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Florida Recreational Anglers Avoid Another Closure

Photo courtesy of Steve Kantner

From Keep Florida Fishing -- Recreational anglers in the Ft. Lauderdale area avoided a closure to fishing on a portion of Ft. Lauderdale beach recently, albeit a time closure. A local resident, who happens to not only own a condo in the disputed area, but is also the president of an animal rights organization, requested the City of Ft. Lauderdale Council close fishing on a portion of Ft. Lauderdale beach for an additional two hours every day. Currently the area is closed to beach fishing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Her request would have closed fishing until 6 p.m.

Proponents for the closure stated that beach fishing was a danger to swimmers and beach goers because of sharp hooks and fishing rods left unattended stuck in the sand. Each speaker in the small group in favor of the closure also stated that they were involved in animal rights to some degree.



Recreational fishermen showed up in force, including parents who said they loved to fish on the beach with their kids. The recreational anglers each supported the notion that fishermen are conservationists, and are careful to not endanger beachgoers, swimmers or wildlife. It was brought up that the beach re-nourishment that the condo owner enjoyed was paid for by tax payers and that the beach was owned by the people, not the condo owners. It was also stated that during the winter, if the rule were to be changed, it would be dark by the time they were allowed to legally fish. The recreational anglers professionally stuck up for themselves and showed they really aren't the bad guys they are so often portrayed as!

At the end of the discussion, Jack Seiler, the Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, made it clear that he was a recreational fisherman, supported the net ban, knows that fishermen are dedicated conservationists and suggested that people join CCA (Coastal Conservation Association.) He went on to say that recreational fishing builds strong bonds with both family and friends and added that tourists literally run down to the water to watch a snook or tarpon being caught and that this adds positively to their Florida vacation experience. In closing, Mayor Seiler stated that this appeared to be a case of a solution in search of a problem.

Finally, a politician that gets what recreational fishing is all about.

Keep Florida Fishing, an initiative of the American Sportfishing Association and Keep America Fishing, is tasked with making sure that Floridians and visiting anglers have clean waters, abundant fisheries and access to both. We applaud the City of Ft. Lauderdale's commission for their sound judgement.




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