Governor Declares a Commercial Fishery Failure in Florida due to BP Oil Spill
The slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill edges closer to Florida's westernmost panhandle, yet as of this writing Florida beaches and waterways remain clean and oil free. Florida's gulf coast guides indicate the weather and fishing are better now than last year at this time yet they are experiencing massive cancellations of charters due to rumors and speculation about the oil spill's effects on Florida waters.The oil spill's negative impact on the charter, tourism and commercial seafood industries has prompted Florida Governor Charlie Crist to send a letter to the United States Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke requesting him to make a declaration of a commercial fishery failure in Florida under the provisions of Section 312(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act."...news reports helped foster the mistaken impression that the entire Gulf of Mexico has been tainted by the oil spill. This misinformation has affect tourism and seafood consumption in Florida and resulted in severe economic impacts throughout the state." claims Governor Crist.To ease the economic burden on commercial and recreational fishing industries Crist is requesting federal funding to establish a regional economic transition program under the provisions of Section 315 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.