A new, quarterly report out of Florida Sea Grant is providing a snapshot of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper and grouper-tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) markets for fishermen and dealers in the fishery.

row of red snapper catch in ice

Industry members can now download the first ‘IFQ Pricing Report’, to learn about market information on ex-vessel prices (the price of fish sold by fishermen to dealers), allocation (quota lease) prices, and quota share, or sale, prices, for the month of May.

The report, prepared by Florida Sea Grant’s marine resource economist Dr. Andrew Ropicki, an assistant professor in UF/IFAS’s Food and Resource Economics Department, is designed to increase access to timely market information for Gulf IFQ fishermen and dealers.

“Timely, publicly available information on Gulf IFQ prices is not available to fishermen and dealers in the industry,” states Ropicki. “NOAA Fisheries provides annual IFQ pricing reports based on trading data, but those reports are generally released in August of the following year and don’t provide information on current market characteristics.”

To prepare the report, Dr. Ropicki engages Gulf IFQ fishermen and dealers with a quarterly email survey that asks for information on IFQ prices they experienced, either through personal transactions or prices they heard other fishermen and dealers bought and sold at during the previous month. Within the survey, respondents are also able to voice opinions and beliefs on current IFQ market conditions.

“The report would not be possible without input from industry fishermen and dealers who respond to the survey,” says Dr. Ropicki, who designed the survey to be extremely easy to take to limit the burden on industry members. Most respondents take less than five minutes to complete.

Response to the first survey was encouraging with roughly half of the 50 fishermen and dealers emailed providing information, but more survey responses are needed. To continue to improve the survey and report for industry use, interested industry members are encouraged to take part in future surveys or provide comments and suggestions on the data collected by contacting Dr. Ropicki at aropicki@ufl.edu or (352) 294-7667.

Future quarterly reports will be available on Florida Sea Grant’s website at flseagrant.org/fisheries.