General State of Florida's Fishery

gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
I was reading another thread about the "closure" of commercial dolphin season and must admit as a Florida resident I feel really ashamed that I didn't know much about how any of the commercial management of fisheries works........really only paying attention the recreational regs/legislation.........but I have a feeling those in the know probably don't want too much light shed on the issue anyway. If you care about Florida's environment and fisheries I would suggest please getting informed and letting your local, state, and fed representatives know how you feel.

Question though, is this why you can hardly find a fish market or restaurant in Florida selling fresh Florida seafood anymore? Only farm raised catfish, tilapia, salmon, frozen mahi/yellowfin........plus very short grouper (judging by the thin filets).........and whatever that chinese catfish with the funny name is. And the ones that still do on occassion, simply cost too much for an average joe and family. I remember the days when you could easily get fresh swordfish, wahoo, king, grouper, snapper, mahi, trout plus crustaceans of several varieties on just about every decent seafood restaurant's menu depending on the season (and there were plenty of mom & pop places around - especially on the coasts). I've read tilapia and farm raised salmon are actually bad for you. I went into whole foods market the other day - they wanted $29.50 a pound for wild Alaskan Salmon.....though I do find hybrid Rainbow trout farm raised in North Carolina at BJs that are quite reasonable (and tasty grilled or pan seared). I remember there used to be a huge offshore shrimping business out of the Cape. And my grandfather used to harvest oysters in the Merritt Island area.

What happened? Are the fish simply gone.........more valuable sold elsewhere.........combo of the two?
There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
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Replies

  • Old SkoolOld Skool Posts: 102 Deckhand
    Assuming your grandfather was harvesting oysters in 1940. There were less than 2,000,000 people in the state and less than 20,000 in Brevard County. Look at habitat loss (mangroves, seagrasses, reefs) as well as pollution increases (agricultural and lawn runoff, sewage, pesticides, gas and engine oils, etc.) as well as new roads and causeways which interrupt water flow. And you'll have your fish stock answer. Combine that with a comparison of the relative cost of cleaning and preparing a fish for sale here and overseas (particularly Vietnam) and you'll get an idea of why the price difference.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    gettinwet wrote: »
    I have a feeling those in the know probably don't want too much light shed on the issue anyway.

    Why would you feel that?

    The difference now is that commercial fishing is regulated and you can't bring a fish you catch to the back door of your local restaurant.

    Well, maybe you can.

    Once.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Old Skool wrote: »
    Assuming your grandfather was harvesting oysters in 1940. There were less than 2,000,000 people in the state and less than 20,000 in Brevard County. Look at habitat loss (mangroves, seagrasses, reefs) as well as pollution increases (agricultural and lawn runoff, sewage, pesticides, gas and engine oils, etc.) as well as new roads and causeways which interrupt water flow. And you'll have your fish stock answer. Combine that with a comparison of the relative cost of cleaning and preparing a fish for sale here and overseas (particularly Vietnam) and you'll get an idea of why the price difference.

    Obviously true with inshore species........and I can possibly understand the $29.50 due to shipping fresh Salmon from Alaska.........but the locally caught pelagic fish? So just overfished? If so, then IMHO no commercial harvest should be allowed......strictly a catch and release or strict limits/seasonal fishery.

    And yes, it would have been the late 40s/early 50s my grandfather harvested oysters...........so in a couple of generations we managed to completely destroy a viable shell fishery?
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Why would you feel that?

    The difference now is that commercial fishing is regulated and you can't bring a fish you catch to the back door of your local restaurant.

    Well, maybe you can.

    Once.

    So regulation led to the disappearance of locally caught seafood?

    I feel that way because now that fishery regulations are voted on by regional councils made up of just a handful of individuals.......how can that possibly represent the best interest an entire state or region. It becomes like everything else in politics........money talks where economic concerns have an undue influence...........especially considering the regional voting committees are almost all political appointees.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,004 Officer
    gettinwet wrote: »
    ...
    Question though, is this why you can hardly find a fish market or restaurant in Florida selling fresh Florida seafood anymore?
    What happened? Are the fish simply gone.........more valuable sold elsewhere.........combo of the two?

    i believe that most is sold elsewhere. please correct me if i am wrong here. capitalism, baby!
    this is why we catch our own. Rarely do I eat fish in a restaurant, and can't recall the last time I purchased fish from a market. However, It's been a while since I have had red snapper. I guess my share has been bought and sold to sectors and those dang head boats w/ snapper tags.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    gettinwet wrote: »
    So regulation led to the disappearance of locally caught seafood?

    I feel that way because now that fishery regulations are voted on by regional councils made up of just a handful of individuals.......how can that possibly represent the best interest an entire state or region. It becomes like everything else in politics........money talks where economic concerns have an undue influence...........especially considering the regional voting committees are almost all political appointees.
    Maybe you need to quit shopping at the Winn Dixie frozed seafood counter.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    :cool: Fresh local GOM brownies, Key West pinks, some CK clams
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    Sheeps, mullet, spanish, snapper.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Sheeps, mullet, spanish, snapper.

    That's exactly the type of fish market I'm talking about that used to be commonplace! Where's this one at - I'd love to support it! The only thing we have here in Orlando is Lombardi's and they have gotten very expensive over the past few years.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    gettinwet wrote: »
    So regulation led to the disappearance of locally caught seafood?

    I feel that way because now that fishery regulations are voted on by regional councils made up of just a handful of individuals.......how can that possibly represent the best interest an entire state or region. It becomes like everything else in politics........money talks where economic concerns have an undue influence...........especially considering the regional voting committees are almost all political appointees.

    Both those things are far from true.

    There are two places within walking distance of both my homes from which seafood has not disappeared, Rhodes in Bonita and the (Publix) Greenwise in Palm Beach Gardens. Pinchers is also a retailer if I want to go for a longer walk.

    As for money talks on the regional councils , not quite true either as Art can attest to. Legacy regulatory policies and federal employees who cannot be fired rule those.

    A handful of appointees don't influence anything there. The agenda is set by NMFS through the regional director, who is also a voting member. NOAA determines fisheries policy. Its not a democracy or even science, it is an autocracy beyond oversight, reach, or political influence.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Four blocks from my house, Pop's Seafood. I can go right now and get a fresh wahoo, vermillion, grouper, macks, kings, shrimp, lobster, sheepshead, mullet, ............

    As for the regulatory stuff, Gary is right on point. AS for me, I have been in the advisory position in fisheries management for nearly 12 years now............I admit, I'm tired....... Sometimes when I fly home from DC, when I get to my car, I slam the door on my hand a few times so I feel better......
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    gettinwet wrote: »
    That's exactly the type of fish market I'm talking about that used to be commonplace! Where's this one at - I'd love to support it! The only thing we have here in Orlando is Lombardi's and they have gotten very expensive over the past few years.
    Lakeland Seafood has/had some local stuff, been a couple of years since I have dealt with them.
    The one I posted pics of is the Crab Plant in Crystal River, Publix also carries a good selection of local fish and shellfish(local as in Fl seafood)
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,292 Admiral
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Maybe you need to quit shopping at the Winn Dixie frozed seafood counter.

    :Agree
  • Old SkoolOld Skool Posts: 102 Deckhand
    gettinwet wrote: »

    And yes, it would have been the late 40s/early 50s my grandfather harvested oysters...........so in a couple of generations we managed to completely destroy a viable shell fishery?


    It doesn't take even a generation to destroy an industry. Remember the scallop industry of Sanibel Island? Gone. All it took was the building of the Sanibel Island Causeway.

    Here's a classic Orlando Sentinel article from 30 years ago that references the battles commercial fisherman had with developers to prevent the loss of their livelihood: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1985-04-21/features/0290200142_1_levens-fishermen-florida

    "....f the Organized Fishermen of Florida, which often opposes development that threatens the harbor. A developer is suing the organization for $6 million for fighting plans to fill in 200 acres of wetlands."

    If you every want to get your blood pressure up, read up on the skullduggery that went into the purchase, approval and building of Port Manatee on Tampa Bay. Our state legislature of lackeys rolled over again on that one.
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Both those things are far from true.

    There are two places within walking distance of both my homes from which seafood has not disappeared, Rhodes in Bonita and the (Publix) Greenwise in Palm Beach Gardens. Pinchers is also a retailer if I want to go for a longer walk.

    As for money talks on the regional councils , not quite true either as Art can attest to. Legacy regulatory policies and federal employees who cannot be fired rule those.

    A handful of appointees don't influence anything there. The agenda is set by NMFS through the regional director, who is also a voting member. NOAA determines fisheries policy. Its not a democracy or even science, it is an autocracy beyond oversight, reach, or political influence.


    So, you're telling me the fisheries management is worse than corrupt..........that makes me feel much better.

    But, there is always someone behind the curtain.

    I wouldn't buy seafood from a grocery chain here in Orlando except from Fresh Market, Petty's, or Lombardi's (and the last two aren't chains) but that is a short list for an area as large as central Florida.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    Four blocks from my house, Pop's Seafood. I can go right now and get a fresh wahoo, vermillion, grouper, macks, kings, shrimp, lobster, sheepshead, mullet, ............

    As for the regulatory stuff, Gary is right on point. AS for me, I have been in the advisory position in fisheries management for nearly 12 years now............I admit, I'm tired....... Sometimes when I fly home from DC, when I get to my car, I slam the door on my hand a few times so I feel better......

    So what do you advise them to do and who is them? Pardon my ignorance but I'd like to know how this works. Somebody somewhere is making a decision that impacts me directly so I would like to have a voice in the matter. Looking for the Wizard of Oz so to speak.........
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • gettinwet wrote: »
    That's exactly the type of fish market I'm talking about that used to be commonplace! Where's this one at - I'd love to support it! The only thing we have here in Orlando is Lombardi's and they have gotten very expensive over the past few years.

    Don't know about Orlando but Port Canaveral has Atlantic Seafood, and Wild Ocean Market
    in Titusville comes mostly from local sources.
  • Another issue maybe your not aware of is the State water vs Federal water management distinction. They
    have their own separate management both recreationally and commercially. On the Florida East coast the
    federal management starts at 3 miles, and 9 miles on the Gulf.

    Between citrus industries on the coastlines
    being way down from years ago, and local fertilizer ordinances, the slow down of coastal development over
    the last 8 years, the stopping of bulk dumping of raw sewage by cities (think Titusville) years ago, the much
    cleaner burning outboards we have now, and well really, mans impact on the environment as far as our river
    and estuarine system goes has gotten much better. There are still delayed responses to what occurred years
    ago, but much has gotten better as far as what impact man has today compared to years ago.

    We also have proactive measures like the oyster beds being seeded. We have much stronger state fishery management
    that has seen stocks like Reds nearly decimated, rebound to very plentiful numbers. Even Mullet are back nicely.
    Federal management is more problematic, as is anything the feds have control over. Too much policy allowed to
    be injected by extreme special interest groups, particularly eNGO's. NOAA has oversight of Federal management, which
    is managed thru the NMFS. Both fall under the DOC (Department of Commerce) if that explains the problem.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,395 Admiral
    There is plenty of locally caught seafood available but, I think you are basically showing us why there isn’t more, the price, you want it cheap. Most of it is shipped out of state where it will fetch the price that they want for it. “Floridians” want it cheap.

    Why do you think should it be cheap?

    If you want cheap, buy the farm raise or imported stuff but, like everything else that will go up in price too. Japanese cars used to be cheap too, remember those days.

    It is still much cheaper than buying your own boat and catching it yourself. Heck if I used the money I spent on fishing gear and fishing I could eat like King Neptune.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    gettinwet wrote: »
    So, you're telling me the fisheries management is worse than corrupt...

    No. Its simply an autocracy. There is nothing corrupt, unethical, immoral or evil about it. All of the federal participants believe that they are doing what they are charged with doing and that is what is best for the fisheries they manage. That is the way the system is designed. Because you don't understand it, or agree with it or believe that it should work that way, doesn't mean that it is corrupt. It just be.
    I wouldn't buy seafood from a grocery chain here in Orlando except from Fresh Market, Petty's, or Lombardi's (and the last two aren't chains) but that is a short list for an area as large as central Florida.

    That does not mean that it is unavailable excepting by your own choice of retailers. Have you considered moving closer to the ocean or gulf where it may be more available in places you prefer?
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    Thank you Gary, I know you get it, lot's of folks don't and you explain it a lot better than I.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    You are welcome, Art.

    Here's the selection at the Greewise Publix , which , like Fresh Market is a "chain" retailer.

    OwhXkIw.jpg

    SGzEqdw.jpg

    There are other retaiers which aren't chains, like Carmines (the Gardens) and D'Romo's (Bonita) and also have a variety of fish.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 858 Officer
    gettinwet wrote: »
    I was reading another thread about the "closure" of commercial dolphin season and must admit as a Florida resident I feel really ashamed that I didn't know much about how any of the commercial management of fisheries works........really only paying attention the recreational regs/legislation.........but I have a feeling those in the know probably don't want too much light shed on the issue anyway. If you care about Florida's environment and fisheries I would suggest please getting informed and letting your local, state, and fed representatives know how you feel.

    Question though, is this why you can hardly find a fish market or restaurant in Florida selling fresh Florida seafood anymore? Only farm raised catfish, tilapia, salmon, frozen mahi/yellowfin........plus very short grouper (judging by the thin filets).........and whatever that chinese catfish with the funny name is. And the ones that still do on occassion, simply cost too much for an average joe and family. I remember the days when you could easily get fresh swordfish, wahoo, king, grouper, snapper, mahi, trout plus crustaceans of several varieties on just about every decent seafood restaurant's menu depending on the season (and there were plenty of mom & pop places around - especially on the coasts). I've read tilapia and farm raised salmon are actually bad for you. I went into whole foods market the other day - they wanted $29.50 a pound for wild Alaskan Salmon.....though I do find hybrid Rainbow trout farm raised in North Carolina at BJs that are quite reasonable (and tasty grilled or pan seared). I remember there used to be a huge offshore shrimping business out of the Cape. And my grandfather used to harvest oysters in the Merritt Island area.

    What happened? Are the fish simply gone.........more valuable sold elsewhere.........combo of the two?

    what happened ???? ask a comm. fisherman, or better yet a X comm. fisherman.. you will get a better idea of what has taken place..
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    Publix had wild AK salmon on sale a few weeks ago, fresh never frozen.
    They were great!
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?197583-Outstanding-Salmon-on-Sale-at-Publics
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    No. Its simply an autocracy. There is nothing corrupt, unethical, immoral or evil about it. All of the federal participants believe that they are doing what they are charged with doing and that is what is best for the fisheries they manage. That is the way the system is designed. Because you don't understand it, or agree with it or believe that it should work that way, doesn't mean that it is corrupt. It just be.

    So, then you think it is a good thing? Sounds like something that needs to be changed to me. And if I have to move when I live in a major metropolitan area less than two hours in traffic from either coast in a state renowned for it's fisheries just to get a variety of fresh seafood kind of proves my point.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • gettinwetgettinwet Posts: 1,366 Officer
    No. Its simply an autocracy. There is nothing corrupt, unethical, immoral or evil about it.

    Read more: http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?200721-General-State-of-Florida-s-Fishery/page3#ixzz3jyNR1e7f

    au·toc·ra·cy
    ôˈtäkrəsē/Submit
    noun
    a system of government by one person with absolute power.
    synonyms: absolutism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, tyranny, monocracy, autarchy
    "the country is reeling from thirty years of autocracy"
    a country, state, or society governed by one person with absolute power.
    domineering rule or control.
    "a boss who shifts between autocracy, persuasion, and consultation"


    And if that isn't evil..........it certainly isn't American.
    There are only so many casts in life, so shut up and fish!!
  • TeejTeej Posts: 153 Deckhand
    If you're in Orlando, call the folks at Wild Ocean Seafood Market in Port Canaveral. I used to buy all my seafood fresh from them until I moved further south toward Sebastian. They have deliveries to Orlando and can tell you where to go.

    As for regulatory (government) oversight, the three main bodies are:
    Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (species in state waters - <3 miles on east coast; <9 miles west coast.
    Next Mtg Sept 3rd in Ft. Lauderdale
    http://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/2015/september/02/agenda/

    South Atlantic Fishery Management Council > 3miles to 200 miles from Key West to NC/VA border
    Next Meeting
    September 14-18, 2015
    The Beach House Resort
    1 South Forest Beach Drive
    Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    http://safmc.net/meetings/council-meetings

    Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council >9 miles off FL & TX and >3 miles off AL, MS, LA (though each state is challenging this) out to 200 miles from Key West to Brownsville, TX
    Next Mtg:
    October 5 - 9, 2015
    Hilton Galveston Island
    5400 Seawall Boulevard
    Galveston, TX
    http://gulfcouncil.org/council_meetings/index.php

    The BIG issue is that states can set the rules only for state waters and the federal waters each council controls must be managed to the requirements of the latest version of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) passed by Congress, which is currently from 2007.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    gettinwet wrote: »
    No. Its simply an autocracy. There is nothing corrupt, unethical, immoral or evil about it. All of the federal participants believe that they are doing what they are charged with doing and that is what is best for the fisheries they manage. That is the way the system is designed. Because you don't understand it, or agree with it or believe that it should work that way, doesn't mean that it is corrupt. It just be.

    So, then you think it is a good thing? Sounds like something that needs to be changed to me. And if I have to move when I live in a major metropolitan area less than two hours in traffic from either coast in a state renowned for it's fisheries just to get a variety of fresh seafood kind of proves my point.
    Lakeland seafood has local fish, sorry you live in a ****ty place.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    gettinwet wrote: »
    So, then you think it is a good thing? Sounds like something that needs to be changed to me..

    You have a lot of wrong about what I think.

    I don't think I can explain it to you.

    You have been shown that
    ...you can hardly find a fish market or restaurant in Florida selling fresh Florida seafood anymore? Only farm raised catfish, tilapia, salmon, frozen mahi/yellowfin........plus very short grouper (judging by the thin filets).........and whatever that chinese catfish with the funny name is
    simply is not true, by commercial fishermen and recreational fishermen who have worked in the industry and served in appointed positions on this thread.

    It may be a good idea to participate within the system and understand it, rather than displaying what you would like to believe as fact to affirm your own beliefs.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 9,977 Admiral
    .
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
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