The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Are Recreational Fishermen Leading to Overfishing in the Gulf?

Cobia, Lane Snapper, Greater Amberjack, Gag Grouper, and Gulf of Mexico Jacks Complex — these are all fish you can catch out in the Gulf of Mexico. Many of you have probably eaten, any, or all these fish, but they’re also being overfished, or close to it, according to NOAA, and its annual report on American fisheries.

This report has some commercial fisherman concerned about their own livelihood, and what they say is the lack of oversight for recreational fishing.

“There are plenty of fish out here to be caught,” said Captain Matt Sexton for the Small Shellfishing vessel. “Everyone should have equal chance to catch fish out here, but there are a lot of rules and regulations that are going on that are not fair to the commercial fishermen.”

Those same concerns were repeated by boat captains readying their boats for their next trip.

Fishing captain Casey Streeter also owns Island Seafood Market in Matlacha. He says a big part of the problem isn’t coming from commercial or charter fishing, but rather recreational fishing; and a lack of knowledge about how much fish is actually being removed from the ecosystem.

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