Politics Vs. Biology
Fishing For Freedom
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FMP/FWC Netted Dolphin Fraud Parts 1 & 2

We've combined our two FMP/FWC netted dolphin fraud articles onto this page. FWC... It's time to step forward for justice, integrity and honesty. Try it for a change. It might be too late... But then again, it just might save your commission.

A CANARY HAS SUNG... We DEMAND full disclosure by the FWC. NO MORE COVER-UPS. We expect apologies from several individuals, an officer, and a news organization that have been linked to this photo's deception. We have no reason to doubt the "case closing" validity of our recently obtained information. We demand a Federal Investigation.

Ex-Sheriff's Marine Unit Supervisor Grady Johnson Sr. Exposed the Netted Dolphin Deception Created By Those Out To Demonize Commercial Fishermen at the FWC Commission Meeting in Tampa. The picture is still being posted on the Florida Sportsman website. For 14 years it has caused great harm to the reputation of the Florida commercial fishing industry. Netted dolphins in Florida, unlike the Pacific, were EXTREMELY rare.

Karl Wickstrom is the founder/editor-in-chief of Florida Sportsman magazine AND initiated and chaired the Save Our Sealife constitutional amendment campaign. The "SOS" logo appears in the lower left hand corner of the photo on the netted dolphin picture... In 33 years of fishing, I never saw a dolphin caught in any net. I guess that is why this picture was manufactured... Because they never saw a Florida dolphin caught by a net either.

FWC Officer Dave Bingham posing with the allegedly "netted" dolphin that was killed by a powerboat prop.

Ever since retired Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit Supervisor Grady Johnson Sr. revealed that the allegedly netted dolphin picture that kicked off the “Ban The Nets” campaign in the mid 90’s was a staged, fraudulent picture, everyone connected to the incident are attempting to cover their “hind quarters”... Especially the FWC... The picture appeared on the front page of Florida Sportsman Magazine, and at every “Save Our Sealife” (SOS) signup booth, in a successful campaign to annihilate commercial net fishing in Florida. The picture was craftily used to incite public furor against the commercial net fishing community, prompting hundreds of thousands to angrily sign the SOS petition. The picture was an obvious fraud to the trained eye, yet was believed to be true by a vast majority of the unsuspecting public… Especially since the picture contained an FWC (FMP) officer as validation of it’s supposed authenticity.

In late 2006, retired Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit Supervisor Grady Johnson Sr. revealed that years before the picture appeared publicly, he had his deputy tow the exact same dolphin offshore days before the photo was taken. He also testified that a marine biologist confirmed that the dolphin had been killed by a powerboat prop’s cut on the snout. As the facts go, Supervisor Johnson received an anonymous early morning phone call to go to Coconut Island . Thinking it had something to do with drugs being transported, Johnson jumped out of bed and rushed off to the scene, only to find FMP/FWC Officer Dave Bingham towing the exact same aforementioned dolphin back offshore. When Johnson questioned Bingham about the dolphin, he explained that a group of people had just left the area in a boat after taking a picture of the dolphin. Bingham never mentioned a net, nor was there a net in sight or in Bingham’s boat. What was done with the net is a big mystery… One thing for sure, FWC Officer Dave Bingham knows… And a decade and a half later we are still waiting for his explanation.

Years later, Johnson saw the photo of FMP/FWC Officer Dave Bingham posing with the same dolphin he had towed offshore… only this time Johnson noticed that it was covered by a commercial fishing net, insinuating that the dolphin was killed by the net rather than a powerboat. Johnson has been on a quest to expose this law enforcement fraud ever since. The actions of FWC Lt. Dave Bingham gave credibility to a staged photo used to deprive thousands of innocent citizens of their livelihoods… Their cultural heritages. Some even ended up committing suicide due to the loss of their only means to make a living.

Here are some of the latest developments on the staged photo incident.

In a letter to Johnson from Rodney Baretto, Head Commissioner of the FWC, Baretto claims the that Johnson’s original timeline was off. Johnson admits the dates may be off after 15 years, but he’s 100% certain and willing to take a polygraph about the netted dolphin picture’s fraudulent portrayal by the FWC (FMP). Oddly enough, the letter from Head Commissioner Baretto doesn’t reveal what the investigator found in his interview with Lt. Dave Bingham. Doesn’t that strike anyone as a bit strange?

According to upper level sources at the FWC in Tallahassee, the photographer and writer that were at the scene of the dolphin picture have signed affidavits stating that THEY did nothing wrong.

In an editorial from Florida Sportsman Magazine, Karl Wickstrom claims that ALL of the information came from the FWC and a sit down interview with the officer… The same officer that KNEW the dolphin was killed by a powerboat, yet is pictured holding a rope attached to it’s tail with a net that was obviously placed on top of the mammal.

The FWC claims that all of the information was provided to Florida Sportsman Magazine by the reporter and photographer for the Naples Daily News.

So which entity is lying and covering up the truth???

We have an “ace in the hole” in the hierarchy of the FWC that revealed a totally different story after the source allegedly spoke with the still employed FWC Lt. Dave Bingham. And, if true, it is a very bad scenario for the FWC and the Naples Daily News indeed. We’re going to keep that disclosure to ourselves for the time being.

One thing for sure… The public deserves to know the truth.

As hard as it is for me to say, with what we now know from our source in the upper echelons of the FWC, I personally believe Karl Wickstrom’s version of where the fraudulent information came from. And to the FWC… We will not rest until the entire truth is revealed to the public.

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