To my elected officials:
Fishing matters to me. Recreational fishing is a $120 Billion national economic engine driven by 13.6 million saltwater anglers who generate over 500,000 U.S. jobs (2006 Dept. of Commerce Fisheries Economics of the United States). My job is one of those 500,000.
My job is in peril, as are the future of my community and our very heritage of fishing. I could understand the drastic measures imposed by the Magnuson - Stevens Act if, in fact, the fish were in trouble. According to those of us who fish for them, we have some of the greatest abundance of Red Snapper, Groupers and Striped Bass are that we have seen in thirty years. Yet we face draconian closures that will cost us more than 50,000 jobs, countless billions of dollars, loss of tax revenue and my right to fish. As an American, I am accustomed to the common good and expect that our government will manage our resources as mandated. Why are closures of healthy fisheries allowed to be based on the ‘uncertainty’ generated by fatally flawed data?
Current estimates of the fatally flawed recreational data system show recreational fishing effort at or near record levels, which is in direct contradiction of the marine community and marine economy’s indication that fishing effort is significantly lower than four years ago. Is it the intention of Magnuson-Stevens to base closures of healthy fisheries on the uncertainty of such fatally flawed data?
With the best intentions, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was reauthorized. Those best intentions are about to have the unintended and unnecessary consequences of economic disaster. Please help me to preserve our heritage (and my job) and keep the NMFS from destroying our fisheries through the use of uncertainty and fatally flawed data as ‘best available science’.
Fishing matters to me. Fishing should matter to you. Constituents from your state will be coming to Washington DC February 22-25th and many will be visiting you personally. Please listen to those people who deliver my signature to you, as they bear my message that FISHING MATTERS TO ME. They also will ask for your help in crafting solutions that will protect my fisheries and my right to fish from unnecessary restrictions.
Please join your constituents for a history-making rally of fishing interests on the steps of the Capitol on February 24th, 2010 at Noon. Your presence will be noted for all to see.
I ask that you hold NMFS accountable for their inaction and that you mandate the repair and functionality of the fatally flawed system before any further closures or restrictions are put in place.
Righting a wrong will save jobs. You can prevent JOB LOSS and ECONOMIC DEVASTATION from becoming Magnuson’s legacy. Please help us.
Fishing Rights Alliance, Inc.
4604 49th Street North, #34
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
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