Between the wind, the surge and the tides, everything was a gamble.” — Rick Turner
As an active member of Organized Fishermen of Florida and Florida Keys Commercial Fishing Association, he knows the importance of a sustainable fishery. “The rules are good, and the yellowtailing rules are pretty solid, too.” Along with the missing traps, he and his wife Lisa’s Conch Key home took on some major damage in the surge — caused by four mobile homes that crashed into the bottom of the stilted home. He said they were prepared for the four-foot surge, but not losing walls and 150-mile-per-hour winds that
scattered all the family photos that were secured high up on shelves in dry boxes. “They didn’t stand a chance in the wind.” As for now, the post Irma recovery continues, and the family is turning its focus to the next fishery — yellowtailing. His son, RJ, will be part of that effort, too. He received an OFF scholarship a few years ago and used the funds to take marine mechanics classes at Florida Keys Community College. “Fishing has always been in his blood,” said Rick. His daughter, Alyssa, is
at Florida State University; she received an OFF scholarship last year. (See page 30.) The boat name SARA J is an acronym for Turner’s two kid’s names, and the names of his business partner’s three children. “If James has any more kids, his or her name will have to start with an ‘R,’” he said. “You know SARA, JR.” Between the two business partners, they run three boats, including the “No Sweat,” and the “Twin Tails,” named after Paskiewicz’s twin daughters.
42nd Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com