Do you ever wonder when you sign a petition or send in a letter, Is My Voice Heard? The answer is a resounding yes and it is demonstrated over and over again. Here’s a recent example, in March we published an article on the Goliath Grouper focusing on the pressure that was being applied on Florida lawmakers to rescind the fishing moratorium passed in 1994 when the Goliath Grouper was near extinction.
Because of the moratorium the population of the majestic fish has rebounded along with the inevitable calls from the fishing industry for the ban to be lifted.
The opinion of scientists and conservationists is that lifting the moratorium would be premature and that more is needed to be understood. The concern is that the present numbers of fish could plummet if fishing were allowed to resume.
Our article also pointed out that a Goliath Grouper was worth far more in Florida’s waters as a tourism draw than on the hook as someone’s trophy. (photo – Goliath Grouper caught in Florida in 1976, Florida Museum of Natural History)
Is My Voice Heard – Yes – the Goliath Grouper is Safe
Many voices were raised in support of continuing the moratorium. Voices from the dive industry, marine scientists and conservationists; organizations like Mission Blue; and from the general public, all flooded in, urging that the moratorium be continued. The FWC Commission listened and the moratorium has been extended. It is not permanent but the Goliath Grouper is safe for now. We will be watching for further developments. Thanks for everyone’s efforts and remember when next you ask is my voice heard, that your voice can and will be heard, especially when all of us speak up together.
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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