DEMA Industry Opinion Poll Findings Aid the FWC in Securing Goliath Grouper Moratorium Continuation
Monday, September 22, 2014
Posted by: Rachelle Reimers
DEMA Industry Opinion Poll Findings Aid the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in Securing Goliath Grouper Moratorium Continuation
**73% of the Industry Agrees with FWC’s Rule to Uphold the Current Moratorium**
Fielded between September 5-9, 2014, data from a DEMA Industry opinion poll was provided to the FWC prior to an important meeting held September 10-11, 2014 in Kissimmee, Florida. During the meeting the FWC reviewed a staff report on the biology, research and management status of goliath grouper.
“Given the continued scientific uncertainty regarding the recovery of goliath grouper populations, DEMA favors the continuation of the current moratorium on harvest of this species, as we have since 2011,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “However, we do believe it is important to capture the opinions of all diving stakeholders regarding this issue, which is why we conducted this poll on this legislative subject.”
As a result of the meeting, FWC ruled to uphold the current moratorium. The meeting was open to the public, and various dive shop owners attended. Majority of the dive shops voted to approve the staff recommendation, and testified in favor of the moratorium. No divers argued the favor of allowing harvest of the goliath grouper in Florida.
Ingram concluded, “Legislative involvement is one of the most important functions of DEMA as a trade association. “We are gratified with the response we received from the Industry, and appreciate their input and commitment to support DEMA’s involvement in these legislative issues.”