Florida Fringe Benefit

One of the many fringe benefits of life in South Florida, that our coastline is fringed with shallow coral reefs, which makes us the only inhabitants of the neighboring United States, to be so lucky.

Our reefs offer visitors and locals alike with easy access to all kinds of water recreation. They include viewing diverse marine life while snorkeling or scuba diving, as well as various state regulated fishing and Lobstering opportunities.

Nevertheless, the Community Working Group, entitled "Our Florida Reefs," recently revived debate about whether fishing should be allowed in some or all areas of the Florida reef, including Biscayne National Park, south of Miami. Proposal to phase out fishing Var & # 39; Irawan scattered from nya-industrial zones, declaring the entire reef tract, extending north from the park to the threshold Beach State Marine Reserve. Another working group in neighboring counties held a similar discussion.

Our Florida Reefs, and those with this view that overfishing with & # 39 is one of the main factors of damage to reefs and wildlife that inhabit them. But this statement is far from the accepted fact.

Part of the dispute in Biscayne National Park follows from the fact that fishing there is controlled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The state commission, appointed by the governor, see the fishing ban as a last resort and I do not want to go that far, at least for now. Although the Commission formally supports the goal of increasing the national parks of the population and the size of its wildlife by 20 percent, FWC wants to try less restrictive measures first.

WWF lists the fracture as soon as one of the seven major threats to coral reefs, and the resulting types of imbalances as the main problem – a problem to which may also contribute to other factors, such as the introduction of invasive species, such as Silent lionfish, which now considered one of the major threats of fishing in Florida. Other threats to the reef systems that make the same damage as fishing, or more, include pollution and careless navigation and attachment. (1) Divers and snorkelers can contribute to the problem, but as a human treatment could be damaging to corals in its own right. Any responsible diver knows that corals should be seen and not taken.

All of this argues for careful management of fisheries. And in the park and beyond, it is clear that those responsible for the coral reefs and the creatures that live there must take care to act as responsible stewards. That this is not to argue, however, open a fishing ban.

. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the R-Florida, expressed concern after the Park & ​​# 39; s managers have released a new fisheries management plan calls for significant restrictions on the popular fishing and trapping activities in the park. In a statement, she said: "There is definitely a balance, which must be between the protection of our ecosystems and to use it – unfortunately, this plan does not seem to lay out a reasonable compromise that suits the purpose." (2) In a park & ​​# 39; s managers still need to provide the FWC & # 39; s cooperation, as well as several meetings opened a public discussion. A final decision is expected in early 2015.

I have a strong suspicion that the parties who do not fish snapped onto the people's cause, that the protection of coral reefs as a means to carry a wide range of issues to combat the production. Divers who think that they will see more pretty tropical fish, they like to watch, and nondivers, who simply do not think of fish or other animals must be collected at all, they may be inclined to use the fate of corals to achieve their goals.

As well as those who are opposed to hunting, however, they may not realize that their efforts to protect individual animals may harm species as a whole. Hunters of birds and mammals have contributed significantly to the expense of taxes and license fees to the selection of populations of many game and nongame species in North America. And most of the marine conservation community consists of people who have fished for generations, and who want to outsource this activity to those who will follow us.

It is short-sighted and counterproductive ban on fishing or hunting just because some people who do not hunt or fish can not understand those who do. Efforts to strengthen the health of Florida & # 39; coral reefs, it would be better, taking a broader view of the problem and a more balanced approach to possible solutions.

sources:

1) World Wildlife Fund, "Coral reefs: the threat of"

2) Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, «Ros-Lehtinen Worried National Park New Biscayne (of BNP Management Plan) Fishing (HMB) Can hold Fishing Families from the water"

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