Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
As you may be aware, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) is under pressure by fishing groups to lift a 25+ year moratorium on the harvest of the Goliath Grouper in Florida. In an effort to capture the opinions of all diving stakeholders on this issue, DEMA conducted a survey of divers and dive professionals asking their opinions on maintaining the Florida Goliath Grouper harvest moratorium. The results showed that by a large percent, respondents want to maintain the moratorium.
With these survey results in, DEMA submitted a letter expressing the desire that a moratorium on harvesting the Goliath Grouper in Florida be maintained, as there is no scientific data indicating that this fish population has recovered from severe over fishing. Fishers continue to blame the increased population of Goliath on lower populations of lobster, snapper and other fish species. In fact, there is no data to indicate that Goliaths are the cause of these issues. In addition, Goliath Grouper are known to contain toxic levels of mercury, making the flesh inedible.
Share your input and learn more about the current status of Goliath Grouper by attending one of the FWC's upcoming public workshops.
Workshops will be from 5 to 8 p.m. local time:
Aug 16: Pensacola, Sanders Beach - Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I St.
Aug. 17: Panama City, Bland Conference Center, 4750 Collegiate Drive.
Oct. 9: Jacksonville, Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Blvd.
Oct. 10: Titusville, American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, 6350 Horizon Drive.
Oct. 11: Stuart, Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Ave.
Oct. 12: Davie, Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Road.
Oct. 16: Pinellas Park, Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. Highway 19 N.
Oct. 17: Port Charlotte, The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St.
Oct. 18: Naples, Collier County Public Library - South Regional, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway
If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, please submit comments online.
Many have seen a disturbing video recently posted on YouTube by Florida fishermen showing a live shark, tied by the tail and being dragged at a high rate of speed behind a boat, resulting in the shark's death. The video was picked up and posted online by USA Today.
This is a cruel treatment of any animal, and members of the diving community are appalled by such behavior by members of the fishing public, who must be licensed to fish in Florida waters by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC).
DEMA recently sent out an Industry Alert asking Members to write to the FWC and express their concerns about the video and on August 8th, DEMA submitted a letter to the Governor as well to reinforce that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated.
Posted by Rachelle Morris at 2:48 AM