Volume 66

A Social History of Spiny Lobster Fishing and Management in the Florida Keys: Lessons for Sustainable Fishing Communities

Shivlani, M.
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Date: November, 2013

Pages: 434 – 439

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty six Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Corpus Christy

Country: USA


This study reviews the history of the Florida Keys spiny lobster fishery, especially after the State of Florida implemented a market-based, effort reduction program in the 1990s. The study evaluates the impacts of the program on the fishery’s participants, their communities, and social networks, examining how the diminution in the fleet and its participants has affected the region’s fishing industry and promoted waterfront conversion and gentrification. It is argued that by ignoring the social dimensions of fisheries, market-based programs have weakened the underlying social capital in fishing communities, facilitating fisher exit and waterfront transformation. If coastal regions such as the Florida Keys, which are experiencing increasing higher waterfront prices and cost of living conditions, are to maintain local fisheries and vibrant fishing communities, then management strategies must incorporate the social dimensions of fisheries as part of a comprehensive management agenda.

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