Precious marine life stripped from park
This month an incident occurred at Phil Foster
Park that has devastated many in the local scuba and snorkel diving community.
Operating under a permit issued to them by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Agency (FWC), several tropical fish collectors sent here by the Moody Aquarium and Gardens in Galveston, Texas, and Texas A&M University conducted a concentrated and thorough stripping of marine life from the most popular dive site in Palm Beach County, by numbers possibly the state.
The permit allowed for collection in four Florida counties, and there was no mention of Phil Foster, but these callous and indifferent divers decided to concentrate their efforts here. As can be found on Facebook, the popularity of this dive site is unparalleled; it is known globally and possessed certain rare animals that have become photo rock stars. No more. If they survived the trip, they are now in Galveston.
The irony is that the process had already begun to set this area aside as a marine life sanctuary where no collecting could occur, an effort begun by the local dive community.
The Florida Marine Life Association is the decadesold organization that represents Florida commercial tropical fish collectors and we, as a professional organization, are as horrified as everyone by this blatant act of greed and stupidity.
Members of our organization had already voiced support for protection of Phil Foster Park, and the organization is expected to endorse the set-aside at a meeting on Wednesday. FMLA has always opposed any collecting activities on popular dive sites.
We, as an organization strongly condemn Moody Aquarium for this raping of Phil Foster Park and call on them to make restitution to the Palm Beach County diving community.
BILL PARKS, BOYNTON BEACH