Friday, November 13, 2009

by Robin

On Wednesday night, Jack attended the SAFMC public hearing to discuss the closure for Red Snapper. It was much different than the one I attended earlier in the year, which was much more civil.


Jack says they used the huge hall which sat a couple/few hundred people. He heard some of our friends speak-out against the proposed closure. Many scientists have become aware of the issue and joined the fight against the full-closure. They brought their knowledge and analysis to the debate. We have a lawyer friend from Orlando who has made this is pet project and he walloped the council with a great speech. There was a State Representative who was in attendance and spoke on the economical impact to Florida. Three news stations covered the event, plus the Florida Today newspaper. Prior to the public hearing, FL Today made this proposed Snapper Amendment their front page story and then announced the time/place of the hearing. Every local angler's club was represented as well. Commercial boat captains came with concern & questions. The average Joe had a voice.

People were mad. Every angle was covered. Bad science was questioned. Fake "green" movements were challenged. It was heated.


Snapper stocks are coming back and people aren't going to take a large closure like this one go down without a fight.

Let me bunny trail here for a moment..... I live in a county where my friends & neighbors are already in a holding pattern about whether or not their jobs at Kennedy Space Center are going to be lost. We're talking several thousand jobs, potentially. Obama/Congress could potentially kill our entire community by discontinuing the space program. Businesses would leave or shut down. Our area exists primarily because of the space program.

So, to tie all this together, people feel like they need to fight for their rights & livelihood. Pressure is building in our community. It's going to escape in some form or manner. I believe in the American people to go with their gut instincts and fight for the truth. This public hearing is simply another outlet for that because we're sick & tired of our rights being taken away from us.

Will Brevard County survive? Will fishermen survive? Will we be able to pursue happiness? Will we keep our freedoms to speak, write, assemble, worship and fish? And while I'm on a rant and it is still my blog, will we be able to call a terrorist a terrorist? Ok, maybe that isn't where I want to go today.

Doesn't the government have something better to pursue than shutting down the majority of bottom fishing in one swift move? They have proposed amendments against kingfishing and upcoming regs on mahi too. Pretty soon, the only thing we'll be able to catch are puffer fish & sting rays. Fishermen are natural conservationist, I believe. We love wildlife or else we couldn't risk our lives and spend our paychecks being in the water or in the woods each week. We have seen redfish and billfish come back to high numbers. It is "poo-poo'd" in the fishing community if you were to come back with a billfish to eat (Swords seem to be the exception to this). Don't even post up your undersized fish on the Florida Sportsman Fishing Forum. You will be called out for not being responsible. We police ourselves because we are a prideful group of scruffy, windblown, salty fishermen. (And I say that with love...) We want to teach our kids to fish and our grandkids too.

Strict Snapper regulations are already in place. Give them a chance to work. Stop mass, indescriminate netting and longlining. But please shut up about recreational fishermen being the major cause for snapper stocks being depleted. That is such a joke since most of us are still trying to figure out how to pay for gas before the banks come and reposess our boats. (not us, just making a point)

I'm just really tired of the lies, and honestly, the fight simply to have freedom. I feel like we've regulated ourselves into a chair with ties on it and the next wrong move we make is going to result in electrocution. I mean, honestly, I'm afraid to exhale or fart because my carbon emission may be measured & taxed.

I'm sick, sick, sick of it. I just want to be able to head offshore on a nice day and pick up a couple fish for dinner. I'm sure many of us want that. I wish those councilmen with hidden socialistic agendas could see that too.

Fight for your right to fish!

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