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Welcome to Muddy Waters: Stories from the Gulf Coast Commercial Fishing Industry in Cortez! This is a digital archive that contains the oral histories of commercial fishermen in the small historic fishing village of Cortez on the West Coast of Florida. Here, you'll listen to their stories, see their gear, and learn why Florida's commercial fishing industry is one of the most misunderstood in the state. 

¡Bienvenido a Muddy Waters: Historias de la industria pesquera comercial de la Costa del Golfo en Cortez! Este es un archivo digital que contiene las historias orales de los pescadores comerciales en el pequeño e histórico pueblo pesquero de Cortez en la costa oeste de Florida. Aquí, escuchará sus historias, verá su equipo y aprenderá por qué la industria pesquera comercial de Florida es una de las más incomprendidas del estado.

"Approximately 3 billion people in the world eat seafood. Yet, the commercial fishing industry is one of the most misunderstood. The public often has the misconception that commercial fishers in the United States abuse the environment and fish stocks. This, however, is untrue.


Commercial fishermen rely on a healthy ecosystem to ensure their ability to harvest. The U.S. government is also proactive in managing public resources. Both have the same goals - to make sure the resources are healthy and available for all. That includes the recreational fishermen and consumers who rely on the commercial sector to harvest seafood for them. The more we educate the public about this symbiotic relationship, the more we strengthen our industry at home, ensuring the vitality of Cortez and other fishing areas."

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