Commission's stand for anglers deserves recognition

A crucial vote on a highly controversial management measure for Gulf red snapper is scheduled for next week during the Gulf Council's meeting in Mobile. Known as Amendment 40 - Sector Separation, it is a radical departure from traditional management methods that will allow a broken management system to stay in place for most recreational anglers, and grant special access privileges to a select group of charter/for-hire operators.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission exhibited the type of visionary leadership necessary to address this complicated issue with a thoughtful letter to the Gulf Council, stating that Commissioners were concerned private anglers would be "cast as an after-thought in the Council's sector separation proposal and would face additional severe harvest cuts under the proposed allocation shift."

As the critical vote draws near, proponents of this privatization scheme - environmental groups, commercial fishing entities and a select few charter/for-hire businesses - are applying tremendous pressure to undermine FWC's stand for anglers and our continued access to the resources of the Gulf. It is important for us to let FWC Commissioners know that we appreciate their support and are grateful for their leadership and foresight.

Please take a moment to send a message to the Commission and let them know we are proud to stand with them in this fight.

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