Jim Gossen, Gulf Seafood Institute Board Member, Testimony Before The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council – February 5, 2014

My name is Jim Gossen, and I have been in the restaurant, food manufacturing and seafood distribution business for more than 40 years.

I am here to speak on behalf of the Gulf Seafood Institute, or GSI

If you haven’t heard of us yet, you will in the near future.  GSI was formed in 2013 as a Gulf wide non-profit, with area of emphasis that include – ADVOCACY, SCIENCE AND EDUCATION.

We are seeking to be a unified, proactive and positive voice for issues and actions affecting Gulf seafood, both directly and tangentially.

Our board is comprised of members from each Gulf state, and represents a wide variety of interests and organizations concerned about the Gulf and seafood interests.

We work to offer solutions to problems faced by those that might not have the time or resources.

Recently, we were invited to testify at the House Natural Resource Committee’s hearing on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Florida board member David Krebs provided GSI’s comments on this important legislation.

Our intent is to be visible, helpful and open to discuss all Gulf Council issues.

GULF COUNCIL AMENDMENT 28 – RED SNAPPER

There has been unanimous support from restaurant associations from all five Gulf States.  These associations represent more than 25,000 restaurants, and support keeping the current allocation split for red snapper.

GSI’S position aligns with theirs, and we urge you to do likewise.  Reducing this important species availability from the plates of millions of residents and visitors will have an incalculable negative effect on tourism, economies, lives and livelihoods.

GULF COUNCIL AMENDMENT 39 – REGIONAL MANAGEMENT

GSI urges caution in developing a regional management plan; the rights of all need to be protected, and not set aside for the benefit of the few.

GULF COUNCIL AMENDMENT AMENDMENT 40 – SECTOR SEPARATION

GSI believes the industry needs to develop a plan that has the support of the majority of those involved, and stands ready to assist in that effort; be it a voluntary program or another structure that works for that industry.

MAGNUSON-STEVENS REAUTHORIZATION

GSI will continue to be deeply involved with the discussion on new legislation that will reshape Magnuson-Stevens.  The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s current position is aligned to many of our organizations views, and we encourage that continued consistency.

Our organization will be extremely active in promoting the discussion on that very important issue that has significant impact on our mutual fishing futures.

Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity to address you hear today.

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