Marine Ecosystem Protection
Robyn Churchill

Marine Ecosystem Protection



The Florida Wildlife Federation supports scientifically-based management of our saltwater populations and has consistently backed the recovery of depleted fish and marine wildlife. To achieve recovery of historically overfished populations of marine fish, we support the implementation of the conservation goals established by the Magnuson Act and the proper management of forage fish populations which serve as the basis of the entire marine food web. Forage fish, just like apex predators, need protection from overfishing. Whether it’s the top of the food chain, or the bottom, overfishing throws ecosystems out of balance.

Overfishing, or catching fish faster than they can reproduce, is a losing proposition. It weakens fish populations and ocean ecosystems, making both vulnerable to pollution, natural disturbances and climate change. It also hurts the economies of coastal communities that rely on abundant fish to sustain tourism, fishing, diving and other coastal industries.

Indeed, an analysis commissioned by the Pew Environment Group showed that commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico lost $12.3 million in 2009 because of population declines in important species such as red snapper and gag grouper. Revenues could have been at least 16 percent higher if several fish populations were at healthier levels.

In addition to preventing overfishing, we advocate for policies that consider the ecosystem as a whole and the interaction between species, including measures that reduce by-catch and protect critical habitat, spawning areas and the food web.

Florida provides one-third of the nation’s seafood and is one of the country’s premiere destinations for recreational fishing. Recreational fishing is an essential part of the state’s economy and fishing regulations that sustain fish populations for the long-term are critical to maintaining Florida’s economic prosperity.

Videos

Securing Safe Havens For Fish


Marine Ecosystem Protection Articles



Fishermen Call for Stronger Policies and Enforcement As Illegal Fishing in Gulf Grows
Both commercial and recreational fisheries are an economic engine in the Gulf of Mexico driving jobs, tourism, state revenue and sustainable seafood.
September 2014

Asian Tiger Shrimp Found in Southeast U.S. Waters
Information gained from this invasion may help us identify ways to prevent the next one. Prevention of invasive species continues to be the best way to avoid the costly economic and ecological consequences associated with their establishment.
September 2014

NOAA Reports on Derelict Fishing Traps
Researchers concluded that derelict traps have a cumulative, measurable impact which should be considered in fishery management decisions.
September 2014

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Press Releases & Staff Articles



Florida First District Court of Appeals upholds Net Limitation
Florida Wildlife Federation filed an Amicus brief to support the constitutional amendment and is pleased that the court upheld provision to conserve our marine resources.
07/07/2014

Follow the Will of the Voters - Keep the Net Limitation
Florida Wildlife Federation supports the will of the voters – enforce the Net Limitation.
05/21/2014

Little Fish Make Big Fish - Managing Forage Species
Forage fish are those little fish that swim in schools in our saltwaters. As with all ecosystems, our seas and coastal waters need to have all parts of the food chain intact to thrive and be sustainable.
02/27/2014

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