If I were to tell you that an entity was planning to kill a critically endangered species in the name of science, what would first come to your mind? You may think I was referring to the Japanese whale hunts.
If I were to tell you that a government entity was preparing to sell tickets to kill iconic, critically endangered, wildlife, only to use that money to help ‘save’ that species, a foreign nation may come to mind. Unfortunately, this entity I speak of is here – in United States. This entity is Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The species at risk is the Goliath Grouper. The goliath grouper is the largest species of the Western Atlantic groupers. It can weigh up to 800 pounds and reach over six feet in length!
The FWC has proposed reopening the legal fishing of goliath grouper in state waters. The proposal would allow the catch and harvest of 100 of these groupers per year – for a period of four years. The groupers threatened by this proposal are those large, breeding size, individuals. If implemented, marine experts worry this number of groupers removed from Florida waters exterminate critical breeding populations, destroying twenty-seven years of conservation management efforts. This “limited take” is not supported by scientific evidence.
Those in favor of the proposal claim the species has become overpopulated and is responsible for declining game-fish and lobster stocks. Yet, scientific data from researchers, such as Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D., show that overfishing, not the Goliath groupers, is the reason for declining fish and lobster stocks.
In the image above is my friend, Shadow. Thousands have enjoyed her company for nearly two decades. We need your help to save Shadow and her species from being murdered by the FWC! As a food source, Goliath Grouper contain more than three times the allowable amount of mercury to be legally sold. Scientists call these groupers ‘ecological engineers’, as their presence benefits the growth and stability of all of marine species. The revenue created by this iconic species is huge in Florida! So do you think we should allow the FWC to needlessly slaughter this gentile giant, like they did with black bears? Please attend the public hearings to voice your concern so we don’t let this happen!
Please voice your concerns to help us stop this needless slaughter. You can email the FWC at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as call them at 850-487-0554.