Your chance to support common sense

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is giving me a chance to offer a plan to limit by catch, help fishermen, and protect your freedom to access safe American seafood. I need your help to get the SAFMC to implement some or all of my plan. Please read this common sense approach to fishery management with an open heart and mind. If you agree with it, please contact the SAFMC and let them know you support the freefish7 plan. Kim Iverson is the public information officer for the SAFMC. She is a very nice lady. Please ask her to forward your comments to the voting members of the council. kim.iverson@safmc.net

The by catch reduction and fishermen’s survival plan.

          Thank you for the chance to present this plan. It is no secret that we do not see eye to eye on some issues. I do think we have a common goal of a healthy fishery that can be responsibly harvested. We should all be able to agree that it is not in the best interest of the fish or fishermen to have regulatory discards. I will offer ideas based on my experience as a fisherman to limit by catch, make efficient use of the resource, and promote our safety at sea. Please consider these suggestions with an open heart and mind.

         The first thing that should be done is Trip Poundage Limits (TPLs) to manage the Annual Catch Limits (ACLs). The council has used TPLs and split seasons with some success. This plan incorporates some of those good ideas. It goes like this: every fish with an ACL should have the fishing year split into two six month seasons. The TPLs should be set high for the first 75% of the six month quota and adjusted to a level that would fill the quota without any long closures for the remaining 25%. This is an example for Vermilion Snapper that should replace the current derby fishery. Keep the six month seasons. Set the TPL at 1,500 pounds for the first 75% of the quota. Adjust the TPL for the remaining 25% to 300 pounds if there are several months left in that six month season. Set the TPL at 2,000 pounds if there is only one month left. Any poundage that is left should be carried over to the next six month season. Any poundage over the quota could be deducted from the next season. We can target Vermilion Snapper when the quota is high. We could target other species when the TPL is low. This would allow fishermen to keep the Vermilion Snapper by catch and give the consumer a dependable supply of them throughout the year. It would help fishermen make efficient use of the resource and earn enough money to survive the rebuilding process in a safer way. The council could also use TPLs instead of four month closures on Silver Snapper and shallow water grouper. Set the TPL at 100 pounds on both Silver Snapper and grouper. This would be low enough that fishermen would not make trips targeting them but would allow for by catch. This plan would give scientist a more accurate and dependable way to collect data. We should try our best to avoid wasting our resources.

         Size limits sound good in theory but have unintended consequences. They force us to target the larger breeding stock of fish while discarding the small fish that can be replaced quickly. Many of those small fish die slowly from stress, infection, and decompression damage. The size limits should be abolished. The small fish should be counted against the ACLs instead of being wasted. We should have a goal of a zero by catch fishery and make efficient use of everything we catch. We need a law that would allow us to sell other by catch like sharks. We accidentally catch Black Tips, Sand Bar Sharks, Makos, and smooth dog sharks. These are all sharks that are good to eat and legal to sell in state waters. We should be allowed to sell 500 pounds of sharks per trip. We should not target sharks but we cannot avoid catching some of them. We can have a responsible harvest of almost any fish. It is a matter of realizing we cannot avoid catching some species and managing the fishery accordingly.    

         Artificial Reefs (ARs) could be the perfect union of aquaculture and commercially caught wild fish. We should try to enhance the fishery instead of restricting access to it. I believe we could greatly increase the total bio-mass the US South Atlantic could support with an aggressive AR program. I have heard some arguments against ARs and would welcome a debate on the issue. This should also be part of the marine spatial planning discussion. We need to look at the big picture and show other Nations by example how to manage their fisheries in a way that helps the fish, fishermen, economies, and the marine environment.

         We have suffered severe financial hardships since the closures started last September. I propose that part of the NMFS budget be allocated to reducing the size of the snapper/grouper fishery through a voluntary buyout of inactive permits and elderly fishermen with illnesses that would like to retire. The market for our businesses has been destroyed by the economy and regulation. Those aging fishermen need a way out other than bankruptcy or death. I would also like to see the SAFMC, NMFS, and NOAA work with the Small Business Administration to help fishermen get low interest long term loans to consolidate our debt. This would take the pressure off of fishermen to risk life and limb to avoid bankruptcy. The buyout and debt consolidation loans would also take some of the pressure off of the fishery and allow stocks to rebuild faster.

         Fishermen are not just numbers in management equations. We are real people with families that depend on our income and worry about our safety. We deserve to be treated like you and your loved ones would like to be treated if the roles were reversed. The solutions I presented are based on a love of the sea, decades of on the water experience, and the mandates in the MSA. It breaks my heart to be forced to discard GOD’s good creations to die slowly. I do not believe that any of you on this council really want to waste our resources. This is an unintended consequence that is obvious to those of us that discard by catch. TPLs should be addressed immediately to put an end to this waste of fish and income.

         I know catch shares are a management measure that the SAFMC, NMFS, and NOAA are looking at and many environmental groups support. I would like to offer this compromise to everyone that wants catch shares. We agree to put TPLs in place to stabilize the fishery in the short term. We can then discuss and debate catch shares as well as buyouts, small business loans, and Artificial Reefs. We also need to look at getting rid of some old regulations like size limits that helped to create the problems. It looks like NOAA will have 54 million dollars in next year’s budget to set up catch share programs. I propose that some of that funding be allocated to paying fishermen to take the time necessary to be part of the process. Commercial fishermen have centuries of collective on the water experience to bring to the discussion. We love the sea and want to protect it.

          Thank you for giving me the chance to present this plan. I welcome any questions and look forward to working together towards a healthy and sustainable fishery that can be responsibly harvested forever. We should try to manage the fishery in a way that rebuilds stocks while providing the public with a dependable supply of safe American seafood. We should also do what we can to help fishermen and their families survive the rebuilding process. We could achieve these goals if we work together using sound science, common sense, and follow the Golden Rule.                                                                                                                                                

Sincerely,

Chris McCaffity

  This is a simple way for you to support common sense, freedom, and your fellow Americans. I am trying to get 1,000 people to email a few words of support for this plan before I present it on Dec. 7th at the Hilton in New Bern. I would also like to have 1,000 people at that meeting. With that kind of support, we could have TPLs before the end of that week long meeting. Please contact me if you have any questions. freefish7@hotmail.com Please remember, this is not just our freedom to responsibly harvest this great Nation’s resources. It is your freedom to have a dependable supply of safe American seafood. Thank you for your support.

 Please check out my new website at. www.freefish7.com

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Common sense fishery regulations

I want to use this post to lay out in one place a common sense approach to regulating the South Atlantic Snapper Grouper Fishery. I have mentioned most of these things in other post. These plans may not necessarily be what I would do in a perfect world. We are bound by law to work within the guidelines of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and we must make the best of a bad situation. All of my ideas would follow the mandates in the MSA, even those that the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) refuse to follow. Some of the “men” in those bureaucracies have told me that the mandate to end overfishing trumped all other mandates including those to limit bycatch, make efficient use of the resource, and promote the safety at sea of fishermen. I asked them how we were supposed to safely survive the rebuilding process the way they were mismanaging the fishery. I was told that it was not their concern. That lack of concern and refusal to wisely manage the low Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) with Trip Poundage Limits (TPLs) has killed and wasted countless fish. It has also cost at least one hard-working American fisherman his life.

The first thing that should be done immediately is to wisely mange every fish with an ACL with TPLs. The TPLs should be set high for the first 75% of the ACL. The TPL for the other 25% should be reduced to a level that would allow the season to remain open most of the year and still fill the ACL. This simple action would stabilize the weakening market for our fish with a dependable supply, almost eliminate by catch, make efficient use of the resource, and allow fishermen to earn enough money to survive in a safer way. I have pleaded with PEW, EDF, Oceana, CCA, and others to stand together with me and demand that the SAFMC and NMFS do this now. Those “charitable groups” all refused to work with me. The SAFMC has an Amendment to address this issue. The plans I have seen are almost as incompetent as the rest of their regulations and it will take a long time to put in place. They make everything far to complicated. They could put TPLs in place quickly if the environmentalist, recreational, and commercial fishermen would stand united and present a TPL plan within the guidelines of the MSA and demand the SAFMC implement it now.    

The next step should be for all interested parties to agree on a way to collect data and use sound science to do credible stock assessments. Those parties should then use the credible stock assessments to set reasonable ACLs. Those ACLs should then be managed wisely with bag limits for recreational fishermen and TPLs for commercial fishermen. The size limits should all be abolished and we should keep every fish we catch until our bag limit or TPL is met and then quit fishing. It is a waste of GOD’s good creations to discard small fish that can be replaced quickly only to target the breeding stock of larger fish that are not replaced as quickly. Many of the small fish die after the stress of being caught and then firmly holding it to remove the hook and measure it. Some fish are caught in deep enough water that many of those released die slowly from decompression damage. The size limits do more harm than good and mandate the waste of our great Nation’s resources.

There are many fishermen that would like to retire or just get out of this nightmare. I have talked with the same groups I mentioned before about ways to fund a buyout of those fishermen. They have all refused to work with me. I have heard other fishermen say that they have been told by environmentalist and bureaucrats that it is easier to just drive us out of business than to do a buy out. That might also cut into their billion dollar budgets. There are some simple ways to use the free market to raise the funds to buy out those fishermen that are willing to step aside. I do not want big brother to steal your money to do this.

The final common sense solution I will mention for now is one that can enhance the fishery, economy, and liberty in the long run. Artificial reefs could be the perfect union of aquaculture and commercially caught wild fish. There are thousands of square miles of barren sandy sea floor that could support a wide variety of sea life if it was enhanced with artificial reefs. We could again use the free market to raise money for the reefs.

The TPLs, buy out, and artificial reefs should be things that environmentalist, conservationist, and all fishermen would want to embrace. Will we put our differences aside and work together on common sense solutions or will we stay divided and allow our resources to be wasted, our commercial fishing heritage to be lost, our coastal economies devastated. Will we allow bureaucrats to continue delivering some of the 1,000 cuts that are killing our sweet Lady Liberty?

There are only a handful of commercial fishermen left in America. We are the most tightly regulated fishermen in the world. We have followed the laws NMFS and other fishery bureaucracies have made since their creation. They claim to have  mismanaged most of our fisheries to the point of collapse. Our government just gives them more of our money and more power to rule us with an iron fist. Those unelected bureaucrats have the full weight of the federal government behind them to make commercial fishermen pay for obeying their laws. The men and women that commercial fish are Mothers, Fathers, Sons, and Daughters, they are our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and your fellow American citizens. We deserve to be treated like you would treat your loved ones or would like to be treated yourself. Commercial fishermen are the real endangered species. We are a minority group without the money, power, or numbers to defend ourselves. Our only hope of survival is if you and enough of our fellow Americans will stand united to demand regulations that allow us to responsibly harvest this great Nation’s seafood and give you access to it. We the people should at the very least have enough compassion on our fellow-man to give them a dignified way out of this nightmare through a voluntary buy out program.

It is hard to work on the water and not believe in GOD. HIS wonders of nature surround us with everything from the call of seagulls, the fresh salt air, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, moonlit nights, dolphins and whales that break the surface of the sea for brief glimpses of their majestic forms. We are reminded of GOD’s presence and pray for HIS help when the sky darkens, the wind howls, waterspouts form, lightning burst from the clouds, the roar of thunder shakes the boat, hail hits the water like machine gun fire, and towering waves crash over our boats. I have experienced all of these and know that GOD created it. I also know HE listened to my prayers and kept me safe in his warm embrace. I ask you to pray for the safety of commercial fishermen everywhere and that GOD will soften the hearts of the bureaucrats that are callously destroying our jobs, heritage, fisheries, and the freedom HE gave us.

This blog, www.questioningwithboldness.wordpress.com is helping me expose this attack on our freedom to fish and access safe American seafood. Please check out that sight and my own website at. www.freefish7.com Thank you.

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Great road trip with my wonderful daughter

We saw majestic oaks draped in spanish moss on the Tomoka River. We saw amber waves of grain and sheets of rain torn with lightning bolts again and again. GOD’s flowers bloomed and HIS thunder boomed. We saw skies of blue and the ocean too. What made it all so wonderful to me was that Crystal made it “we”.

Our trip started easy with a short drive to my son, Corey’s house in Raleigh. We stopped at King’s BBQ on the way for some lunch. I tried the pig in a puppy sandwich. It was great and something different. We made it to Corey’s in time to walk around the area he lives in. We found a pond with a little waterfall that fed a stream. A tick found me out there. It was worth it to find that special place and spend that time with my son. We have spent many hours exploring different places and I treasure all the memories we made together.

We got up at 3:00 am to start the drive to Orlando. We needed to be there before the 6:30 meeting. We had a nice drive down and got there around 3:30 pm.

We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando for two days. They were kind enough to give me the discounted rate that the council members received. It was a very nice place. There was a pond in front that had dragonflies all around it. I went around to some local businesses to sell calendars and inform people about what I was trying to do. I met some great freedom loving people. We also ate some delicious cheese burgers from Five Guy’s Burgers.

We left Orlando around 10:00 am and passed the Daytona Speedway about a hour later. What a gorgeous drive up central Florida’s A1A coastal highway. We went from Daytona to St. Augustine stopping along the way to sell more calendars and let people know what the council was voting on that day. We asked everyone to contact the Sec. of Commerce, Gary Locke to ask him not to sign Amendment’s 17A and 17B into law. You can do that right now by going to TheSec@doc.gov or by calling him at (202) 482-2000. We met some more patriotic liberty loving Americans that inspired me to keep fighting for our GOD given freedom despite the battle that I felt was lost. The man with the Flags you will see in the pictures was a retired Marine. He had traveled the world defending our freedom and collecting all sorts of amazing artifacts. He gave me a tour and we talked about things. He was confident that this great Nation would pull through these dark times. He is right but we the people must stand united to peacefully defend our GOD given freedom. 

We made it to St. Augustine around 5:00 pm. We stopped at the La Fiesta Ocean Inn to get a room. The smoke alarm went off right after we walked in. A bag of popcorn had burned in the microwave. The fire alarm brought out the Fire Dept. with the big red truck and all. After about 30 minutes of listening to the alarm, they finally got it turned off. The fire men were professional and kind to the poor girls behind the counter. They gave us a good rate and we got a room. We went to Mango Mango’s for dinner. Crystal and I split a Caribbean chicken plate with fried plantains. That was the first time I had tried plantains. They are like a starchy banana and tasted great. We walked back to the room and saw some baby mallard ducks with their mama. That was a nice end to a beautiful day.

I was up before dawn to catch the best light and least people at the Lighthouse. There is a boat ramp by the lighthouse that brought out more people than I wanted to see. I just worked around them and enjoyed the many different views of the most haunted lighthouse in America. The sun did not disappoint with lighting that only seemed to get better as it climbed higher in the sky until it reached its peak of brilliant light about an hour after it rose out of the sea. The peak passed and the people came, so I left happy with the gift GOD had just given me.

What a great morning. We had fresh-baked blueberry scones for breakfast. That was another first but not the last because they were delicious. The Inn provided the breakfast and a paper. The headline read, Fishermen dealt ‘death blow’. It was painfully obvious how the vote had gone. We packed the truck and pulled out. A bumper sticker caught my eye in the parking lot. It was a quote by Plato. “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men.”

We stopped at a few places in St. Augustine before we got on 95 North to go home. The Conch Marina was the best stop. The lighthouse was close and we got to see a manatee around the dock. There was a news crew talking with some fishermen on the docks. I did a short interview with them and went on to sell some calendars to the marina. I had seen some guys that looked a little out-of-place get off of a boat while I was talking to the news crew. One of them came up to me latter and asked where something was. I told him where to go and about the attack on our freedom. He took a card and I thought nothing more of it. I went back to the truck and Crystal told me that she thought Travis McCoy was in the big black tour bus beside us. He is the lead singer for the band, Gym Class Heroes and has a new song called Billionaire. We knocked on the bus door and she asked if that was Travis that she had seen getting on the bus. It was him. He graciously came out and signed a calendar for Crystal and I snapped some photos. We talked a few minutes and gave them a couple of calendars before it was time for both of us to get on the road again. We heard his billionaire song a few times on the way home. It is a good song with a catchy Caribbean sound.  

The ride home was nice until we got back into North Carolina. We ran into some storms around sunset and got to see a rainbow, lightning, and heavy rain. We made it home safely before midnight.

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Father’s Day Fishing Trip

The SAFMC refused to wisely manage the quotas with Trip Poundage Limits at the meeting in Orlando. They were to busy selling our Freedom. This means that the derby fisheries will continue and we must go catch some fish to pay the bills before the closures start coming.

The weather was nice for the most part and we caught some grouper, black sea bass, and silver snapper. I tried to stay inshore so we would not have to discard many vermilion snapper. We witnessed one of the unintended consequences of our fisheries mismanagement as we fished inshore. The bass pot buoys were everywhere and created a navigational hazard. The rope will wrap around the propeller if you run over one. We would then have to dive under the boat to cut the rope out. Most of the bass pot fishing in North Carolina went on during the winter months when other fish are not as available. Now the bass are flooding the market and driving down the price. Fishermen feel like they have to catch what they can when they can. The lower prices force fishermen to catch more fish and fill the quota quicker. I will ask the council at the next meeting if they are grossly incompetent or maliciously trying to waste our resources, destroy our businesses, and take our freedom.

I have warned the SAFMC and the environmental groups that the derby fisheries drastically cut our income and greatly increase our chances of injury or death. They do not care! We knew that there was a threat of thunderstorms before we went fishing. We had no choice but to go because the bills were stacking up. We had a storm come up on us Saturday night. It started  a few miles away and I tried taking some pictures. It seemed to be sitting still and I caught a few strikes. The storm died down and we ate some fresh grilled mahi mahi  and salad for dinner. Delicious. We got some sleep after that only to be woken up by the delicate sound of thunder growing louder with each passing minute. The storm got closer and the clouds burst open with blinding light and deafening thunder. I prayed that GOD would watch over us and keep us safe. Thank you LORD for answering my prayer. I only wish the entire council and the environmentalist could have been there. They might have a little more compassion on their fellow-man and get to know GOD better.

The storms continued on Father’s Day and we worked inshore some more to get away from them. We caught some nice grouper and even broke a rod getting a big one out of a rock. We got him though. We also caught one of the red snapper that are so “rare” that we are forced to discard every one we catch. The good news is that the water was shallow enough that I believe it lived.

The derby fisheries will kill more fishermen and close one fishery after another. This is so wrong and can be fixed so easily. Please call Council Chairman, Duane Harris at (912) 388-3183 and the NMFS Regional Administrator, Roy Crabtree at (727) 824-5301. Please politely ask them to wisely manage the Annual Catch Limits with Trip Poundage Limits set high for the first 75% of the quota and adjusted lower for the remaining 25%. This simple action would stabilize the weakening market for our fish with a dependable supply, make efficient use of the resource, almost eliminate by catch, save businesses, save lives and preserve liberty. Thank you for helping hard-working American fishermen responsibly harvest our Nation’s seafood  and give you access to it. Remember that an attack on commercial fishermen is also an attack on your freedom to eat fresh and safe local seafood.

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Bureaucrats Sold Our Freedom for $2,000

Nine members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council sold our freedom last week for $2,000. I gave my public comments on Tuesday. I called on the members that felt compelled by hard deadlines and congress to pass Amendment 17A, to resign in protest. I asked them not to take our freedom, waste our resources, and destroy our businesses. The “men” that had told me they would not pass these laws on their loved ones, sold our freedom for $2,000. These are just 13 unelected bureaucrats that meet 4 times a year for a week. The are paid with our tax dollars to rule us with an iron fist and they have the full weight of the federal government behind them. They look down on us with contempt as we plead for mercy at their meetings. They are leeches on society. One of the evil leeches told a fellow fisherman “that he understood that I enjoyed commercial fishing for a living and was succesful, but I needed to join the rest of the human race and find another job even if it wasn’t what I enjoyed to do.” These are the kind of people our government has sent to help us. We did not ask for their help. The regulations they had put in place over the past couple of decades have worked well. They claim to have mismanaged most of those fisheries to the point of collapse. Most of America’s fisheries are recovering from overfishing in the 70’s and 80’s. There are only a handful of commercial fishermen left to keep our heritage alive and continue giving you access to safe American seafood. We are an endangered species. We are not destroying the sea the way environmentalist and bureaucrats would like to say we are. There have been some bad fishermen and fishing practices in the past and I am sure there are still a few today. The vast majority of commercial fishermen love the water and want to responsibly harvest our Nation’s seafood and give you access to it.  

Plato said long ago that “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men.” The apathy of many fishermen including myself has left us to be ruled by evil men. It is not to late for us to stand united with the American people who we provide with fresh seafood. We the people have the power to demand common sense regulations based on sound science that allow hard-working American fishermen to survive. Those bureaucrats think the American people will sit by and do nothing as they attack a minority group without the money, power, or numbers to defend itself. They depend on apathy to allow them to slowly cut away at our liberty. This is a chance to take a stand and stop the evils of bureaucracy from destroying a way of life that goes back to days of Jesus and before. Commercial fishing cannot be that bad if Jesus and some of his apostles did it. 

The Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke still has to sign his name to Amendments 17A and B. He is the last man standing between common sense and the closure of most of the U.S. South Atlantic sea floor to recreational and commercial fishing. Please contact Sec. Locke and ask him not to sign Amendments 17A and B. It is just that simple. We can keep this freedom to fish if enough Americans will take a few minutes to do this. Please do not sit by apathetically and do nothing as evil triumphs over a minority group that is the real endangered species. Please remember that this is your freedom to fish or enjoy safe American seafood. Here is the Secretary’s contact information.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke                                                U.S. Department of Commerce 1401 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20230

1-202-482-2000

TheSec@doc.gov

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Headed to Orlando to Defend our Freedom

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) will be meeting at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel, June 7-11. They will begin working on the Trip Poundage Limits (TPL’s) we have been asking for. The council member that contacted me said they would be to busy passing 17A to put TPL’s in place at this meeting. They could pass an emergency proclamation to put them in place at this meeting if they cared about the fish or the fishermen. They are far more interested in mandating the waste of our resources and taking our freedom with their corrupt law. 

Amendment 17A will do many terrible things to the fish, fishermen, and every American that enjoys our Nation’s seafood. The first thing it will do is close 6,000 square miles of our sea floor to recreational and commercial bottom fishing. It will force all fishermen to discard every Red Snapper we catch. They think the circle hooks they will force us to use will reduce release mortality. They have no idea what they are doing. The circle hooks break the jaw of a fish if they are not properly removed. That released fish then slowly starves to death. How compassionate of them. The government scientists will determine when the quota is met by guessing when enough of the discarded snapper have starved to death or died from decompression damage. Amendment 17A will give those unelected bureaucrats the power to take “unspecified drastic action” to stop the capture of any more Red Snapper when the quota is met. They can close most of the U.S. South Atlantic sea floor to all bottom fishing. They will hire anyone but the fishermen that know how and where to catch snapper to go out and do independent sampling to collect data on them. Why can’t we keep at least 1 per person per day to collect the data and not waste the resource? I know why. That would make sense.   

We the people can stop this attack on our freedom if we stand united. I will be going to Orlando to fight in person. There are some simple things you can do at home to help. You can contact the SAFMC and NMFS to ask them to put Trip Poundage Limits in place now with the emergency rule. Please also ask them not to take your freedom with Amendment 17A. You can call the Sec. of Commerce, Gary Locke and ask him not to sign Amendment 17A or B into law. 17B has been passed by the council and is waiting for his signature. That law will take our freedom to bottom fish anywhere beyond 240 feet of water from Virginia to Key West. That closure is due to the lack of data on Warsaw Grouper and Speckled Hind. They maliciously cut away at Lady Liberty with their laws based on ignorance. She is dying the death of a 1,000 cuts at the hands of politicians and bureaucrats that are just trying to “help”. Please help me fight the evils of bureaucracy that Joseph Pew warned of with the purchase of a calendar. I do not want a hand out but I do need your help defending our freedom. You can see more about the calendar at the Natural Art Photography Shop. Here is the contact information for the Sec. of Commerce, SAFMC, and NMFS.

Sec. of Commerce, Gary Locke   TheSec@doc.gov  (202)482-2000

NMFS Regional Administrator, Roy Crabtree (727)824-5301

SAFMC safmc@safmc.net  866-723-6210

Thank you for your support. We can make our government do the right things if we stand together. Please make a few phone calls if nothing else. Remember the Edmond Burke quote. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I call on you to do something to stop the triumph of evil over common sense and the freedom GOD gave us. I also ask you to pray that my trip will be safe and successful.

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Good News

I am happy to report on something good. That complaining about how bad our fishery is being managed was getting old. I have to point out the problems but I want to work together to fix them. A voting member of the SAFMC called me today. He wanted to talk with me about Trip Poundage Limits (TPL’s) for vermilion snapper. Our united voice is getting their attention. He said they would be trying to put TPL’s in place for vermilion snapper at the June Meeting. It sounds like they will set the TPL high for the first %75 of the quota and reduce the TPL for the remaining %25 to a level that will leave the season open for most of the year. I thanked him for listening and told him that should be the model for the rest of the fish they manage. He is a good man who has voted to defend our freedom. I would like to thank the members of the council that have opposed Amendments based on admittedly flawed data. I renew my call on those members that feel compelled by congress to take their fellow American’s jobs, heritage, pride, and freedom, TO STEP DOWN. RESIGN IN PROTEST! DO NOT TAKE MY FREEDOM!

This is great news. It changes my approach to the June meeting. We still have to stop Amendment 17A. We must also work with the council to set the TPL at that meeting. I will write a letter opposing 17A and laying out my vision of how the fishery should be managed. This will also be my written comments that I submit at the meeting. I am asking you to send signed copies of the letter to the SAFMC, NMFS, NOAA, and the SEC. of Commerce if you agree with it. You can request a copy at freefish7@hotmail.com. Stand with me. Send the letters and we will win this battle. Thank you for your support.

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