You Can’t Always Get What You Want…Do Fishery Managers Actually Listen to the Public?


John McMurray on why public comments remain essential despite the appearance that wildlife managers are not listening.

I’ve been there…and it’s incredibly frustrating.

For months, you do your best to educate folks on what are often complicated fishery management actions, explaining the options/alternatives that are on the table and which one(s) will best protect the fishery and serve their/our interests.

You urge people to show up for public hearings…to write letters. Tell them their voices make a difference…that they need to speak up and be heard. And if you’re lucky, more than a few people will take time from their busy lives to write what are sometimes personal, detailed letters to managers, advocating for those options/alternatives that promote conservation. And sometimes, thousands of comments support your position, while only a handful support others.

Yet…in the end, managers go a completely different direction.

It’s not just frustrating; it’s often infuriating…but it’s not unusual.

LINK (via Marine Conservation Network)

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