October 26th Highly Important! To All South Florida Fishermen that fished for Bluefish and have been forced to use 2" mesh nets... OR were arrested for using over 2" mesh nets
Click Here...The last update to the Bluefish Rule was 10/04/1995
The Bluefish Rule has been in effect for more than 15 years. Most, if not all of us have been told by the FWC that if we used anything over 2 inch stretch mesh, that we would be arrested. Many of you were.
The Letter From Our Attorney's Office...
I am contacting you to inquire about opening communications with Blue Fish Commercial Fishermen of South Florida. As you may be aware, Rule 68B-43.005(3)(g-h) indicates that Blue Fish Commercial Fisherman are not to use a gill or trammel net with mesh size SMALLER than 3 inches stretched mesh. In our trial conducted on or about August 30, 2012, the rule was presented to the Court as a valid binding rule which authorized the use of larger nets.
The attorney General Jon Glogau brought in general counsel, Harold Vielhauer, who testified that they have not been enforcing that rule because they made an administrative decision and sent out a memorandum to the field agents stating, “don’t let people use that big net that that rule permits as legal, make them stick to the 1 inch bar, 2 inch stretch proposed in the Constitution.”
The law is clear that you are entitled to rely on a rule of law, which is in writing and duly adopted, until they repeal that rule.
We need your help in contacting as many Blue Fish Commercial Fisherman as we can to ascertain how many people, since the amendment, have been forced to use 2 inch stretch mesh and/or have been prosecuted for violating this administrative order. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Ryan L. Briggs
Mowrey Law Firm, P.A.
515 N. Adams Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
The FWC have REALLY stepped in it this time.
The statement... “don’t let people use that big net that that rule permits as legal, make them stick to the 1 inch bar, 2 inch stretch proposed in the Constitution.” ... is beyond stupid. To me, it appears to be:
#1...Denying bluefish net fishermen protection of the law.
#2...Denying all other state water net fishermen "equal protection of the law."
#3...Factually incorrect in stating that the 1" bar and 2" stretch mesh was "proposed by the constitution."
Combine the above with the fact that many were arrested, fined and some imprisoned for the last decade and a half while using or transporting what was a legal net all along... and that most, if not all of us, were threatened by the FWC that if we were to use a large mesh and/or large sized net to fish for bluefish that they would arrest us...
This leads me to believe that a gigantic class action lawsuit may be in the works.
This could easily branch off into all nets, transit arrests of those carrying large nets and large mesh nets, gill net arrests and on and on. NEVER GIVE UP! DG