Florida’s Giant Leap for Little Fish
by Owen James Burke
Above: A school of mullet plies the waters off Florida. Photo: Paul Dabill.
For once, we have news out of Florida that doesn’t involve fantastically inexplicable things like shark-hunting cats or manatee-fearing spring breakers, but a monumental change in fisheries management that will (hopefully) “fill the sea with food” by protecting forage fish, relatively small fish species that help make up the lower end of the food chain, like the oft-diminished mullet.
Above: White mullet (Mugil curema). Image: Fresh From Florida.
The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has officially committed to watching stocks of these species closely, upon which the fate of the state’s $12.3 billion seafood industry and 100,000-strong workforce rests.
The new policy, adopted by the FWC will also protect sardines and menhadens, and should, in turn, help replenish the populations of certain overfished commercial species like snappers and groupers.
Read more at The PEW. -OJB