Under a new plan announced Friday, the National Park Service will limit fishing and boating in Biscayne National Park.
That decision comes despite numerous objections to the plan raised by the recreational boating and fishing community.
“America’s recreational fishing community is disheartened by the National Park Service’s decision to implement a marine reserve at Biscayne National Park,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation
. “We understand the importance of protecting our natural resources and the delicate balance needed to ensure that anglers and boaters are able to enjoy these public waters. However, the National Park Service has shown little interest in compromise and today’s announcement confirms a lack of desire to include the needs of park users and stakeholders in important decisions such as this.”
The new no-take area will cover about 16.4 square miles of the park. In the covered area, only lionfish -- an invasive species -- can be harvested.
Despite the limitations, the industry did get two "wins" in the final plan, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association: The park originally called for non-combustion engine zones along the entire coastline, but the new final plan has turned the coastline to a slow speed only. The original plan also called for a prohibition on anchoring, which was removed.