|02-10-2009 02:35 PM|
Farm fish / Gulf of Mexico
Take Action Now.
February 10, 2009
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted on January 28, 2009 to pass a controversial plan to allow ocean fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven members of the Council voted for the plan. Five voted against the plan in an effort to protect our marine wildlife and the interests of commercial fishermen and recreational users of the Gulf. One member abstained.
The vote was not the most important part of this decision however. Even though the Council passed a bad plan, this was a major victory for everyone who has worked over the past year and a half, attending Council meetings and hearings, calling Council members, sending in letters and spreading the word. How?
We successfully delayed this vote since October 2007 - allowing us to move the final decision into a new administration that hopefully will be more protective of our natural marine resources and care about the stability of coastal communities and traditional fishing.
We helped push council members to vote against the plan - some of whom would have voted yes if they hadn't heard from you!
The Council received over 16,000 comments against their plan and hundreds of people turned out to the public hearings to voice concerns.
Stories about the plan went out over radio, newspaper and television nationwide. There were articles in magazines and online.
And finally, we have raised the level of public awareness about ocean fish farming and its threats to the environment and our communities and now have a strong group of people willing to take action against it.
This plan would have passed through unnoticed if you hadn't spoken out! Thank you - to each and every one of you. Every e-mail, every phone call, every letter to the editor mattered.
Now, the fight is far from over - in fact, it's beginning again. The plan must be reviewed and approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Secretary of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget. We have a lot of work ahead of us and your continued support is crucial. Let's keep these farms out of our waters and find more sustainable ways to meet our seafood needs. Together, I know we can do it.