Mississippi sells itself short again. From a $500 million port to nowhere in Gulfport, sewer systems built to serve no one, a $7 billion power plant charged to ratepayers that is unnecessary and nonfunctional to Senate Bill 2311, which will give up to 45 redfish per vessel per day to Omega Protein to be ground up into cat food.
We have a law in place that requires menhaden boats to throw back redfish accidentally caught, and that is the law we need to keep.
The new law will take redfish away from the people who fish public piers or pay for boats and bait to fish in the Mississippi Sound. It is the cheapest, least-economically helpful use of our redfish to "reduce" them into cat food and oil. We need to hold our ground with Omega. Giving them our redfish is an economic disaster we don't need.
We have a promising inshore charter boat industry struggling to survive and expand. We can be as successful as any 100 miles of Florida coast in selling charters if the menhaden reduction industry leaves.
Florida eliminated the menhaden industry about 22 years ago, and the inshore charter fleet is busy catching tarpon and bull redfish as close as Pensacola these days. We can create higher-paying jobs if we keep our redfish available to tourists to catch rather than letting them land dead in Moss Point at the menhaden plant and get cooked for cat food.
Please leave a message for Tommy Gollott, who is chair of the committee that will decide whether or not to let SB 2311 out of committee. Call 601-359-3770 and tell him to save our redfish and oppose SB 2311.
Group Chair of the Sierra Club