Friday, March 4, 2011

Fishermen rally over grouper ban

Florida Fisherman want their Grouper! FOX

ST. PETERSBURG - Several hundred traditional rivals rallied Friday against the same opponent: The National Marine Fisheries Service.

Commercial and recreational fishing interests set up camp across the street from the NMFS building on downtown St. Petersburg's waterfront. Federal regulators recently reduced the quotas on gag or black grouper by more than 90 percent.

The regulators think the species is being over-fished. The fishermen disagree.

"There's plenty of fish out there," said Bob Spaeth, president of the Southern Offshore Fishing Association. "All of these people back here know what's in the sea. Those people over there in that building only know what's in the computer and the computer is wrong."

Signs and banners accused the regulators of using "bad science" to set quotas.

Florida Guides Association president Pat Kelly said, "The job right now is to try to keep people working, and try to let people recreate and have decent time on the water with much less worry about regulation eliminating them."


Post a Comment