Florida provides one-third of the nation’s seafood and is one of the country’s premiere destinations for recreational saltwater fishing with a coastline stretching 1,350 miles. These coasts contain the estuaries that are the nurseries of the sea.
To protect this vital resource, we have consistently opposed oil drilling off the coasts of Florida. The risk is simply too great. The Deepwater Horizon Oil disaster was a wakeup call that one major event can severely damage our ecology and our economy.
FWF has for years called for the constitutional prohibition of oil drilling in our state’s coastal waters. In 2010, we facilitated a Special Session of the Legislature to take this step, but the Legislature did not act. In 2018, we proposed drilling ban language to the Constitutional Revision Commission to place the issue before voters. We must protect our state marine waters.
FWF also believes that oil drilling is unwarranted in the federal waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to protect our ecological resources as well as the military flight mission at Eglin Air Force Base.
Historic Apalachicola Bay used to enjoy a robust oysters industry. Years of mismanagement of water flows has devastated oyster production. FWF is taking legal and advocacy action to remedy this problem.
As to the Atlantic coast, we oppose not only drilling in state waters, but the use of sonic testing. This testing greatly disrupts natural systems and is harmful to rare whales.
We support ecosystem management for the recreational and commercial take of fish, and support stronger management of forage species such as menhaden and anchovies. These forage fish are the basis of the entire marine food web.
In the 1990’s, FWF and our allies promoted and campaigned for the gill net limitation Constitutional amendment. Passage has provided for a remarkable rebounding of fish populations in our near shore waters.
We support protection of our remaining reefs, and have litigated against dredging projects that would destroy these wonderful areas, which climate change and acidification are already damaging.
Lastly, we strongly support the goals of the federal Magnuson–Stevens Act which seeks to conserve saltwater fish populations and have consistently fought against any weakening of this Act.
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
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