SARASOTA BAY FISHERIES
Florida’s saltwater recreational fisheries generate an impact of over 5 Billion US$ per year to the Florida economy. The marine resources upon which this major economic activity depends are under increasing pressure from fishing, habitat modification, and the impacts of global climate change. As a result, the abundance of many key species has been reduced substantially below historical levels.
The emerging paradigm of ecosystem-based spatial fisheries management suggests that fisheries can best be restored and sustained through a combination of fishing regulations and supply side interventions (habitat restoration or enhancement, hatchery programs) in a manner that is spatially differentiated to account for local/regional conditions of the resource and stakeholder characteristics and preferences. Moreover, the opportunity for place-based (i.e., locally or regionally focused) management enables the possibility of collective action by stakeholders in cooperative governance, which in turn is expected to enhance resource stewardship. Cooperative governance of commercial and subsistence-oriented fisheries and collaborative adaptive management with community stakeholders have been successfully used in other natural resources.
Exploratory research by the project team suggests that many stakeholders in Florida’s saltwater recreational fisheries seek greater engagement in management decision making but often feel powerless to influence agency decisions. It also suggests that stakeholders often perceive resource levels, stakeholder preferences and management issues to differ among coastal regions and believe that place-based management measures (regulations or restoration initiatives tailored to the needs of their region) could improve management outcomes. There is therefore an opportunity for developing cooperative approaches to place-based fisheries governance in Florida’s state waters.
Proactively addressing fisheries management issues in the Sarasota Bay area with the intent to affect change:
The Sarasota Bay Fisheries Forum aims to facilitate cooperative, place-based governance of Florida’s saltwater recreational fisheries by crafting a framework of structures, processes and tools that allow stakeholders to engage constructively in identifying and addressing local and regional fisheries management issues.
The Fisheries Forums have grown out of a series of initial stakeholder workshops facilitated by the University of Florida. The new initiative aims to provide opportunities for longer-term, effective engagement of stakeholders in fisheries management and are supported by a partnership of UF, Florida SeaGrant and Mote Marine Laboratory with startup funding from Florida Sea Grant. The startup phase ended in 2015 and the forum continues today with assistance from Florida SeaGrant Extension, Mote Marine Laboratory and the engagement of local stakeholders in the Sarasota region.
Why have a forum?
• People care about “their” local fisheries
• Different places have different fisheries issues (and some shared ones)
• Stakeholders have in-depth knowledge complementary to scientific knowledge and data
• Stakeholders feel that opportunities for input to management decision making are limited, and that “official science” may be at odds with their local knowledge
Fisheries Forum Aims:
• Provide a venue for long-term engagement of stakeholders
• Promote in-depth consideration of important local fisheries issues
• Improve links between stakeholder knowledge and science
• Represent place-based perspectives to management agencies
Join local researchers and interested parties in an independent, community discussion to proactively address issues regarding the Sarasota Bay Estuary.
Proactively addressing fisheries management issues in the Sarasota Bay area with the intent to affect change.
Join us for the Sarasota Bay Fisheries Forum on Thursday, April 5, 2018, from 6 – 8 pm. Presentation by Thomas Ries ESA SCHEDA Presentation title: Lost River...
Join the Sarasota Bay Fisheries Forum on Thursday, June 8, when we will hear from Dr. John Keifer, an environmental engineer and scientist with more than 25 years...
You don't want to miss the April meeting of the Sarasota Bay Fisheries Forum! Join us on Thursday, April 13, to hear scientists from Bonefish Tarpon Trust discuss...