Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Florida Keys ecosystem threatened by multiple stressors

Date:
October 31, 2011
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
Scientists have found that pressure from increasing coastal populations, ship and boat groundings, marine debris, poaching, and climate change are critically threatening the health of the Florida Keys ecosystem.

After being subject to decades of intense fishing pressure in the Florida Keys, harvest of Goliath grouper has been prohibited since 1990.
Credit: NOAA/FKNMS

NOAA scientists have found that pressure from increasing coastal populations, ship and boat groundings, marine debris, poaching, and climate change are critically threatening the health of the Florida Keys ecosystem. Many historically abundant marine resources such as green sea turtles and coral habitat continue to be at risk with low rates of recovery.

The findings were released October 20 in the Condition Report 2011 for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, describing the status and trends of the sanctuary's water quality, habitats, and marine and cultural resources, and the human activities that affect them. This report is one of an ongoing series of condition reports for NOAA's 13 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. It will guide a comprehensive review of sanctuary regulations and management plan beginning in 2012 and provide an important baseline on the status of sanctuary marine resources.

The report documents improvements in local water quality and an increase in the size and abundance of some fish species and spiny lobster in large reserves within the sanctuary, but also notes that challenges remain such as, addressing regional influences to water quality, human impacts on marine resources, and the effects of climate change. It further suggests additional efforts are necessary to support sustained management efforts, and increase regulatory compliance and community engagement to address those challenges.

"This report provides us with a great benchmark that can be used to protect our sanctuary's valuable and productive marine ecosystem," said Sean Morton, superintendent, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. "The report also helps identify gaps in current monitoring efforts and highlights areas where we need additional information. Our long-term monitoring shows management actions are contributing to some positive results, however recovery of ecosystem health takes time.""

Since its designation in 1990, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has worked with a wide array of local, state, and federal partners to promote conservation and sustainable use of the Keys ecosystem for future generations. These objectives are addressed through public education and research programs, the implementation of regulations including the prohibition of pollution discharge in sanctuary waters, and the designation of highly protected no-take marine zones to protect 6,000 species of marine life and reduce user conflicts. These efforts have been critical tools for natural resource management in the Florida Keys where ocean recreation and tourism supports more than 33,000 jobs, and accounts for 58 percent of the local economy and $2.3 billion in annual sales.

The full report is available online at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/science/condition/fknms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Florida Keys ecosystem threatened by multiple stressors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021074742.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2011, October 31). Florida Keys ecosystem threatened by multiple stressors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021074742.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Florida Keys ecosystem threatened by multiple stressors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021074742.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins