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Save the Florida Charter Boat Industry
If you or someone you know is a charter boat operator or somehow involved in the saltwater recreational fishing business in the State of Florida, I strongly encourage you and them to help get the governor’s attention. Using this letter as a template, copy and paste, replace my name and business with your own and send to Governor Ron Desantis at GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com We all have something in common. Fishing is our livelihood. Our best chance to be heard is with a collective voice. Please act now. You also can help by signing this petition and sharing it with everyone. If you have other ideas, put them into play, sooner rather than later, please. My name is Captain Kit Carson Mobley. I am the owner/operator of DirtyBoat Charters in Islamorada in The Florida Keys. My industry, already reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma, is in danger of collapsing. The Coronavirus pandemic requires that my clients must focus on staying healthy and alive, not fishing but staying at home for their safety and the safety of others. Tens of thousands of others in my industry are in the same predicament. We need the state’s help to keep the fleet afloat. You have demonstrated exceptional leadership helping the citizens of the great State of Florida deal with a pandemic crisis never before seen by anyone alive today. Now the charter fleet needs your help. We realize ours is but one of many businesses throughout the state in need. Consider, though, saltwater recreational fishing generated $7.9 Billion for the state’s economy in 2014, according to the most recent data from NOAA Fisheries, and supports 114,898 jobs. We ask that the state identify urgently needed relief funding. Our businesses may well not survive without it, drastically reducing an important driver of tourism dollars critical to Florida’s economic engine in the post-COVID 19 recovery. We respectfully request immediate action to sustain the state’s charter fleets through this economic crisis. The recreational saltwater fishing industry must recover to do its part in future economic stimulus. We recognize and fully appreciate the many choices you have had to make, and those you will need to make to get our state back on track. We implore you to make this one of them. Tourism in The Florida Keys alone generates annual economic value of $27 Billion and $70 Million in annual tax revenue. With 60% of all visitors to The Florida Keys engaging in fishing activities, surely investing in the charter fishing business’s survival will benefit the future of our region and the state. We salute your leadership and service to Florida. Thank you for bearing the burden on behalf of the state’s residents to get us all through this crisis. Please advise us on any necessary actions on our part. We look forward to your response.