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Updated: 07/25/2014 08:00:00AM

ICAST and beyond

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These two boys teamed up to catch this Charlotte Harbor snook.

Bu Capt. Van Hubbard

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The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades or ICAST show is the industry’s annual event for everyone interested in our sportfishing industry to assemble and promote their merchandise. If you have new products, there is a New Products Showcase to provide your latest and greatest ideas exposure. Representatives from all the serious players in fishing world are here to market and promote their product and brands. We explore, socialize, learn and feel the pulse of the fishing industries of the world. Everyone I talked with during or after the show is very optimistic and enjoying a successful year right now. Maybe folks are just ready to enjoy life again, but the fishing business is good now!

The overall picture is bright and I’m not out to dim it, but we still must address the major issues we face with our federal fisheries management (or mismanagement). We need to change our strategies to get positive results. The biggest problem I see right now is that NMFS is letting the varied fishery sectors fight among ourselves over our fair share. As long as each separate user group fights the others, nothing is going to be fixed. Divided we are nothing; if we could unite we would be much stronger. It’s so easy to blame NMFS for messing up their job. Yes, it’s certainly true they have created more problems than solutions. Their actions and inability to discover balanced, rational fishery management is disgraceful and an ineffective use of tax dollars. But they are using the guidelines they are given as they interpret them. We are acting just like spoiled bratty children, whining because we don’t get our way, blaming everyone but ourselves. We must take responsibility — we elect the Congress that enacts the rules NMFS controls us by. We allow them to play with our fishery management rules while we fight among ourselves, divided, blaming every other group.

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