For Immediate Release
November 19, 2021
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is seeking applicants for its Individual Fishing Quota Program (IFQ) Focus Group. The Focus Group will be tasked with reviewing the current IFQ programs’ goals and objectives, and to recommend their replacement or retention. The focus group is also expected to define the changes needed to improve the Red Snapper and Grouper-Tilefish IFQ programs to specifically address minimizing discards, fairness and equity, and new entrants issues. The Focus Group will report its findings to the Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee and appropriate Advisory Panels for review and advice to the Council.
There are 10 potential positions on the IFQ Focus Group and applicants may apply for all positions that they are qualified for. The following is a list of positions and the necessary qualifications associated with each position:
- Dealer – Must have a Gulf and South Atlantic Dealer Permit and have received IFQ landings through their account.
- Crew with no shares – Not required to have shares or a permit, but serves as captain or crew of a vessel that participates in the IFQ program.
- Permit holder who leases allocation – Must have a commercial reef fish permit associated with the same account used to transfer and land allocation. Does not have shares.
- Eastern Gulf longliner who leases red snapper allocation – Must have an Eastern Gulf Reef Fish Bottom Longline Endorsement and a Commercial Reef Fish Permit associated with the same account used to transfer and land red snapper allocation. Does not have red snapper shares.
- Small shareholder – Holds a small amount of shares of red snapper and/or red grouper and a commercial reef fish permit. Among shareholder accounts that hold shares in these two categories, applicant is approximately among the bottom third of shareholders by shareholding volume for one or both share categories. Applicant’s shareholdings are approximately within the bottom third across all share categories.
- Medium shareholder – Holds an intermediate amount of shares of red snapper and/or red grouper and a commercial reef fish permit. Among shareholder accounts that hold shares in these two categories, applicant is approximately among the middle third of shareholders by shareholding volume for one or both share categories.
- Large shareholder – Holds a large amount of shares of red snapper and/or red grouper and a commercial reef fish permit. Among shareholder accounts that hold shares in these two categories, shareholdings place applicant approximately among the top third of shareholdings by volume in one or both share categories.
- Public participant – Holds red snapper and/or red grouper shares, but does not have a commercial reef fish permit.
- New entrant – Holds a commercial reef fish permit and purchased shares and/or allocation for the first time within the last 3-5 years.
- Knowledgeable person, not financially invested (i.e., non-participant) – Has a solid understanding of the Gulf IFQ programs, or catch shares more broadly, but is not a permit holder or shareholder.
Members of the IFQ Focus Group will be appointed at the Council’s discretion. Consideration for appointment may include the appropriate experience and other factors including record of fishery violations. Although the potential positions have specific requirements, the Council will consider the range of experience across applicants; thus, it is possible some positions may not be filled. After reviewing applications, the Council is expected to populate the Focus Group during its January 2022 meeting.
Application Deadline: 5:00 PM, EST on December 17, 2021
To apply to the IFQ Focus Group, visit: https://forms.gle/9vBCa3G4Q7ycP69q7
If you have any questions, please contact the Council office at 813-348-1630.