Southern Charm Charter Fishing
6240 105th Terrace North Pinellas Park, FL 33782
Ms. Julie K. Morris, Chairman
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
Dear Ms. Harris,
We have a problem in the Tampa Bay area concerning our saltwater forage fish. Menhaden, Spanish sardines, scaled sardines, and threadfin herring have been depleted almost to the point of collapse by purse seining in the Tampa Bay area over the last thirty years. I would like you and the Commission to consider taking up this subject in the near future. I have written a short history of the Tampa Bay bait situation, which is attached.
What I and others in the Tampa Bay area are asking is that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission move the purse seine industry out of state waters in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee counties to bring them in line with the majority of the state, which does not allow purse seining in state waters.
Thank you for your consideration of this very important matter.
Capt. Charles Walker
cc. Allan L. Egbert, Ph.D.
Florida Wildlife Federation
Tampa Bay Wildlife Federation
Florida League of Anglers