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.

The restoration of our reef fish requires letting more fish reach older ages, which produce many more offspring than do smaller, more juvenile fish. This also allows for better balanced sex ratios which will increase reef fish productivity. Marine fisheries management should focus on selective fishing gear which does not adversely impact essential fish habitat. By growing fish populations, we will not have to rely on onerous regulations.

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.

Forage Fish Pledge

Forage fish are foundation of Florida’s legacy as Fishing Capital of the World. Visit the Florida Forage Fish Coalition website to learn more about why forage fish are important and why they need protection. Take the Forage Fish Pledge to show your support for better forage fish protection in Florida. http://floridaforagefish.igfa.org

Infographics

Little Fish Are a Big Deal to Florida

Videos

Securing Safe Havens For Fish
A big-picture approach is key to preserving our oceans
Jupiter Inlet snook, baitfish and more

Marine Ecosystem Protection Articles



NOAA Fisheries: Red Snapper in South Atlantic to Remain Closed in 2016
NOAA Fisheries announces red snapper will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing in South Atlantic federal waters in 2016. Red snapper remains closed as the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2015 exceeded the allowable catch level.
May 2016

Prevent additional damage to coral reefs
First, it’s disintegrating at a faster rate than expected because of climate change. Second, dredging by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in the section underlying PortMiami has made matters worse.
May 2016

Netting Billions: A Global Valuation of Tuna
Improved management of these fisheries and conservation of tuna stocks are critical to sustaining the health and well-being of marine ecosystems, as well as the industries and coastal peoples who rely on the life in these waters for income and food.
May 2016

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Press Releases & Staff Articles



FWF LAWSUIT LAUNCHED TO PROTECT ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES FROM SINGER ISLAND SEAWALLS
“Like so many of us, sea turtles love Singer Island. It has one of the highest nesting densities of turtles in North America,” said Florida Wildlife Federation President Manley Fuller. “DEP needs to require measures that will protect turtles, and decrease erosion. This means pushing seawalls farther
08/07/2015

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

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