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Can Recreational Anglers Help Save Mangrove Habitats?

by Aaron J. Adams, Ph.D.

Director of Science and Conservation, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and Senior Scientist, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Much the same way that duck hunters have been instrumental in saving wetlands, recreational anglers can lead the charge in saving mangroves and other habitats that are essential to our fisheries. Without healthy habitats, we can’t have healthy fisheries, no matter how much fisheries managers try. And like the duck hunters who helped save wetlands, the benefits will be much greater than just our fisheries—they will extend to a healthier overall coastal environment. Though many coastal habitats that support our fisheries are under threat, mangroves top the list.

Mangrove forests are among the most threatened coastal habitats worldwide, decreasing an estimated 35% globally over the past 50 years, with continuing annual declines of 2%. Some estimates show that Florida has already lost 50% of its mangroves. Ongoing and planned coastal development in Belize, Mexico, The Bahamas and other locations in the Caribbean and worldwide, pose serious threats to mangroves. All this habitat loss and destruction has direct negative effects on our fisheries. (photo: Nick Roberts)

Click here to read the full article in Coastal Angler Magazine