Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fresh Grouper at the Docks!

Today I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when I made a field visit to a local fish house in Naples. Two local commercial grouper fishermen had just arrived at the dock to unload their catches. Because of rough weather offshore, they were forced to cut their trips short and return to port. While their catches were smaller than normal, they still had around 1000 pounds each of mostly red grouper (there was also some red snapper mixed in the batch). Both of these fishermen participate in the Gulf of Mexico's red snapper & grouper/tilefish Individual Fishing Quota System (aka catch shares). Catch shares is a general term used in several fisheries management strategies that dedicate a secure share of fish to individual fishermen, cooperatives or fishing communities for their exclusive use.  After speaking with the fishermen they said they enough shares left for another one or two full trips (roughly 5,000-6,000 pounds  for each trip). While most of the grouper brought to this fish house usually stays in the local area or perhaps various operations on Florida's east coast, a large portion of today's catch was destined for Canada. (I was told by the fish house manager that since there aren't as many people in Naples in summertime the local demand for grouper isn't as much). I made this short video to show you the process of how the grouper is unloaded and handled before being shipped off to its next destination.

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