With his whole family gathered in the living room of his home, charter boat captain Scott Moore received the surprise news Wednesday that he was selected for the Manatee County Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Ralph Garrison, a member of the hall of fame selection committee, delivered the news, noting that the theme of the 2019 Manatee County Farm City Week is “Fresh Catch,” and that Moore has achieved acclaim for decades of environmental conservation.
Revenue from Florida’s commercial marine fisheries exceeds $2 billion per year. Manatee fishermen harvest more than 10 million pounds of seafood annually.
Seeing the family gathering, Moore, 67, said he knew something was happening, but he had no idea it was a hall of fame selection.
During his charter boat career, Moore has taken many notables onto Gulf of Mexico waters, including John F. Kennedy Jr., New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaches Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, and Florida governors Rick Scott, Charlie Crist, Bob Martinez and Lawton Chiles.
But it was his environmental activism and leadership that helped put him into the hall of fame.
As an advocate for Florida’s marine resources for more than 30 years, Moore “was instrumental in the Save Our Sealife Campaign that led to the passage of the state’s net ban in 1995,” executive director of the Coastal Conservation Association Brian Gorski wrote in a letter of recommendation.
Among the awards that have come Moore’s way, a standout is the $3 million gift that philanthropists Carol and Barney Barnett gave in his honor to Mote Marine to enhance fishing conservation through aquaculture and conservation to restore the health of fisheries.
In 1998, Moore received the William R. Mote Award for significant contributions to the marine environment and improving the future of recreational fishing.
“The main thing is the conservation and education,” Moore said after learning of his latest honor. “I am in the entertainment business, teaching people how to fish. I started my business on the docks of Cortez. We are fortunate to have the county care as much as they do. We are ahead of many other counties in managing our waters.”
Asked about last season’s red tide outbreak and the state of local fisheries, Moore said the bloom was one of the worst the area has experienced.
“The fishery is in recovery. Sarasota Bay got hit the hardest. It’s wait and see,” he said.
When Garrison announced Moore’s selection to the hall of fame, Moore’s family cheered and applauded.
“We love you Dad. We are so proud of you,” daughter Katie Guth said.
Manatee County’s farm city week is set for Nov. 9-21. Events include:
▪ Nov. 9: Farmers’ Market in downtown Bradenton with agriculture displays.
▪ Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade with veterans and past recipients of the outstanding agriculturist award at 10:45 a.m. on 10th Avenue in Palmetto.
▪ Nov. 12: Soil Speech Contest. Open to middle and high school students. For information, call Gail Somodi at 941-907-0011, ext. 3142.
▪ Nov. 14: Ag Venture educational program for third grade students held at the Mosaic Arena in Palmetto. Closed to the public to ensure student safety.
▪ Nov. 15: Farm Tour Tour. Stops include: Wetlands Resource Center Citrus Grove, Manatee Floral, The NEST at Robinson Preserve, A.P. Bell Fish Company and Strickland Ranch. For tickets or information call 941-722-4524
▪ Nov. 16: Beef prospect workshop and show open to 4-H and FFA members. For information, call Christa Kirby at 941-722-4524.
▪ Nov. 19: Outstanding Agriculturist Award presented at Kiwanis Luncheon. Event is by invitation only.
▪ Nov. 20: Leadership Manatee Ag Tour.
▪ Nov. 21: Hall of Fame Luncheon to honor Scott Moore. Open to the public but a reservation is required. To make a reservation, call Jordan Chancey at 941-545-8816 or email PalmettoFCW@yahoo.com.