|Timestamp||Enter your full name||email address||City, State, Zip Code||Check all that apply||Comments|
|1/19/2017 13:32:03||Test Tester|
|Testville, FL 55555||Other|
This is a test. This is a test. This is a test.
|1/26/2017 19:32:58||William Copeland|
|New Port Richey||Commercial Fisher|
When is the Gulf Council going to correct the totally biased and unfair mistake they made in the original distribution of IFQ shares, especially red snapper?
Your vessel statistics don't tell the story. 20 people control over 50% of the red snapper shares. I have an active reef permit with no IFQ shares. I should have been allocated my fair share when you activated my permit. If I don't catch close to my share allocation after a couple years you could adjust then and redistribute. This is the only fair thing to do. You have to give me the chance to succeed. Your biased and unfair policies were voted on in a biased and unfairly manner and continue unfair. You give 10's of millions of dollars to a select few kings and leave the rest of us serfs scurrying for the crumbs.
|2/1/2017 12:07:17||Steven Craig Rash|
|APALACHICOLA||Commercial Fisher, Other|
My name is Steven Rash and I have owned and operated Water Street Seafood in Apalachicola for over 30 years. Water Street Seafood employs 60 people and processes and distributes seafood to customers all over the country. One of our main markets is the Gulf Coast. Water Street Seafood buys fish from over 20 boats and from many other fish dealers on the Gulf coast to distribute to the restaurants on the Gulf coast. Locally harvested grouper and Red Snapper are our two most popular products. Tourists and visitors come to the Gulf coast to enjoy our local seafood and Snapper and grouper are the top two items that the restaurants need to offer our visitors.
The IFQ programs implemented in the Red Snapper and grouper/tilefish fisheries have stabilized our supply and access to these fish. Water Street seafood has invested millions of dollars to insure we have quotas for our boats. Any restrictions on the use of the shares and allocations would have a disastrous effect on Water Street Seafood. The system is working and there is no need to change it now. Market prices for shares and allocations have been established.
If restrictions are imposed on the use and transfer of shares and/or allocations Water Street Seafood itself stands to lose millions of dollars and dozens of jobs will be lost at Water Street Seafood. In addition, our fishermen will lose millions of dollars in quota value as well as many jobs. Hundreds of jobs will be at risk in the restaurants and markets that depend on the commercial fishermen and the snapper and grouper they produce.
The total value of the Red Snapper and Grouper/Tilefish shares is almost $400M and up to $25M worth of allocation changes hands each year. Please do not destroy this with uneeded restrictions on a system that is working.
Steven C. Rash
Water Street Seafood, Inc.