NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The most controversial part of the Red Snapper IFQ program may be the part that allows shareholders to sell their yearly allocation. It essentially turns some fishermen into businessmen.
Our research has revealed about 120 shareholders - 37 percent of the whole - sell their entire allocation each year. It allows the shareholders to make tens, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Galveston commercial fisherman Buddy Guindon defends these fishermen "It's his retirement," he tells us.
Slidell commercial fisherman Tommy Williams thinks some of the program needs to be tweaked, but he thinks these shares provide security for retirement fishermen
"They worked for the shares," Williams says. "They were out here, getting their hands cut, cut by fish, bit by fish, baiting hooks. That is their retirement because most fishermen don't have a 401(k). This is their 401(k)."
FOX 8 News sent letters to the fishermen who appeared to be selling their yearly allocations. We heard back from many of them.
One left this voicemail:
Charles Sullivan sent us this email:
But Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves says: