The fishing public (commercial, recreational and associated industries) will gather in Washington D.C. on February 24, 2010, for the SAVE OUR JOBS - Fix Magnuson NOW rally. Speeches by Senators and Congressmen begin at 12:00 Noon. This rally is for supporting the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act (HR 1584 & S.1255). This bipartisan federal legislation is designed to keep fishing communities and local fisheries healthy and sustainable for future generations, and it's the primary reason for the DC rally on February 24. But you can do more to improve fisheries management while in DC.
This is the first time recreational and commercial fishermen and fish related businesses have joined ranks on a national issue. The goal is to improve the direction of fish management by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fisheries Management Councils. A Master of Ceremonies has been selected and commitments from the sponsors of the bill, Congressman Pallone of New Jersey, Senator Schumer of New York, and Senator LeMieux of Florida have been given. Remember to give these people your support as they are supporting you now.
Fishermen, anglers, and all the rest from all coastal states and the Great Lakes are invited to gather at the reserved space near the steps of the Capitol by 11:00 AM on February 24th. See http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/ for more details on travel and parking.
There will be many fishing representatives from all across the country who are currently making appointments with their Congressional delegations. You should do the same. Simply look up their names on the internet (try http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/) to get their names, phone numbers and address information. Just call them and tell them you will be in Washington DC and would like to meet with them to discuss some fishing issues. This is how it is done. Don't be shy as they are supposed to be working for you and your interests.
Jim Donofrio of the Recreational Fishing Alliance and Bob Jones of the Southeastern Fisheries Association have been working diligently for several months to make the rally a success. Donofrio has been the point man and has made all the physical arrangements for the event. These and other groups, as well as, individuals have already scheduled dozens of appointments to see their Congressional representatives. We think you should do the same.
Nils Stolpe (New Jersey Fishing - Garden State Seafood Association) has done great work in setting up communications with everyone and is one of the drivers behind the birth of the rally. Bob Zales (Zodiac Charter Fishing Fleet) has several of his groups on board and Dennis O'Hern (Fishing Rights Alliance) is also actively involved. There are too many other groups involved to mention them all. Check all of their websites for more details. There are many blogs with discussions on this setting up buses travel and car pool. See you favorite fishing blog, but be sure to check out: http://blog.seafoodsustainability.us/2010/01/21/united-we-fish-rally.aspx and http://www.joinrfa.org/ .
I strongly urge your participation in this event either in person (preferred), or contributing to the costs. The RFA has been footing the bill for the permits, staging, flags, banners, and security, etc. Now is the chance to strongly support honest science based fisheries management and supporting the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act (HR 1584 & S.1255). If you can not attend, then you should call and send emails to your representatives. Do not delay your support.
Safe and Successful Fishing,
Mitchell A. Roffer, Ph.D.
60 Westover Drive, West Melbourne, Florida 32904
U.S. Toll Free 800 677-7633 and 321.723.5759 / /WWW.ROFFS.COM