Carl Hagenkotter III, former director of the group Victims of NOAA, has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. He now lives in O'Brien, Florida.
He was diagnosed last week with lung cancer and a tumor (or tumors) in the brain. Hagenkotter, 43, a commercial fisherman and the son of Key West fish shop owners, organized the grassroots protest group in the early 1990s to oppose the federal takeover of the Keys fisheries by the proposed National Marine Sanctuary.
He said he had no ambition to be involved in politics. "all I wanted to do was fish," he said. His group and their allies won a referendum battle with 54-percent of the vote in 1996, but lost the war when the Sanctuary was declared by the Feds then ratified by the State.
Hagenkotter, a heavy smoker, discovered his condition when he was rushed to the hospital following a seizure. He told KWTN Tuesday he has quit smoking and is hopeful that the tumor can be eliminated via laser technology. He said he questions the lung cancer diagnosis, and is awaiting the results of additional tests by specialists.