Every year, millions of Americans enjoy fresh seafood caught by local small businesses and supplied to restaurants and grocery stores across the country. These small businesses make up what is called the “commercial fishery” and they provide consumers the ability to enjoy Gulf seafood like red snapper, grouper and other reef fish without having to catch it themselves on deep sea boats. The coalition knows that if the resource is managed well, there are plenty of fish like red snapper and grouper to go around. The Share the Gulf coalition believes that all Americans – sportsmen as well as restaurants, seafood lovers and commercial fishermen – deserve to enjoy the Gulf's bounty.“It is imperative the Gulf’s resources are shared fairly to ensure Florida’s commercial fisheries remain healthy and sustainable,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the FRLA. “Here in the Sunshine State, fresh Gulf seafood is an essential part of our hospitality industry and we will continue to vigorously work with fishery leaders to safeguard our businesses and consumers.”
The Louisiana Restaurant Association is also a coalition member and its President/CEO Stan Harris has been a vocal advocate for the cause. Member chefs Haley Bittermann, Brian Landry, Tenney Flynn and Frank Brigtsen have testified before the Gulf Fishery Management Council in past months in support of Share the Gulf’s cause.“Members of Congress, our Gulf state governors, the Gulf Council and the federal and state fishery agencies must hear from the chefs and restaurateurs about the need for fair allocations on behalf of the American consumer and the businesses our industry partners with for supply.” said Harris. “The coalition will press decision-makers to keep sustainably caught Gulf seafood on the table for the millions of Americans who don’t fish or own their own boat."
The body responsible for managing these fisheries, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, will be meeting October 28th through November 1st in New Orleans. The Share the Gulf coalition plans to alert members of the restaurant and seafood communities, elected officials, and consumers of these plans and their dire economic consequences.