Fisheries Essay

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Red Drum Fisheries Management of Coastal Florida
Danny W. Lyles
May 7, 2012
David Mumford

This paper is intended to evaluate the success or failure of the fisheries management regarding Red Drum or Sciaenops ocellatus in the coastal Florida area of the United States. The Red Drum, or the common name “Redfish”, is a popular sport fish among anglers due to its reputation as a formidable adversary, and the value of it on the market for table fare. The advent of blackened recipes from the bayous of the southeast has also increased its popularity.

Red Drum Fisheries Management of Coastal Florida The Red Drum inhabits inshore, near shore, and offshore waters throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic
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The primary focus of the CCA agenda regarding management changes is in the zoning regulations imposed by the FWC. These zones are divided by a north and south sector with an increase of bag limits to be allowed in the north zone exclusively. The argument posed by CCA is that creating separate zones and increasing bag limits will jeopardize the entire management plan and place the species at risk.
The CCA credits a successful 1988 campaign of prohibiting commercial harvesting and improved restriction driven by their organization. The claim is that the additional protective measures resulted in the revitalized stock assessment by the FWRI. Without these changes, they argue, the population would be in serious decline with possible change of status to “vulnerable”. They also claim that a stock assessment from the FWC does not support an increase in bag limits citing Spawning Potential Ratio (SPR) instead of escapement percentage. They also use data from the FWC escapement charts that indicate a declining rate over the past decade.
No biological evidence exists to support a zoning status regarding the state fisheries. If a zoning regulation were to be implemented, genetic and tagging data indicates the zones to be east and west rather than the current objectives. This resultant data is an indication of juvenile stocks and migration of
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