To: Florida Diving Professionals
From: Tom Ingram, DEMA Executive Director
Date: February 15, 2011
Re: DEMA Legislative Alert - Goliath Grouper in Florida
Dear Florida Dive Professional:
You may be aware that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWCC) is considering the possibility of lifting the current moratorium on harvesting goliath grouper in the near future. FWCC recently conducted a study on the sustainability of goliath grouper stocks, and also asked some of the dive centers and fishing charters in Florida their opinion of reinstituting the harvest of goliath grouper.
FWCC will be meeting on February 23 to discuss the harvest status of the goliath grouper. The presentation that will be offered during the meeting can be viewed by clicking here.
Although it appears that the report contains some broad assumptions and imperfect data on the sustainability of goliath grouper populations, one possible outcome of this meeting is that the 20-year moratorium on harvesting these animals will be lifted. Doing so will likely have an adverse impact on the ability of divers to see this large animal in Florida.
DEMA has issued a legislative position statement on the goliath grouper in the form of a letter to Mr. Rodney Barreto, the current FWCC Chair. The letter encourages the FWCC to maintain the current moratorium on harvesting. The letter can be viewed by clicking here.
For those concerned about the FWC's deliberations on this issue, the February 23 meeting information can be viewed by clicking here. The meeting is open to the public.
DEMA, the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, is an international organization dedicated to the sustained growth of the recreational scuba diving and snorkeling industry. For more information on DEMA, call 858-616-6408 or visit www.dema.org.