Oral history interview with commercial fisherman Herman Summerlin. Summerlin, a native of Fort Pierce, comes from a family of fishermen and has worked in the industry his entire life. As a young man, he fished for mullet, crawfish, and kingfish, mostly inshore. Later, he owned several fish houses and worked in the marine construction industry. Summerlin has never fished on the Oculina Bank but was still affected by the 1984 ban on bottom fishing since production declined. By 1994 when the next restrictions went into effect, he no longer owned a fish house and so his business was not impacted. In Summerlin's opinion, closing areas to fishing is not fair to fishermen. He prefers a quota system, arguing that it would be fair and lead to a better quality of fish. One problem is that there are considerably more fishers now than there were when he was a young man, placing much more stress on the fish. In this interview, Summerlin describes some of his fish houses and other business endeavors, and discusses how fishing has changed over the last fifty years.
Fish Trade, Fisheries, Florida, Fort Pierce, Fishers, Interviews, Fishery closures, Fishery management
Fish trade; Fisheries; Fishers; Fishery closures; Fishery management; Fishing; Florida; Fort Pierce; Interviews
Florida, Fort Pierce
Oral history, Online audio
1 sound file (46 min.) : digital, MP3 file + ;
University of South Florida
Oculina Bank Oral History Project
Summerlin, Herman (Interviewee), "Herman Summerlin oral history interview" (2010). Oculina Bank Oral History Project. 12.