While I applaud and appreciate the time and energy that Jack Curlett has spent to preserve and protect Biscayne National Park, I disagree with his premise that no-fishing marine reserve zones are necessary no matter how small they are. To imply that it is a proven method is true. ( Create marine reserve at Biscayne National Park, June 26, Readers’ Forum). However, it is not the only proven method of preserving or replenishing our fish populations. Policies approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have also replenished and protected our fisheries.
The great resurgence of Goliath Grouper, redfish, snook and trout are only a few examples of how sport fishing can be allowed while replenishing the fish populations. Fish stocks wiped out by natural events or overfishing by commercial interests can recover to sustainable levels through size limitations, possession numbers, seasons or no-take zones when indicated.
We can accomplish replenishment in numbers and sizes of fish without a no-fishing marine reserve zone.
Although sport fishing is vital to South Florida’s economy, this should have little bearing on deciding how to protect our natural resources. What does make sense, however, is to allow sport fishing but control it as does the FWCC and/or establish no-take zones when necessary.
Lloyd Wruble, chairman, Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation, Miami