Join Thousands of Concerned Florida
Clam Farmers and Citizens
Help Save The Small Clam Farmers of Cedar Key Florida
Sign The Petition Below
WHY Get Involved and Sign This Petition?
To Stop The Clam Lease Expansion Proposal!
and Here's The Reason WHY...
Florida fishermen (watermen) have dealt with many financial hardships over the years here in Florida. With a jubilant tenacity, the watermen have always displayed the great American “pioneer spirit” and regrouped to find ways to stay and work on the water. When the gill nets were banned in 1994, something needed to be done for the displaced net fishermen, and in 1995 Project WAVE was formed to help re-educate them about growing farmed-raised clams as an alternative.
The state of Florida leased to the newly retrained fishermen 2-acres each of submerged water bottom in designated and surveyed areas in the Gulf of Mexico, Cedar Key being one of those areas. The 2-acre leasing requirements would give each new clam farmer an equal opportunity on a level playing field for success.
However, in the last couple of years the Division of Aquaculture has changed their attitude towards the Clam Farming Industry. It's not exactly a level playing field any longer. There are certain members of our industry that are clearly in violation of their Lease Contract Agreements by cultivating clams in large numbers well off their leases. It is common knowledge and acknowledged by the Division of Aquaculture, yet they refuse to do anything about it. In fact, their plan is to reward the violators by giving them the submerged lands that they are already illegally planting clams on. This gives the violators unfair advantage over law-abiding industry members. We want the Division of Aquaculture to manage our submerged lands in a manner that is fair and consistent for ALL clam farmers and without any underlying favoritism shown to a select few.
The submerged bottom land that is leased by the small clam farmer is owned by the citizens of Florida and is presently managed by the Department of Agriculture… not special interest groups.
Common Sense Dictates The Question?... Why Should We Be Expanding More Clam Leases, When Currently There Is A Glut (over-production) Of Clams On Our Existing Leases?
Points to remember:
- There are fewer small clam farmers today because of unfair business practices and natural attrition--some have discontinued their businesses for various other reasons.
- Fair clam industry practices and healthy competition maintains work for everyone involved.
- When the per-unit clam price is lowered because of too much supply (over-production), it hurts everyone involved.
- Cedar Key clam farmers and their families want to keep their farms and succeed too! NOT GET SQUEEZED OUT FOR BEING SMALL!
- It's time for state officials to take a stand and uphold and enforce the regulations equally for small clam farmers, including wholesalers that are also clam farmers and are contractually bound with the same lease agreement.
This Petition is to STOP the Proposed Clam Lease Expansion!
...It's Just Good Common Sense!
- By adding your name to this petition you will be helping save many small clam farmers. -
Check your email for important follow-up information, please tell everyone you know to help support our cause and send them to this page. Also visit our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SavetheClamFarmersofCedarKeyFl?fref=ts for more up-to-date details.
Thanks for your support!