Home Conservation Front

Massive no take zones proposed for Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas


There has been very little publicity or notice about this. I just found out about these proposed massive no take closure areas myself from a local business owner, so missed the original meeting. Due to public outcry the working group -- which planned to deliver recommendations for new protected areas to the Sanctuary Advisory Council on Aug. 20 -- decided to hold off until after September, when it will stage regional meetings in the Upper, Middle and Lower Keys to meet with mariners who know the local waters. A fourth meeting in Key West will look at the Dry Tortugas and Marquesas.

If you live in the Keys or are a tourist or a visitor or anyone else that enjoys Keys waters you need to write, call or show up in person to voice your opposition! Everyone needs to do this right now, or kiss your fishing, diving and enjoying Keys waters goodbye!

The areas in yellow are the proposed new closures. This takes away just about all best reef tracts from all user groups without any scientific justification.



If you can't make it please email the head of the advisory council > [email protected]

Management and Administration

Sean Morton, Superintendent
[email protected]

Beth Dieveney, Deputy Superintendent for Science and Policy
[email protected]

Mary Tagliareni, Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Education
[email protected]


  • carlitoswaycarlitosway Posts: 47 Deckhand
    Oh Lord No.. Thanks for the info Yuri, I will pass the word. This would be a nightmare for recs/comms/and the local economy as a whole and I hope everyone sees it as such and makes their voices heard.
  • testerman28testerman28 Posts: 1,329 Officer
    the only questions I have right now:
    (and this is after downloading the pdf and knowing the keys some..)

    1. by doing this will it put extra or concentrated pressure on other areas?
    2. will NOAA 'and/or' Florida Law Enforcement be able to have the boats, men women, buoys, maps and literature about these areas of no take? or will it be organized and marked ..?

    see I understand that we have to protect the reefs and what we have but the powers that be are not in tune with the people.. there has to be communication and pride in what you do and the people need a reason for any decisions made.
    You take a man coming down from Ga. after he spent his time, hopes, $, hopes and dreams of seeing the keys with his family and friends at $3,000 for a house, $3,000 in time fuel just to get there..and now he will spend another $3,000 in dinners, fuel, drinks and bait.. all to get a ticket because he has poor maps, maps he cannot read or rules and regulations he cannot read without a magnifying glass and his vacation with a ticket is .. Priceless..! I hope we find better ways to just spring stuff on people without communication also.. it is a florida thing.. I guess..
  • yurifishmanyurifishman Posts: 55 Deckhand
    Closing vast areas in hopes that it will solve problems with the reef is putting like horse before the carriage. I have spent 15 years and 4000 days on the water here in the Keys and have seen a lot of changes.
    The first and foremost thing they need to address is improving the water quality. Anyone that spent some time diving in the Keys the last few years cannot deny the decline in coral reef quality and quantity. This is happening even in areas of no commercial pressure. Every spring after the Mississippi and Florida Everglades dumps its runoff into the Gulf we experience a massive free floating algae bloom in the Tortugas/Key West area. I may not be a scientist but I do understand that without healthy coral and near shore habitats the whole ecosystem suffers. Frankly I am surprised that our fish stocks are as healthy as they are considering the poor water quality.

    There has been a steady increase in both snapper and grouper in the Keys ever since they did away with fish traps and longlines, even before the original MPA's and before all the closed seasons and bag limit restrictions were implemented. Sure some areas and fish stocks need some help, but that can be addressed without complete season closures or closing off vast areas of ocean to everyone and choking our economy. Younger generation has the right to experience all of oceans beauty and bounty. Only then will they enjoy, appreciate and want to preserve what we have.
  • TypicleseTypiclese Posts: 393 Deckhand
    Might want to post this up in the regions forums...not all visit ConFron......this is a pretty BFD.
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