You can challenge the state of Florida’s gag closure

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Rod Father
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You can challenge the state of Florida’s gag closure

Post by Rod Father » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:38 am

I copied this from another site, give it a look and send if you agree.

Simply copy the letterbelow, fill in the personal information and send it to; and

Bud Vielhauer
General Counsel
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600

Mr. Vielhauer:

My name is _______ and I am a resident of Florida and a recreational saltwater angler. (I own a tackle shop, marine repair store or other business that depends on fishing, IF APPLICABLE)I am substantially affected by this proposed gag rule.

This is in regard to Proposed Rule68B-14.0039: Recreational Grouper Seasons. I hereby object to the rule for thefollowing reasons:

FWC did not explore other management options that would achieve acceptable harvest reductions in state waters, such as an increase inminimum size for gag, which would significantly reduce landings in state waters and achieve the management goal of reduced landings without impacting fishing opportunity in the fishing capital of the world. These alternatives often come out in public input.

This Notice was passed on an anticipated rule, not an existing rule.

In the past, the FWC has not matched federal ‘interim’regulations, instead choosing wisely to only consider matching permanent rules.

The NMFS threat of withholding fish due the commercial sector unless Florida capitulated to NMFS demands is nothing short of black mail. In fact, the fish due the commercial sector have nothing to do with the fish due the recreational sector.

The estimate of dead discards of gag is exceptionally high. There is documented evidence of recapturing the same grouper seven times in one day, yet this fact is ignored, causing exponentially inflated estimates of dead discards. The flawed data is casing the unnecessary closures.

This rule did not mirror an existing federal regulation. The fed regulation is, in fact, contingent upon the state’s concurrent regulation. This does not appear to be how the laws should be used.

The time periods are not the same. The federal rule is only effective until November 30, 2011. Its extension requires further action not accounted for or stated. The state rule says nothing about ending on November 30, 2011. Therefore, the rules are substantially different.

The federal rule sets commercial quota, where as the state rule does not; another substantial difference.

The NMFS rule only applies in federal waters and was not in effect as of June 1, 2011.

The final notice for the state law was not published until May 28. This was the same day as the final notice of the federal interim rule, posted by NMFS in the federal register. Just what existing law is the state mirroring? The law simply does not yet exist.

Therefore, for the reasons set forth above, I respectfully object to proposed rule 68B-14.0039 and assert that pursuant to Article IV,Section 9, Florida Constitution and pursuant to Section 120.54(6) Fla. Stat.,the FWC cannot implement the proposed rule without going through the full rule making procedures set forth in Section 120.54(3), Fla. Stat. Any further action on this Proposed Rule would clearly violate my constitutionally protected right to due process.

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Re: You can challenge the state of Florida’s gag closure

Post by GoodOyster » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:39 pm

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!"
~Thomas Jefferson


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Re: You can challenge the state of Florida’s gag closure

Post by lamehawk » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:01 pm

thank you!
BYOB = Bring your own bait!

Just in my camper!

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Re: You can challenge the state of Florida’s gag closure

Post by Rod Father » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:51 am

So I received a response letter to my objection, heres what was sent.

Dear Mr. Lang:

Thank you for your letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concerning gag grouper. The FWC considers your letter to be a formal objection to our adoption of federal standards in regards to seasons for gag grouper, rule 68B-14.039, noticed on April 29, 2011 with a correction noticed on May 27, 2011. This issue was on the Commission’s agenda for the April 6, 2011 Commission meeting. At that time, Commission members heard a presentation from FWC staff and received comments from the public. After hearing from staff, the public and discussion among the members, the Commission voted to make the gag grouper fishing seasons in state waters consistent with the federal standards.
FWC is adopting the federal standards pursuant to 120.54(6) Florida Statutes which states in part
“Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this section, in the pursuance of state implementation, operation, or enforcement of federal programs, an agency is empowered to adopt rules substantively identical to regulations adopted pursuant to federal law,….”.
Although this statute also allows any substantially affected person to file an objection to a notice of intent to adopt a rule pursuant to this subsection, and state the specific reasons for the objection. The statute states that the agency may proceed with the adoption of a federal standard through the express process even after receiving an objection when the “rule in no material respect differs from the requirements of the federal regulation upon which it is based...”
Since the proposed state rule in all material aspects mirrors the federal rule, your objection is hereby dismissed.
In addition, in 120.81(5), Florida Statutes, hunting and fishing regulations that alter established hunting or fishing seasons are determined to not be rules for purposes of chapter 120, Florida Statutes. The only requirement for notice for changes to seasons, as for gag grouper, would be notice in a newspaper of general circulation or by broadcast on electronic media. FWC publishes notice in Florida Administrative Weekly and follows 120.54(6) F.S. as a way to inform the public. This process gives the public notice of the rule establishing the fishing season and an opportunity to comment on the new rule.

Again, thank you for your consideration and attention to this matter.
Harold "Bud" Vielhauer
General Counsel
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 S. Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

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