Let's try to imagine a 5,000-square mile piece of ocean where no commercial fishing is allowed, but limited recreational fishing is welcome. Sounds like an unlikely pipe dream after all we've been through. Still, we can now wake up to just such a reality.
Now, at last, after 15 years of turmoil and falsehoods perpetrated by the Save the Manatee Club, the federal government is recognizing the simple truth—the animal’s population is not only stable, it is growing fast, and has been for many years. Click to read more!
Over and over, we swallow the same old line. “Our Everglades water is cleaner than rain water.” That’s the claim not only from the sugar cane industry but from the government water managers who are Big Sugar’s best buddies. The cleaner-than-rain refrain sounds good. People tend not to question it.
Here’s a somewhat common refrain we hear from well-meaning citizens: “Let’s stop the finger pointing and all work together…” At that point there come a few murmurs of agreement. Can’t we all sit down in a big room and work out our differences? After all, we’re responsible adults.
I really hope I’m dead wrong on this. It would be so much more fun for the communities to keep pretending that great things are coming for the estuaries and Everglades. But the sad truth, I’m afraid, is that we’re going to get much more of the pollution and killing waters from inland that have devastated us over a half century. Some call it Bull Sugar.
With the million-dollar sugar babies still running the show, it may seem impossible to stop the polluting discharges bombarding the coasts and sucking dry the Everglades. And yet there seems to be a sense of momentum for change in the air.
Sure, we’ve crabbed an awful lot about outdoors management failures over a half century. But let’s also remember the victories, and take note of an ever-growing conservation mindset. You most likely have taken part in the move to manage wildlife for sustainable use and basically non-profit purposes. Many wildlife leaders have joined this newthink.
It’s been a dangerous period for one of Florida’s most important fishes, the spotted seatrout, commonly just called trout. First, the state virtually doubled the commercial take of trout and came within a whisker of allowing seine nets back in the fishery. And then a rural north Florida judge attempted to upset the historic Gillnet Ban, which would have clobbered trout by the ton.
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