Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rick Scott grants a fish

Yes, Rick Scott really did grant clemency to a fish.

Last week, the Governor went on a fishing trip to Destin, as part of an effort to raise awareness that the area has recovered from last year's oil spill. Fox News reporter Phil Keating accompanied Scott on the trip and interviewed the Governor.

Scott discussed issues like the legislative session that just ended, his support for keeping Florida's early presidential primary date, and of course support for the tourism and fishing industries in the Panhandle. Recent testing by the Florida Department of Agriculture of over 230 samples shows that Florida seafood is safe to eat, but the number of visitors is still significantly down since the oil spill.

The Governor caught a large amberjack fish, pictured below, decided to grant "clemency" to the fish and toss it back into the Gulf of Mexico.

A happy governor and an even happier fish
Here's the Fox News video from the trip:

Fox News Video | Gov. Rick Scott Goes Fishing

This week's trip to Destin follows a trip last month by the Governor and his Cabinet to Panama City. Scott was joined by Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in a friendly fishing competition, also meant to show how Florida's Gulf seafood was safe to eat. The Department of Agriculture has also recently launched a website called, with information about planning fishing trips in Florida, how to get a fishing license, helpful fishing tips, etc.

Personally, I'm glad to see our elected officials taking an active role in promoting our state. The reports I've seen show that many businesses that depend on tourism and fishing dollars are still suffering greatly, and the BP claims process is extremely complicated and not able to fully compensate businesses for the ongoing impact of the oil spill. Part of the challenge is educating people that the beaches are safe to visit and the fish is safe to eat, so anything our Governor and Cabinet do to use their positions to draw media attention is a good thing.

Granting clemency to a fish may sound a little silly, but it helped add interest to the story and draw media attention to an issue that should be important to all Floridians.

[Cross-posted at Red County]

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