Southeastern Fisheries Association
Protecting access to seafood
SFA’s mission is to defend, protect and enhance the commercial fishing industry in the southeastern United States for present participants as well as future generations through all legal means while maintaining healthy and sustainable stocks of fish.
SFA announces Capt. Bob Zales II as new Executive Director
The SFA Board of Directors is happy to announce Bob Zales II as the new Executive Director for the Southeastern Fisheries Association. With an impressive 58 years of on-the-water experience, Capt. Zales II brings a wealth of knowledge and a steadfast commitment to the position. His journey in the fisheries industry began in 1965 when his family entered the charter and commercial fishing business in Panama City, Florida. Since becoming a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Captain in 1971, Capt. Zales II has emerged as a highly respected figure, serving in various capacities such as member, Vice Chair, and Chair of different advisory panels.
We are excited to have Capt. Bob Zales II onboard, given his dedication to commercial fisheries that goes beyond his role as captain. In 1986, he immersed himself in the fishery management system, and quickly became an advisor to numerous state and federal agencies. His extensive involvement includes serving as a board member and officer for several charter boat associations and as the Fishery Management Consultant for the Southern Offshore Fishing Association. Capt. Zales II was the president of both the local Panama City Boatmen Association and the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO), the premier national association representing the recreational charter boat industry. His expertise is further evidenced through his role as an original member of the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Panel, and active participation in critical fisheries meetings throughout the region. Capt. Zales II, with all this vast array of experience, has also authored and co-authored papers on diverse topics like hurricane impacts, survey accuracy, artificial reefs, and the economics of recreational saltwater fishing. Capt. Zales II is undeniably equipped with the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the Southeastern Fisheries Association as its Executive Director.
We eagerly anticipate the positive impact he will bring to the organization and its membership, as well as the broader fisheries community.
There are worldwide efforts to reduce the harvest of seafood and to reduce the number of fishing vessels and fishermen in the industry. One major effort of reduction is in fisheries identified as overcapitalized. Another effort is being made by groups who are opposed to harvesting animals for food purposes.
There is a worldwide concern about seafood safety, so much so that the United States, Canada and the European Economic Union have initiated strict seafood safety regulations. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established 21 CFR 123 in 1996 as the controlling regulations for all seafood and aquaculture products sold at wholesale in the country. SFA is developing new options for those needing to be HACCP-certified.
Manuscripts, rules and regulations show how the seafood industry in the southeast has been transformed from a valuable and respected industry to an industry considered by some groups as no longer needed.
SFA Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board: Tony Lombardi, Lombardi's Seafood
President: Eugene Raffield, Raffield Fisheries
Vice President: Mike Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Treasurer: Sherri McCoy, Cape Canaveral Shrimp Co.
Secretary: Jeanna Merrifield, Wild Ocean Market
Johnny Banyas, Cortez Bait & Seafood
Pat Barker, Refrigerated Express Inc
Karen Bell, AP Bell Fish Co.
Greg D'Agostino, Stone Crab Inc.
Dennis Henderson, Trico Shrimp Co.
Jimmy Hull, Hull's Seafood Market
Peter Jarvis, Triar Seafood
Mike Lombardi, Lombardi's Seafood
Pat Lynch, Bionic Bait
Steven Rash, Water Street Seafood
Justin Versaggi, Versaggi Shrimp Co.
Amy Wirtz, Pelican Point Seafood
Jim Zurbrick, Fish For America