While we were at the Miami Boat Show last week, Jack and I had the opportunity to spend Saturday afternoon and late into the evening with Florida’s U.S. Congressional Representative Steve Southerland from Florida District 2 (Panama City through Tallahassee). What a learning experience it was. Steve is on the Fisheries Committee and is raising all kinds of hell with NOAA and the NMFS. He along with several other U.S. Senators and Congressmen are going to speak at our Rally in Washington on March 21st . While NOAA is pushing FISH’S rights down our throat, Steve and several of his co-horts are fighting for FISHERMEN’S rights in Washington. Everyone should make an effort to attend this important Rally.
Want to see just how passionate Steve Southerland is? Check out the following link where he accuses Dr. Lubchenco and her staff member of lying to the fisheries committee:
On March 6th, Jack and I are heading to the SAMFC meeting in Savannah. Jack has been asked to put together a proposal that will put together a separate ACL for tournament caught King Mackerel. This will create another record source for the NMFS as well as allow tournaments to raise much needed funds for their charities by selling the fish caught at their event and these sales won’t affect the commercial ACL. There will be an informal public Q & Q session on Wednesday, March 7th 5:30 at the Savannah Hilton DeSoto, 15 East Liberty Street, as well as a public comment session at 5:30pm on Thursday, March 8th. All concerned fishermen should express themselves at one of these important meetings. (Marcus Kennedy told me that only two recreational fishermen showed up at the Q&A at the recent Gulf Council meeting.) Not Good!
On our way back from Savannah on March 6th, we will be attending a Rally presented by the North Florida Chapter of the RFA. The Rally will be held Tuesday, March 6th at Sneakers Sports Grill, 8133 Point Meadow Road (Baymeadows Road and 295 (9A) intersection). The featured speaker will be former Sen. George Lemieux, who was actively fighting for fishermen’s rights the two years that he was in Washington. He needs your vote to oust the incumbent, Sen. Bill Nelson, who is siding with the Enviro’s on every issue. Get there early if you want a seat.
Also, If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the March / April addition of the Big Game Fishing Journal. There are several articles about the state of recreational fishing along the East Coast and the Gulf, including one that Jack and I put together, about what the affects of NOAA’s Enviro driven and funded Leadership is doing to the sport that we love and to so many depend on for their livelihood.
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