Elliott Key Harbor and Campground Closed
Winds, surge and tides associated with Hurricane Sandy caused considerable damage to docks & boardwalk at Elliott Key. The harbor and campground are closed until further notice. University Dock remains open for day use only. More »
Fishery Management Plan
Updated April 2012
Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the National Park system, features a spectacular array of mangrove, coastal hammocks, seagrass, hardbottom, and coral reef habitats. The Park hosts both commercial and recreational fishers. Increases in South Florida's boating and fishing population combined with improved fishing and boating technology pose a threat to the long-term sustainability of fishery-related resources of BISC. Within the last decade, a variety of scientific studies completed by different institutions and agencies have all indicated that Biscayne National Park's fisheries resources have declined from previous levels, and all studies indicate concern about the long-term sustainability of the Park's fisheries resources. Many fishery-targeted species (particularly snapper and grouper species) that once were plentiful in Biscayne National Park have declined in abundance and/or size so substantially that legal-sized individuals of these species are now only rarely, if ever, observed in or harvested from park waters. In order to protect and restore Biscayne National Park's diminishing fisheries resources, ensure that fishing activities in the park are conducted in a sustainable manner, and comply with the National Park Service mandate to provide inspiration, education and enjoyment to this and future generations, the National Park Service has developed a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to guide fishery management decisions in Biscayne National Park for the next five to ten years.
THE FMP DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the availability of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Biscayne National Park's Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Five alternatives addressing concerns about the status and long-term conservation of the park's fisheries resources are described in the draft EIS. The development of the alternatives and the identification of the preferred alternative were based on a combination of public input (derived from two public comment periods and two series of public meetings, and the input of the FMP Working Group), inter-agency meetings, and environmental and socioeconomic analyses. The alternatives are as follows:
The FMP draft EIS was open for public comment during a 60-day public comment period in August through October of 2009. The NPS received numerous comments, all of which were evaluated and many of which have been incorporated into the final DEIS, which is expected to be released in 2012. The park is currently completing mandatory consultation with NOAA's Office of Protected Resources regarding the impacts of the preferred alternative of the draft EIS on various threatened and endangered marine species that utilize the park. Once this consultation is complete, the final EIS will be released for public review.
Did You Know?
Tunicates, or sea squirts, live on the roots of the red mangrove tree. These simple animals survive by filtering plankton out of seawater, and hold promise as the source of potent drugs used to fight tumors. Watch for them when snorkeling along Biscayne National Park's mangrove-fringed shoreline.