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TimestampEnter your full nameemail addressCity, State, Zip CodeCheck all that applyComments
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1/21/2020 11:25:35Test Testtesting@gulfcouncil.orgTampa, FL 33607Testing
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1/27/2020 9:59:51Catherine Bruger
cbruger@oceanconservancy.org
St. Petersburg, FLNGOhttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1VhZ57u1fkNUG6-uik7sIbAogARyhB0sp
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1/28/2020 9:31:48Elizabeth Silleckesilleck@edf.orgAustin, TXNGOhttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1b0CsABy09QbEm281LrWDlhnmF4xiuKr8
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5/21/2020 13:38:49Test
Emily.Muehlstein@gulfcouncil.org
Hhh
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6/16/2020 10:19:19Eric Brazer
eric@shareholdersalliance.org
NGOhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1St3r6-AgCHem2sSTTDPTk7UzHtRLV1dN/view?usp=sharing
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6/16/2020 11:14:57Sepp Haukeboshaukebo@edf.orgNGOhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1sWv3eX6aNNTvyuvBUCQBBWcx-64MuRXK/view?usp=sharing
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7/18/2020 9:28:31alan j schmidtajmac@cass.netdeerfield michiganPrivate Recreational Angleri have never caught as many red grouper as i did last winter in fla out of englewood. if i fished within 16 mile of shore short red grouper were a nuisance when trying to catch other fish. we had to go out over 30 mile to get away from small reds and catch keepers.we caught our limit 9 out of 10 times when we went out over 30 miles. i cannot see lowering the limit while there are so many red grouper out there. thank you.
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7/18/2020 15:28:40alan j schmidtajmac@cass.netdeerfield michiganPrivate Recreational Angleri have never caught as many red grouper as i did last winter in fla out of englewood. if i fished within 16 mile of shore short red grouper were a nuisance when trying to catch other fish. we had to go out over 30 mile to get away from small reds and catch keepers.we caught our limit 9 out of 10 times when we went out over 30 miles. i cannot see lowering the limit while there are so many red grouper out there. thank you.
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10/25/2020 22:57:23Brian Lewis
blewis131@hotmail.com
Clearwater,fl 33765 Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher, IFQ Shareholder
Dear Council Members ,

I’m a stakeholder who has already lost 60 percent of my allocation due to the reduction of the TAC to the commercial fleet .
This new method of recalibrating what the recreational fisherman have caught is nothing more than a fish grab .
The recreational fisherman hardly ever fished for red grouper Historically And you know this To be true

You consider this To be the best science available really ?

I Spent my life savings to purchase red grouper shares to keep my business afloat and now you want to try to take It away !

The recreational fisherman already has many other of species of fish they can catch !
This Amendment is not fair or equitable in any way and must be tabled !

Please consider the harm to the fishery This amendment will do

Regards
Brian lewis
F/V Trip limit
556461

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10/26/2020 11:08:52Eric Brazer
eric@shareholdersalliance.org
NGOhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1YBuRU-2rabLIe9oVWMUo_eEW-Q7B7MS9/view?usp=sharing
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12/1/2020 15:07:50Meaghan Ermory
meaghan.e.emory@gmail.com
Private Recreational AnglerTo whom it may concern,

I was unable to join in for the public comment section during today's Council meeting, but wanted to share the following comment with the Council. I would greatly appreciate it if you could please forward this message along to the appropriate contacts.

The Florida Skin Divers Association (FSDA) is a recreational diving organization of 230 active members who regularly dive and spearfish around the state of Florida. Our members are your eyes in the water that can provide direct observations of our Gulf of Mexico marine ecosystems. Over the past few years, our observations have paralleled those of the red grouper stock assessment – we have observed very low red grouper abundance and have noticed a lower recreational catch than usual. Many of our members would prefer to see increases in size limits as a conservation measure as opposed to seasonal closures, which often result in increased pressure to other species. We hope this information proves useful to the Council, and we appreciate your time and dedication to these issues.

Warm regards,

Meaghan Emory
Secretary, Florida Skin Divers Association
President, Women’s Spearfishing Alliance
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1/25/2021 10:50:01Eric Brazer
eric@shareholdersalliance.org
NGOhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/11Oit22S0qtzY8kzFJ9LlhC6BTegbc50s/view?usp=sharing
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1/28/2021 11:55:11Glen Brooks
brooks3glen@yahoo.com

To the Gulf of Mexico fishery management council
01/28/2021

On the issue of multi use red and gag grouper allocation, I believe that for people like me its not gonna make much difference if it goes away. Everyone's red grouper and gag allocation will go up accordingly with the elimination of multi use.
But for the smaller guys and new entrants that we are always talking about protecting it may very well hurt them a lot. If a fisherman has plenty of red grouper allocation for the year and very little gag allocation they may be very dependent on that multi use to avoid discards as to why we have multi use allocation to begin with.


As for amendment 53 I oppose any re-allocation

It would definitely be taking more fish away from the non fishing public.

It unfairly hurts commercial fisherman (large and small operations) who have had an already difficult year due to the pandemic and uncertain markets with most of the country being shut down.

Most fisherman have worked hard to balance there allocation accounts to match there business goals and keep a year round fishery open for resturants and markets by either buying shares they need or securing leasing options and contracts.

Taking allocation away from these businesses will drive up the cost and demand for remaining shares and allocation.

This action will reward the rec sector for there overfishing.

Calibration can and should be done without re-allocation


Glen Brooks
Gulf Fishermans Assoc.
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1/28/2021 11:55:54Glen Brooks
brooks3glen@yahoo.com

To the Gulf of Mexico fishery management council
01/28/2021

On the issue of multi use red and gag grouper allocation, I believe that for people like me its not gonna make much difference if it goes away. Everyone's red grouper and gag allocation will go up accordingly with the elimination of multi use.
But for the smaller guys and new entrants that we are always talking about protecting it may very well hurt them a lot. If a fisherman has plenty of red grouper allocation for the year and very little gag allocation they may be very dependent on that multi use to avoid discards as to why we have multi use allocation to begin with.


As for amendment 53 I oppose any re-allocation

It would definitely be taking more fish away from the non fishing public.

It unfairly hurts commercial fisherman (large and small operations) who have had an already difficult year due to the pandemic and uncertain markets with most of the country being shut down.

Most fisherman have worked hard to balance there allocation accounts to match there business goals and keep a year round fishery open for resturants and markets by either buying shares they need or securing leasing options and contracts.

Taking allocation away from these businesses will drive up the cost and demand for remaining shares and allocation.

This action will reward the rec sector for there overfishing.

Calibration can and should be done without re-allocation


Glen Brooks
Gulf Fishermans Assoc.
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1/29/2021 13:42:00Bob Zalesbobzales2@gmail.comOn behalf of the members of SOFA and the Gulf members of NACO I respectfully request that the planned future public hearings on amend 53, red grouper, be held when in person meetings can be provided. Yesterday y’all added a significant motion to the proposed amendment, to include an option which holds the commercial ACL in pounds at its current level. There has been no analysis of what this motion means so without such and no info on where any council member stands on the potential impact of the motion, there is no way stakeholders can provide reasonable comment on any possible impact to the stock or to the social and economic impact to fishermen and communities. As all know proposed amend 53 will implement substantial changes to the allocation of red grouper, available quota to the commercial and recreational sectors, will have serious impacts on the social and economic status of small fishing families, local fish processors, for hire charter and private recreational fishermen, supporting businesses, seafood consumers, and local communities. In addition several alternatives were designated as preferred providing no time for stakeholders to fully understand the intent of the council.

Public hearings should not be scheduled until all alternatives contained in the amendment have been fully analyzed with the data provided so stakeholders understand the impact of each alternative. In addition, it is impossible for stakeholders to reasonably participate in a virtual hearing as electronic means are unreliable and many cases such technology is limited at best for some. Amend 53 has been a work in progress for several years and the potential impacts will have dramatic affects. The stakeholders deserve the ability to participate in a full in person meeting so all information can be provided, questions asked, and comments can be provided.

We are in a new transition of leadership in our administration and within NOAA and NOAA Fisheries. Many changes of management actions may be forth coming. Chris Oliver, who performed well as AA and was greatly appreciated has resigned and Paul Doremus has been appointed as acting AA. Other leadership within NOAA have also resigned. Many changes are upon us and the proposed changes to management of the red grouper fishery will have significant impacts on all. Due to the fact Amend 53 has been ongoing we see no need for immediate electronic hearings on alternatives that have not been fully vetted and we have no idea where council members stand on these new alternatives. We encourage you to place the new information in front of the council at the April meeting and schedule hearings when in person hearings can be arranged.

Thanks,

Capt Bob Zales, II
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1/29/2021 13:42:42Charlie Bergmann ceb11@att.net With upcoming public hearings on Amendment 53, I encourage the Council to hold them publicly. As your April Council meeting in Tampa is in the epicenter of the red grouper fishery a public hearing during the Hybrid council meeting would afford members of the fishery the opportunity to learn and testify in person on the important changes being suggested.
While webinar council meeting have carried the ball this past year, it hasn’t been a seamless transition and technical problems occur and suppress the ability of many fishermen to comment verbally.
Best regards,
Charlie Bergmann
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1/29/2021 19:08:23Joseph abdo
jmabdo2020@gmail.com
33781Commercial FisherReef Fish Amendment 53, I oppose any re-allocation. It would definitely be taking more fish away from the non fishing public.
It unfairly hurts commercial fisherman (large and small operations) who have had an already difficult year due to the pandemic and uncertain markets with most of the country being shut down. Most fisherman have worked hard to balance there allocation accounts to match there business goals and keep a year round fishery open for resturants and markets by either buying shares they need or securing leasing options and contracts. Taking allocation away from these businesses will drive up the cost and demand  for remaining  shares and allocation.
This action will reward the rec sector for there overfishing.
Calibration can and should be done without re-allocation

Joseph Abdo
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2/1/2021 9:26:40Joe Abdo
gulffreshfillet@gmail.com
Commercial FisherTo the Gulf of Mexico fishery management council;

I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to hear what the commercial fishermen, like myself, have to say about these changes you are considering. I am a commercial fisherman, and this is my family’s only source of income. I strongly oppose any re-allocation in amendment 53. This would be detrimental to the commercial fishing community who have already had to struggle with the changes and closures this pandemic has thrown at us. For those who do not own shares, it is already a struggle to secure allocation to lease, taking more allocation away from us will drive up the cost and demand for remaining shares and allocation, making it harder for us to get the allocation to land the fish so that we can supply these fish to our local businesses. It not only affects fishermen, but it also affects the local businesses who purchase our fish. Calibration can and should be done but without re-allocating the quota.

On the issue of multi-use red and gag grouper allocation, my boats predominantly fish for Red Grouper, therefore I do not usually secure as much gag allocation as I do Red Grouper allocation. There have been times where we have been dependent on the multi allocation to prevent my boats from having to discard the gag that we would not have had allocation to land.

I hope you will take into account how all this will be harmful for the commercial fishing industry as well as local businesses that depend on the fish we catch.

Thank you,
Joe Abdo
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2/2/2021 13:59:28Kirby O Klys
captnkirby1@gmail.com
FORT WHITEIFQ Shareholder, retiredI did fish for 30+ years, and still hold both my permit and shares, I have also attended both the management and science workshops. What I find extremely disheartening with the potential allocation shift is that , 1) due to the truncated nature of the data, the prior cut in tac and now the potential reallocation you have listed as your preferred alternative does not address some real world concerns. My disclaimer is that I am just now getting re involved, so don't beat me up if I'm a bit off on specifics. The larger picture remains the same.
1)On the fisheries side TAC due to the truncated nature of the science, I believe 2018 at this time for the red grouper assessment, (Something's fishy with red grouper, Emily) any increase in tac lags real world landings on the commercial side. The practical result is that permissible landings as restrained, of with a shift in allocation, reduced as the biomass is increasing.
2) On the socio economic models of just who and where gets the best bang for the buck, I believe those models need to be revisited and improved, and slanted toward people who actually make a living catching fish. From personal experience, every recreational fisher obviously wants to bring home more meat. In real life one fish more or less is not going to keep most recreational fishers home. Also from my own past, on the commercial side, fixed costs are high. Income isn't, and most commercial fishers aren't affluent, just trying to make a living. Cutting an 26% of of their pay, of which not much is profit. will unfairly hurt all, and put many of these people out of business, resulting on a drain of our economy,
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2/3/2021 11:20:30Eric McLaughlin
tiderunnermarine@gmail.com
Goodland, FL 34140Commercial Fisher, IFQ Shareholder, DealerTo the Gulf of Mexico fishery management council;

Thank you in advance for taking the time to consider my concerns as they pertain to amendment 53, as a commercial fisherman. I strongly oppose any re-allocation in amendment 53. This would be detrimental to the commercial fishing community who have already had to struggle with the changes and closures from this pandemic. For those of us who do not own shares, it is already hard to secure allocation to lease. Taking more allocation away from us will drive up the cost and demand for remaining shares and allocation, making it harder for us to get the allocation to land the fish that many of our local businesses rely on. It not only affects fishermen, but it also affects the local businesses who purchase our fish. Calibration can and should be done but without re-allocating the quota.

Also the mortality rate of discarded Red Grouper from the recreational sector will increase substantially if amendment 53 passes.

I hope you will take into account how this will harm the commercial fishing industry as well as local businesses that depend on our catch.


Thank you,
Eric McLaughlin

tiderunnermarine@gmail.com
(239) 431-1836
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2/24/2021 12:48:40joseph Abdo
jmabdo2020@gnail.com
pinellas prk florida 33781
Commercial FisherI oppose amendment 53, it would take too many fish away from the non fishing public who depend on our local domestic grouper production in the commercial sector. It will drive the foreign fish market dependancy and destroy local fishery jobs,whilst driving down domestic product production. It unfairly hurts commercial fishing businesses lrge and smaller operations. Not
too Mention commercial fisherman that down on shares depend on leasing these allocations to provide yields to pay their bills and feed their families this reallocation would drive those prices up to where smaller boats and people that lease these fish would not be able to operate. Not to mention it would drive up the cost of shares which would make it even more prohibitive for future entrance to come to the commercial fishery it basically would destroy the commercial fishery by passing this amendment.
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2/27/2021 2:18:56joseph Abdo
jmabdo2020@gnail.com
pinellas prk florida 33781
Commercial FisherI oppose amendment 53, it would take too many fish away from the non fishing public who depend on our local domestic grouper production in the commercial sector. It will drive the foreign fish market dependancy and destroy local fishery jobs,whilst driving down domestic product production. It unfairly hurts commercial fishing businesses lrge and smaller operations. Not
too Mention commercial fisherman that down on shares depend on leasing these allocations to provide yields to pay their bills and feed their families this reallocation would drive those prices up to where smaller boats and people that lease these fish would not be able to operate. Not to mention it would drive up the cost of shares which would make it even more prohibitive for future entrance to come to the commercial fishery it basically would destroy the commercial fishery by passing this amendment.
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4/7/2021 11:45:56James H Zurbrickjim@jollyrogersii.comSteinhatchee FL 32359Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher, NGO, IFQ Shareholder, DealerI have witnessed the same Amendment 53 intentions a few years ago with the labeled re-calibration in regards to Red Snapper. It did not work then and I hope it will not succeed now. Regardless of the time span used to allocate to a non-accountable fishery from an accountable sector was wrong in the past and continues to be wrong. If it is correct to assume that a Recreational sector would be rewarded with a larger percentage from over-fishing their allocation, one should be outraged with this amendment and any other that uses this rationale. If there is to be an adjustment it should not be considered until the Red Grouper stock has a status of healthy and even then not re-allocated until the same accountability as the Commercial sector is achieved. The Commercial sector is trying to recover from an extremely difficult time financially and decreasing their access is wrong at best.
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4/12/2021 9:39:17Eric Brazer
eric@shareholdersalliance.org
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Cbe7srOaRhDoBH_Mp_ej_uac4_md4Xxy/view?usp=sharing
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4/13/2021 8:24:45Eric Brazer
eric@shareholdersalliance.org
NGOhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1rLjMELNU7Kereh_gYcYGacDffamaxI3x/view?usp=sharing
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4/14/2021 17:07:47HD Pappas
shickman@pappas.com
Texashttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1_44kB5vWbPHwy8-cOPGq-SMK9T6iuHt2/view?usp=sharing
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4/15/2021 7:57:44Dylan Hubbard
dhubbard@hubbardsmarina.com
Madeira Beach, FLCharter/Headboat For-Hirehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1eh8KRWdX8ArA3iaUjpPUcJ7XvX91PTIw/view?usp=sharing
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4/30/2021 12:50:54Kirby O Klys
captnkirby1@gmail.com
FORT WHITEIFQ Shareholder, retired
I fished commercially for approx. 30 years. The slight increase of what a recreational fisher would receive will not possibly off set the huge number of lbs. of red grouper taken off the table for the vast number of consumers ( who have little knowledge of ,or voice in, this process to be able to make input. Should not that data stream be imputed to making a accurate decision that will affect the us population at large?) who go to a resort town, rent a room, shop and go eat a nice dinner somewhere? Better. more relevant data would put a higher influence with a wider audience who actually impacts the economy in perhaps MORE ways with a wider ripple effect now currently considered. Six of your categories s have a direct impact of fishers of industry related people, only 1 could be construed as public>>>>>? Who represents them? I (again) did it for 30 years, was good at it and never got "rich." ANY percentage of red grouper taken off the plate of the commercial guy or gal trying to make a living in an already very difficult environment will put many out of work. Does this even figure in the overall scheme of things as there WILL BE less and less people actually fishing for the pubic? The person driving the 350 dually, pulling a sweet boat with twins isn't going to make of break a trip based of a fish of two. I don't know about other states, but Florida just got a huge bump in the reactional take of Red Snapper .Thanks to those who will actually read and consider these not through "colored" glasses.

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5/6/2021 9:25:46Bob Zales
info@southernoffshorefishermen.com
Ryan,
Please provide the below to the ssc and all council members.

Sorry for not figuring out mute/unmute as my laptop said it was unmuted. I wanted to speak about the red snapper economic discussion yesterday and also the red grouper interim analysis. On red snapper there was discussion and apparent concern of why there was little economic incitive to lease or purchase quota. Purchasing is a problem due to the high cost per share of $40 + per pound. As an example the current projected increase of the commercial quota of 151,000 pounds + - is equal to over $6 million in value. Most small businesses do not have that kind of capital to spend and those who own shares are not willing to sell. A critical problem is the fact that over 30% of the commercial quota is owned by individuals who do not own a vessel, a required permit, or any other requirement to fish quota. They only own, or have access to, a phone that they use 1 day a year to bring in several hundred thousand dollars of income due to the commodities market they have created.

While there is a quota bank where a fisherman can supposedly lease quota, the problem here is that in order to lease quota one must join the shareholder alliance and agree to all their standards and positions of fishery management. Most do not agree with the shareholder alliance positions. Don’t agree, don’t receive any quota. Another problem is the high lease prices created by the 30% owners of quota of $4.50/pound and an ex vessel price per pound of around $5.50/pound. After payment of the user fee and other normal operating expenses the profit to the leaser is less than $0.50/pound making the leasing not worth the expense so they simply continue discarding red snapper, mostly dead. In other cases now some fish houses have bought up quota and offer to fishermen requiring them to sell only to that fish house. This is driving small family owned local fish houses out of business as they loose fishermen which also negatively affects the local fishing community social and economic impacts. The red snapper IFQ program has created severe social and economic impacts to small family owned fishing business, small family owned fish houses, and the local communities they serve. A more fair structure must be created or the fishery will be owned by investors and only large fish houses and fish operations will be involved, which will ultimately negatively affect the consumer. As the fishermen have stated for years, and the great red snapper count has verified, red snapper are abundant off the west coast of FL where the grouper commercial fishermen have long been encountering these fish and discarding the majority due to no ability to harvest them legally.

The other important issue I wanted to discuss if the red grouper interim rule discussed yesterday. Current landing records show that during the first 4 months of ’21 the red grouper harvest is over 38% of the commercial quota. This is over 10% more than has been harvested over the recent years average. These fishermen have been providing testimony for the last 3 years that they were seeing many small red grouper and expected to see the harvest increase, which it has. This updated landings data must be included in all reports and conversations during the amendment 53 public hearing process and future council discussions. Any change in the current allocation between commercial and recreational sectors will mean the commercial sector will once again be punished as their quota will reached or exceeded before the end of ’21. The increase in landings is no surprise to the fishermen.

Thanks,
Capt Bob Zales, II

Capt Bob Zales, II
Fishery Management Consultant
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