Skip to Main Content

Earth & Environment Graduate Seminar Series

This is a past event.

Friday, September 17, 2021 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm

MMC, PG 116 11200 SW 8th St

Topic: Saving the Horny Fish: Using Interdisciplinary Science and Conservation to Protect the Florida Keys Spawning Aggregatio

Speaker: Dr. Ross Boucek Florida Keys Initiative Manager Bonefish and Tarpon Trust


About: For some species, spawning aggregation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), in addition to science-based harvest regulations may increase recreational fishery resiliency. Both actions necessitate research to inform regulations, and often forgotten, strong stakeholder engagement. In South Florida, Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) is data poor, and at one time, a virtually unregulated species that makes up a lucrative recreational fishery. In the Florida Keys, stakeholders voiced concerns that the permit fishery was declining. In response to these claims, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (BTT) funded or conducted four studies to characterize their spatial ecology and quantify spatial variation in fishing mortality to inform fisheries management. Second, we invested in long-term stakeholder and policy-maker engagement to increase support for regulations needed to reduce perceived declines. As a result of this initiative, we worked with fisheries managers to 1) enact a Special Permit Zone that increased harvest regulations within the Florida Keys, 2) extend the closed harvest season for permit within this zone based on new science suggesting that permit spawning season has shifted earlier in the year, and 3) implemented a no fishing MPA at one of their critical spawning sites to reduce catch and release mortality from shark depredation. The stepwise approach of permit science and advocacy provides a model to follow as the need for more restrictive and comprehensive recreational fishery regulations grows. BTT’s mission is to conserve and restore bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and habitats through research, stewardship, education, and advocacy



Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


General Public


Free to public

College of Arts, Sciences & Education, Department of Earth and Environment


Add to Calendar
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity

Statement of Free Expression

FIU endorses the Florida Board of Governors' Statement of Free Expression to support and encourage full and open discourse and the robust exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses. In addition to supporting this legal right, we view this as an integral part of our ability to deliver a high-quality academic experience for our students, engage in meaningful and productive research, and provide valuable public service. This includes fostering civil and open dialogue in support of critical thinking in and out of the classroom, including events hosted by the university.