CORTEZ — Thomas "Blue" Fulford, who proudly championed the commercial fishing industry his entire life, and served as a leader in the tight-knit Cortez community, died March 28, 2015, at home. He was 83.
"He was one of the old-school gentlemen who worked really hard. They believed in what they did, they believed in their families, and in the community. A whole culture is disappearing," said Karen Bell, owner of A.P. Bell Fish Co. and Star Fish Co. in Cortez.
During the early 1990s, Mr. Fulford battled a state constitutional amendment to limit marine net fishing.
Despite his passionate opposition that the amendment would "virtually annihilate a whole culture which has played an important role in our state's development for 200 years," the amendment passed. As he had predicted, Florida's commercial fishing industry took a major blow.
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