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Gary Miller

He said-He said. We must make our choice on other issues which to puts Sargent in the lead.

Greg Ball

The letter to the editor from Cliff Mountain, February 7th, about Bill “Sarge” Sargent and Congressman Randy Weber is simply not true in so many ways.

The authors words,
“Sargent, as one of the Three Musketeers, spent several months talking with commercial, charter boat, and recreational fishermen and then wrote a well reasoned and well thought out five-part series for The Daily News on the red snapper issues and posed possible solutions.”

Truth,
Sarge has Never talked to any of the Galveston fleet, which is one of the largest fleets on the Gulf Coast behind Destin Florida.

Congressman Weber is for all fisherman, Private Recreational, Charter For Hire, and Commercial.

“Sarge” is against the Magnuson Stevenson Act (MSA) and Federal management of the Gulf Fisheries. The only science based management plan available and proven to rebuild fish stocks so they will continue to be abundant for everyone to access for many years to come.

Sarge is for State Management of Red Snapper and the sad thing is, the state of Texas doesn’t even know how they will manage it as of last week, and Sarge surly don’t know! He is being led down a road from many years ago that ends sadly with a screeching halt, a dead end! The partial plan the state has put together for “State Red Snapper Management” or Exempted Fishing Permits (EFP’s) will take us all back in time within just a few short years and NO fish left for anyone.

Sarge is against commercial fishermen and they are the main reason the Red Snapper have rebounded the way they have. The commercial fishermen have cut out discards and have the best, state of the art tracking and accountability system on their vessels ever used anywhere in the world. The Charter For Hire fleet have also been in a pilot program using the same equipment the last couple years and doing an amazing job being 100% accountable for everything caught as the commercial vessels do.

Sarge wants you to buy farm raised fish that’s raised eating food you do not want in your body.

Under the current management of the MSA, everyone nationwide has access to Fresh Wild Caught, sustainable Red Snapper. Whether they be in their own boat, in a charter for hire Boat, or eating it fresh in a restaurant. Now is the first time in over 30 years the entire nation has access to fresh Red Snapper any time they want it on their plate.

State Management will end this wonderful opportunity we currently enjoy of Red Snapper access for all, and will throw us back in time 30 Years.
#MSAstrong

Bill Cochrane

Greg, you are mistaken about Sargent not interviewing commercial and charter fishermen. W/explanation. After reading his first attempt at the snapper wars issue, I offered to meet with him as a rec, charter business and commercial permit holder. We did meet. It was apparent from the get-go that Sargent was working for the boat-owning rec snapper fishermen. I asked him point blank, why the state proposal included managing charter boats and commercial sectors. He sidestepped the question.
When I pointed out that the claim that states, “have a proven record of fish management”, was true, but only for inshore fish, like trout and flounder. NOT deep-sea fish, like snapper and ling. I reminded him that the State of Texas manages their state water snapper by leaving the season open all year, 365 days with twice the daily bag limit. No comment from Sargent. It appears that Sargent wants to close down the charter and commercial sectors.

JD Arnold

Mr. Cochrane, I agree with you on some issues but I must say that having read all of the columns and articles about this issue, I do not believe that Mr. Sargent wants to close down any of the charter or commercial sectors. If you have proof of such a claim then I am more than anxious to hear it. Having spent much time offshore in my previous occupation (pre-retirement) in a regulatory capacity, I can tell you that recreational fisheries doesn't even come close to the commercial or charter numbers.

Bill Cochrane

JD, I'm not sure about any new bills that are going to be presented to Congress, but the original bill called for the states to control all snapper, including commercial. They even said that they would not change anything in the commercial sector for two years. There has never been a reason given for states to control commercial or charter sectors. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "recreational fisheries doesn't even come close to the commercial or charter numbers"?

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