Do you not utilize all the save slots? If not, I'd thoroughly recommend it. Have you looked in your inventory and seen how many sea guardians you have? I don't know if the game gets weird if you have more than one. Having only ever reached that part in the previous versions of the game I've not had this problem but it sounds like the options have modified the fish and the game isn't having it.
Depends what you mean by Stats. If you mean the MC's Parameters and not Persona stats, then:
Also, the Editor has the values for Expression and Diligence switched.
[Edited by ReldenCalder, 6/21/2020 9:37:01 PM]
[Edited by ReldenCalder, 6/21/2020 9:37:14 PM]