This alert may be important to you if you bring groups to Florida, come to Florida for your personal diving or reside in the State.
In 2011, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission considered lifting the ban on goliath grouper harvest. At that time, the Commission decided to maintain the ban thanks in part to support from the dive community, which an overwhelming (91%) favored maintaining the moratorium.
The Commission is again considering whether or not to allow commercial and recreational harvest of goliath grouper.As part of this evaluation, the Commission has contracted a project team at the University of Florida to gather various stakeholder views regarding goliath grouper and the management of this fishery. The primary information gathering tool is this survey:
The deadline for this survey is 22 May. Please take the time to respond to this survey and encourage your customers to do the same. The results could affect divers’ ability to readily see these iconic creatures in Florida waters.
The PADI organization will also submit a formal position statement advocating that as long as there remains the current high scientific uncertainty over the effect of reopening the fishery,the moratorium should continue and goliath grouper should be managed for its high ecotourism value.
For specifics on this University of Florida project, go to http://www.aquaticresources.org/goliath.html.
Thank you for your action to ensure that the dive community’s perspectives and wishes are included in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s deliberation.