Saltwater and Marine Fisheries Issues
Water quality, habitat restoration & protection and proper management plans are as critical to saltwater environments as they are to our freshwater rivers, streams and lakes.
Seagrass beds and coral reefs are particularly fragile environments. Outboard props operating at high speeds, bottoming of boats and dredging contribute to the loss or degradation of near shore habitats that are important to many marine fishes, crustaceans and other invertebrate species. Wave action from manmade or natural causes can relocate sand or sediment drastically affecting aquatic bio-systems. Fertilizer runoff contributes to hazardous algae blooms in estuaries. Over 8 million tons of garbage and plastic waste are dumped into the oceans each year. These wastes eventually reach shores and beaches, reefs and estuaries.
Management plans that address forage base trends (e.g. menhaden, etc.), harvest limits, maintaining spawning biomass and reducing mortality of released fish are also necessary to sustainable fisheries.