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Florida bonefish and permit need your help!

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Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (and Permit too!) Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (and Permit too!)

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.


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Comments (3 posted):

Frank Whiton on 03/10/2009 13:07:11
Hi Everyone, I have followed the passing of catch and release in Belize. The problem that they had in Belize was the local population was catching Tarpon and Bones fish for food. It still remains to see if the new rules make any difference to how many are killed. The Sport Fly Fisher always release their fish so the law won't bother them. Here in Florida Bones, Tarpon, Snook and Permit should all be under a no kill law. I don't think we have as many people killing fish as they did in Belize. Never the less the Keys and and Everglades have some terrific fishing and those fish need to be protected. There are some who keep what ever they catch. A guide who makes his living from these fish will normally not allow a fish to be killed. While they are at it why not eliminate the Tournaments held for these fish. Tournament fishing puts a lot of fishers in a concentrated area and that can't be good for the fish. Frank
Editor on 05/10/2009 15:52:28
While they are at it why not eliminate the Tournaments held for these fish. Tournament fishing puts a lot of fishers in a concentrated area and that can't be good for the fish. Frank Controversial Frank! :yikes: A great point to raise though. I wonder if any mortality studies have been carried out post-tournament and whether any of the income generated by the major tournament series is ploughed back into protecting the species through organisations such as BTT?
MoscaPescador on 05/10/2009 18:55:05
The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust will have its first video series air on ESPN2/ESPN Outdoors in January. It's called Pirates of the Flats. If it is anything like the YouTube teaser, I'll buy the DVD. I'm sure that the proceeds will go to BTT's efforts. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVVA9yT07G0"]YouTube - Pirates of the Flats Trailer[/ame] MP
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