Also posted this on the related 'attendance' post ...
I'd like to express my sincere appreciation and respect for everyone that showed up last night to represent and defend the rights of citizens and land-based anglers of every definition in the great state of Florida. We'll get a list of names for all who attended and post it soon. In the meantime, thanks to each and every one of you. My brother Brooks and I made the round trip from the west coast and were proud to be there. Getting home around 5:30am has us a little behind schedule, and we'll get into more detail soon. For now, I will declare this a victory on several levels that all started with the strategically collaborative efforts put out over the past two weeks by a task force consisting of: Zach Miller, Tom Argue, Herbert Muller, Pat Dirindin, Brooks Paxton II, Will Fundora, as we came down the stretch in the final days, and myself. We meticulously armed ourselves with facts and a credible position that ultimately resulted in an on-the-spot amendment to the ordinance that can only be considered a compromise in our favor.
After 90 full minutes of spirited debate, the ordinance was passed, but was emphatically done so in the interests of public safety, and not to the credit of any extremist environmental group's special interest agenda. For the most part, that argument was largely dismissed by city officials. The previous article posted is not entirely accurate, as the ordinance does now allow cut bait, and does not prevent land-based anglers from exercising their right to use municipal beaches for the purposes of recreational fishing. There are no defined limits, as to when fishing can be done or what kind, type or size of rod or reel can be used. The spirit of the ordinance prohibits the intent to catch a certain species, while acknowledging there is no way to know what might pick up the sharp end of an angler's line. With cases like this, it's rare for either side to get everything they want and compromise is the typical outcome. Such is the case, here. Is it perfect? I don't think either side would say yes, but we have to value it as something to learn from and build upon. In the end, there was a stated, and now documented, respect for angler's rights and acknowledgment of the pervasive, environmentally sound stewardship ethic practiced and promoted within our sport, that includes, but is not limited to catch & release shark fishing. Let's carry that distinction forward with class and dignity and pride, while refusing to get down in the dirt with anyone that doesn't respect or practice those same qualities.
Once Again - My Sincere Appreciation and Respect For Everyone Who Contributed to This Important Effort,