Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel
Data... it runs the world. Everyone needs accurate and up to date data to run a business and make decisions. It is no different for fisheries managers that create the fishing regulations that we abide by, which is why Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Recreational Marine Research Center at Michigan State University have developed the Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel. This panel will help aide the researchers in learning more about recreational fishing and the economic benefits gained from the recreational fisherman in Florida.
Many of you received an email within the last week regarding this panel that included a link to a registration page, and some of you have already signed on to participate. The panel is open to anyone that possesses a valid Florida Saltwater Fishing License or Persons with Disabilities Resident Hunting and Fishing License, as well as exempt residents age 65 and older. â€œFWC is excited about the partnership with Michigan State University and the new opportunities that present themselves to us and all fisheries managers,â€ said Nick Wiley, FWC Executive Director. â€œThe Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel brings a new and exciting aspect to recreational fishing data collection.â€ A panel member will be asked to complete a 10-15 minute web based survey once a month for a one year period. While most of each survey will focus on the anglers last saltwater fishing trip in Florida during the previous month, surveys may also include questions about current or proposed fishing regulations, licenses, conservation of fish stocks and management effectiveness.
All panel members will receive a coupon from West Marine for each monthly survey they complete. Participants will also have the opportunity to review summary results from the monthly surveys. â€œI urge all CCA members, their family, and friends to take part in this saltwater fishing panel,â€ said Jeff Miller, CCA Florida Chairman. â€œJoining the panel and completing the survey helps show the economic impact the recreational fishermen have here in the state of Florida. It helps show the fisheries managers that allocation of fish should not be based on past catch records but allocated solely on the economic impact from a fishing sector. Recreational fishermen deserve more and here is a perfect opportunity to do your part in fisheries data collection.â€
Act Now to Stop the Destruction of Marine Habitat
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) shares the concerns of the recreational angling community and is calling for a temporary moratorium on the Department of Interiors controversial Idle Iron directive that stands to destroy the largest man-made reef in the world - the vast forest of rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Coastal Conservation Association applauds this effort by Rep. Palazzo as well as the support of other important Congressional leaders, and has been joined by the largest marine conservation, tackle and boating organizations in the country in the fight to protect this extensive artificial reef system. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of structures are on the chopping block as a result of the Idle Iron policy. A typical four-legged platform becomes the equivalent of two to three acres of vibrant habitat in the Gulf - home to populations of fish, coral, shellfish, turtles and sea mammals.
Rep. Palazzo is circulating a letter to members of Congress and inviting them to join him in calling for a temporary moratorium on rig removals related to the Idle Iron Policy to allow time to develop a thoughtful, rational process to evaluate those structures and keep as many as safely possible in the water. The letter has the support of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus leadership.
Please join Rep. Palazzo, CCA and the community of recreational anglers and divers fighting to protect these unique ecosystems. Click on the link below to send a message to your elected representatives and encourage them to add their signatures to the letter to the Department of Interior calling for a moratorium.
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
Historic Sinking of the USCGC Mohawk
Creates First Dedicated Veterans Memorial Reef using a Military Ship
Coastal Conservation Association Florida and the Lee County Department of Natural Resources partnered to deploy the USCGC Mohawk to its final resting place. The 165-foot World War II Coast Guard Cutter, "Mohawk" was the last remaining ship of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Mohawk was laid to rest in 90 feet of water on July 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM roughly 28 nautical miles off of Sanibel Island on Floridas southwest coast, creating the first Veterans Memorial Reef dedicated to all U.S. veterans. The reef will be the new home to untold numbers of fish and other invertebrates living in the Gulf of Mexico.
CCA Florida chartered the 90 "Great Getaway" that transported over 100 passengers to the deployment site. The passengers included USCG 2nd Class Petty Officer Edward March who served on the Mohawk for 15 months during WWII, his family, local veterans, members of the media, local and state dignitaries and elected officials as well as CCA members from across the state of Florida. â€œThe feeling was surreal as the cutter slipped below the surface,â€ said CCA Chairman Jeff Miller. â€œThis moment marked the ending to a long and historical life above water and the beginning of a new life as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico.â€
Fisherman and scuba divers alike are very excited about the new artificial reef. â€œWith more fish in the Gulf of Mexico comes the need for more habitat,â€ said Don Roberts, CCA Florida Habitat Chairman. â€œThe sinking of the Mohawk will bring a new home to fish and marine life as well as new opportunities for fishermen and scuba divers from all over the world. The ship was an amazing site and looked as if she was ready for action.â€ The Mohawk was laid to rest with a fresh coat of wartime camouflage paint along with her anchor chains, props, replica guns, replica depth charges and a even a new whale boat was added. The official name of the reef is the U.S.S. Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef and the coordinates are 82°43'42.347"W 26°33'14.64"N.
The Mohawk was built in 1934 for patrol and icebreaking duties in the Hudson and Delaware rivers. During WWII, the USS Mohawk was commissioned for escort operations and traveled the world defending her country until 1945. The Mohawk launched 14 attacks on German submarines, rescued more than 300 survivors from torpedoed ships and was the last vessel to radio Gen. Dwight Eisenhower that the weather would be clear enough to launch the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
â€œCCA Florida was honored to have the opportunity to participate in this historical event,â€ said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. â€œCCA Florida would like to thank Mike Campbell and the Lee County Department of Natural Resources for all of their time and effort in establishing the U.S.S. Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef.â€
CCA Florida salutes the members that served on the USCGC Mohawk along with all other service men and women that have served or are currently serving to protect the United States of America.