Written by Linc Bedrosian
August 24, 2012
Wednesday found Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) somewhere you probably wouldn't expect to find him — working on the deck of a shrimp boat.
Scott spent the day working as a striker on skipper Mike Adams shrimp boat Bag Boy as part of the governor's "Let's Get to Work" program. Reviving a tradition started by former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, Scott spends one day a month working at Florida businesses that mirror jobs he worked through the years. He kicked off the program a year ago working at a Tampa donut shop that was similar to the one he started and his mom ran in Kansas City.
This week, he met Adams at the dock in Ulee at 4:45 a.m. to begin a day of shrimping in the Bells and Jolly rivers. After helping load ice into coolers that would hold the day's catch, the Bag Boy headed for the fishing grounds. Scott listened to Adams talk about the pros and cons of being a second generation shrimper.
Scott spent the day helping Adams and his deckhand sort shrimp, pack it on ice for later delivery to market at the end of the day, and return any bycatch back into the river. Towards the end of the day he helped ready the fishing gear for the next day's work. And upon returning to the docks, he helped transport the eight 50-pound totes of shrimp into Adams truck for delivery to market.
According to the governor's website, one of the goals of the day of shrimping was promoting Florida's seafood industry, which has a $5.7 billion impact on Florida's economy, and provides 110,000 jobs.
"There are people like Capt. Mike, who work hard day in and day out to provide for their families and keep Florida's economy moving in the right direction," Scott said in a press release, "and I am proud to work alongside him today."
It'd be easy to shrug off Scott's day shrimping as nothing more than a nice photo opportunity that would gain him a little good publicity. An Associated Press story that appeared in Thursday's Miami Herald suggests he could use some.
Then again, it's good to see the governor of a state that's been less than friendly to its commercial fishermen over the years touting the merits of the Sunshine State's fishing industry.
According to the governor's website, anyone wishing to suggest jobs for the governor's "Let's Get to Work" days can send an email to RickScott@eogmyflorida.com. Would anyone like to take Scott out for a day of cast netting for mullet?
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