Restaurants and non-Boating Citizens Deserve More Fish

The Florida Constitution, Article 10-Section 16(a) The marine resources of the State of Florida belong to all people of the state…


The Florida Constitution, Article 10-Section 16, in the first sentence pronounces: “Limiting marine net fishing. — (a) The marine resources of the State of Florida belong to all of the people of the state and should be conserved and managed for the benefit of the state, its people, and future generations. To this end the people hereby enact limitations on marine net fishing in Florida waters to protect saltwater finfish, shellfish, and other marine animals from unnecessary killing, overfishing and waste.”

The Constitution guarantees fish to all the people. Citizens without the ability to catch their own fish have lost access to their fair share. Anti-commercial fishing groups and national corporations that sell boats, motors, and electronics have pilfered most of the fish for their customers.

Every time a fisherman sells a mullet, he/she is creating wealth for our nation. Every time foreign made motors are sold this brings wealth into a local community that was created somewhere else. Purchase of foreign motors and other fishing gear contribute to America’s deficit in the balance of trade.

The Florida Sportsman magazine and sportfishing advocacy groups want the general public to believe the allocation of Florida fish is between their 1,000,000 recreational fishermen and 8,500 licensed commercial fishermen. The allocation decision is truly between 1,000,000 recreational boaters and at least 30,000,000 non-boaters who are entitled to a fair share of the fish that belongs to all the people.

The highly managed Florida commercial fishermen are the conduit through which the non-boaters receive their share of fish. If a commercial fisherman doesn’t catch it then it cannot be on a plate at the restaurants or in a retail market for non-boaters to take home and enjoy.

The fish belong to all the people, not just recreational interests. It is not only immoral to take fish away from the non-fishing public, but is illegal as well. In the minds of many the recreational grab for all the fish violates the civil rights of the non-fishing members of the general public.

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