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.


Securing Safe Havens For Fish

Marine Ecosystem Protection Articles

Gulf Council to Convene Coral Committees in Tampa
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a meeting of the Coral SSC and Coral AP for Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Gulf Council office, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, in Tampa, Florida.
April 2014

NYT: Rising Seas
"Of the 50 states, Florida is the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, standing just a few feet above the current level. Miami is in an especially dangerous position because of its porous limestone foundation."
March 2014

Gulf Council to Meet in Baton Rouge April 7-10
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will meet April 7-10, 2014, at the Embassy Suites at 4914 Constitution Avenue in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to review mackerel, red snapper and other regulations.
March 2014

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Press Releases & Staff Articles

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.

Florida Wildlife Federation Opposes Circuit Court Net Ruling
Florida Wildlife Federation Opposes Circuit Court Net Ruling

Interior Department Proposes Expansion of Hunting, Fishing Opportunities in National Wildlife Refuge System
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to expand fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System

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