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Walt Stearns

Goliath grouper under fire again!

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Goliath grouper are the subject of strong opinions and divided emotions. Divers love to see these mammoth fish; underwater hunters denounce them as competitors, or covet them as outsized trophies; fishermen are just itching for a policy change that allows harvest; and regulatory bodies seem constantly poised to rescind long-term protection in favor of short-term exploitation.

 

Opinions abound, and the rhetoric can get heated when interest groups clash. But when cooler heads prevail, the facts emerge, and paint a picture of a species that has come back from the brink, but is still very much in need of our protection. This 7th – 9th members and staff from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Management Council and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet at the Key Largo Hilton in a open session to consider reopening the Goliath grouper fishery.

 

I have put together a very detailed feature in the latest issue (UWJ-issue_31) of the Underwater Journal that you should read if you are considering attending this meeting (the big day is the 8th), or act through petitions (http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-the-goliath-grouper.fb77?source=c.fb&r_by=9731813) and Social Media like facebook, it will help to read this story.

 

 

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