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Page 1 The Net Ban Until about seven years ago net boats were allowed to use their nets anywhere they wished The industry created many jobs but also destroyed fish habitat There were arguments both ways about whether or not this should be legal in the state of Florida but it was finally voted on it was decided that all nets bigger than five hundred square feet would be banned Now after being banned since Nov 8 1994 it has again become an issue and many people are trying to have the ban lifted While the Net Ban benefited the economy by creating jobs and producing an abundance of shrimp and other sea foods it also killed other animals such as birds dolphins and turtles not to mention the countless acres of marine habitat destroyed The netting industry created thousands of jobs ranging from the people who made and sold the nets to the crew on the boats The boats brought in thousands of pounds of fish annually which provided the average consumer with fresh fish as much as he or she wanted The value in 1990 of the commercial net harvest in Florida was about 42800000 20 of the total commercial harvest in Florida This was a valuable business and the ban cause a lot of income to be lost As for the accusations regarding the hundreds of turtles and dolphins killed each year in their nets the reports from the netters who record such incidences show that only a small handful of these were related to netters Robert P Jones the executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association shows through his research that from 1988 to 1992 only 21 turtles died as a result of the nets while a much higher number were killed from ingesting fishing line and hooks Netters show that fish populations have not decreased a significant amount since the ban went into effect The ban put many people
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