My hypothesis is: Council and staff of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Bob Jones, Interim Director—June 4, 2018
HYPOTHESIS; a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting
point for further investigation.

My hypothesis is: Council and staff of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council created a way to
exclude all commercial fishing history in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina prior to
1986 in order to allocate most of the fish in federal waters to the recreational sector. Certain members
of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, primarily from the states of Georgia and South
Carolina, with assistance from certain members from Florida and North Carolina, colluded to abolish the
Florida commercial fishing industry’s ability to provide fresh seafood to Florida citizens and tourists and
reserve it exclusively for the recreational fishing industry.

Gregg Waugh writes in his email to Bob Jones, April 29, 2018: “In your email, you note correctly that the
commercial fishery existed well before 1986. The problem the Council faced was that landings data by
species was not available for all species until the early to mid-1980’s. This was a factor in the Council
following the recommendation from the Interdisciplinary Planning Team (IPT) to use data from 1986
forward.

This decision to exclude the 100 year history of the commercial fishing industry by starting the allocation
process in 1986 is the key to the Council allocating most of the fish to the recreational fishing sector.

The chairmen of the South Atlantic Council during this critical time period were both men from states
(Georgia and South Carolina) that had very few commercial net fishermen and compared to Florida very
few commercial finfish fishermen in the state. Florida had the most robust and abundant seafood
industry until a coordinated effort removed fish from Florida, made commercial fishermen turn in two
permits to renew one while placing no real control on the ever growing recreational sector. Florida has
the most coastline, the most variety of seafood and the greatest population yet they only had three
total members the same as states with much smaller commercial fisheries. In some cases a Florida
member of the Council sided with Georgia and South Carolina to reduce the Florida seafood industry.

This is my hypothesis. Now begins the hard work of proving the hypothesis one way or the other.

Gregg Waugh writes in his email to Bob Jones, April 29, 2018: “The Council composition during the years
leading up to the Comprehensive ACL Amendment changed and Council members as of the following
dates:
September 2011- (Mr. Cupka was a South Carolina state employee)
David Cupka, Chair
Ben Hartig, Vice-Chair
John Jolley Dr. Wilson Laney
Robert Boyles Dr. Roy Crabtree
Bill Teehan Duane Harris
Lt. Robert Foos Mac Currin
Dr. Michelle Duval Tom Burgess
Charlie Phillips Tom Swatzel
Doug Haymans

September 2010 – (Mr. Cupka was a South Carolina sate employee)
David Cupka, Chair
Dr. Brian Cheuvront, Vice-Chair
Robert Boyles Dr. Roy Crabtree
Mark Robson Duane Harris
George Geiger Mac Currin
Ben Hartig Tom Burgess
Lt. Brandon Fischer Charlie Phillips
Tom Swatzel Vince O’Shea
Doug Haymans Dr. Wilson Laney

September 2009 – (Mr. Harris was a Georgia state employee)
Duane Harris, Chairman
David Cupka, Vice Chair
Robert Boyles Dr. Brian Cheuvront
Mark Robson Dr. Roy Crabtree
George Geiger Mac Currin
Dr. Wilson Laney Rita Merritt
Lt. Brian Sullivan Susan Shipman
Tom Swatzel Ben Hartig
Charlie Phillips Vince O’Shea

September 2008 (Mr. Harris was a Georgia state employee)
Duane Harris, Chairman
David Cupka, Vice Chair
Robert H. Boyles, Jr. Dr. Brian Cheuvront
Dr. Wilson Laney Dr. Roy Crabtree
George Geiger Mac Currin
Anthony Iarocci Rita Merritt
Lt. Brian Sullivan Susan Shipman
John Wallace Tom Swatzel
Bill Sharp Mark Robson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *