To the Editor:
As an elementary school teacher for more than 28 years, I have always told my students to follow their hearts in doing what is right for a cause. The awareness that my tarpon slaughter movie has created for the tarpon of Boca Grande is one of my proudest moments and a testimony for all those who have walked through my classroom door. The photos taken that day tell the real truth, because the camera doesn’t lie.
Please understand, I am not against tarpon fishing, but against the disgraceful methods of tarpon handling leading to its death. I would like to commend all the people who have rallied to save the tarpon, this website [savethetarpon.com – ed.]is outstanding. To those of you who have morals and place the value of nature over money, thank you for standing up to be heard. One by one the true stories are told as the video is forwarded to family, friends, co-workers, and the world.
The internet “hits” on the video double and triple daily! In the first 24 hours, when “tarpon” was searched on Google, the movie was at the number one spot. Keep this up and don’t stop, for this is a testimony to all of you who aren’t afraid to stand up to the bullies and want a better world for our children and grandchildren.
Let’s continue our vigilance for the tarpon! Through this website. Let the cameras tell the truth.
To the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series:
I didn’t know who you were until this Memorial Day weekend. You have placed blame on the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association and others; however, I told this story as a concerned citizen who witnessed an event for profit that was gut wrenching, disrespectful, and without regard to the handling of the tarpon in its habitat, during spawning season, so vital to its existence.
What motivated you to try to block me taking photos of the fish weigh-in? When instructing your people wearing yellow shirts to form a human wall between the lifeless fish and the lines holding the public back. Then, you took pictures of me as an intimidation tactic; however, I already had taken 358 photos, and the camera doesn’t lie.
On this respectful Memorial Day weekend, for the sake of attracting the military audiences, PTTS cowardly hid behind the rouse of the “Wounded Warrior Project.” American and military flags waving off the back of boats and “warriors with rods in hand.” However, one of the military wives I talked to said her husband was on a boat and he was not comfortable with the method of fishing. He said if he wasn’t with “friends” who chartered together he would have taken his family and gone home. This is another example how you have misled the public, the camera doesn’t lie.
When the banner flew overhead stating “no jigs, no killing,” shameless comments began chattering among the boat radios. Some were “Too bad nobody had a rocket propelled grenade or RPG.” The PTTS promptly told them to “shut up … people might be listening.”
You were right … and they were watching … and the camera doesn’t lie.
Why did you instruct your teams to drag the tarpon in on the far side of the boat, away from the viewing crowd on the beach? Because the camera doesn’t lie!
To the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission:
Shame on you to allow this dangerous “Bumper Boat Derby,” so dangerous that you avoid the swarming of 40-plus boats, staying safely on the beach parked next to the weigh boat. There is no monitoring of Florida State “rules and regulations” for the handing of the tarpon at such a long distance. Also exposed is the role that the FWC plays in this for-profit event, which obviously needs to be re-evaluated since taxpayers have been footing the bill for years.
After watching the tarpon slaughter movie, my 9-year-old students were speechless and had tears in their eyes. They felt it necessary to have their voices heard and started a letter-writing campaign to save the tarpon. They decided to write to Governor Scott and ask for help to stop the improper handling of the tarpon in its public habitat. These children get it, but the adults don’t.
Because of greed, profit for sponsors, and TV sporting want-to-be’s, the tarpon were losing.
But not anymore, the camera doesn’t lie.
On Sunday, June 17, the last day of the PTTS tournament at Boca Grande, many concerned citizens are going to make a stand for the tarpon! I will be there to tell the story, and the camera will not lie.
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