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An Introduction to Harvest Tags for Marine Recreational Fisheries

FA253/FA253by Edward Camp, Zachary Siders, Andrew Ropicki, and Frank AscheJanuary 12th, 2023Managing recreational fisheries requires balancing sustainability against allowing as much access and harvest as possible. Maintaining sustainability is made harder by discard mortality where any fishing activity, even catch and release, risks fish dying from injuries, predation, or other causes. This is especially a problem for Florida reef fish species that live at depths and habitats where barotrauma increases mortality and depredation by larger fish, sharks, or marine mammals increases it further. Harvest (or trip) tags could reduce overharvest, lower discard mortality, and allow anglers more freedom to choose when to fish. Harvest tags would limit the total fish harvested, but could eliminate one of the least popular current management restrictions, harvest seasons. This publication describes harvest tag approaches, discussing how they are already used in fishing and hunting and describing some of the potential benefits and costs if they were applied in Florida.Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment

Candidate Species for Florida Aquaculture: American Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus

FA254/FA254by Lena Donnarumma, Brittany J. Scharf, Jeffrey E. Hill, and Cortney L. OhsDecember 22nd, 2022The American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, is a member of the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Chelicerata, and class Merostomata. Although there are four horseshoe crab species worldwide, the American horseshoe crab is primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean along the East Coast of North America. The species ranges from Maine to Mexico, but is absent between Texas in the United States and Tabasco in Mexico. They mainly inhabit estuarine areas; however, juveniles and adults can venture into the shallow oceanic environments. Embryo development occurs in the intertidal zone of sandy beaches. Sandy or muddy bottom habitats are necessary for burrowing and benthic feeding. This publication will cover their natural history, aquaculture techniques, common diseases, and their uses and markets.  Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Freshwater Ornamental Aquatic Plant Production in Florida

FA251/fa251by Eric J. Cassiano and Lyn A. GettysDecember 12th, 2022Florida has a unique and diverse aquaculture industry consisting of ornamental fish, food fish, shellfish, alligators, aquatic plants, and more. Although some aquatic plants are produced for food or wetland restoration, most aquatic plant production in Florida is for the water garden and aquarium industries. There are over 1000 different species and varieties of ornamental aquatic plants produced in Florida. Since most ornamental aquatic plants are tropical in origin, Florida’s warm climate makes it ideal for growing them year-round. This publication covers ornamental aquatic plant production in Florida including permitting and licensing, production techniques, farm design, pests and diseases, and marketing. Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Candidate Species for Florida Aquaculture: Almaco Jack, Seriola rivoliana

FA249/FA249by Victor Blanco, Cortney Ohs, Nicole Rhody, and Ronald HansDecember 1st, 2022Almaco jack, Seriola rivoliana, is a perciform within the order Perciformes, family Carangidae; which includes jacks and pompanos. They are members of the genus Seriola, a species of interest for aquaculture diversification worldwide. Like other commercially farmed Seriola species, almaco jack (also known as longfin yellowtail and kampachi) are fast growers, have a high market value, and are increasingly well-regarded among chefs for their versatility in both cooked and raw preparations. These characteristics, among others, have made them favorable candidates for both land-based and offshore aquaculture.Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems

Artificial Reefs in Florida 101 – effects on fisheries: Part 4 of an Artificial Reef series

FA244/FA244by Lisa Chong, Angela B. Collins, Holly Abeels, Anna Braswell, Andrew Ropicki, and Edward V. CampOctober 31st, 2022Increasingly, coastal managers are placing artificial reefs in marine waters. These long-lasting habitat alterations have measurable effects on fish, fishers, divers, fisheries, and marine social ecological systems. Understanding how artificial reefs function is necessary to make good decisions about future artificial reefs. Scientific research on many aspects of artificial reefs is not always summarized and explained. In response to this need, we designed a 4-part series called Artificial Reefs 101. This publication, part 4 of the Artificial Reefs series, explores a complicated but fascinating aspect of artificial reefs—should we expect them to lead to better fishing in the long run? Many people think artificial reefs should be a “win-win” since both fish and fishers seem to like them. But it is increasingly apparent that they are likely to increase fishing mortality more than they increase fish populations. So they could lead to more restrictive regulations. Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment