishermen from the fleet and let the big guys get bigger. What else could it be?


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Old 01-12-2023, 08:40 AM   #87
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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You are on the trail I'm trying to drive on! Are these decisions being made by incompetent government officials, by government officials with an agenda or large corporate interests that are pulling the strings of the government lawmakers? There has to be someone in those offices that would be willing to spill the beans. I'm not sure if you have been paying attention to the Alaska crab fishery for the past two years but their IFQ system has seemed to have failed miserably. How can the Bering Sea Snow Crab (BSS) fishery go from 5 millions lbs in 2021/2022 to Zero for 2022/2023 without any warning? 2021/2022 Landings Again I see only two options for this situation. Either NOAA is completely incompetent or this is a play to remove more fishermen from the fleet and let the big guys get bigger. What else could it be? .
On the commercial side, I believe it’s mainly about reducing the capacity of the fleet. I think they ultimately would like to get the GOM permitted fleet down to about 40 or 50 vessels (maybe less). This reduces competition and would potentially make vessels more profitable. However, incompetence and bias has always been an issue at NMFS. It is virtually impossible for a small operator to make a full time living in the commercial sector. Everyone I know that has commercial permits does it part time and has another primary source of income. Although many folks who bought up quota in the early days made a bunch of money when quota was relatively cheap, I believe the quota system has been a disaster for most small (1 vessel) commercial fisherman. NMFS power is much like that of a Python, they stalk you with VMS, they wrap themselves around every aspect of your operation, and then squeeze the life out of you. The sad thing is they tell you death is not their objective, but the truth is that is often the result.
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Old 01-15-2023, 07:45 AM   #88
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Where did all the red grouper go?

50 ft of water NorthWest of Johns Pass August 2013. Red Grouper Nursury

Can anyone show me red grouper footage like this from this past summer? Or summer 2021,2020,2019,2018?

Where did all the grouper go?

"In the resturant."

#horriblefisheriesmanagment #someoneisstealingyourfishery




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Old 01-23-2023, 02:15 AM   #89
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

Balls. Just here poking around a bit (hey Ben, glad to see you are still at it!) and getting psyched to head back to FL and do some diving this summer and I read this charming tale of corruption and destruction...
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Old 01-24-2023, 06:38 AM   #90
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Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery

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Again I see only two options for this situation. Either NOAA is completely incompetent or this is a play to remove more fishermen from the fleet and let the big guys get bigger. What else could it be?
The goal is to get the industry in control by a few big guys that the gov't can ultimately control. It's the same as them creating laws/regs that drive small farms out of business.

This was all documented by them in the UN's "Agenda 21" treatise that you can read on their website.
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