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Recreational Fisheries and Marine Protected Area Management: Marine Policy and Environmental Management of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (USA)

Author(s): Juan Carlos Levesque

Journal: Wildlife Biology in Practice
ISSN 1646-1509

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 90;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Conservation | Management Plan Review | Marine Protected Area | National Marine Sanctuary

The demand on our marine resources is increasing at unsustainable rates; however, marine policy and management is complex, political, and time consuming. One tool that resource managers in the United States use for managing, protecting, and conserving fragile marine resources is the designation of Marine Protected Areas. Presently, the public is concerned with the status and health of the fish and fisheries associated with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). Given these conservation and social issues, the main goal of this study was to provide an evaluation of the recreational fisheries associated with the FGBNMS. Findings showed that recreational landings were dominated by red snapper, vermilion snapper, and gray triggerfish; landings varied significantly by month and location. The highest fishing effort was in summer and the highest catch rates were in spring and fall; catch rates varied significantly by species and location in some areas. The mean weight of the primary recreational species taken was correlated negatively with time, but statistical similar. Proposed management measures for the FGBNMS are expected to impact some recreational fisheries, but long-term outcomes should benefit the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
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