Dont want to or can’t watch the video? See my court notes at the end of this post.
Watch the FWC’s arrogance, constitutional corruption and the stupidity of their “rational basis” argument.
We are awaiting the opinion of the DCA… YOU watch the video and YOU decide who will prevail.
Instructions for the video or audio link: Scroll down the page until you reach “11/14,” then click on “06-1554 11-14-06 WAKULLA FISHERMENS ASS., INC., ET AL. v. FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION” Video or Audio.
Our Attorney Ron Mowrey brought out:
1. The 2 mesh rule violates Article X, Section 16 and many other constitutional sections.
2. The 2 mesh rule was passed through the now proven wrongful testimony of Brent Winner (FWRIs Net expert) and ex-FWC Executive Director Russell Nelson.
3. In 1997 the MFC/FWC claimed the by-catch with 2 mesh nets would be negligible and only result in a 5 by-catch. NOW, the states own tests have proven what the fishermen and their experts have claimed since 1997 that the by-catch is OVER 90.
4. The FWC rejected ALL of our independent, paid tests, of the past. All of which resulted in devastating by-catch results using the 2 mesh nets.
5. The FWC rejected Federal rules that if by-catch is NOT considered, that the tests must be thrown out.
6. The FWC agreed to be bound by test results and stopped the tests early.
7. Asserts that only a gill net that UNNECESSARILY KILLS AND WASTES FISH is a gill net that is prohibited by the constitution. (As the Supreme Court declared, the constitution must be read as a whole.)
8. FWC statistics from the tests bear out that 630 million juvenile mullet are unnecessarily killed and wasted for every 45 million pounds captured under the FWCs 2 mesh rule.
(FFF Note: The FWC ex-Executive Director Russell Nelson’s affidavit also included that if you were to take 2-3 million pounds of juvenile mullet out of the resource yearly that you would threaten to reverse the recovery. Since he only stated 2-3 million pounds, the undisputed unnecessary killing and waste of 630 million juvenile mullet for every 45 million pounds must be “rational” to the FWC’s “wisdom.” You’ve got to laugh at the stupidity.)
9. Contrary to his own opinion 9 years ago (which was used in the 2 mesh case in 1997), the FWCs own expert, Brent Winner, claimed that substantial by-catch is NOT good for the resource.
FWC/State Attorney Jonathon Glogau argued:
1. Glogau kept referring to the unnecessary killing and waste testimony in 1997… Even though that testimony has been disproved by the FWCs own tests and the testimony he used (Like Brent Winners) has been changed.
2. Claimed the mullet population is getting healthier.
(FFFs note inserted here) The mullet harvest has dropped from 10 million to 9 million to 7 million to a lower 7 million to 5 million pounds in the last 5 years with no less fishermen targeting the species. This is NOT a sign of a resource getting healthier.
3. Glogau admitted no tests were conducted in 1997 when the ALJ deemed the 2 mesh net to be reasonable with no substantial by-catch.
4. When the Chief Judge pointed out that the 2006 FWC net tests were stopped by the FWC when they did not turn out in the FWCs favor, Glogau fired back that the tests turned out exactly as the FWC thought they would.
(FFFs note: This is tantamount to saying that, We EXPECTED the testimony of our experts in 1997 to be proven to be lies or totally incompetent in the 2006 net tests, therefore were right and they are wrong. Are you scratching your heads too? I surely am.)
5. Claims that the mullet stocks health is undisputed.
(FFF Note; Where has Mr. Glogau been all this time? The health of the mullet has always been a center point of our argument.)
6. Claims that roe mullet dont school with smaller mullet.
(FFF Note: This is simply an absurd comment from someone that doesnt have to pick out the juvenile fish. Juvenile fish do not go offshore during roe season And near shore where the juvenile fish live is the ONLY place you can use a 500 square foot net.)
7. Attempts to assert that since most of the mullet are caught during roe season that it doesnt matter what happened the rest of the year.
8. Claims the statistics are uncontested.
(FFF Note What!?!?)
AT THIS POINT THE CHIEF JUDGE STATES HE IS BOTHERED BY THE TRIAL JUDGES DECISION TO GRANT SUMMARY JUDGEMENT.
9 Glogau claims the rational basis test is all the FWC needs to prove its case.
10. Glogau tells the court a couple of times that its not up to the court to debate the FWCs wisdom or questions on resource issues.
THE CHIEF JUDGE MAKES A REMARK THAT THE FISHERMEN WOULD HAVE NO DUE PROCESS IF SO AND IF WE DIDNT HAVE STANDING TO BRING THIS CASE TO COURT THAT WE WOULD HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL DUE PROCESS AT ALL. FURTHERMORE THE JUDGE STATED THE FWC WANTED NO OVERSIGHT NO MATTER HOW CONSTITUTIONALLY QUESTIONABLE THE RULE WAS.
11. Glogau was forced to admit that the FWCs 2 mesh net unnecessarily kills and wastes 90 (or more) of what it captures
12. THEN Glogau turns right around and states that the 2 mesh net doesnt harm the resource CONTRARY to his own experts current affidavit!
13. Glogau is forced to admit that the FWCs 2 mesh net illegally gills 90 illegal, juvenile fish.
14. While arguing, Glogau states that the 2 mesh net makes NO ECONOMIC SENSE. Nothing that Glogau stated in this hearing rang truer than that statement.
(FFF Note: Thank you Mr. Glogau. The Supreme Court declared that commercial viability is relevant. If a 2 net doesnt capture an economically viable amount of marketable fish, a smaller mesh net will capture even less marketable and more juvenile fish than the 2 mesh net.)
15. Claims that FWC NOT the courts should make the rational decision.
(FFF Note: And you see what the FWCs rationality has lead to in this instance… 90+ waste.)
1. FWCs expert now states that one must consider the by-catch if the by-catch is unusually large.
(FFF Note: I think the 90+ by-catch falls into the unusually large category Dont you?)
2. The Feds stated in their testimony that the 2 net WILL DESTROY THE RESOURCE.
3. States that the sole purpose of the amendment as determined by the Supreme Court was to prevent unnecessary killing and waste of the resource.
4. Stated to the DCA Justices that the Judge Janet Ferris (of the trial court) stated that the FWC would be likely filing for a summary judgment against our case and that the court would likely dispose of our case at that time.
(FFF Note: And they are still allowing this Judge to sit on the bench. This is an example of why we attempted to have this judge recused.)