Florida bonefish and permit need your help!
Earlier this year the small country of Belize had the foresight to designate bonefish, tarpon, and permit as 'catch and release only' as a way to protect these fisheries for the future.
What spurred this new legislation?
An economics study that conservatively estimated that ecotourism for bonefish, tarpon, and permit fishing generated more than $50million per year for Belize, a notable portion of the country's GDP. But they also realized that protecting these fisheries would go a long way toward helping to protect the coastal habitats that support these fisheries, and the social culture that surrounds the guides and lodges that depend on these fisheries.
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is now working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on initiatives that would elevate the status of bonefish and permit in Florida, and we ask for your help.
The Bonefish Initiative is a call for bonefish to be made catch and release (recreational harvest is now legal). This position has been supported by FWC staff, and will be decided soon by the Commission. The bonefish catch and release designation will elevate the status of bonefish, and hopefully instigate more conservation attention (e.g. research, habitat protection).
Similarly, the Permit Initiative asks for gamefish (no commercial sale) and catch and release status for permit. At present, FWC has virtually no data on the permit population in Florida, on the fishery (no stock assessment has ever been done), or on permit biology. Moreover, much of the annual harvest appears to come from permit spawning aggregations on offshore artificial reefs.
You can help BTT press forward with these initiatives.
Go Here for information on how you can participate and help improve Florida's flats fisheries for the future.
Articles by the same author
- Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Newsletter - July 2010
- Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Newsletter
- Florida Permit anglers - BTT needs you!
- Florida bonefish and permit need your help!