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Benefit for Belaguered Fisherfolk

Tom Flanigan

Things are getting worse for the people who've fished the Gulf waters for generations. A Wakulla County benefit over the weekend aimed to raise money and awareness for those who make their living from the sea.

Saturday's party was at Hugh Taylor's place near Crawfordville. There was music by Big Daddy Webster and Red Hot Java. There were also lots of old-time fisherman like Jimmy Forehand. In the half-century he's been fishing the Gulf, he's never seen things as bad as they are now.

"All these people are being brainwashed when they go to these restaurants that they're getting fresh Florida seafood. There's no way! he exclaimed. "All the fish that they're letting us catch a year won't feed the people in the state of Florida two meals."

And now there's a possible threat of more pollution from a paper mill in Taylor County. Wakulla Commissioner Howard Kessler thinks his county can take steps to protect the Gulf.

"Working with the (federal) EPA, reaching out to them, working with the Army Corps of Engineers; those are the two entities that are either going to have this happen or not."

Meanwhile, Gulf fishermen worry time for them is running out.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.