SALTONSTALL KENNEDY GRANT PROGRAM
Limited Entry in the Florida Stone Crab Fishery....
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GRANT NUMBER: NA37FD0081           NMFS NUMBER: 92-SER-023

REPORT TITLE:  Limited Entry in the Florida Stone Crab Fishery: A Multi-Species Approach

AUTHOR:  Johnson, Jeffrey C. and Orbach, Michael K.

PUBLISH DATE:  December 1, 1995

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721 Executive Center Drive, North Koger Building, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.  PHONE: (813) 570-5324

ABSTRACT

The purposes of the project which started under grant NA17FD0106-01 were: (1) to collect socio-economic and socio-cultural data on the Florida stone crab fishery for the purpose of designing and evaluating limited entry alternatives for that fishery; and (2) to develop alternatives for limited entry in the Florida stone crab fishery, and through a series of constituent workshops to assess the potential impacts of those alternatives against a specified set of criteria.  A total of 239 in-depth interviews were conducted with a random stratified sample of stone crab licensees throughout Florida.   A wide range of data on demographics of the fishers and their families and communities, fishing practices and history, network interactions and perceptions of management issues and alternatives were collected.  In addition, ethnographic research was carried out in several principal stone crab fishery locations. Thirty-three constituent workshops in three different series were conducted around the state of Florida to develop and discuss alternatives for limited entry in the Florida stone crab and related fisheries. The data from the research portion of the project and the comments from fishery constituents during the workshops displayed several attributes of the stone crab fishery:  (1) Stone crab fishing is significantly related to spiny lobster fishing in the southern portion of the state and to blue crab fishing on the upper west, and to a lesser extent east, coasts; (2) While effort in terms of numbers of traps in the stone crab fishery appears to have been increasing, the fishery does not exhibit the strong downward trend in catch per trap and other related fishery effects seen in the spiny lobster fishery of the 1970s and 80s; (3) Effort in the stone crab and related fisheries such as blue crab has been significantly affected by events external to the fisheries themselves, such as the new trap certificate and reduction system in the Florida spiny lobster fishery and the successful 1994 Florida "net ban" referendum.  The major recommendations from the project were to place a four-year moratorium on Florida stone crab licenses, during which time a permanent limited entry system should be developed; and to add stone crab to the Florida "restricted species" list, a designation which means that an individual would have to make $5,000 or 25% of his or her income from the sale of fish to qualify for a stone crab license.  Both of these recommendations, the moratorium and the restricted species designation, were passed into law during the 1995 session of the Florida Legislature with the support of our collaborating industry group on this project, the Organized Fishermen of Florida. 

 
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