TimestampEnter your full nameemail addressCity, State, Zip CodeCheck all that applyComments
1/20/2021 11:12:49Test Testtest@gulfcouncil.orgTampa, FL 22607OtherTest
7/20/2021 15:43:46Dwight Robbins
Clearwater Florida 33764
Private Recreational Angler
What are you doing about the Tampa bay spill tragedy??
8/19/2021 10:06:02Skip Schexnayder
Lafayette, La. 70508
Private Recreational Angler
Commercial and rec limits should be set at 1 fish / person / day. No one needs to keep more than one cobia. Commercials and rec fisherman alike can do a number on cobia in the right conditions. Finding a large group of fish willing to bite (10 or more) is not uncommon. Happens several times a year even with the limited time we spend on the water. Commercial guys won’t stop until they catch them all. Not a knock, but it’s the nature of their business.
8/26/2021 7:45:24Dylan Hubbard
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
9/17/2021 17:34:46Timothy Allairetimallaire@cox.netFort Walton Beach
Private Recreational Angler
Make Cobia a game fish, no commercial sale allowed.
9/20/2021 17:45:27Kenny Moore
Hamilton Ga 31811
Private Recreational Angler
3 year moratorium.
After that
1 per vessel per day
2 personal bag limit per season.
9/23/2021 17:39:26Matt murphy
Private Recreational Angler
There has been a drastic reduction to the population of spring cobia migration over the past 20 years here. The commercial limits need to be reduced on all species of fish that have been depleted if they are hard to catch recreational then no reason to sell commercial something that is farmed such as cobia. There is a huge kill of cobia from Alabama to Texas when fish migrate and begin to hang on oil rigs. The limits in states with the oil rigs need to be dropped to a boat limit I would say 2 per. Boat maximum more than plenty to eat and enjoy. Allowing two per person and no boat limits has seriously depleted population on the gulf coast. The results of tournaments over the past 20 years reflect the lack of cobia. We used to see fish daily in the spring now your lucky to see cobia at all during the spring season. I would say need to take the bounty off of there head with these month+ tournaments as well turn them into a money based target.. would love to talk with someone on the council I have so much to say on this subject that I could not reasonably cover in a “comment” but would appreciate a verbal conversation with any one on council willing to call 850-525-3717
Thanks for your time Matt Murphy
9/24/2021 15:18:34Herbert Larson
Private Recreational Angler
I propose that the present size limitations be preserved, but that the bag limit should be set to one cobia, per boat, per day. I have been fishing and scuba diving the Gulf of Mexico from the Keys to Tarpon Springs almost every week for the past 40 years. There has been a noticeable decline in the cobia stock. I highly support regulation limiting the cobia harvest to preserve the cobia stock.
10/19/2021 15:40:05Bill D'Antuonobild62@gmail.comnaples, florida, 34112
Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Commercial Fisherman
There is no shortage of cobia in Southwest Florida. There is also no reason to limit cobia to 2 per vessel commercially. According to NOAAs own data, Commercial fishermen take 12-15% of cobia annually. The rest is taken by overwhelming recreational sector. Cobia is a by-catch fishery commercially in the gulf of Mexico. The data at the meetings suggest limiting cobia to 2 per vessel will have LESS THAN 1 PERCENT impact on the fishery. This is a very rare decision of the council to limit it a fish when the science does not conclude it needs to be. Make cobia 4-6 per trip commercially.
10/20/2021 14:11:29Noah Nelson
Ponce Inlet FL
Private Recreational Angler
Hello my name is Noah Nelson, I attended this past Tuesday's online meeting but wanted to get something more formal written. Since I could walk I have cobia fished and since my father could walk he did too. Growing up I can remember climbing in the tower with my dad and being the only ones in miles cobia fishing, off of Cape Canaveral and Ponce inlet Florida. My dad grew up in the panhandle of Florida cobia fishing off of the Pensacola beach pier and seeing hundreds and hundreds of fish move through every spring time for their migration. Once my dad was old enough he built a cobia tower out of 2 by 4's and fished the panhandle until the mid 80s when he eventually found a fishery almost untouched at that time, in Cape Canaveral Florida, From there the rest is history, he has stories of seeing hundreds and hundreds of fish with no one in sight for miles all the way up until the early 2000's it was like that. I can only speak from my experience but even over the 15 years I have personally been cobia fishing, I can say the amount of recreational fisherman fishing for them has quadrupled at the very least. Social media has a big part to do with the increase in cobia fishing, but that is besides the point. The regulations In the (FLEC) zone as they stand right now are completely unsustainable. There used to be a certain shoal off of Port Canaveral where the cobia would spawn in the summer months, due to the lack of regulations in the (FLEC) zone people would go out with 10 people on one boat and kill 20 cobia just legal a day for the whole month they were there. Eventually there were no fish left and that whole population of fish had been wiped out. For the past 5 years there have been little to no fish on that shoal because of this. Right now this is happening too but in a different area off Ponce and Port. Though It is a smaller group of people who know about this, the cat is bound to get out of the bag, there are people right now going out there loading their boat with 6-8 people and going to kill 10-16 barely legal cobia. A majority of these fish have had little time to spawn being that they are being killed right around when they hit 33" inches to the fork. If we are to preserve these fish for future generations these fish need more strict regulations. For action 5.2 I am for alternative 3A which reduces the vessel limit in Federal waters to two per vessel. There is no need to be able to kill 20 barely legal cobia on one boat in one day. 2 cobia are more than enough fish. I am also for Action 6 Alternative 2 in both zones. lots of the fish we see right now and all through the summer and into the fall are 30-33" inches to the fork. It feels like right when they do reach that legal 33" inch to the fork you see them being slaughtered in certain areas. Raising the size limit to 36" inches would allow these fish more time to spawn and overall create a healthier fishery. Another topic last night on the online meeting people brought up making cobia a net only fish, too many times you see people who may not know what they are doing gaff a short cobia because they get too excited. We use a big turtle net for all of our cobia no matter what, however I do think making cobia a net only fish would help the fishery as too many times you see people gaffing short fish. Finally I want to throw this out here. The fishery in the panhandle from what I have heard is in drastic need for help, the Pensacola beach pier went from seeing hundreds of fish caught a season to seeing as little as 10 cobia caught a season. The fishery has progressively gotten worse every year since 2015. A common excuse for this is the 2010 oil spill and that's what messed up their fishery, however the oil spill happened in 2010 and the fishery was good up until around 2015, when people started seeing a drop in fish. I can’t speak much on the panhandle fishery as I haven't fished it as hard as the East coast but it seems it is hurting. To sum up what I have stated I support Action 5.2 alternative 3A and also support Action 6 Alternative 2. Also, I don’t think making the cobia a net only fish would be a bad idea. Thank you for your time and I just hope to see these fish thrive for future generations to come.
10/20/2021 14:27:22Noah Nelson
Ponce Inlet Fl
Private Recreational Angler
Action 5.2 alternative 3A and also support Action 6 Alternative 2.
Also, I don’t think making the cobia a net only fish would be a bad idea.
Thank you for your time and I just hope to see these fish thrive for future generations to come.
10/20/2021 15:18:39Neal horton
Mobile Al. 36693Commercial Fisherman
The recreational fishery kills so many more than commercial boats do we don't target cobia they are only a bonus for us you would come out way better cutting recreational limit in half we need all the help we can get.
10/20/2021 15:40:01Luke Nelson
New Smyrna Fl
Private Recreational Angler
Over the past years the cobia population has taken a big hit.
In the FLEC ZONE a Cobia size limit of 36” to the fork is good and two per vessel is more than enough.
Right now having the cobia at 2 per person with no boat limit is insane, people go out with 10 people on their boat and slaughter 20 fish. People have done this to a certain spot off port and the cobia fishing at that spot hasn’t been the same in 7 years, we have to protect these fish in the (FLEC) zone.
10/20/2021 16:37:07BillDantuonoNaples, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Commercial Fisherman
Cobia Commercial fishery in the gulf is a by-catch fishery. Very small amount of commercial boats are targeting cobia in the gulf. According to NOAAs presentation and data, a tiny fraction of commercial boats bring back more than 2 cobia per trip. The lack of data from the recreational side, the explosion of recreational fishing and larger boats holding more recreational anglers show that the recreational side should be treated differently in this situation. The motion to restrict cobia fishing on the commercial side is another hit on hardworking commercial fisherman and small businesses in a year filled with regulatory changes on the commercial side. There is no reason to restrict commercial cobia regulations I vote for motion 4c in theGulf zone. (4 or 6 cobia per commercial trip). 4a directly goes against the logic of NOAAs own data and will impact small businesses economically which is in contraction of the MSA.
10/21/2021 10:01:58Jim Green
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
10/28/2021 7:32:49Ben Faireybenfairey@gmail.comAL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
I would like to thank the council for the opportunity to comment on cobia. My name is Capt. Ben Fairey. I am the current Alabama State record holder for cobia. I have fished for cobia for over 50 years. I have guided to 5 cobia world records. During my charter career my crews and I have tagged 100's of cobia. Having been involved in the cobia fishery for many years I have had a good perspective of how the cobia stocks have really declined since the late 90's and early 2000's. Along the Alabama/NW florida coast in the 90's it was average to see at least 30 to 50 cobia a day during the annual migration. Our annual migration has basically collapsed and sightfishing has gotten so poor the local cobia tournaments have been discontinued cause of the lack of cobia. When I was chartering I had a steady clientele for the annual migration but as cobia fishing declined that business opportunity disappeared.Its well documented that fishing pressure has increased and cobia was heavily targeted for years. Its my hope the council will take steps to rebuild cobia stocks to scientifically sound levels as soon as possible even if it takes a total moratorium on cobia harvest till stocks have time to recover.
Thank you,
Capt. Ben Fairey
10/30/2021 11:11:36David Johnson
Tarpon Springs FL 34689
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisherman
Totally disagree with the amendment. To further restrict commercial harvest with almost no effect on the fishery makes no sense.
3/24/21Gary JarvisDestin, FLHey Ryan, I am listening in on this webinar and there's no place for a chat room I'm ficing to have to leave for up previous appointment but I just want to make sure that it's entered in the public record that your charter fisherman's association is in full support of trip limits that were voted on in the for the entire Gulf of Mexico no exceptions We have to take som eserious actions in our opinion to try to help rebuild the Cobia stokcs in the Gulf of Mexico we've seen a steady 15-year decline in the biomass of fish in all five states regardless of other antidotal evidence to the contrary. This is also the same position of the Destin Charter boat association and the majority position of private recreational anglers who valued this fishery as part of their saltwater fishing experience.