Lorenzen Lab @ Imperial

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Florida Fisheries Enhancement and Restoration

Florida boasts a great wealth and diversity of aquatic resources, supporting a predominantly recreational fishery that generates almost $8 billion in economic benefits per year. High fishing pressure combined with continued human impacts on coastal and freshwater ecosystems forces management agencies and stakeholders to search for new, creative and scientifically sound fisheries management approaches. Effective technical measures are likely to include supply side interventions such as hatchery enhancement and/or habitat restoration in addition to fishing regulations. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) currently supports a variety of supply side interventions, and is set to expand these activities substantially through the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative . We are working with Mote Marine Laboratory , the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and the University of Florida Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Science to fully integrate supply side interventions into the management of Florida fisheries.

Our main focus at present is the Gulf of Mexico snook fishery. Using population modelling, we assess the potential contributions of hatchery enhancement and habitat restoration to fisheries management goals. Working from the stock assessments currently used to inform fisheries management decisions, we have developed an
EnhanceFish model that allows us to explore the potential impacts of large-scale hatchery enhancement. In parallel we are working on a more detailed, spatially structured model that will allow us to quantify the population effects of habitat restoration. This model is informed by long-term field studies conducted in Sarasota Bay by our colleagues at Mote Marine Laboratory. In addition to population dynamics modeling, we are using an integrative enhancement fisheries system framework to explore the social, economic and institutional issues interfacing with technical measures in snook fisheries management.

This research is supported by the
William R and Lenore Mote Eminent Scholar Chair in Fisheries Ecology at Florida State University, Mote Marine Laboratory , and the Science Consortium for Ocean Replenishment (SCORE).

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