"We met with Senator Negron to explain the benefits of the license money and the damages that would occur if it was eliminated" said Ted Forsgren, Executive Director of CCA Florida. "He told us that he did not believe that a license should be required to fish. He simply disagreed with all of our comments and concerns, but was open to further discussions."

For more than a hundred years, conservation minded sportsmen, fishers and hunters have actively supported and promoted license fees to manage public natural resources. As the original proponent of the saltwater fishing license in 1988, CCA Florida has worked to protect and improve the license for more than 20 years.

Since then, the saltwater fishing license has provided more than 250 million dollars in revenues specifically dedicated to marine research, management and law enforcement. The funding provides critical information for the management of fisheries like snook, redfish, spotted sea trout and grouper. "If you dont have basic research which establishes the levels of abundance and monitors the impacts of regulations you can not properly manage a fishery" said Forsgren.

"The other huge issue that was either overlooked or disregarded by Senator Negron is that elimination of the Florida license will simply trigger the imposition of a federal fishing license" said Forsgren. "Florida’s anglers will pay more to fish and all the money will go to the federal government!"

Starting in 2010, the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act requires all anglers fishing in saltwater or for anadromous species to obtain a federal registration. The fee is about 20 dollars per angler and the funds are deposited into the National Treasury, not into Florida’s Marine Fisheries Conservation Trust Fund. A provision in the Act exempts states that have an adequate saltwater fishing license. Florida’s current license has qualified for the exemption so our anglers do not have to purchase the federal license.

"CCA Florida has a long history of conservation advocacy. We are always in the front lines promoting management and research funding for Florida’s marine fisheries and its 18 billion dollar recreational fishery," said Ted Forsgren, CCA Florida Executive Director. "We will continue to talk with Senator Negron. We are requesting all concerned anglers and other conservationists to contact Senator Negron now and urge him to withdraw his damaging bill!"