Now For The Captains Perspective
4 May 2017

Now for the Captain Gary Jarvis perspective on what is the root cause of the decline in the Gulf of Mexico stock of Cobia. The root cause is there is no one root cause. I believe that there is a combination of factors that has led to a distinct and obvious reduction in the volume of fish that has historically plied the Northern Gulf of Mexico. This reduction is not just relegated to the panhandle of Florida but is being felt all along the gulf coast in Mississippi , Louisiana and Texas . Professional fishers across the gulf , especially older Captains who have fished since the 70s and 80s have all made it known that the stock is in serious shape. So what are some of the contributing factors? Well the one that concerns me most is my perspective that ” Human Nature is usually bad for Mother Nature ” Now this may seem odd coming from a guy who has spent 39 years getting up in the morning to kill fish all day but I also understand that without sustainable fisheries we are all out of business. One of the key issues is the commercial sale of Cobia caught on recreational vessels in state waters. This is mostly done in the state of Florida were a person can get a restricted species salt water products license if he can show $2500 a years in sales of fish. It’s very easy to do and there are many loop holes available to qualify. So many hard core private boat Cobia fishermen over the past ten to twenty years supplement their fishing habits by selling their catch, also most charter boats and state guides also have them and when not chartered do the same thing. This price on the head of recreational caught Cobia is not conducive to their survival. Then throw in the month long Cobia tournaments and the weekend tournaments where the biggest fish is worth tens of thousands of dollars or in some case 100 k plus and you have a recipe for Human Nature not being kind to Mother Nature. But the price on the head of these magnificent fish is not the only problem there are more attenuated issues facing the fishery. I will talk about them in my next post. Until then  ” Let’s Go Fishing “

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