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Did You Know....
 
  • Collectively, the Florida Keys are ranked by NOAA as the #1 commercial seaport in the State of Florida and #2 in the Southeastern United States
  • We represent enormous economic value to the State and the Nation
  • Next to tourism and stand alone, we are the second largest economic engine in Monroe County and the Florida Keys ($600M+) and the second largest employer (3500+ boat related)

I'm Proud to be a Commercial Fisherman

 
 
 

Dear Fellow Commercial Fishermen,

 

Today, more than ever, fishermen throughout the industry need to be united in our efforts to protect our livelihoods. The threats to our way of life are numerous and far-reaching. Fuel costs, trap robbing, world-wide economic instability and the continued threat of contamination from the world’s largest oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will all play a part in the future of our businesses. However, none of these issues gives as much cause for concern as the stroke of a pen in Washington, DC by federal fisheries managers and government legislators. 

                                                                                                                                                    

Heavily financed environmental groups, brandishing their own agendas and refusing to cooperate with the fishing industry, have permeated every echelon of federal fisheries management. The result has brought havoc to the industry with numerous closures of huge sectors of the Atlantic Ocean to all types of fishing; the concept of ‘Catch Shares’ programs being forced on unwilling participants; extreme and unwarranted gear restrictions severely limiting traditional harvesting methods.

 

Over the years, members of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association have served on countless committees and federal advisory panels and worked hand-in-hand with county, state and federal governments to bring balance and fair and impartial industry representation. We continue to do so at every level because appropriate representation is an important part of the cost of doing business in complex times and dealing with complex issues.

In addition to fisheries management, FKCFA takes an active role in our community and we focus our efforts on both short and long-term benefits for our members with scholarship programs, seafood festivals, grant funding for special projects, educational programs, environmental responsibility through trap design studies and trap cleanup programs. We also work diligently with law-enforcement to protect permit holders from poaching and other forms of thievery accounting for as much as 10% of the annual income of legal fisheries harvesters.

 

Please give serious consideration to renewing your membership or becoming a member of FKCFA. Together, we have a future, divided, we do not.

 

Sincerely,

Ernie Piton                                Bill Kelly

Capt. Ernie Piton, President                                              Capt. Bill Kelly, Executive Director

 

Membership year is September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015