Document Type


Publication Date


OCLC FAST subject heading

Seagrass; fisheries


Nearshore recreational fisheries provide tremendous value to the Florida economy. These fisheries are dependent on the availability of high-quality habitat, and sound fisheries management. Habitat can be degraded by several factors, including damage to seagrass flats by propellers of power boats operating in shallow waters (prop scarring). The current fisheries management framework employs regulations limiting harvest by season, fish length, and bag limit (number of fish harvestable per angler per day). Regulations often vary due to regional differences in fishery stocks and population dynamics.

Our team’s overall goal in undertaking this work was to assess the feasibility of creating special fisheries and habitat management areas by completing a holistic review of the relevant biological, socioeconomic, and legal aspects of such areas, using Citrus County as a model. In this report, we will detail findings related to 1) status of propeller scarring in the St. Martins Keys area, 2) legal analysis of options for seagrass protection and special fisheries management areas, 3) possible effects of management actions on fisheries, including a comparative analysis of existing relevant spatial management.