Getting Involved in the Council Process
|Who to Contact:
Contacting Council Members and Council Staff is a good place to start.
Links: Fishery-related Associations, Organizations, and Regulations
Get Educated about the Gulf Council Process and how you can help.
Why Get Involved?
Different people have different reasons for getting involved in the fisheries management process. Many groups are concerned about fisheries, including commercial fishermen, fishing families, recreational fishers, environmentalists, consumers, scientists, the tourism industry, and local communities. Whatever background or motivations, these groups share a common desire to ensure the health of fish populations and the marine ecosystems they depend on.
If you are a member of the commercial fishing community or if your business serves recreational fishers, the best reason to get involved is because the process affects your livelihood. You have no control over the weather, ocean conditions, or market prices, but becoming involved in the Council process gives you a voice in the decisions that affect your business.
Getting involved means commitment and hard work. It may mean reading documents, talking to people you don’t know, attending meetings, speaking in public, writing letters or e-mails, joining or forming an association, or joining an advisory panel or committee.
Will I Make a Difference?
Your influence on Council decisions is relative to the amount of energy you put into being involved. Involvement can range from writing a letter to serving on an advisory panel. No matter what level of involvement you choose, your views will have more weight and influence if you learn about the context of the decisions being made, the timeline for the decision making process, and the best ways to communicate with Council members and advisory panel members.