Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholder's Alliance
The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholder's Alliance is a fisherman’s organization run by fishermen on behalf of fishermen. Composed of fishermen, seafood suppliers, industry representatives, regulators, and elected officials, the Alliance works to protect Gulf fish while supporting Gulf Coast fishermen and their local communities. Everything the Alliance does is founded in their belief that conservation and stewardship can protect both Gulf Coast fish populations and fishermen’s businesses.
Members of the Shareholder’s Alliance actively engage in regional, state, and federal advocacy to shape commercial fishing regulations to help improve protections for fish, fishing businesses, and fishing communities. Through their advocacy, the Alliance works to help fishermen meet legal fishing requirements while still being able to run a successful business. Among their notable successes is their work in creating the Gulf’s only red snapper Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and creating the first grouper FIP in the world. The Alliance is also dedicated to increasing conservation protections throughout the Gulf, improving data collection protocols, and strengthening existing red snapper and grouper individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs.
The Alliance is poised to launch the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Quota Bank in the Gulf of Mexico. The Quota Bank will provide red snapper quota to Gulf fishermen that seek to increase their accountability and eliminate wasteful discarding while achieving other conservation and economic benefits. The quota bank will also work with the Alliance’s Electronic Log Books and Monitoring Program to promote real-time data collection and research between commercial fishermen and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Bycatch Conservation Fund
The Bycatch Conservation Fund is an Alliance project that promotes funding opportunities for fishermen that participate in scientific research, data collection, sustainable fishing practices, and whom employ new gear technologies. This program has focused on data collection for shark bycatch in bottom longline fisheries, implementing “weak hooks” and other gear modifications to reduce bycatch, and in using predictive habitat modeling to avoid sea turtles on the water.
Gulf Wild is a registered program of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance that provides real-time tracking of Gulf of Mexico seafood. Created by environmentally conscious Gulf Coast fishermen, Gulf Wild involves a unique suite of sustainability, seafood safety, tracking, and marketing solutions all under a single label. Any seafood product tagged with a Gulf Wild label can be traced all the way through the supply chain to the fisherman whom originally caught the fish. This ensures consumers the safety and authenticity of their fish.
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