THE SHAREHOLDERS' ALLIANCE TEAM
The members and supporters of the Shareholders' Alliance are fishermen, seafood suppliers, industry representatives, regulators and elected officials who work to protect Gulf Coast fishing communities. We are a fisherman’s organization run by fishermen on behalf of fishermen.
We are working hard to protect the Gulf’s fish and fishermen for today and future generations. Everything we do is founded in our belief that conservation and stewardship protect fish populations and fishermen’s businesses. And we do this from the ground-up: we are commercial fishermen creating positive change.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Captain Bubba Cochrane fishes out of his homeport in Galveston, Texas on his boat the f/v Chelsea Ann. He has been fishing for as long as he can remember - starting out on a charter boat when he was 17, and fishing commercially in the charter off-season, Bubba eventually became a full-time commercial fisherman. In his role as President, he supports and provides leadership to both the Shareholders' Alliance and Gulf Wild. He is passionate about the sustainability of Gulf fisheries and works to protect the heritage of fishing for his family, especially his ten year old son, Connor.
Madeira Beach, Florida
Jason has been fishing since he was 5 years old. Starting out as a recreational fisherman, he has worked as a professional commercial spear fisherman as well as an owner operator of the commercial fishing vessels f/v Miss Ruby, f/v Brickyard, f/v Relentless and f/v Nuthing Purfect. He became actively involved in the fishery management process when he became a member of the Shareholders' Alliance and accepted a position as Vice President working to protect the fishery he loved.
During this time, he helped develop and implement the Gulf Wild brand. Knowing that actions speak louder than words, Jason's company - Wild Seafood Co. - adopted the principles and guidelines of Gulf Wild so that it could provide the highest quality, responsibly harvested seafood, to the nation.
Jason is also the first Executive Director of Gulf Wild. In this capacity, he drives brand development, awareness and support. At the same time, he supports commercial fishermen who are dedicated to protecting fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico; committed to responsible harvest of their catch; and interested in innovative measures of seafood conservation.
Port Fourchon, Louisiana
A freshwater and saltwater fisherman in Louisiana and Mississippi since childhood, and an avid scuba diver since his days at LSU, Steve has more than 35 years of experience in Gulf of Mexico fisheries. He started out building and operating a six passenger dive charter boat out of Port Fourchon, LA. Subsequently, Steve bought a 65-foot bare hull, towed it from Montgomery, Al to Baton Rouge, and within a year, launched the f/v Southerner. A few years later, he added the f/v Louisiana, f/v Gulf of Mexico, and the f/v Caribbean Sea, all 65-footers built on the same style hull for mixing charter and commercial fishing. Steve is on the board of the Charter Fisherman’s Association, which consists of charter operators and captains working to advance new ideas in the charter-for-hire industry. A separate fisheries management plan for the charter-for-hire fleet is one of CFA’s more immediate goals.
Lisa Schmidt was a surgical charge nurse for over thirty years managing surgeons, staff and an operating room schedule in a busy Tampa hospital. After the untimely death of her husband (and member of the Shareholders’ Alliance) John Schmidt in 2015, she was thrust into the commercial fishing industry. Today she enthusiastically oversees and manages the company he established, Bohica Fishing Inc. Her three longline boats operate out of Madeira Beach, FL, primarily targeting grouper and snapper. Lisa’s background in scuba diving and her skills as a competitive spear fisherman are attributes that have kept her involved in the dive community for many years. She has long been an environmentalist and an advocate for sound fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. Her fishing company, and her vessel captains, work voluntarily with Mote Marine Laboratory researching and studying bycatch in the commercial fishing industry. She is a politically active ambassador for the hard-working anglers, business owners and other stakeholders who cooperatively supply seafood to the masses.
Founding Member & Director
Glen has been grouper and red snapper fishing for over 30 years, owns four bottom long-liners and is active in promoting sustainable management policies for the fishery. Presently, Glen is president of the Gulf Fishermen’s Association while concurrently serving on our board.
Wayne Werner has been a commercial fisherman for over thirty years and has been an active advocate for the snapper fishery since the 1980s. He was part of the development of the IFQ system for the commercial red snapper fishery and saw it as a system that could help snapper populations recover and create better, safer fishing opportunities.
For more than 30 years, Donna has been active in her family’s fishing business – participating in science and data collection, helping manage the business end of things, and educating fishermen in her community and throughout the gulf that being active and responsible is the best way to ensure a viable and sustainable future. She is proud of the fishermen that have made it through tough regulations, closures and consolidation by investing in businesses, education and outreach. She is active at the state, regional (Gulf Council) and federal level by harnessing the power of fishing communities Gulf-wide in order to ensure that her family and the other fishing families in the Gulf can continue to provide a source of sustainably-harvested, domestic seafood to the American consumer.