On August 24, congressman John Mica (Rep - Florida) took time out of his busy schedule to discuss a potential red snapper fishing ban with members of the Bonnier Marine Group, including publisher Glenn Hughes, Sport Fishing editor-in-chief Doug Olander, Fly Fishing in Salt Waters editor Mike Mazur and Marlin senior editor Charlie Levine. While the discussion mostly revolved around red snapper and the potential negative impact a ban would impart on Mica's constituents, the marine industry in general also took up a large portion of the discussion.
"I don't think many Americans realize that the marine industry, especially boat builders have been hit extremely hard. In some instances we're talking about a 50 percent unemployment rate," said Hughes.
Mica took notice, as boat building is a viable industry in his district with such notable builders as Sea Ray and Boston Whaler running plants there.
As far as the red snapper situation goes, Mica looked at the meeting as a learning experience and encouraged more anglers to weigh in on the situation.
"I'd really like to host a round table discussion," Mica said. "We need to get these issues out and offer up some real solutions."