Have you ever thought how you are connected to south Florida's marine environments? Fortunately, if you don't quite know the answer to the question, there is a new book that can help you see the many connections that exist between the region and those who visit and live there.
Pam Fletcher with Florida Sea Grant and and William Kruczynski of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are the co-editors of a new book called Tropical Connections: South Florida's Marine Environments. The book summarizes technical information on the south Florida marine ecosystem in a way that is easy to read and understand, and it is intended for students, educators, lay readers, and decision makers.
The book is comprised of fact pages that were prepared by 162 experts in their scientific disciplines. They can be used individually, but are arranged in chapters that help synthesize the information.
According to the editors, The title contains the word "connections" because the marine habitats of south Florida are interconnected physically, chemically, and biologically, as well as connected with other geographic regions. If you live, vacation, boat, swim, snorkel, SCUBA dive, fish, spear fish, bird watch, or eat marine fish or shellfish in south Florida, you are "connected" to the south Florida marine habitats. Also, people who read about, study, or enjoy knowing that the marine habitats of south Florida exist as natural wonders have a special connection to this place that may be no less significant than physical experiences.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Did you miss our Brown Bag Webinar on Swordfish? No worries!
You can watch a recording of our Florida Swordfish Fishery Webinar, which is part of our Florida Seafood
Brown Bag Webinar Series. The series is intended for
seafood lovers and educators who are interested in learning more about the
safety and sustainability associated with Florida’s fisheries and seafood
industry. The goals of the scallop presentation
Credit: Photo courtesy of Mike Carden, a longline fisherman from Panama City, FL
- Increase your knowledge of basic swordfish biology and ecology
Enhance your understanding of the trends, importance, and management of Florida’s and U.S. North Atlantic swordfish fishery
Make you more informed about the purchasing and consuming swordfish
To view the recording, click HERE
We want to hear from you!
We would love to get your feedback about the presentation by completing a short evaluation. Your input helps us plan for future educational programs. To access the evaluation click HERE.
Recordings of Past Webinar in the SeriesClick HERE if you would like to view the recordings of past webinars from this series.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Florida's spiny lobster fishery is concentrated mainly in South Florida, with approximately 90% of landings coming from the Florida Keys. While the fishery is jointly managed in federal waters by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, most of the fishing effort occurs in state waters, which is managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Several regulations are implemented to ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery.
- Minimum size limits
- Closed seasons/areas
- Gear restrictions
- Trap limitation and permitting program
|Image credit: FDACS|
Traps that are lost, abandoned, or incorrectly deployed can cause damage to reefs and seagrasses. To minimize these potential impacts management efforts have closed certain areas off to lobster fishing, and several organizations conduct trap clean up events to remove derelict traps off sensitive bottom habitats.
|Image credit: Bryan Fluech|
Spiny lobster landings in the 2000's have been considerably lower than in the previous decade, but pinpointing a single cause is difficult. Many factors affect fishery recruitment including the lost of juvenile and adult habitat, changes in spawning stock and larval supply, changes in water quality, and events that can impact population dynamics such as hurricanes, algal blooms, and/or changes in oceanographic conditions. In addition PaV1, a naturally-occurring pathogenic virus that is often fatal to juvenile spiny lobster is also thought to have played a factor in these declines.
According to NOAA, the U.S. spiny lobster fishery is not undergoing overfishing nor is it overfished. However, the status of the population is unknown because larval spiny lobster in U.S. waters come mostly from multiple areas of the Caribbean Sea. Without sampling the entire Caribbean region, it is impossible to assess the local population.
|Image credit: Bryan Fluech|
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-Commercial Landings Data