Volume 69

Demographics of Selected Reef Fish Off Southeast Florida

Kurtis, G., B. Walker, K. Kilfoyle, and J. Blondeau
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Date: November, 2016

Pages: 306 - 308

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

City: Grand Cayman

Country: Cayman Islands


Reef fish assemblages in southeast Florida are subject to intense fishing pressure, as their coral reef habitats are in close proximity to over 6 million residents and almost six times as many tourists annually (Ault and Franklin 2011, Page and Swanenberg 2014). Status and trends of important reef fish species were assessed from 1990 to 2008 by Ault and Franklin (2011) using fishery dependent data from southeast Florida. Findings showed many exploited reef fish populations being locally depleted, but fishery independent information, needed to support management actions, was not available for southeast Florida. Long-term, fishery-independent data collections had been conducted for reef fish in the Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys (Hallac et al. 2013). However, similar regional and sub-regional, fishery-independent information remained a data gap off the southeast Florida portion of the Florida Reef Tract (FRT) (Ault and Franklin, 2011). The analysis and findings of Ault and Franklin (2011) were reviewed by staff at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), who made recommendations to assist partners in the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) in address-ing fishing impacts to the southeast Florida coral reef ecosystem. Recommendations included collecting fishery independent data using the Reef Visual Census (RVC) methodology in a manner consistent with how the RVC Program had been conducted in the Florida Keys, described in Brandt et al. (2009).

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