Marie Bliss March 4, 2009

Demand for flesh Gulf of Mexico grouper has historically been durable, and domestic production is–at best–relatively small. Consequently, there is hope the grouper market may weather the storm of the continuing international economic crisis, especially in the tourism-restaurant sector.

Imminent grouper management changes will continue to limit supply. A new lowball federal gag quota, worrisome to fishermen who don’t see the need for it, and continuing 6,000-pound trip limits, will likely keep the supply in check for the near term and might contribute to steady prices.

But decent prices aren’t worth much if you can’t go fishing. And that is what many fishermen fear will happen this year.