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Local Ecological Knowledge and Informal Management of Small-Scale Commercial Fishermen of Biscayne National Park


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LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE, LI MITATIONS, AND PERCEPTIONS OF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SMALL-SCALE COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN IN BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK By KARI MACLAUCHLIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Kari MacLauchlin

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to begin by expressing my gra titude to Dr. Stephen Humphrey and the School of Natural Resources and Environmen t for providing funding during my graduate work. I would like to tha nk my committee members for be ing flexible and supportive throughout the process. Mike Jepson gave me amazing advice from personal experience, and Chuck Cichra was always ready with input and motivation. I also want to thank my committee chair, Rick Stepp, for supporting me giving me freedom to do this study, and most of all, for his never-ending positivit y. Even in difficult times, he still found a moment to listen and push me through. Fina lly, I would like to acknowledge Eric Jones, my honorary committee member and close frien d, who always gave me honest feedback and advice. The Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Florida, provided me with inexpensive housing during my field wo rk; I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to stay there and being so helpful, especially Dr. Van Waddill, Marie Thorp, and Monica DeLeon-Herrera. My roommates during my time in south Florida, Xing and Yan Wang, kept tabs on me during my excursions and kept me calm during the hurricane. I also want to acknowledge the advice and gui dance of three other people in the area: Marella Crane, Doug Gregory, and Don Pyba s. Brenda Lanzendorf from Biscayne National Park was a wonderful source of information, along with Dr. Tony Paredes, recently retired from the NPS Southeast Re gional Office, who provided feedback and motivation for this study. Todd Kellison, also from Biscayne, always took a minute to

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iv answer questions and listen to my ideasI cannot thank him enough. Also, I would like to acknowledge the input from Greg Guest a nd David Casagrande, who took the time to read over my ideas and give me feedback. I also want to thank my family and fr iends for their support. My grandmother Eleanor sent me letters and emails that kept me going. Richard, my grandfather, is the greatest anthropologist I ever knew and taught me how to ask lots of questions. My parents have been my rock; without their unconditional love and patience I never would make it. My fathers positive outlook always made me worry less. I want to thank my mother, my best friend and my ultimate co mmittee member, for always lending an ear and, most of all, for reminding me to breathe. I cannot begin to thank the wonderful sec ond family I have found in my friends. My first friend in Florida, Jenny Haddle, ga ve me support, love, and a laugh ever since the beginning. Thank goodness she went through all of this first so she could tell me what I was supposed to be doing. Lindsay E ddleblute was there to get me through the hard parts and celebrate during the good parts. Jonathan Am ent continues to be a daily occurrence in my life and the be st storyteller I know; I than k him for listening to my own stories, for his advice on wr iting, and for his friendshi p. I also would like to acknowledge Daniel Whitman, whose familiar face gave me company while I was in south Florida, and whose competitiveness driv es my motivation. Jason Page gave me endless support and advice throughout the planning and fieldwork. Finally, I would like to thank the fisherme n of Biscayne for welcoming me into their community and helping me with my research. They were enthusiastic and interested, and I am lucky to have crossed pa ths with such a wonderf ul group of people. I

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v wish that I could list some of their names but the IRB says I cannot. So, the following people, once my informants but now my frie nds, know who they are: the captain of the Cadillac, the last shrimper in Key Largo, th e family of shrimpers with a new boat, and most of allToad. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know them.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii LIST OF TABLES.............................................................................................................ix LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................1 Research Objectives......................................................................................................3 Limitations of the Study...............................................................................................3 Overview of Thesis.......................................................................................................4 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................6 Fisheries Management..................................................................................................6 Local Ecological Knowledge........................................................................................8 Informal and Co-management....................................................................................10 Summary of the Literature..........................................................................................12 3 RESEARCH CONTEXT AND STUDY SITE..........................................................14 Fishing in Florida........................................................................................................14 Current Commercial Fishing Regulations in Florida..........................................15 The Net Ban.........................................................................................................15 Study Site: Biscayne National Park............................................................................16 Environment of Biscayne National Park.............................................................17 Population Growth of N earby Miami-Dade County...........................................17 Canals and Freshwater Flow...............................................................................18 Other Pressures for Biscayne National Park.......................................................18 Status and Management of Marine Re sources at Biscayne National Park..........19 Summaries of Scientific Knowle dge of Each Target Species....................................21 Blue Crab.............................................................................................................21 Stone Crab...........................................................................................................22

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vii Spiny Lobster.......................................................................................................22 Brown and Pink Shrimp......................................................................................23 4 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................31 Locating Informants....................................................................................................31 Interviews with Fishermen.........................................................................................32 Communication with Fisheries Management Staff at Biscayne National Park..........33 Participant Observation..............................................................................................33 Interview Protocol......................................................................................................34 Interview Schedule and Constraints...........................................................................35 Secondary Data...........................................................................................................36 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................36 Fishermen Interviews and Field Notes................................................................36 Taxonomic Data..................................................................................................37 Secondary Data....................................................................................................37 5 RESULTS...................................................................................................................39 Demographics of the Biscayne National Park Fishermen..........................................39 Overview of the Fisheries...........................................................................................41 Blue Crab.............................................................................................................41 Stone Crab...........................................................................................................42 Spiny Lobster.......................................................................................................43 Bait Shrimp..........................................................................................................44 Local Ecological Knowledge......................................................................................48 Trapped Species (Blue Crab, Stone Crab, Spiny Lobster)..................................48 Bait Shrimp..........................................................................................................51 Biodiversity.........................................................................................................53 Factors Affecting Effort and Catch.............................................................................55 Trap Fishermen....................................................................................................55 Theft.............................................................................................................55 Seasonality and weather...............................................................................57 Territory and conflict...................................................................................58 Shrimpers.............................................................................................................59 Seasonality...................................................................................................59 Secrecy.........................................................................................................60 The network of the bait shrimpers................................................................61 Working alone..............................................................................................62 Conservation and Management..................................................................................63 6 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................71 Knowledge of the Fishermen......................................................................................71 Comparison of Scientific Knowledge and Local Ecological Knowledge..................73 Limitations on the Fishermen.....................................................................................74 Fishermen and Commons Assumptions..................................................................75

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viii Selfishness...........................................................................................................75 Overexploitation and Limited Resources............................................................77 Common Property and Open-access...................................................................78 Could Biscayne National Park Become a Tragedy?........................................80 The Future of the Fisheries at Biscayne National Park..............................................80 Recreational Fishing...................................................................................................81 Biscayne Fishermen in the Na tional Park Service Context........................................83 APPENDIX FISHERMAN INTERVIEW PROTOCOL.......................................................................87 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................88 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................98

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ix LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Summary of main characteristics of local ecological knowledge of fishermen......12 3-1 Current costs of licenses and endorsements for commercial fishing......................24 3-2 Federally listed endangered sp ecies in Biscayne National Park.............................24 3-3 Summary of the development of the fisheries management plan at Biscayne National Park............................................................................................................25 3-4 Summary of elements of the Bi scayne fisheries management plan........................25 4-1 Themes used in coding interviews and field notes..................................................38 5-1 Organisms mentioned during interv iews and documented in field notes...............64 6-1 Some comparisons of scientific knowledge and local ecological knowledge........86

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x LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Combining information sources of fishermen and scientists..................................13 3-1 Sample trip ticket....................................................................................................26 3-2 Map of Biscayne National Park..............................................................................26 3-3 Habitat distribution in Biscayne National Park.......................................................27 3-4 Propeller scars on a s eagrass bed in Biscayne Bay.................................................28 3-5 Population of MiamiDade County from 1900 to 2000..........................................28 3-6 Elevated landfill near Black Poin t Marina, nicknamed Mt. Trashmore..............29 3-7 Canal system in Miami-Dade County.....................................................................29 3-8 A view of Turkey Point Nucl ear Power Plant from Biscayne Bay.........................30 4-1 Trip ticket area code s for Biscayne National Park..................................................38 5-1 Blue crab (male)......................................................................................................66 5-2 Blue crab trap with two levels.................................................................................66 5-3 Stone crab trap.........................................................................................................67 5-4 Spiny lobster............................................................................................................67 5-5 Lobster sanctuary boundaries within Biscayne National Park................................68 5-6 Lobster trap (in repair)............................................................................................68 5-7 Rollerframe trawl on a bait shrimp boat..................................................................69 5-8 Holding tanks on a bait shrimp boat........................................................................69 5-9 Picking tray on a bait shrimp boat with seagrass trash........................................70 5-10 Bait shrimp boat......................................................................................................70

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xi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE, LI MITATIONS, AND PERCEPTIONS OF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SMALL-SCALE COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN IN BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK By Kari MacLauchlin August 2006 Chair: John Richard Stepp Major Department: Interdisciplinary Ecology Decline in fish stocks and degradation of marine hab itats are growing problems facing many areas of the world. In additi on to quota restrictions, ecosystem-based approaches are being applied to management plans. Recently, there has been more attention placed of the value of studies on the fishermen, including documentation of local ecological knowledge, cultural aspects, fa ctors influencing fish ermen behavior, and projects involving co-management. This study used qualitative data collec tion and analysis to examine the local ecological knowledge, limitations, and per ceptions of the small-scale commercial fishermen working within Biscayne National Park, Florida. I co llected data through interviews with fishermen in addition to participant observation and informal conversations documented in field notes. Lo cal ecological knowledge was coded into life cycle, diet, predation, habitat, seasonality, and taxonomy.

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xii The knowledge of the fishermen was broad and pertained to how and where they fish. When compared to existing scientific knowledge on the target species (blue crab, stone crab, spiny lobster, and bait shrimp), local ecological knowledge was similar except on the topics of spawning and age of sexual ma turity or harvest size. External factors that affect or limit the fishermens behavior included theft, environmental seasonality, and market. Within the fishing community, I found that secrecy and the social network play important roles in transmission of knowledge and how the fishermen work. Perceptions of conservation and management were also documented, including concerns discussed by the fishermen. While the fishermen understand the importance of conserving the marine resources of Biscayne National Park, they pl ace more value on the continuation of commercial fishing in the pa rk. Each major finding was discussed in the context of implications for fisheries manage ment at the park and in the context of common property management. In addition, em phasis is placed on the importance of collaboration between managers and fisher men, and suggestions for improving this relationship are offered.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Statement of the Problem Due to increasing pressure on the world's marine resources, fisheries management is becoming more important for the conserva tion of the resources. Since 1950, there has been a 400% increase in world fishery harves t (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2004). However, fisheries manage ment is a complicated process. Marine environments are dynamic and fisheries biolog ists may disagree on research findings. Furthermore, perfect satisfaction of data need s will rarely occur due to limited resources and time (Johannes 1998); managers must also consider economic and social consequences during the planning process (W alters and Martell 2004:6). Many marine systems are treated as open-access resources and common property, adding more stress to the duties of managers because they must address the issues and complications of ownership, access rights and av ailability (Rousefell 1975:249). Yet scholars still have confidence in the potential of fisheries management, as the science is evolving continuously (Johannes 1998). Some fisheries management schemes have not produced the desired results of restored stocks and sustainability. Ne w concepts have begun to emerge, including adaptive management, ecosystem management, a nd responsible fisheries. These types of management are based on participation from users, who may have useful knowledge of the ecosystem and who are more likely to suppo rt and comply with regulations when they are a part of the process (Jento ft et al. 1998). With local pa rticipation, managers can also

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2 determine the conservation ethic of the user groups (to identify appropriate educational plans) and utilize fishermen in ongoing data collection and monitoring research (Johannes 1998). Local fishermen have developed, over many years and from firsthand experience, an understanding of the ecosystem on which th ey rely (Baird 2001). In some cases, fishing communities have been able to reduce overfishing through self-management (Acheson 1988; Smith and Berkes 1991) and formed agreements among the local community members to avoid gear conflicts and assist one anothe r during difficult times (Acheson 1981), based on local ecological knowledge. Combining local ecological knowledge with scientific data is an alternat ive for fisheries management that may help reach the desired goal (Gosse et al. 2001). The marine resources at Biscayne National Pa rk are also recognized to be in peril, based on scientific data and from observat ions of park users and staff (Todd Kellison, personal communication). A fisheries manageme nt plan is currently being developed by the park. Community participation in the pl anning process exists in the form of public meetings and via local representatives of the commercial fisheries appointed to the Biscayne Working Groupa panel made up of fishermen, scientists, divers, government officials and othersthat was established to provide recommendations for and comment on the management plan. However, little research has been conducted on the local commercial fishermen at Biscayne National Park and their roles in the ecosystem (EDAW:6.3 2003). This thesis will examine wh at commercial fishermen at Biscayne National Park know about the ecology of the marine resources, internal and external

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3 limitations that influence behavior and success, and perceptions of th e current status of the environment and government management. Research Objectives The overall objective of the study was to characterize the Biscayne National Park fisheries in a natural and cultural context from the viewpoint of the fishermen. The specific objectives were to: document local ecological knowledge that contributes to fishing success. describe factors (other than government re gulation) that affect behavior and limit harvest of the target species. identify fishermens perspectives on conservation and management. I did not set out to test hypotheses or co mpare the fishermen in terms of specific variables, but to document their knowle dge about the resour ce, observations and concerns, and the basics of how each fishery functions on a cultural and economic level. Although much research has been conducted on the marine resource itself over the past few decades, there has not been an in-depth study of the Biscayne fishermen themselves. Limitations of the Study The first limitation of the study was my status as an outsider. I was in the field for three months, and although welcomed into th e community, I constantly had to reassure my informants that I did not work for the pa rk. Seldom was I able to walk into an interview without a full explanat ion of my motives. In additio n, I am sure that all of the responses given were not always truthful; at times, I was requesting my informants for their secrets of success, and I am certain I wa s not given all the deta ils in every response. One aspect not covered by this study is my interaction with Hispanic captains. From resources on the commerci al fisheries in the park, I was under the impression that

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4 there were very few Latinos working in Bis cayne National Park and had not prepared an informed consent document in Spanish. Once I realized that this status had changed over the past year, I submitted a request for permission to use a consent document in Spanish to the University of Florida Internal Review Board, but did not receive approval in time to approach any Hispanic captains for inte rviews. Therefore, the study focuses on the body of knowledge of longtime Anglo fishermen. I conducted my research during the hurri cane season of 2005, which was the most active hurricane season in the history of the United States. While there were no direct hits during my fieldwork, south Florida did experience harsh weather at several times throughout the summer. Scheduled interviews took a back seat to preparation for and recovery from these events, at which time I was not able to contact the fishermen for periods ranging from a few days to two weeks. Finally, the most substantial limitation is that the research only captures the fishermen of Biscayne National Park as a sn apshot in time. The fisheries have been established for many decades and subsequently, as people come and go, information may be lost or forgotten. Overview of Thesis The manuscript will describe knowledge a bout the local biophysical environment from the viewpoint of the commercial fisherme n of Biscayne National Park. Chapter 2 is a literature review of approaches to the study of local ecological knowledge and marine anthropology and considers the implications for management of engaging the knowledge and participation of fishermen. Chapter 3 describes the background and current situation of the marine resources and commercial fisher ies, and a description of Biscayne National Park. Chapter 4 explains methodology used for collecting and analyzing data, which

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5 included interviews, participant observation and reviewing secondary data. Chapter 5 provides the results of my study, including local ecological knowledge, internal and external factors limiting the fishermen, and pe rceptions of the current situation of the resource and management. Chapter 6 in cludes implications for management and scientific research based on the observations and knowledge of the fishermen, plus suggestions for further involvement of the fi shermen in research and planning. Overall, my thesis will provide a closer look at the culture of the fisherme n, what they know and how they know it, and hopefully provide a add itional base of knowledge to the scientific research being conducted in the bay.

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6 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Despite progress in fisheries science, the majority of the worlds fisheries continue to decline. A paradigm shift in how marine resources have traditionally been managed is needed and focus is shifting towards both ecosystem-based management and collaboration with resource users (Hilbor n et al. 2004; Link 2002; Mackinson and Nottestad 1998; Spain 2000), particularly small-scale commercial fishermen. The following theoretical framework provi des support for my research conducted on the Biscayne National Park fishermen. It examines these new directions for fisheries management and how research on and with loca l fishermen can be used in planning. The framework also examines concepts and prev ious studies on local ecological knowledge, and how this knowledge is useful by expanding the information base of a specific area. Next, it outlines how documenta tion of local ecological knowle dge provides insight on fishermens strategies, success, and behavior. The discussion of ecological knowledge is followed by a review of literature on the self-management of fishing culture. The chapter concludes with a summary of how research on fishing communities is useful for fisheries management. Fisheries Management The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservati on and Management Act was amended in1996 to include the goal of maximizing fisher ies benefits but also sustain the industry for long-term viability. It recognizes the ec onomic and social poten tial of United States fisheries, but also the limitations of expl oitation (U.S. Congress 1996). In 2005, the act

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7 was modified with the Fisheries Science and Management Act. The enhancement included improved use of science, training fo r council members, and equal representation of user groups on councils. Furthermore, th e amendments encourage an ecosystem-based approach and increased collaboration with fishermen for cooperative research (U.S. Congress 2005). The Enhancement Act calls for more emphasis on an ecosystems approach. Contemporary fisheries management is often based on a single-species approach and is grounded in scientific data, which is sometime s leads to little or no improvement in the resource following implementation of manage ment plans (Link 2002). Finding a stock to be below its expected population level, then placing limitations on harvest might seem to be the logical route to conserve a species, but this only treats a symptom of a larger problem within the entire system (Hilborn et al. 2004). Resource users are not the sole source of any problem in a marine environmen t. The system in which a target species lives is complex and connected. Often, change s in the habitat or food web are also the results of degradation caused by pollution, development, man-made water flow restrictions, and other anthropoge nic factors. These changes mo st likely have a similar or greater impact on the marine organisms than fi shing, and should also be considered when developing a management plan (Spain 2000). Fisheries do not exist without the resource users, and managers must take into account the social, cultural and economic aspects of a fishery in addition to the biological and ecological factors, i.e., the human eco system. A human ecosystems approach to fisheries management would consider th e human and non-human components, system dynamics, and resilience of the resource a nd resource users (Abel and Stepp 2003). A

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8 system so complex with so many working f actors cannot be evaluated with focus on a single stock of fish; all facets must be examined. Despite its importance and attention, eco system-based management must overcome a major obstacle: funding. Monetary res ources for data collection in fisheries management are inadequate, even to carry ou t basic research (Spain 2000). A shift to ecosystem-based management, which consider s complex interactions of all organisms within a system, is even more expensiv e (Link 2002). Cons idering not only the population of a target species bu t also its predators, prey, ha bitat, migration, life cycle, etc., requires much more time, money, and manpower. However, there is a largely untapped resource available to fisheries manage rs that is based on years of observations, easily consolidated and as accessible as the target species themselves: local ecological knowledge of the fishermen. Local Ecological Knowledge Local ecological knowledge is defined by Olsson and Folke (2001) as knowledge held by a specific group of people about thei r local ecosystems[and] may be a mix of scientific and practic al knowledge. Studies have b een conducted on local ecological knowledge of many different biophy sical environments and in many different areas of the world. In the past few decades, the value of local knowledge to conservation measures and resource management plan has received more attention by anthropologists, ecologists and other interest groups (B erkes et al. 2000). Likewise conservation of marine resources has spawned an interest and reco mmendation for documenting local ecological knowledge of small-scale fishermen. The knowledge systems of fishermen are spec ific to their locations and conditions, and are an accumulation of information over l ong periods of time (Table 2-1). They are

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9 based on empirical information about the biophy sical environment, ha bitat, behavior of the target species, and ecol ogical interactions (Ruddle 1994). Local ecological knowledge is developed over many years and co mes from firsthand experience, and is also transmitted orally between the fishermen and to subsequent generations (Baird 2001) or through shared experiences (Berkes et al 2000). Along with general observations, fishermen commonly formulate th eories on the processes that they witness: the why in addition to the what (Gasalla 2001). Documenting local ecological knowledge is a useful way to broaden the resource management knowledge base and therefore strengthen the logic behind fisheries management (Figure 2-1). Although it may not be collected, analyzed, or interpreted in the same way as scientific knowledge, it is still a viable source of information that can be used in addition to studies conducted by traine d marine researchers to fill in gaps and suggest emerging problems (Scholz et al. 2004 ). Local ecological knowledge comes in a compiled form; it is the accumulation of previ ous generations and the present network of fishermen working in an area (Mackinson a nd Nottestad 1998). Finally, the opportunity to share knowledge, and possibly gain a be tter understanding to improve their own fishing abilities, generates local fishermens enthusiasm for involvement (Baird 2001). The complex qualities of ecosystems require s a complex understa nding, including dynamics, interactions and adaptation, in order to properly manage them. Local knowledge systems are in themselves complicated and ever-changing (Acheson and Wilson 1996) and consider all aspects of the resource: cultural, economic and ecological. Several studies have examined the value of local ecological knowledge for management

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10 of the complex marine resources (Acheson and Wilson 1996; Aswini and Lauer 2006; Berkes et al. 2000; Ol sson and Folke 2001). A benefit from documenting local ecological knowledge is that it also leads to understanding the behavior of the various user groups (Mathiesen 2004). What a fishermen knows will dictate when and where he fishes, in both the long and short term, and he must have a profound understanding of the resource to be successful (Acheson 1981). Informal and Co-management There have been many studies of the role of local ecological knowledge in the development of co-management schemes for ma rine resources, both in the United States and other areas of the world. Examples in clude the development of marine protected areas (Aswini and Lauer 2006; Scholz et al. 2004; Well et al. 2004), data collection on spawning and migration (Gosse et al. 2001), population monitoring (Baird 2001), and biodiversity sampling (P oizat and Baran 1997). Informal self-management at the commun ity level is based on local ecological knowledge of the group and a product of soci al mechanisms of a culture (Acheson and Wilson 1996, Berkes et al. 2000). Some exam ples of self-management are similar to conventional management, such as monitoring, temporal restrictions, and single-species selection; examples usually not part of conventional management include ecosystembased approaches and resource ro tation (Berkes et al. 2000). There is a growing body of literature on a va riety of social mechanisms and local ecological knowledge of fishing communities. Acheson (1988) discussed informal territory among lobster fishermen in Maine and how these informal property rights affect the sustainability of both the re source and the lobster industry. Temporal

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11 restrictions of harvest of s ea urchins in the West Indies allow populations to recover during the socially enforced closed seas on (Smith and Berkes 1991). Johannes (1998) pointed out the value of local ecological knowledge of Indonesian fishermen in the planning of management schemes based on local knowledge of sp awning location and times. In Brazil, fishermen not only rec ognize changes in the ecosystem, but also formulate their own theories about them (Gassala 2001). Re ligious beliefs are found to be the basis of many fishermens perceptions of ecological processes in Chesapeake Bay (Paolisso 2002). Studies have been conducted in many parts of the world, and also cover other resource management areas such as fo rests and wildlife (B erkes 1999; Pinkerton 1998). One of the most prevalent themes in this literature is that lo cal management tends to regulate how fishing is done, incl uding limitations on seasons, location access, technology, and harvest during a spec ific stage in the life cycle of a species. This is in contrast to the method of quotas, in which fisheries managers regulate resource use by limiting how many fish can be caught. The us e of quotas is the most important concept in fisheries management, but absent in almost all local management (Acheson et al. 1998; cf. Walters and Martell 2004:65). The tragedy of the commons is a popular topic of debate for anthropologists studying fishing communities (Hardin 1968) Berkes (1985) outlined the three assumptions of the tragedy: users are selfis h and personal gain trum ps public interest; resources are limited and harvest exceeds regenera tion; and the resource at stake is openaccess and public property. Commercial fi shermen may fit these assumptions and contribute to degradation of the resource. However, many communities have sustained

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12 stocks and marine ecosystems without form al regulation or introduction of private property. Social factors and cultural norms can also influence the behavior of the fishermen and thus, limit harvest (Berkes 1985). Summary of the Literature Fisheries management requires researc h, planning, and implementation. Each aspect of management has the opportunity to utilize and collaborate with the resource users, especially small-scale commercial fishermen. A compilation of years of experiences and intergenerati onal transmission, local ecologi cal knowledge contributes to the database of information about the resour ce, from biodiversity to habitat change to effects of human impacts. Additionally, know ledge dictates fishermen behavior and can help fisheries managers identify fishing effo rt by the fleet and areas subject to greater exploitation. Finally, cultur al aspects of a fishing comm unity, including internal and external factors that limit the fishermen or a ffect their behavior, s hould be considered by fisheries managers when planning to assess potential economic and social impact on the user group. Fisheries are made up of fish and fishermen; bot h species should be equally as important when making management decisions. Table 2-1: Summary of main characteristics of local ecol ogical knowledge of fishermen (Ruddle 1994). 1. Knowledge is based on long-term, empirical, and local observation, and is adapted to local conditions. 2. Knowledge is based on practicalit y and drive fishermen behavior. 3. Knowledge systems have structure; th is complements scientific concepts. 4. Knowledge systems are dynamic and adapt to changes in the system (environmental or economic).

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13 Figure 2-1: Combining informa tion sources of fishermen a nd scientists to increase knowledge of the marine resource (ada pted from Mackinson and Nottestad 1998).

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14 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH CONTEXT AND STUDY SITE This chapter provides background informa tion on fishing in Florida, including current commercial fishing regulations a nd the ongoing struggle between small-scale commercial fishermen and recreational angler s. A brief descript ion of the history, environment, and marine resources of Bis cayne National Park follows. The chapter concludes with a summary of scientific litera ture on life histories of each target species, which will be compared to the local ecol ogical knowledge of the fishermen in the discussion section. Fishing in Florida Florida has a coastline of over 1,900 km, a nd saltwater fishing has figured as a prominent way of life since the earliest pe ople inhabited these shores. Recreational fishing is of major economic importance to th e state, spawning activity from local bait shops to charter guides to national fishing equipment companies. Commercial fishing also contributes to the economy to a lesser exte nt, but continues to be particularly salient in the social and cultural aspects of the states past and present. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservati on Commission (FWC) was established in 1999 and resulted from a merger of several stat e agencies responsible for overseeing fish and wildlife (FWC 2005a). Along with the Division of Marine Fisheries, the FWC regulates and monitors the marine resources of Florida and of all commercial and recreational activities in Floridas coastal waters.

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15 Current Commercial Fishing Regulations in Florida Several permits are required for commercial fishermen in Florida (Table 3-1). All fishermen must obtain a Saltw ater Products License, which can be purchased for an individual or for a vessel. Harvest of ma ny speciesincluding blue crab, stone crab, spiny lobster, and shrimpent ails a Restricted Species e ndorsement. This endorsement requires that the fisherman previously reporte d landings through the trip ticket program. The four crustaceans also require additional specific certificates, and crab or lobster traps must have appropriate tags attached to th em. Federal permits are required for some species and to participate in lim ited entry fisheries (FWC 2005b). The Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket system was established in 1984 in an effort to track commercial landings. The program requi res wholesalers to complete a trip ticket with each purchase from a fishermen (Figure 3-1). Information recorded on the ticket include license numbers for the buyer and sell er; date; location; sp ecies; amount caught; gear; and payment, among other informati on. Wholesalers can use paper copies of tickets or enter information usi ng a computer program (FWC 2000). The Net Ban In 1994 Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to discontinue use of entanglement nets and all nets over 500 square feet. Usually, the issue would have been addressed in the state congre ss, but extensive media campa igns by recreational fishing lobby groups put the decision into the hands of Fl orida residents. In an effort to educate Floridians on the negative impacts of gilln ets, conservation and recreational advocates advertised heavily; the commercial fisherme n could not compete with them (Duff and Harrison 1997). Over 1,500 fishing families were negatively affected by the ban (Smith et al. 2003), despite buyback pr ograms (Duff and Harrison 1997) Six years later, some

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16 target stocks had improved, although it is unk nown if the net ban contributed to this (Adams et al. 2000). Although conservation was the stated goa l of the amendments advocates, the campaign might be interpreted as a matter of resource allocation, a common issue for small-scale fishermen (Smith et al. 2003; Thunberg et al. 1994). Additionally there appears to have been little focus on the social consequences of banning gill nets (Smith et al. 2003). The net ban did not directly affect the Biscayne fishermen but is an example of the ubiquitous struggle betw een Floridas commercial fi shermen and the recreational anglers and environmental groups In addition, comm ercial activity within a protected area generates opposing views on acce ss rights and resource allocation. Study Site: Biscayne National Park Established as a national monument in 1968 and later as a national park in 1980, Biscayne National Park is located between Miami-Dade County and the upper Keys community of Key Largo (Leynes and Cullison 1998) (Figure 3-2). Because it encompasses most of Biscayne Bay, the park itself is also comm only referred to as Biscayne Bay or often simply Biscayne; references to the area in this thesis also use those designations. The park occupies about 700 km2, of which 95% is water. Approximately 500,000 people visit Biscayne each year with the most common activities being nature viewing, walking/hiking a nd fishing (Simmons and Littlejohn 2001). The most significant pressures the park faces comes from urban development, discharge and thermal pollution from a nearby nuclear power plant, and the change s in water quality of Biscayne Bay (EDAW 2003:6.3). Humans ha ve utilized the marine resources at Biscayne for at least 10,000 years, accor ding to archeological findings (Biscayne

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17 National Park 2004). Currently, the commercial fisheries include bl ue crab, stone crab, food shrimp, bait shrimp, finfish and spiny lobster (EDAW 2003:4.2). Environment of Biscayne National Park Biscayne National Park is a diverse ecos ystem of land and water (Figure 3-3). Where it is not developed, the coast is out lined by mangroves that provide habitat for larval and juvenile fishes (A ult et al. 2001). Within the ba y, there are seagrass beds and hardbottom, and the outer eastern area is part of a coral reef system that extends south into the Florida Keys. Biscayne is home to 14 federally protected species and 39 state-protected species, which includes sea turtles, birds, mammals, fis h, and plants. Ten are listed as endangered by the federal government (Table 3-2). The park also utilizes the Park Resources Protection Act, which allows resource mana gers to pursue monetary compensation for environmental damage. Often prosecution usuall y is not possible due to the difficulty in identifying the responsible party. The most common damage is the scarring of seagrass beds by boat propellers (Figure 3-4). In 2000, the park won a $1 million lawsuit against a negligent tanker that caused major damage to a coral reef. The money will be used for restoration (National Park Service 2000). Population Growth of Ne arby Miami-Dade County The 2000 census reported that Miami-Da de County had a total population of 2,253,362 people. Historical data show that th e population sharply increased in the 1940s and has continued to grow into the 21st century (Figure 3-5) a nd now has a density of 1,158 people per square mile [compared to th e states average of 296 people per square mile] (U.S. Census 2000). In addition to th e resident population, s outh Florida has eight million visitors each year (Biscayne Na tional Park 2004). Along with a growing

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18 population comes urban development, includi ng buildings, bridges, sewer systems and landfills (Figure 3-6). In addition, because of the likelihood of flooding in south Florida came the drainage project. Canals and Freshwater Flow The Central and South Florida project wa s authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1948 with the goal of flood control for the state (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 2005). In 1947, a major hurricane hit south Florida and put 80% of the area under water (Parks 1981). The state requested funding a nd authorization to construct a system of about 1,000 miles of levees, 720 miles of canal s, and 200 structures for water control (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 2005). The canals are now under the jurisdiction of the South Florida Water Management District (F igure 3-7). The floodgates are opened under the advisement of the South Florida Water Management District when the canals reach capacity following heavy rainfall. Smaller canals in neighborhoods flow into larger canal s that eventually ca rry the water to the coast (South Florida Water Management Distri ct 1997). The influx of freshwater causes a lower salinity gradient in the western part of Biscayne Bay, which is where several canals enter the bay (Alleman 1995). Studies have been conducted on the effects of water flow from the canals and found changes in natural hierarchy of the flora (Irlandi et al. 2002; Lirman and Cropper 2003) and anim al biodiversity (Lirman et al. 2003). Other Pressures for Biscayne National Park The Turkey Point Power Plant, located in the southwestern part of the park, added nuclear units in 1972 and 1973 (Cantillo et al. 2000) (Figure 3-8). The plant provides power for 450,000 homes. A canal system is used to cool water before it is circulated for re-use. The main concern with the plant is thermal pollution from the cooling canals,

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19 although the power plant reports a viable population of the endangered American Crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) and a wide variety of birds living in or near the canals (Florida Power and Light 2005). The canals are also rumored to be superb fishing spots, but strict security measures prevent anyone fr om being in close proximity to the plant. Homestead Air Force Base was constructed in 1942 as an airfield and activated as a base in 1955 following its closing due to hur ricane damage (Cantillo et al. 2000). In 2001, a proposal to create a commercial ai rport on the base, only two miles from Biscayne National Park boundaries, was stru ck down (Department of the Air Force 2001). Environmentalists, concerned with the potential trash and noise pollution from an airport, were pleased with the decision, but the developers continued to fight for the airport, including a lawsuit agai nst the Air Force. The lawsuit was overturned but airport supporters plan to ap peal (Viglucci 2006). Status and Management of Marine Re sources at Biscayne National Park The waters of Biscayne Bay are clear e nough to see the bottom, but there are other factors at work that are affecting the quali ty of the bays biophysical environment and marine resources. In add ition to changes in salinity and the effects of pollution (specifically trash and fe rtilizer runoff), exploitation of fish stocks also has come into the spotlight. An analysis based on records of harvest lengths shows that 77% of the 33 target species were analyzed to be overfished (Ault et al. 2001). Jurisdiction of commercial a nd recreational fishing in the park belongs to the state of Florida, as indicated in the enabling le gislation of the park (U.S. Congress 1980). A major attractant for visitors, fishing contri butes to the economy a nd plays an important role in the social connection of visitors to the area (EDA W 2003). However, with the

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20 decline in fish populations and the growing population of the surrounding area, a fisheries management plan was formulated in 2000 (Table 3-3). The first phase in planning for the fisheries management plan for Biscayne National Park was a public comment period to obtain recommendations from resource users in 2002 and 2003. A main suggestion was to form a working group of local residents who represented user groups. The Biscayne National Park Fishery Management Plan Working Group was assembled with th e purpose of making recommendations for the plan and providing input on the desired future condi tions (Todd Kellison, personal communication). The members were chosen with recommendations from Floridas Fisheries Management Division, who had formed an advisory board for the establishment of the marine reserve in the Dry Tortugas. Participants of the Working Group included commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, charter captains, divers, biologists, and representatives of e nviromental groups. Resource managers at Biscayne National Pa rk have to meet the requirements of Florida and the National Park Service, and the management plan must be evaluated by federal and state entities. In the spring of 2005, the first draft of the plan was sent out for review. The park reports th at it will be published in th e Federal Registry and made available for public comment again when copies are made available on the Registry. The main changes that will be implemented include additional permits, changes in lobster fishing and spear fishing, and revisi ons in bag limits (Table 3-4). Under the plans preferred alternative [four alternatives were presented in pr evious drafts of the plan], special permits from the park will be required for commercial fishermen and charter guides. All recreational anglers a nd boaters would have to obtain an annual

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21 permit to fish in park waters. The twoday mini season, during which recreational lobster fishing occurs prior to the opening of the offici al season, would no longer be allowed in park boundaries. Use of tr igger guns and SCUBA equipment while spearfishing would be prohibited under the pl an, and bag limits for some fish species would be increased or decreased. Summaries of Scientific Knowle dge of Each Target Species Blue Crab Blue crabs ( Callinectes sapidus) are found along the Atlan tic coasts of Nova Scotia south to Argentina (FWC 2005c). They are benthic omnivores and also serve as a food source for many marine and terrestrial animals. They occupy a variety of habitats, depending on life stage and environmental c onditions, which include estuaries, offshore waters and shallow lagoons (Perry and McIlwain 1986). Mating for blue crabs is not immediatel y followed by spawning. A male crab will inseminate a newly molted female and carry her until her shell hardens, at which time she will release the eggs (Perry and McIlwain 1986). Mating has been observed year-round but mostly takes place from March to Decem ber (FWC 2005c). Larvae develop offshore and move into estuaries with currents. A bl ue crab reaches sexual maturity at about one year following birth (Tagatz 1968). Salinity is an important factor in migration and distri bution. An inverse relationship between salinity and abundance was observed by More (1969) and sexual distribution depends on the salinity of the wa ter (Perry 1975). Temperature also has an effect on the species, especially cold snaps that can cause mortality (Couch and Martin 1982).

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22 Stone Crab Stone crab ( Menippe mercenaria ) is different from the ot her fisheries in Biscayne National Park because only the claws (chelipe ds) are harvested. The strong chelipeds are used as defense against predators, which in clude octopi, sea turtles, and horse conchs (Bert et al. 1978). Stone crabs are mostly carnivorous and the claws are used to crush mollusk shells during feeding (Lindberg a nd Marshall 1984). After claws are removed, they take about one year to regenerate (Sul livan 1979). A study on mortality after claw removal reported that 28% of stone crabs di ed after loss of a si ngle cheliped, and 46.5% died when both claws were removed (Davis et al. 1978). Stone crab spawning occurs April thru September, with peaks in August and September (Lindberg and Marshall 1984). As temperatures drop following the peak, spawning decreases (Savage and Sullivan 1978). Sexual maturity is reached in approximately two years, and adults are found in shallow flats, where they burrow into the substrate (Lindberg and Marshall 1984). Low temperatures, particularly cold snaps, cause the animals to burrow and become inactive. Stone crabs are typically found in areas with lower salinity, perhaps due to inverse relationship of salinity to growth periods (Lindb erg and Marshall 1984). Spiny Lobster The spiny lobster ( Panulirus argus ) fishery in Florida is of major economic importance, both commercially and recreationa lly. Lobsters reproduce from late spring to early summer, with a peak from April to May (Marx and Hernnkind 1986). Juveniles move inshore after metamorphosis in offshor e waters. Adults are found near coral and rock overhangs, where they can find shelter (Davis 1981) and food. Sexual maturity is

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23 reached in about two years, depending on e nvironmental conditions. Spiny lobsters are nocturnal foragers and mostly carnivorous (Marx and Hernnkind 1986). Adult lobsters congregate, especially in shelters for protection and mating (Eggleston and Lipcius 1992). They are social animals and attracted to areas with higher concentrations of other lobs ters, and respond as a group when a predator, usually a large fish or nurse shark, is near. When mass mi gration occurs, spiny lobsters have been observed traveling in single-f ile lines (Marx and Hernnkind 1986). Although adults can tolerate cold snaps in south Florida, lower temperatures can trigger movement (Little and Milano 1980). Brown and Pink Shrimp Brown shrimp ( Penaeus aztecus ) and pink shrimp ( Penaeus duorarum ) have similar life histories. Both are harvested in the bait shrimp fishery in Biscayne National Park, but pink shrimp are the most prevalent in the southeast Atlantic region (Bielsa et al. 1983). Adults move offshore to deeper, cooler waters when water temperatures rise, and subsequently spawn. Pink shrimp have been reported to spawn in waters of 4-48 m in depth (Williams 1955) and brown shrimp in de pths of 18 m (Shipman et al. 1983), which occurs mostly during the summer months, al though it is not conclu sively known if the warm waters of south Florida are an overwin tering area. A pink shrimp spawns several times during its lifetime, but a brown shrimp will die after reproduci ng once (Bielsa et al. 1983; Larson et al. 1989). Shrimp larvae are moved inshore via tides and winds, where they continue development in estuaries where seagrass provi des protection and food. They are sexually mature and of preferential harvest size in about nine to ten weeks following hatching (Bielsa et al. 1983). Adults move out from the estuaries and are found in mud, sand, or

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24 seagrass beds. These types of habitat allo w the shrimp to bury up in the sand during the day to avoid predation from the many species of fish that feed on them (Larson et al. 1989). Adults are omnivorous, feeding on detritu s to small invertebra tes, and nocturnal (Hunt et al. 1980). Water temperature and currents dictate most migration patterns of both species of shrimp. A rise in temperature will cause them to move offshore and water movement pushes them into different areas, and lower temperatures result in the shrimp burrowing. Adult pink and brown shrimp prefer saltier waters and will move to areas of higher salinity if there is too much freshwater (Bielsa et al. 1983; Larson et al. 1989). It has been reported that turbidity causes higher concentrations of shrimp, most likely due to increase in nutrient availability and decrease d visibility of the shrimp to their predators (Kutkuhn 1966). Table 3-1: Current costs of licenses and endorsements for commercial fishing. Fishing License Price Saltwater Products License (individual) $50-$300 Saltwater Products License (vessel) $100-$600 Restricted Species Endorsement Free, but must have reported landings in previous years Blue crab endorsement Free (moratorium) Stone crab endorsement $125 Spiny lobster endorsement $100-$150 Blue crab trap tag $0.50 Stone crab trap tag $0.50 Lobster trap tag $1.00 Table 3-2: Federally listed endangere d species in Biscayne National Park. Common Name Scientific Name Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Leatherback Sea Turtle Dermochelys coriacea Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys kempii West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus

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25 Table 3-2. Continued Common Name Scientific Name American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Wood Stork Mycteria americana Schaus Swallowtail Papilio aristodemus ponceanus Table 3-3: Summary of the development of th e fisheries management plan at Biscayne National Park. 2000 Collaboration with Florida Fish a nd Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine longterm goals for the fisheries resources. 2002 First public comment period includes concerns about overfishing, habitat degradation, and enforcement issues. 2003 Second public comment period includes suggestions for formation of an advisory group. 2004 The Working Group provides input over a series of six meet ings to provide recommendations on the proposed al ternatives of the draft plan. 2004-05 The draft plan is reviewed by the Na tional Park Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conserva tion Commission. 2006 The plan is approved for inclusion in the Federal Registry and a final public comment period is planned. The Worki ng Group also meets again to review how its recommendations were consid ered and provide comments on the current version of the plan. Table 3-4: Summary of elements of th e Biscayne fisheries management plan. special-use permits for commercial fishermen and charter captains annual permits for recreati onal fishermen and boaters elimination of lobster miniseason within park boundaries prohibition of spearguns with triggers and use of SCUBA equipment while spearfishing establishment of coral reef protection areas changes in bag limits for some species

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26 Figure 3-1: Sample trip ticket. Figure 3-2: Map of Biscayne National Pa rk (red outline). Data source: Florida Geographic Data Library.

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27 Figure 3-3: Habitat distribution in Biscayne National Park (outlined in black). Data source: Florida Geographic Data Library.

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28 Figure 3-4: Propeller scars on a seagrass bed in Biscayne Bay. 0 500,000 1,000,000 1,500,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 19001910192019301940195019601970198019902000 YearNumber of residents Figure 3-5: Population of Mi ami-Dade County from 1900 to 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau).

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29 Figure 3-6: Elevated landfill near Black Point Marina, nicknamed Mt. Trashmore. Figure 3-7: Canal system (i n blue) in Miami-Dade C ounty. Data source: Florida Geographic Data Library.

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30 Figure 3-8: A view of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant from Biscayne Bay.

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31 CHAPTER 4 METHODOLOGY The overall methodology involved collection and analysis of qualitative data. Interviews and field notes were coded by pr evalent themes, and participant observation was used to supplement responses. The data were organized into four major fields: fishing technique and gear, local ecologica l knowledge, limitations, and conservation/ management. Locating Informants Prior to and during the first weeks at my study site, I c ontacted several people from Biscayne National Park, Florida Sea Grant, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami for suggestions for finding commercial fishermen in Biscayne Bay. Those inquiries provided no contacts, but online information about the Biscayne National Park Fisherie s Management Plan Working Group provided names of a few local captains, and I finally wa s able to contact some of them. I also visited bait shops to ask how to get in touc h with the fishermen, and was pointed to one of the local marinas. After making initial cont acts, I found that snowba ll sampling (Bernard 2002) worked best, as expected. Typically, the in itial interviews included information about other fishermen or stories heard from other fi shermen. In this way, I could inquire about additional informants and acquire additional information regarding the status of a potential interviewee within the fishing community. Many fishermen, once they felt comfortable with me, were willing to pass along names and phone numbers of others.

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32 Often, when I would get in touch with the new informant, he would tell me that he had been told I would be calling and ask why did it take so long for me to follow through and contact him. As I met more fishermen, the networking among them became easier. Interviews with Fishermen I conducted over 30 hours of semi-structu red interviews with 13 commercial fishermen. I also had countless hours of info rmal conversation from my time at the docks and fish house, and during social time spent with the informants, which was documented in my field notes. Upon consent, I tape-record ed the semi-structured interviews and later transcribed them. Initially I used a list of questions as a guide but found out that carrying out the interviews as relaxed conversations typically led to the informants being more comfortable and thus, more open with me. I also found that some topics, (e.g., bycatch and pollution) were more easily approached using different questi ons that allowed the conversation to somewhat naturally veer into the touchy subject w ithout being directly introduced by me. Because I was an outsider and the fishermen did not know be well initially, I formatted each interview to be as similar to a conversation as possibl e. I also found that when I asked a direct question about certain subjects, they w ould either not be able to answer it on the spot or tell me that they did not know. However, whenever information was solicited in the form of a story, they would volunteer a s ubstantial amount of information. Stories, included in responses, were found to be one of the most important sources for obtaining information relevant to my interests. Because I was unable to obtain permi ssion from Biscayne National Park to conduct research within park boundaries, I conducted 16 interviews at Black Point marina ( n =4), restaurants ( n =2), fish houses ( n =2), and at the fishermens homes ( n =8).

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33 With three of the informants, I conducte d a second interview. My preference for interviews was at the fishermans home to maximize comfort and convenience, and also to include wives, who were useful in remi nding the fishermen of events (Neis 1999), and whom I found to be as knowledgeable as the fishermen, even if the wives had never worked in the fishing industry. However, I w ould also agree to meet them in restaurants or their place of work such as the fish house or marina. Communication with Fisheries Manageme nt Staff at Biscayne National Park Prior to my field work, I contacted the fi sheries manager at the park and informed him of my upcoming research. He updated me on the status of the fisheries management plan and gave me contact information for pa st researchers and for local residents who might know the commercial fishermen. Late r, I conducted a short interview with him about the Fisheries Management Plan Work ing Group and how the participants were selected, and also about the fi sheries management plan. I documented that interview with written notes. Participant Observation In addition to interviews, I used particip ant observation to build trust, provide concrete examples of topics discussed in interviews, and to fill in gaps in baseline data (Bernard 2002:333-335; Paolisso 2002). I spen t time at the marina when the fishermen were preparing for an evening trip and while they were working on boats and equipment. I also spent social time with the fisherme n, when invited, which included dinners and visits to their homes. I spent approximately 30 hours on the boats with shrimpers and one lobster fisherman. I asked the blue crab fishermen dur ing the interviews if they would allow me to join them when they went out; each of them consented, although none contacted me on

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34 the days of the planned outing, so I was una ble to observe the t echniques and locations they visited. I did not go out with any st one crab fishermen because my fieldwork took place when the season was closed. Participant observation proved to be an important source of data, since fishermen typically transmit ecological knowledge ora llysometimes uninten tionallyfrequently during the course of fishing. Furthermore, local ecological knowledge of fishermen is part of everyday life, and becoming involve d with this lifestyle helped me reveal additional information not discussed in in terviews (Neis et al. 1999), especially pertaining to sensitive issues and conf lict (mostly hearsay concerning a personal disagreement between two fishermen). E ach time I interacted with fishermen, I documented my findings and observations in my field notes. Interview Protocol I primarily used informal semi-structured interviews to obtain the study data from the fishermen. I had a list of specific topics th at I wanted to addre ss either with direct questions or that would naturally come up in the conversation (Appendi x). I used a small notebook to jot down topics that I wanted to remember to bring up later. I typically found that the same themes came up in each interview without prompts by me. The questions were based on topics included in other researchers studi es of local ecological knowledge of fishing communities and basic ecological concepts. I always opened the interview asking a bout the informants experience in the fishery: how long have you been doing it, how did you learn, etc. This typically led into questions about how the fisher man knows where to set his traps or drag his trawls, followed by inquiries about the target spec ies biology and ecology, plus information about the ecosystem as a whole, including e ffects of weather and seasonality. I also

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35 asked about pollution and other human impacts that the informant had observed or heard about. Each interview included some discus sion about resource management that is carried out by the local, state, and federal governments. Finally, I also noted answers to basic close-ended questions concerning age, marital status, boat and motor types, technology used, and alternative incomes. Often, if an informant did not know the answer to a specific question, he would use the phrase I dont know, but I heard I used these responses to solicit information about other possible informants and also to cons truct a basic net of so cial relationships of the fishing community at Biscayne National Park. At the end of each interview, I asked the informant to tell me his best fisherman story. Partly out of my ow n interest, the stories were also documented and ended up revealing additional cultural aspects of their fishing beha vior and knowledge. These are discussed in the results. Interview Schedule and Constraints The semi-structured interviews were conducted from May through July of 2005. Each interview typically lasted one to th ree hours, although the entire time was never spent addressing my research questions a nd often involved small talk or questions directed at me. This was not a problem, as informal conversations, even if straying far from the topic, sometimes led to interesti ng discussions that would not have taken place otherwise. I feel that casua l conversation, plus answering que stions about myself, helped build rapport with my informants. Also, dur ing small talk, my lack of background in marine ecology was made obvious, which I felt was an advantage for me as an interviewer; my informants always knew mo re than me and thus, were willing to share their knowledge.

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36 As an outsider, it took several weeks to locate my informants. However, the community was open to me once I began speak ing with the fishermen. I was questioned several times about my motives but, for the mo st part, the fishermen were interested in my work and willing to assist me. I star ted, not necessarily by design, with several central figures in the community who led me to additional informants. The tightness of the fishermens network also helped me deve lop rapport, as I was told many times by an informant that he already knew my name and project through another informant. Nonetheless, I was asking questions about secret s and did not expect to always be told the truth. However, I feel that my informants gave me generally reliable information. Secondary Data Wholesalers in the commercial fishing i ndustry in Florida ar e required to report daily through the trip ticket system, whic h includes information on weight, location caught, buyer and seller of the catch. I obt ained the data from the FWC of reported landings from 2000 to 2004, including preliminar y data for 2005. The data are for the zones within Biscayne Nationa l Park (see Figure 4-1) and include landings in pounds for the blue crab, stone crab, spi ny lobster, and bait shrimp fisheries. The captains names were not given to me to maintain confidentiality, but numbers of fishermen reporting each year are included. Finally, I also r eceived information on the Biscayne National Park fisheries management plan from park st aff and from the park website, including a rough draft of the plan and briefings on the status of its enactment. Data Analysis Fishermen Interviews and Field Notes I used an inductive coding a pproach for the transcriptions of fishermen interviews (Bernard 2002). Some themes recurred dur ing my research, and during analysis I

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37 reviewed each transcript and added each in formants responses to notes regarding each theme. For example, whenever a fishermen spoke about pollution, I made notes of what he said in the pollution section of my theme notes. Because I wanted a broad representation of the culture as a whole rather than each individuals knowledge, I added all responses together. However, I did make a note of each theme that was mentioned by a majority of the informants, and a note of conflicting responses concerning the same issue. Because my field notes were typical ly documentation of informal conversations, I used the same approach and compiled the da ta with information from the interviews. The main themes that I coded for were or ganized into three groups: local ecological knowledge, limitations, and perceptions of c onservation and management (Table 4-1). Taxonomic Data Each organism mentioned during interv iews and recorded in field notes was added to one list of species. Scientific name s were assigned as best I knew and I enlisted the help from the Fisheries and Aquatic Scienc es Department at the University of Florida to identify plant and algae species that I coul d not identify. The local names were then each labeled as generic, specific, or varietal according to lexemes (B erlin et al. 1973). I also noted if the organism was discussed as t rash, predator, or impediment. I calculated the frequency of each taxonomic level and the context in which the organism was mentioned. Secondary Data Secondary data on commercial and recr eational landings were entered into Microsoft Excel. Graphs were generated fo r visual presentation, and to get a sense whether there were any seasona l and annual trends. I also used the data on commercial

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38 landings to estimate the number of commercial fishermen working within park boundaries. Table 4-1: Themes used in c oding interviews and field notes. Local ecological knowledge life cycles diet/bait predator and defense seasons habitat migration taxonomy Limitations theft seasons market (supply and demand) cultural (secrecy, territory, network) Conservation and management perceptions of impacts by fishermen perceptions of other anthropogenic impacts sustainability concerns and suggestions for management Figure 4-1: Trip ticket area c odes for Biscayne National Par k. (Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)

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39 CHAPTER 5 RESULTS The commercial fishermen working in Bis cayne National Park represent a group of people affected by a mix of cultural, social, economic, ecological, and political factors. Long past are the days when a Biscayne fishermans main concern was simply how and where to find the target species. The system has become much more complex, and he faces pressure from a growing metropo litan area, dynamic market, and increased regulations. He must know how external fact ors work as much as how ecological factors affect his catch. In this chapter, I will cover the major results from my study. All information is taken from interviews and field notes unless otherwise noted as being from a secondary source. I will begin with a demographic overview of the fishery participants and descriptions of each fishery. Next I w ill outline local ecological knowledge of each group of fishermen, discussing information th ey have about the marine resources at Biscayne National Park. The ch apter will continue into the results from responses about limitations for fishing, considering both intern al and external factors. Finally, I will present ideas for conservation and manageme nt from the fishermens viewpoints. Demographics of the Biscayn e National Park Fishermen The demographics of the fisheries partic ipants is based on information about the informants and personal observation during my tim e at the marinas. Most information is relevant to all target fisheries studied; specific information is noted as such.

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40 Most of the trap fishermen and shrimp ers are Anglo, and the estimated average age is 45, although the Hispanic captains of the bait shrimp fishery (not included in this study) were observed to be in th eir midto late 20s. Almost all are male, but stories of the past and present indicate that some wive s work in the fishery also. Several are currently married and have families, but ma ny are divorced. Those with wives lived in double-income households. Children of the fishermen ranged from ages 6 to 25. The majority of fishermen have lived most of thei r lives in south Florida; if they were not born there, they had moved to the area at a young age. Most finished high school but none of the fishermen I met or knew of ha d attended college or technical school. Fishing was the dominant occupation for most fishermen in Biscayne National Park, although some had worked in other areas of the southeast or on the west coast of Florida. Most fishermen entered the indus try after high school, around the age of 18. Some of them became interested in fishing wh en they began working as helpers for other fishermen, and eventually bought their own boa ts and worked alone. A few fishermen reported additional income from other jobs including farming, electrical work, and odd jobs. Homes of the fishermen in this study we re spread out, from south Miami to Key Largo. The trap fishermen typi cally kept their boats at hom e and launched them at Black Point marina, which was usually not more than a 20-minute drive from where they lived. Shrimpers that worked on boats at Dinner Ke y usually lived nearby in Miami, and those at Black Point resided in Homestead. The few fishermen that lived in Key Largo had residences located directly on channels and were able to dock their boats at their homes.

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41 Overview of the Fisheries Blue Crab The target species for the blue crab fishery is Callinectes sapidus (Figure 5-1). The blue crab fishery in Biscayne National Park has the least number of participants, although it once had many fishermen involved. Fr om interviews, there are only five blue crabbers working in the park. However, da ta from the FWC lists seven fishers with reported landings in 2004 within a single z one (trip ticket area code 744.4). The remaining two may have come from areas no rth (Miami) or south (Key Largo) of the park, versus those who typically launch their boats at Black Point marina or Card Sound. All blue crab fishermen are part-time. A lternative incomes include working at fish houses and participating in the other, more lucrative, trap fisheries. The blue crab fishery is open year-round. There is a moratorium on the licenses at this time so the number of participants in th e fishery cannot grow. Blue crabs must be 5 inches from the tip of one lateral spine to th e other to harvest legall y. They are sold to local fish markets (commonly called fish houses) in the Miami and Keys areas. Blue crab traps are composed of a variet y of materials, such as wood, plastic or wire. They can be purchased pre-made or constructed by the fishermen. Many are double-layered (Figure 5-2). The crab comes into the trap in an entrance on the bottom, attracted to bait placed inside. Once it enters, the crab moves to the top part of the trap and cannot exit. All traps have o-rings to allow small crabs and other bycatch to move out. There is also biodegradable cord, re quired by law, that ensures escape by any animals caught inside should the trap be lost and become a ghost trap.

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42 Traps are marked with indi vidual tags, purchased from the state, and buoys that float on the water surface. Th ey are placed in lines for ease in harvest. Blue crabbers typically place their traps in shallow water (three to five feet ) and do not use GPS. In 2004, blue crab landings within Biscayne National Park (710 km2) equaled 7,303 pounds. According to trip ticket data, this is barely half of what was caught in the Chicken Key area (0.5 km2), a small inlet located immediately north of the park boundary. Although the Biscayne National Park Ethnographic Overview and Assessment (EDAW 2003) summarizes landings reported fr om the FWC as having an increase from 1991 to 2001, the blue crabbers say that there ha s been a sharp decrease in the number of fishermen over the past decade. They note m ovement of the crabs due to habitat change, but no decline in catch, which indicates an increase in effort by the fleet. Stone Crab The target species for this fishery is Menippe mercenaria The stone crab fishery reported 11 participants at most in 2004, but I was only able to lo cate three of the fishermen. Most combine stone crabbing with other fisheries, particularly lobster. The stone crab season is October 15 to May 15. Only the claws can be harvested, and must be removed in a specific way to avoi d mortality of the crab. The legal harvest size for a claw is 2.75 inches, and no egg-be aring female may be in possession. The claws are sold to local fish houses. Stone crabs are caught in traps similar to bl ue crab traps, with little or no escape by the crabs. They are made of plastic (Figure 5-3) or wood, although the crabs can break out of the wooden traps. Many stone crab traps have cement or some other form of weight in the bottom to maintain placement. E ach trap is baited and placed in a line with

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43 buoys on each trap, or sometimes just on the tr aps at the end of the line. Some stone crabbers use GPS to keep track of trap placement. The state reported 8,621 pounds of stone cr ab claws landed in 2004. Most were harvested in the outer eastern areas of the par k. Only about a quarter of the landings were harvested within the bay. Compared to the parks Ethnographic Overview and Assessment (2003), this is a remarkable in crease from landings in 2001, but similar to landings from 1996 to 2000. Spiny Lobster The target species for this fishery is Panulirus argus (Figure 5-4). Data from the FWC suggest that there are 14 to 18 lobster fishermen working in the park, according to reports from 2004. One lobster fishermen noted that there were possibly illegal immigrants working in the fishery. Therefor e, some participants may not be reporting their landings and the state may not be aware of them. Estimates by other informants who participated in the fish ery suggest there are less than ten lobster fishermen. Because of the popularity of lobsters among both commercial and recreational fishermen, a lobster sanctuary was establis hed in the bay and includes most of the western waters of Biscayne National Park (F igure 5-5). Lobster fishermen work further east outside of the sanctuary, ne ar the reefs, which is code d as area 744.5 for trip tickets. There is a closed season for commercial lobster harvest from March 31 to August 6. The season is preceded by a two-day m ini season, which occurs during the last weekend in July and is only open to recreationa l harvest (a limit of six legal lobsters per person each day). Lobster traps are made of wood and most are customized by the fishermen (Figure 5-6). They come in different sizes, depending on where they are intended to be placed.

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44 Unlike crab traps, lobster traps do not conf ine the animal with little or no escape. Instead, the funnel is large a nd acts as an entrance to a ne w home. Lobster fishermen do bait the traps, but for the most part depend on th e social characteristics of the lobster; i.e., lobsters congregate inside the trap, and the more inhabitants of th e trap, the higher the catch. Each trap has a tag and buoy, and is placed in a line. Some lobster fishermen use GPS to mark the locations of traps because the animals are usually found in deeper waters. Because traps are usually weighte d, they are heavy and many lobster fishermen have installed hydraulic systems on their boa ts to hoist the traps onto the deck. Legal lobsters must be three inches on the carapace (from posterior part of the head to the anterior part of the tail) and have a tail length of 5.5 inches. If a small lobster, known as a short, is found in the trap, it is pla ced back inside to serve as an attractant. While some researchers feel th at using shorts as attractants should not be allowed, lobster fishermen note that they will most likely retu rn to the trap anyway if the trap is placed into a nearby location. Also, because any lobs ters are free to move in and out of a trap, there is no requirement for escape o-rings. There is, however, a mandatory minimum size for the funnel to allo w the animals to exit. Commercial lobster landings for 2004 reported 21,698 pounds, of which 90% was harvested east of the reefs. All of the l obster fishermen I interviewed reported a steady catch since they began fishing, and some menti oned an increase over the past few years. Bait Shrimp The target species for the bait shri mp fishery includes brown shrimp ( Penaeus aztecus ) and pink shrimp ( Penaeus duorarum ). The bait shrimp fishery in Biscayne has been established since the 1950s (EDAW 2003) There are two main docks, Dinner Key

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45 in Miami and Black Point in Homestead. Some bait shrimpers dock s outh of the park, in Card Sound or Key Largo. Data from trip tickets in 2004 report 18 to 30 shrimp fishermen harvesting in Biscayne National Park; my estimate from interviews is 25 fishermen. Most captains are Anglo, but ove r the past year several Hispanic captains were hired after one boat owner purchased se veral boats from a fisherman who left the industry. There is a quasi-hierarchy among the shri mpers at Biscayne National Park, in which a more seasoned and successful shrimp er typically moves up. Most shrimpers follow this path but few reach the top. The hierarchy is based on experience and how much money that position earns. The first leve l is as a helper on another shrimpers boat, and he will be paid accordingly by the captai n. Eventually, a helper will be hired by a boat owner as a captain, at which time he will take home half of the profit each night and allocate a portion of that to his helper, if he has hired one. The next step is to purchase his own boat. Both profits and costs are the fishermans responsibility at this level, and this is the terminal point for most shrimper s. The highest level is the wholesaler, who buys from the shrimpers and sells to the lo cal bait shops. Most wholesalers also own boats and hire captains. Usually wholesaler s no longer run the boats but will work if a captain is not available one night. Bait shrimpers work from sunset to near sunrise. There is no closed season for shrimping and many work at leas t five nights a week. Often one or two boats will supply one wholesaler, but the shrimpers will sell to other wholesalers if another captain cannot meet his order, although these are informal agreements and do not occur on a regular basis. There are a few captains who work as substitutes for other captains, and sell to

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46 several different wholesalers, depending on which boat they are running. The bait shrimpers of Biscayne National Park supply shrimp to bait shops from Miami to Key West. Bait shrimping in the bay utilizes the rollerframe trawl (Figure 5-7), reportedly designed by an oldtime shrimper from Black Po int. Previously, the bait shrimpers used door nets, which were two pieces of plywood th at are pulled apart by the water pressure and collected up anything along the way. With the current gear, the bottom of the frame is a metal roller and allows the trawl to run along the bottom and ideally roll over anything in its path, such as ro cks or grass. The front of the trawl includes stainless steel bars, called fingerbars, that ar e spaced at most three inches apart. The fingerbars keep out any large animals and plan tlife. Any bottom-dwelling or ganisms that can fit through the bars will be pushed into the net by the water pressure. The tr awls are hoisted using hydraulics installed on the boat. Once a shrimper has made a drag, anywhe re from 15 to 45 minutes, the catch is brought on deck and placed into holding ta nks with continuously circulating water (Figure 5-8). Some shrimpers first remove as much grass as possi ble by swirling a stick through the water. Then a scoop of the catch is placed on the picking tray and sorted by hand (Figure 5-9). The target shrimp are thro wn into a separate tank and the bycatch is pushed overboard. The shrimpers make an atte mpt to keep the bycatch alive by returning it to the water as soon as possible. Any plant, algae, or animal caught in the net that is not a shrimp is known as trash. Some captains take mates with them, known as pickers, to help sort the shrimp. These are typically fishermen with less experi ence. Most captains work alone, especially

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47 in the summer when supply is low, in an effort to save money. Autopilots on the boats allow the shrimpers to pick simu ltaneously while making a drag. Most boat owners have one or two boats and several work as captains as well. The boats are sometimes purchased from other shrimpers, or the fishermen buy recreational vessels and renovate them into wo rking shrimp boats. Due to high costs of labor for welding, electrical and hydraulic work, the shrimp fishermen design and construct all gear on their boats by themselves. The boats are simple, usually consisting of a cabin and fishing e quipment (Figure 5-10). GPS units are commonly found on shrimp boats, but used mostly to mark hazards, such as buoys or rocky areas, and for documentati on of locations fished at previous times. Many shrimpers use lineups from radio towers and Turkey Point fo r navigation, relying on the lights from the shore to guide them to cer tain locations or back to the marina. One fisherman noted that the increase in cellular towers and a changing skyline means less dependency on the lineups because the fishermen are no longer certain that the points of light are the same ones as before. When shrimpers sell to wholesalers, th e shrimp are counted by the thousands. The method used to estimate catch is to c ount out about 550 shrimp, weigh that group, and then calculate the number by weighing all the catch. Trip tickets are also completed using individual numbers of shrimp, which is converted to pounds for data entry by the state. In 2004, shrimpers reported 48,190 pounds of shrimp caught in Biscayne National Park. No informants felt there was a decrease in catch, but noted that the shrimp are not in the same locations they usually are at th is time of year. The recent active hurricane

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48 seasons affected both supply and demand, whic h has an impact on the cycle of landings reported. Local Ecological Knowledge The local ecological knowledge of the informants is reported collectively and organized into the trap fisheries and the bait shrimp fishery. The information presented is based on responses during interviews and field notes that documented informal conversations. Trapped Species (Blue Crab, Stone Crab, Spiny Lobster) These species are omnivores and are attract ed to almost anything. Fish heads are common bait with a preference for native species such as yellowtail snapper ( Ocyurus chrysurus ). Blue crabs will not eat old fish heads so they are changed out regularly, even if they are not eaten. Lobster and stone crab s are attracted to pork bones, pigs feet, and cowhide. Cowhide is widely used because it only attracts the target species rather than fish and other animals. One lobster fisher men reported using a special bait but would not reveal what it was. However, it is an animal and was discovered with trial and error based on what the lobster usually ea ts in its natural environment. Blue crab and stone crab traps are set in muddy, grassy areas. Crabs prefer the grass because it provides protection and a habi tat for many small animals that serve as a food source for the crabs. Lobsters typically live near rocks or coral, which provi de them with protection. Lobster traps are set near the ledges on sandy bottom (to avoid falling or tipping), and are homes for the lobsters. Once one lobs ter has discovered a trap, it will send out messages to other lobsters with its antennae. The more lobsters in a trap, the more will be attracted to it. Because eventually lobs ters become their own attractants, lobster

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49 fishermen will keep a few shorts in the trap to lure in others, and some fishermen reported that they discontinue use of fish h eads or cowhide after the trap is occupied. Of the three species, only blue crab can be fished throughout the year. The fishermen mentioned that there was talk of a closed season for the blue crab but did not feel it was necessary. The blue crabs tend to move out of the bay in the summer, due to higher temperatures and increased rain, and th erefore have a natural closed season. Some blue crabbers do continue fishing but with fe wer traps, and for the most part its not worth going out and wasting the time. Stone crabs are only legal to harvest from October 15 to May 15. Fishermen feel that the closed season is meant to allow the stone crabs to regenerate claws, and some mentioned that it was the spawning season. However, stone crabs have also been observed with eggs during harvest, so the re gulated closed season may not overlap with spawning. Once a blue crab is hatched, it grows quickly and is of legal harvest size in four months. A stone crab may take one or two year s to reach legal size, and lobsters are legal to harvest about a ye ar after they hatch. Blue crabs have many predators, especia lly during molting season when their shells are soft. Stone crabs, however, were re ported to only have one predator (besides humans): the octopus ( Octopus spp.). Each fisherman reported that octopi are found in traps along with dead stone crabs, and octopus e ggs have also been observed in the traps. While there are certain times of the year wh en there are more octopi found in the bay, they have never caused a major impact on the stone crab fishery.

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50 Sea turtles also break into the traps, although not as often as other humans (discussed later). One informant told me that the evidence of a sea turtle is that the wood will be broken inward, because a turtle will use its nose, versus a human who will pull the wood slats out. Sea turtles ar e not a major problem for the trappers, breaking traps only on occasion. Because there is little defense against hum ans or octopi regardless, stone crabs do not need even one claw to survive, although as one fishermen put it, it sure does make it easier. When claws are removed, the animals will hide and filterfeed on small organisms until the claws regenerate. As the environmental conditions change, the animals will move. Blue crabs will move outward when there is an abundance of rain or the canals are opened, although immediately following rainfall there will be a larger harvest because they prefer somewhat brackish water. Both stone cr abs and blue crabs re spond to changes in barometric pressure; they will move if the pressure is high. Cold snaps will cause them to move or bury up in the sand or mud. The size of traps and type of material us ed can affect a fishermans harvest. Different sizes are used in different habitats Also, depending on the bottom, traps can be made of wire, wood, plastic, and be of differe nt colors. One fishermen pointed out that perhaps vision is important in the crabs decisi on to enter the trap. Some blue crab traps have double layers in which a crab enters the trap and then moves to the top, where there is no exit. The fishermen could not explain wh y the crabs always move to the top layer. One fisherman reported modifying his trap s in a particular way and achieving positive results, but I promised not to divulge the details of his secret.

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51 Bait Shrimp Shrimp are omnivores and will eat anythi ng, but primarily have an herbivorous diet. Much of what they eat is microscopi c. Likewise, anything will eat a shrimp, which is why they are a popular bait for recreational anglers. Beca use of the universal appeal, shrimp bury up in the sand for protection during the day, when they are easily seen in the shallow, clear waters of the bay. The target species can be found in areas with seagrass, but the fishermens preference for trawling is on the hardbottom, wh ich is in front of Black Point. They define hardbottom as a sandy bottom with little or no plant life. This allows the drags to be cleaner, i.e., less seagrass and algae in the nets. Shrimp are larger and more abundant in th e wintertime, with January and February typically being the best months for harves t. During the summer, they move offshore towards the cooler water; the bay warms quick ly and they prefer lower temperatures. Basically, the summertime is when the old crops moved out and the new crop hasnt shown up yet. There is little agreement among the fisher men on where the shrimp spawn. Some fishermen feel that they head to the waters offshore to breed, and the eggs float into the bay with the easterlies. Others, based on observations of the earliest small shrimp appearing in the bushes nearshore first, believ e that they spawn inshore, or the eggs are scattered in the bay. One fisherman, doubtful of the theory that shrimp are born offshore and float in, said, But to me, youre talking about somethi ng this big [~three inches] going all the way back out there to find a piece of grass to lay eggs in thats going to float all the way back here? I dont buy it.

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52 Once a shrimp is born, it matures in thr ee to nine months. It grows quickly, doubling its size each month. The shrimper s note that the animals must reproduce quickly because shrimping has occurred for many decades and there has not been a decline in catch. In addition to water temperatures, choppy weather also affects the movement of the shrimp. Winds produce wave action on th e top and bottom, and habitat can change quickly under the surfac e. With exception to strong winds that make navigation difficult, the fishermen prefer some wind to stir up ev erything and cause the shrimp to be more available as the trawl passes. An overcas t sky also helps because less moonlight will bring the shrimp out of hiding in the sand. One important environmental condition th at affects shrimp is the east wind. When storms come from the east, they push th e shrimp inshore, and this increases catch rates because more shrimp are available. Conversely, a west wind will push the shrimp out of the bay, limiting the abundance that is a ccessible to the shrimpers. However, the winds change rapidly and the fishermen know th at with every west wi nd, there will be an east wind to bring the shrimp back into the ba y. For this reason, they never appear to worry about availability of the stock. Hurricanes play a major role in the ava ilability of the shrimp. As mentioned before, the direction from which the hurricane comes is an important factor. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which came from the east, there was a surprise increase in shrimp during a normal and slow summertime. After Hurricane Dennis in July 2005, a hurricane originating in the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Point shrimpers lost the shrimp for approximately ten days (e.g., the shrimp we re not in the usual places they are found

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53 during the summertime). However, the following week an easterly pushed them back inshore and they were able to resume trawling. Two informants mentioned problems with Cassiopeia jellyfish ( Cassiopeia frondosa ); not as predators but w ith the jellyfish stinging the shrimp while in the holding tank. While typically more abundant in the su mmer, they have not been a major problem. However, one informant noted that they are the biggest threat and getting worse. Freshwater, from abundant rain or opening of the canal gates, causes the shrimp to move offshore. Shrimp prefer saltier water, and the shrimpers will wait to fill the holding tanks until they are far from the dock to a void too much freshwat er and thus, higher shrimp mortality. Also, over the years the in flux of freshwater into the bayfrom canals or run-off from developmenthas changed th e habitat. Areas that were once prime shrimping spots are no longer viable, su ch as around Black Point marina. Biodiversity During interviews, informal conversa tions, and participan t observation, the informants discussed 70 marine animals (Table 5-1). To organize the names of animals, I used methods for folk taxonomies by Berlin et al. (1973), based on the number of lexemes. These species included 41 fishes, 17 crustaceans, eight non-crustacean invertebrates, two reptiles and two marine mammals. The majority (58.6%) were mentioned at the generic level (one lexeme used), such as damselfish, sponge, and sea turtle. Twenty-three (32.9%) were at a specific level (two le xemes), such as spiny puffer, and six (8.6%) were at a vari etal level (three of more le xemes), such as bonnet-head shark and shovel-nosed lobster. Most of the fish were at the generic level, but conversely, only two crustaceans were menti oned in generic terms. As suggested by Berlin et al. (1973), animals discussed at the generic level are the most numerous.

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54 Thirty-seven (53.6%) organisms were noted or observed as bycatch. Larger animals, such as horseshoe crabs and groupe r, were cases of tr ap bycatch. Smaller organisms, or at least slimmer animals that can fit through the finger bars on a shrimp boat, were mentioned or observed with shri mpers. For example, common trawl bycatch include trumpetfish, pinfish, juvenile lobste rs, and other shrimp, which are easily swept into the shrimp trawls. However, on occasi on, larger animals like flounder and sting rays (that appear as if their size would let them avoid being sw ept into the nets) are caught, presumably because they were sideways at the time of the drag. When this happens, they fit perfectly through the finge rbars. When questioned about the natural history of different species during participant obse rvation, the shrimpers knew many aspects, including diet, life cycle, and obstacles for captivity. Many shrimpers admitted to keeping interesting species in their home a quariums, where they observed the animals. Twenty (29%) of the animals were mentioned as predators of the target species, although no serious problems in a years harv est has occurred due to abundance of any predators. Most were men tioned during interviews with the shrimpers, boasting the universality of shrimp as bait for recreationa l fishing in the bay. Two species from the family Cnidaria, the Cassiopeia je llyfish and Portuguese Man O War ( Physalia physalis ) were mentioned as not only harmful to the catch but also the fish ermen. Octopi were mentioned as seasonal impediments for stone crab fishermen, and sea turtles were noted as breaking into the lobster and crab traps. The informants also discussed eight types of algae and six type s of marine plants (Table 5-1). Many were local names and some had multiple names. For example, Sargassum spp. is known as sargassum or berry grass; Thalassia testudinum is called

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55 turtle grass or blade grass; and Giffordia spp a brown algae, is referred to as snotgrass or gumbo. Of the algae, all were mentioned as impediments to traps (growing on or inside the traps and deterring catch) or clogging up shrimp trawls. The marine plants were all included in responses to questions about ha bitat, although the bait shrimpers consider grass in their nets as trash and detrimental to upkeep of the nets or in terfering with sorting out the shrimp. Factors Affecting Effort and Catch In addition to regulations from local, state, and federal governments, the commercial fishermen of Biscayne National Park are subject to several aspects of limitations that may prevent them from their maximum exploitation of the resources. In this section, I will describe tw o main external factors that affect trapperstheft and seasonalityand the social aspects of terri tory and conflict that limit space. For shrimpers, the main limitation is environm ental and economic seasonality. Internal limitations include secrecy, networking, and aspects of working without a picker. Trap Fishermen Theft The most substantial problem for the trap fishermen was theft. Every informant who participated in on e of the trap fisheries brought up this issue, and once mentioned theft was mentioned, went into details and personal experiences (which all reported having). Theft, at this point, is simply part of being a crab or lobster fisherman. Although stealing is not a new phenome non, the trap fishermen blame the population increase of adjacent Miami-Dade Co unty for the growing problem. As more people move in, the higher the likelihood that traps will be stolen or vandalized. Molestation of traps is a third-degree felony, enta iling a fine up to $5000 and

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56 imprisonment of a maximum of five years (Flori da Senate 2006), but it is hard to enforce the law and theft continues to be an issue. Crab and lobster traps are kept at the co mmercial dock at Black Point. There is little security at the dock and one lobster trapper reported that some of his best traps had been stolen during the night befo re the interview. He said that they are taken to be used as decorations for patios. Because he has no other place to store hundreds of traps, he must depend on enforcement from the marina staff. Most occurrences involve r obbing a trap, which almost always includes damaging it in some way. A blue crabber told me, they dont steal the traps, th ey just take whats there out of there and leave it. One informan t reported that he can tell if the thief was a human versus a sea turtle: the wood will be pu lled out instead of pushed inward. He also noted that robbing from a trap was the equiva lent to robbing a store. Another informant stated that its one thing to steal from you, but kill [obstruct] your trap from not being able to catch? Damaging the traps only adds insult to injury. Also, many time the lines are cut or the traps moved, causi ng it to become a ghost trap if the fishermen is unable to find it. Because the trappers are required to mark each trap or line with buoys, it is not difficult for recreational angler s, divers, and other passersby to locate the traps. A boat trip in the bay will provide several instances where passengers will see trap buoys. Blue crabs, which are fished for in shallow inshore waters, are especially easy to find. In an area the size of Biscayne National Park, w ith open boundaries, there was seldom another boat in sight during my excursions out in the bay. Not being seen robbing a trap is even easier at night.

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57 To combat theft, one fisherman is cons idering using time-release buoys made of zinc, available from a fishing supplies compa ny. The zinc erodes in saltwater over a course of two weeks and releases the buoy. Another response is to only place buoys on the ends of each line, but this method require s knowing exact placement of traps or use of GPS. Another way to cope with theft is th rough the network, which was mentioned by one of the trappers: All of us around here, we try to watch for stuff like that, which helps. When I accompanied a lobster fisherman on a harvest, he was communicating with other fishermen using a Nextel walkie -talkie, discussing an unknown boat near an area popular for lobster traps. Because the boat was not checking any other traps, the fisherman was worried that someone was waiting for him to leave. He asked another trapper, who was on his way to the area to ch eck his own traps, to keep an eye on the boat. Several fishermen relayed stories they ha d heard of thieves being arrested and prosecuted, and all had personal accounts of th eft of their own traps. One informant stated, I will never go for restitu tion, Ill just go for jailtime. One informant told me that because there was little chance of catching a thief, in the past the trappers had handled anyone caught or suspected of robbing traps by their own means. The responses to thieves in thes e stories were very severe; it was revenge. Robbing from a fishermans trap is nothing to be taken lightly, as indicated in the stories of the fates of thieves. Seasonality and weather The lobster and stone crab fisheries have closed seasons imposed by the state of Florida. The best time of the season is in the first few months, and then there is a

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58 decrease in catch. The blue crab fishery doe s not have a closed season but, as mentioned above, less harvest occurs in th e summer months as a result of an increase in temperature (i.e., it is too hot to fish) and a decrea se in availability of blue crabs. Similar to effects of hurricanes on bait sh rimp availability, one trapper reported problems following strong westerlies but litt le impacts from easterlies, even a major hurricane such as Andrew. The most substant ial concern is the loss of traps and lack of demand following extreme weather events. Territory and conflict While there are no rules about where a fisherman may place his traps, several informants mentioned attempts to find le ss crowded areas and not informing other fishermen of a new location. Territoriality is difficult, however, when traps must be marked with buoys and are visible on the water surface. One trapper spoke of his location: Its not that anybody else can t go there, its that you have to maneuver around the trap without hitting anothe r trap, and you have to have a certain amount of space. And out of courtesy, whatever, etiquette of the blue crabberif you see a guys line well, you give him a certain amount of distance to let him fix that area. Thats what I do. Keeping a distance between ones traps with another fishermans traps appears to benefit both parties, but informants reported instances when trap lines were crossed by another crab or lobster fisherman. Howeve r, no unwritten rules of territory were mentioned. As one trapper stated, my license is as good as anybody elses. Each trapper interviewed mentioned shri mp trawlers potentially damaging crab traps (lobster traps are typically set further out in the bay, in deeper water, and near coral reefsnot desirable locations for shrimpers) One informant reported that he keeps a local shrimper who frequently fishes th e same area as he does updated on where he

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59 placed his traps in an effort to minimize dama ge. Another crabber stated that he keeps his traps closer inshore to keep the lines from being run over by the shrimp trawls. Although mentioned in the interviews, conflict does not seem to be a major issue. Interestingly, none of the shrimpers brought up a problem with the crab traps; the only mention was included in a description of the mechanics of a trawl, and how they should roll over the top of a trap. Shrimpers Seasonality The environmental and economic seasons that affect the bait shrimpers of Biscayne are interesting in how they parallel one another. The environment affects the supply; the local economymainly recreati onal fishing tourismaffects the demand. Both are at their lows in the summer and highs in the winter. The changes in environment include basi c weather patterns, and have impact on both the shrimp and the shrimpers. In the summer, the shrimp are less available because of their spawning and movement towards deep er waters once water temperature in the bay begins to climb, according to some shrimpers. During this time, a variety of factors change the normal routines of the fleet. The shrimpers go out less (one shrimper reports that he takes the entire summer off), and spend less time on the water. Also, nights are shorter in the summer, and because a captain will wait until the water looks good and black [no sunlight], he will not go out until at least 8 pm. Likewise, the sun begins to rise earlier in the summer, which causes the shrimp to bury up in the sand sooner than in the winter. Longer daytime hours mean less shrimping hours.

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60 The summer precipitation and winds also alter the activities of the shrimpers. When weather is rough, the informants reported that shrimping is better. However, potential damage to the boats and personal safety are considered if the weat her is too rough, which it often is during the rainy summer months. The recent active hurricane seasons of the past two years have caused some problems for the shrimpers. Hurricane seas on is June 1 through November 30, with the most active period in August and Septem ber. The years of 2004 and 2005 saw an unusually high number of major hurricane landfal ls, and 2006 has been predicted to be an active season as well (Klotzbach and Gray 2006). While extreme weather can increase catch during a usually slow time for the shrimpers, it also can cause problems. In addition to storms from the west pushing th e shrimp offshore, the shrimp boats can sustain considerable damage if not properly secured. Also, ri sing gas prices that follow the storms, particularly the spike after Ka trina in 2005, deterred some shrimpers from going out if they did not feel they could catch enough shrimp to make a profit. Gas prices also play a role in the smaller nu mber of tourists visiting south Florida. The local economy of south Florida is driven by tourism, the primary income for the state. When there are fewer tourists, there are fewer orders for shrimps from the bait shops. Even if the shrimpers are catchi ng an abundance of shrimp (e.g., following a storm from the east) they do not always have an outlet for selling them. Shrimp are typically not kept for more th an a day if not sold immediat ely and therefore the fishermen do not catch excess shrimp. Secrecy Bait shrimpers only harvest during the night and are sometimes difficult to see once a certain distance is reached. Because of this, they can explore other areas of the

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61 bay in search of their catch with other fi shermen having little knowledge of where they are. Several informants mentioned mainta ining secrecy if they came upon a good spot, particularly in the summertime. One shrimper said, Im kind of a sneaky shrimper. I dont let a lot of people know where Im working or know where Im going. I keep to myselfbecause every time I ever let somebody know something, next thing I know theres ten shrimpboats there, pounding my area. Oh, what happened? There goes a months worth of shrimp in two days, wiped out. Another shrimper told me that summer is when the captains are especially protective of their spots, even if it means extra effort to deter them from following him. He said, If I caught ten thous and tonight, tomorrow night Id go in a different direction. Id take the whole fleet somewhere else. During my time on the boats, I noticed that the shrimpers used the CB radio often to check in with other fishermen and see how their nights were going. When asked if they divulge good locations, I was told that if a shrimper finds a spot like that, he does not tell anyone else. One shrimper was known for being easy to figure out: if he was not on the CB radio as usual, he had come upon a prime location and did not want the others to ask where he was working. The network of the bait shrimpers The Anglo, longterm bait shrimpers at Black Point, where I spent a majority of my time, were a close group of people. Many had known one another for decades, and sometimes through means other than the fishery. While many of them spoke of the old days, there seemed to be a closeknit ne twork still functioning in the community. However, when asked about the new captains, mostly Hispanic, my informants admitted

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62 that they did not converse with them on a re gular basis. The segregation at the dock seemed no more than a language barrier. Being a part of, and especially being a cen tral figure, in the ne twork is beneficial to the fishermen for the most part. Th rough the network, information about catches, problems, and stories of previous years pa sses. Often during inte rviews I heard the phrases, I heard, or they say. In formation flows freely among the fishermen. Working alone Most shrimpers work alone, especially during the summer months when catch is low and an effort is made to maintain as mu ch of the profit as possible. Autopilot on the boats are useful when shrimping solo, as the captain can pick while he drags, only having to check where he is going on occasion. The drawback to working alone is the po ssibility of getting behind, i.e., finishing a drag before a shrimper has the chance to comp lete picking the last dr ags catch. This is a common occurrence because there are two sets of trawls on each boat. It is plausible to have two or more drags worth of catch in the holding tanks at a time, but chances of encountering a problem increase. For example, if there is already one drag in the tank and the second drag contains a Cassiopeia je llyfish, both catches might be lost from the stinging. Most shrimpers try their best to keep ahead of each drag. However, there is only so much one person can do when working alone, and this decreases the effort for harvest. There is only a certain amount of time in which the shrimpers are able to work, and more time is sp ent at the picking tray when there is only one person aboard. With years of experience, many fisherme n learn quicker ways to pick. It is desirable to be as swift as possi ble. This is not only benefici al to the time management of

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63 the shrimper, but also to the chance of surv ival for the bycatch. The faster a scoop is sorted through, the faster the bycatch are placed back into the water. A slow picker may be detrimental to the bycatch. Conservation and Management The informants in this study all expressed a desire to conserve the resource. Some of them have children that are interest ed in following in their parents footsteps, but even the immediate future of the indus try is a concern for them. However, many were more focused on the uncertainty of bei ng allowed to continue fishing within the park rather than the sust ainability of the fishery. One prominent theme was that the fishermen felt like they were the target of unfair accusations of destroying the habitat. They noted other sources of degradation, such as freshwater influx, runoff, urban de velopment, and recreational anglers. Many also pointed out that they had not experienced a decline in catch, indicating that the fisheries are sustainable. When government regulations were discusse d, almost all of the informants stated that lack of enforcement was the main problem. Several relayed stories of law enforcement approaching them and checking fo r permits and safety requirements, but no one recalled a time when fishing gear was inspected, which seemed to bother those fishermen that felt they followed all regulati ons when other fishermen did not adhere to the rules. Verification that equipment wa s in good condition a nd functioning properly was a common suggestion for improvement of management and for conservation of the resource.

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64 Table 5-1: Organisms mentioned during in terviews and documented in field notes. Fishermen Term Scientific Term* Folk Taxonomic Rank Animals amberjack Seriola spp. generic angelfish Family Pomacanthidae generic ballyhoo Hemiramphus brasiliensis generic barracuda Sphyraena spp. generic batfish Ogcocephalus cubifrons generic black drum Pogonias cromis specific black-tipped shark Carcharhinus spp. varietal blood shrimp ** specific blue crab Callinectes sapidus specific bonefish Albula vulpes generic bonnet-head shark Sphyrna tiburo varietal boxfish Lactophrys tricornis generic brown shrimp Penaeus aztecus specific cassiopeia jellyfish Cassiopeia frondosa specific conch Strombus spp generic cowfish Lactophrys quadricornis generic crocodile Crocodylus acutus generic damselfish Family Pomacentridae generic dolphin Coryphaena spp. generic fan Gorgonia ventalina generic flounder Paralichthys spp. generic glass eel ** specific grass shrimp Hippolyte spp. specific green moray eel Gymnothorax funebris varietal grouper Family Serranidae generic grunt Family Haemulidae generic hermit crab Pagurus spp. specific horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus specific humpback shrimp ** specific jewfish Epinephelus itajara generic kingfish Menticirrhus spp. generic lace murex Chicoreus florifer specific mackerel Scombermorous spp. generic manatee Trichechus manatus generic mantis shrimp Squilla empusa specific minnow Family Cyprinidae generic mud crab ** specific mullet Family Mugilidae generic nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum specific octopus Octopus spp. generic parrot fish Families Labridae/Scaridae generic permit Trachinotus falcatus generic pinfish Lagodon rhomboides generic pink shrimp Penaeus duorarum specific

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65 Table 5-1. Continued. Fishermen Term Scientific Term Folk Taxonomic Rank pompano Trachinotus falcatus generic porpoise Order Cetacea generic Portuguese man o war Physalia physalis varietal puffer fish Family Tetraodontidae generic red drum Sciaenops ocellatus specific rock shrimp Sicyonia brevirostri specific scorpionfish Scorpaena spp. generic sea cucumber Class Holothuroidea generic sea turtle Order Testudines generic seahorse Hippocampus spp. generic sharp-nosed eel ** varietal snapper Family Lutjanidae generic snook Centropomus spp. generic soldier crab Coenobita clypeatus specific Spanish lobster Scyllarides aequinoctialis specific shovel-nosed lobster Scyllarides aequinoctalis specific spider crab Libinia emarginata specific spiny lobster Panulirus argus specific spiny puffer Diodon holacanthus specific sponge Phylum Porifera generic sting ray Dasyatis spp. generic stone crab Menippe mercenaria specific tarpon Megalops atlanticus generic trout Cynoscion nebulosus generic trumpetfish Aulostomus macalatus generic yellowtail snapper Lutjanus chrysurus specific Plants and algae berry grass Sargassum spp. specific blade grass Thalassia testudinum specific eel grass Zostera marina specific fern Udotia spp. generic gumbo Giffordia spp. generic herring grass Halodule spp. specific kelp Phylum Phaeophyta generic lettuce grass ** specific mangrove Family Rhizophoraceae generic rolling grass Gracilaria spp. specific sargassum Sargassum spp. generic snot grass Giffordia spp. specific turtle grass Thalassia testudinum specific wire grass Syringodium filiforme specific *Common names listed with highe r scientific taxa than ge nus or species are common terms that could indicate several species of fish, and were not distinguished by the fishermen. ** denotes insufficient information. Sources: Alden et al. 1998; Tom Frazer, personal communication; Gosner 1978; Humann and DeLoach 1995; Katz 1998; Voss 1976.

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66 Figure 5-1: Blue crab (male). Figure 5-2: Blue crab tr ap with two levels.

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67 Figure 5-3: Stone crab trap. Figure 5-4: Spiny lobster.

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68 Figure 5-5: Lobster sanctuary boundaries (i n blue) within Biscayne National Park. Figure 5-6: Lobster tr ap (in repair).

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69 Figure 5-7: Rollerframe trawl on a bait shrimp boat. Identificati on on the boat has been hidden to maintain privacy. Figure 5-8: Holding tanks on a bait shrimp boat.

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70 Figure 5-9: Picking tray on a bait shrimp boat with seagrass trash. Figure 5-10: Bait shrimp boat. Identificati on has been covered to maintain privacy.

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71 CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION The overall objective of the study was to characterize the Biscayne National Park fisheries in a natural and cultural context from the viewpoint of the fishermen. The specific objectives were to: document local ecological knowledge that contributes to fishing success. describe factors (other than government re gulation) that affect fishermen behavior and limit harvest of the target species. identify fishermens perspectives on conservation and management. In Chapter 5, I presented the results as applie d to these objectives. In this chapter, I provide a brief summary of th e results, followed by a discussion the implications of the results, specifically the util ity for management planning of having such information about resource and user groups and of applying an thropological concepts to fisheries. I conclude the discussion with suggestions for how this study can be used in management at Biscayne National Park a nd by giving some suggestions fo r integrating cultural studies of the fishermen into park research and planning. Knowledge of the Fishermen The information presented from my st udy regarding local eco logical knowledge encompass the biology and ecology of the target species (diet, predators, and life cycles) and the habitat of the bay. Knowledge was concentrated on information that was pertinent to commercial fishing success, al though some information about other species

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72 and fisheries was reported by the informants which suggests dialogue among fisheries, plus an interest of fishermen in the entire ecosystem. The knowledge of users harvesting crabs, lobs ters and shrimp is useful to not only monitor stocks but to assess changes in the ec osystem, using the animals as bioindicators. A change in the abundance of adult animals that are harvested might indicate a change in population at the larval stage, which could affect biodiversit y of the bay because of the position of crustacean zoopl ankton in the food web. Knowledge about the life cycles and mi gration of the target species provide insight on how the informants make decisi ons on where to fish. Depending on the time of year and weather, the fishermen will move to different areas of the bay, and knowledge based on experience is the most impo rtant source of information about catch availability. By documenting ecological knowledge of life cycles and migration, fisheries managers can understand the patterns of use and can make use of the long-term monitoring of the resource by the fishermen. Information about predation on the targ et species reflects the compilation of knowledge from years of experience and fr om interaction among the informants. Predators affect the movement and abundance of the animals and ar e of concern to the fishermen, especially if there is a period when predators affect catc h. The only predation emphasized in this study was octopi on stone crab, and of which the impact on catch was minimal. However, the possibility of ch anges in the octopus population, continuously monitored by the stone crab fishermen, can alert fisheries managers of changes in biodiversity and possi bly other issues.

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73 Information recorded about changes in the bay, especially from fishermen who have worked there for long periods, is valuable for assessing changes in habitat. Because fishermen use information on habitat to make decisions on where to place their traps or make a drag for shrimp, they are constantly taking mental notes of the location of the target species and what is particular about that place that attracts the animals. Comparison of Scientific Knowledge and Local Ecological Knowledge When the local ecological know ledge of the fishermen in this study was compared to documented scientific knowle dge of the target species, th e two sources agreed for the most part, which was similar to findings from a comparison study on yellowfin tuna between fishermen and managers (Miller et al. 2004). The few differences were mostly on the life cycles and spawning of each spec ies. Table 6-1 reviews how scientific knowledge and local ecological knowle dge diverge on these aspects. One notable difference was that the in formation that fishermen knew typically only pertained to adults, and little or no inform ation on the other life stages was included in the responses. This is perhaps because adult animals are what the fishermen are in search of and primarily deal with. Larval stages were not di scussed at all by the fishermen, and juveniles were mentioned onl y by the shrimpers when they spoke of smaller shrimp showing up near the shore during late summer. Another difference concerns th e age of the animal that is reported. In scientific literature, the age at which the animal reac hes sexual maturity is the focus because recruitment is important for fisheries scientists (Wilson 2003). However, the fishermen were more concerned and knowledgeable abou t how long it takes a crab or lobster to reach legal harvest size, and the time for a shrimp to be a good size to catch. The divergence reflects a difference in motives for each group.

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74 Limitations on the Fishermen There are internal and external factors that affect the ability to harvest crab, lobster and shrimp. Internal factors are a product of the culture and include secrecy, social networks and some fishermen territorialit y. External factors originate from social, economic and environmental sources. Understanding how the fishermen interact w ith each other and what influences the way that the other fishermen work together or not is useful to managers because it provides insight on fishing effort of the fleet (Salas and Gaertner 2004). In the case of the Biscayne fishermen, knowledge about medi ocre locations is commonly shared, but locations of abundance are often withheld. Knowing the areas that are more exploited than others (mediocre locations) allows resource managers to assess impact more thoroughly. The external factors that affect the Bi scayne fleets includ e theft, market, and weather. Theft is a major concern for the crab and lobster fishermen and enforcement is lacking. Information from the trappers on wh en and where this is happening could help law enforcement officials to better address the situation. The market also affects how the fisherme n work. Understanding that the dynamics of harvest are a result of not only supply but also demand is impor tant in planning for regulation, especially should the park decide to make seasonal changes. Finally, the environmental f actors that are affecting th e Biscayne fishermen should be taken into account during planning, and allo w managers to work with limitations that are already in place and in fluencing fishing effort. A factor not directly mentioned, but discu ssed as the fishermen spoke of the rapid development in south Florida, was urbaniza tion and its effects on the fishermen. Johnson

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75 and Orbach (1990) examined the impacts of urbanization on the spiny lobster fishery in the Florida Keys, and found that most pressure came from new partic ipants, who recently moved to the area, entering the fishery; incr eased living expenses; and tourism growth. While the Biscayne National Park fishermen do not have a problem with an influx of new fishermen, they are subject to the expensive and growing cost of liv ing in south Florida and opposition from recreational fishing tourism. However, one fisherman told me that it was the high cost of real esta te in the area that kept new fishermen, who he perceived to be middle class at most, from moving to south Florida and working in the park. Fishermen and Commons Assumptions The three assumptions of Hardins tragedy of the commons outlined earlier by Berkes (1985) included selfish users, limited resources, and common properties. In this section, I will discuss how the Biscayne National Park fisheries apply to each assumption. Selfishness Regarding a group of people who all depe nd on the same resource and deal with the same problems, at some point they will have to depend on the community in some way, and the community will come to depend on them, which helps structure the expression of selfishness. There are two sp ecific realms in which this occurs: 1) information transmission, and 2) response to change or difficulty. In the realm of information transmission, fishermen seek to find answers to questions about the resource through their networks (e.g., one fishermen asking another where he worked the day/night before and how the catch was). Other fishermen are the only resource for knowledge when personal ex perience is not suffici ent. A shrimper cannot consult the literature to decide wher e he will take his boat that night, nor can a

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76 trapper watch the evening news to see where the crabs are showing up this week. He depends on his own knowledge and at some point the knowledge of others. In return, a Biscayne fishermen will tell other members what he knows, albeit only under circumstances of medium-level success. Desi re to maintain the secrets of real success keep fishermen from transmitting everything they know to one another. In this way they fulfill the assumption of selfishness, but at th e same time, limit the fishery as a whole by not crowding prime locations. The other aspect is cultural response to change or difficulty. Typically, the Biscayne National Park fishermen are affect ed individually, but respond culturally. The following example describes the Black Point shrimpers preparation and response to a hurricane. Hurricanes are a part of life for the fish ermen of Biscayne National Park. Prior to a hurricane, they move the boats into th e canal where there is a windbreak [the informants reported that the marina will not allow them to move the boats into the recreational dock, which is a more protected ar ea]. All loose items are removed from the deck of each boat and they are tied together to secure them. Following a hurricane, the fishermen move the boats back out on to the dock and assess any damage. Extreme weather alters the habitat in th e bay, and typically the shrimpers will not immediately be able to locate the shrimp af ter a storm. When Hurricane Dennis passed on the west, none of the Black Point shrimpers made significant catches for a week. One informant told me that the drivers, who are paid daily regardless of quantity, often lie to the shrimpers about others catches. For exampl e, if a shrimper refuses to fish one night because the catch will not be worth the while financially, the driver will tell him that

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77 another shrimper had a success the night befo re. However, one phone call verifies or disproves the claim; this would not happe n without the tight-knit network of the shrimpers. Furthermore, word travels quick ly when a shrimper locates the target and within days all the fishermen are updated on the status of the shrimp. However, some boat owners and captains are not so fortunate following a storm, and damage to boats might cause a delay in the return to fishing. Because each boat supplies only one wholesaler, a lack of suppl y could mean an unfilled order. When this occurs, other shrimpers will either catch ex tras or provide leftovers to wholesalers without working boats. Do the Biscayne fishermen meet the assu mption of selfishness? In some ways the answer is no. They rely too heavily on one another for information and for assistance following a disturbance. In other ways, the answer is yes. Perhaps information is transmitted in hopes of receiving information as we ll, and it is possible that help is given with the expectation that the favor will be returned. However, there is one other aspect that appears to be overlooked in most studies: the fishermen are humans. They have names, faces, families, stories, hopes and fears. Ramrez-Snchez (2006) wrote that emotion pl ays a heavy role in cooperation within social networks of fishermenthe binds that tie are more important than winning. Likewise with the Biscayne National Park fish ermen, there are ties that no social network analysis can show. Sometimes, it is not lack of selfishness or any other kind of cultural force at work. Sometimes, it is simply because the fishermen are friends. Overexploitation and Limited Resources In many cases regarding a marine resource, it is hard to determine if a stock is overfished. Typically a lack of insufficient data to provide an actual number of the

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78 animals leads to the need fo r a model to estimate populati on, but limitations on harvest, based on models do not always produce an impr ovement in stocks, which might indicate a flaw in the model. The situation is si milar in Biscayne, although current records of commercial landings and information from the fi shermen show that at this time there is not a decline in target species. This is most likely due to the small number of fishermen working in the bay and at such a small scale. Common Property and Open-access Biscayne National Park is considered a common property resource, as federal lands are considered to be owned by the pe ople. Likewise, it is open to all users, recreational and commercial a like. Recreational visitors participate in diving, boating, and fishing, and until recently (due to moratoria on licen ses) anyone could become a commercial fisherman. It is the open-access concept that is not as easy to apply to this situation. Clearly the park is available to comm ercial fishermen if they meet the government regulations, which play the most significant role in limiting access. Without proper permits, endorsements and tags, there might be more part icipants than the fishery could sustain. At this time, the government provi des restriction to the resource. However, exactly how much do federal a nd government regulations maintain that restriction? From the outsid e, Biscayne National Park is more of a state-regulated property regime than open-access with myriad rules and regulations in place for the fishermen. Feeny et al. (1996) distinguishes between two types of regimes, de jure and de facto which also apply to Biscayne National Pa rk. The government (state and federal) regulate resource use on paper. However, because there is litt le enforcement of regulations that directly affect the fishermens behavior and fishing effort (such as gear

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79 specifications and harvest size re strictions), the situation is de facto more likely to be open-access. In this case the behavior of the fishermen will dictate fishing effort moreso than government regulations. According to this, I am presenting a discussion on the open-access nature of the Biscayne Nationa l Park fisheries with little regard to government regulations. The two sides to the de bate are discussed below, the first from a single-species approach, and the s econd from an ecosystems approach. Although anyone person with fishing permits could participate in the commercial fisheries at Biscayne National Pa rk, he would still have to know the area fairly well to be successful. Local ecological knowledge and fam iliarity with the gear are necessary and only come with years of experience. In anothe r context, if the target species was soup in a can with no label and Biscayne Bay wa s a members-only warehouse (e.g., Costco or Sams Club), it would be a similar situation. A participant would have to pay to be a member, and once he got in, would never find the soup can unless he knew where it in the store, and along the way probably pick up a lot of cans he did not want (bycatch). Only by trial and error or perhaps, if he knows the right person to ask, information he received from other members. This is a si mplified example, but representative of the basics of how the fisheries work within th e park. Without knowle dge of the resource a person would have little access, and the park becomes not as open-access as it appears on the surface. On the other side, from an ecosystems appr oach, is that the resource is open to other forms of exploitation. For example, a ny person can place a crab trap in any area of the park. In doing so, even if he is not su ccessful at catching a crab, he has potentially made an impact on the resource. He has not affected the stock but he has affected the

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80 habitat, which may eventually affect the cr abs and other organisms living there. When examining the assumption of open access, we must consider different means of access for the users to determine if the situat ion could possibly become a tragedy. Could Biscayne National Park Become a Tragedy? It is difficult to assess if the commerci al fisheries of Bisca yne National Park are sustainable with the little info rmation available, both as natu ral and cultural resources. However, it is important to know that there ar e factors at work that limit exploitation of the resource beyond existing government regulations. The fishermen experience a variety of factors that affect their success and limit their activities beyond the scope of formal management. Internal cultural limitations include secrecy, knowledge, a nd community status. External limitations include environmental and social factors, such as ecological seasonality, supply and demand, and theft. It is important for marine resource managers to c onsider these components of the fishery to make informed decisions on management. The Future of the Fisheries at Biscayne National Park Is conservation of marine resources an important goal for the fishermen of Biscayne National Park? I would argue ye s, although not nearly as important as conservation of the fisheries and fishermen. Interviews and conversations revealed that the fishermen are not particularly worried a bout the stocks but more concerned with the possibility that they will no longer be allowed to work within the park. They do not feel that they are overfishing and they do not consid er their activities to have a major impact on the habitat. When asked about the future of the fisherie s, specifically when discussing whether or not their children would fo llow in their footsteps, most fishermen expressed doubt or

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81 stated that did not encourage their children to become fishermen. This was mostly because of their uncertainty that there woul d even be a fishery for the children to participate in. The end of comm ercial fishing within the park is perceived as being a very real possibility in the very near future, a nd often the fishermen mentioned options that they had been contemplating should commercia l fishing in Biscayne National Park no longer be allowed. Often the fishermen referred to how they f eel that they are perceived as: the bad guys. Also noted in Smith and Jepson (1993), they feel that small-scale fishermen are a dying breed, even though they see themselves as hard-working good people. They also believe that much of the opposition comes from scientific studies, which portray the fishermen, especially the bait shrimpers, as obstructions to resource protection due to the damage caused by fishing gear. Several men tioned that scientists conducting research on the marine resources within the park were not to be trusted, and will find whatever results they are paid to find. Clearly, the fishermen are wary of the motives of the scientific community, and most of all, concerned with the re actions of the public to the results of these studies. The uncertainty of the continuation of co mmercial fishing in Biscayne National Park is valid. Similar to many other smallscale commercial fishermen in Florida, they face public scrutiny and are unsure of how and if they can refute the viewpoints (Smith and Jepson 1993). Without time, funds, and ab ility to come together as a group, they have little means to pr ovide a counter argument. Recreational Fishing Although this thesis focuses on the commer cial fishermen of Biscayne, I cannot ignore the role of the recreational anglers that visit the park, and their re lationship to the

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82 commercial fisheries. A visitors survey conducted in 2001 found fishing to be the primary reason for visiting the park for 31% of the respondents (Sim mons and Littlejohn 2001). The parks Ethnographic Overview and Assessment ( EDAW 2003) emphasized user groups participating in recreational angling and its im portance in how the general public is linked to the area. Furthermore, the Miami Herald has a weekly fishing report for the area and regularly publishes articles on recreational fishing, in cluding coverage of tournaments and other topics. At a simple glance, there should be little conflict between recreational and commercial fishermen, at least from a comp etition point of view. Although the number recreational trap fishermen is much higher th an that for commercial fishermen, there does not appear to be a problem with competiti on between the two user groups. This is perhaps because fishermen harvesting crab or lobster recreationally are allowed too few traps to compete with commercial trap fisher men. Shrimpers are targeting species not pursued by the recreational anglers, and they work only at night as recreational anglers typically fish during the day. However, a broader viewpoint could reveal other forms of competition. In a study on competition between recreational a nd commercial fishermen on Lake Erie, Berkes (1984) mentioned the effect on th e food web by each fishery as a more likely problem than overlapping territory or compe ting for a single species. In the case of Biscayne National Park, the competition, at least on the surface, seems to be on who should take the blame for decline in quality of the bay. Many of my informants are concerned with the recreational anglers, mostly stating that they are not edu cated on regulations and enforcem ent is difficult. Also, some

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83 commercial fishermen note that recreationa l anglers do not depend on the resource for their livelihoods, and are less likely to think about conserva tion when they are only in the park for a brief period. Finall y, the overall viewpoint on imp act from recreational use in the park is that the number of anglers in th e park far outweighs the number of commercial fishermen, and therefore should be the focus in management plans. Biscayne Fishermen in the Nati onal Park Service Context The National Park Service defines a cultural resource as: an aspect of a cultural system that is va lued by or significantl y representative of a culture or that contains si gnificant information about a culture. A cultural resource may be a tangible entity or a cultural practice. Tangible cultural resources are categorized as districts, sites, buildings structures, and objects for the National Register of Historic Places and as archeological res ources, cultural landscapes, structures, museum objects, and ethnogr aphic resources for NPS management purposes (National Park Service 2001). In 1998, the service created a management pl an for cultural resources that covered six types of cultural resour ces and provided guidelines for research, planning and stewardship. Included in th e plan was information for et hnographic resources, which are physical attributes (e.g., a site, landscape or natural resource feature) assigned significance by a cultural group. Ethnographic data on the traditional use a nd management of culturally important natural resources helps inform ecosystem management, programs of consumptive use, the Man and the Biosphere program, and global clim ate change research about relationships between environmental issues and local resource uses. The National Park Service know s the value of ethnographic studies for both sides. Why are there not more conducted, especially prior to development of management plans? One obstacle is lack of funding for st aff or contracting exte rnal researchers to complete the studies. Management and budge t would have to be modified to make

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84 ethnographic studies a priority for funding. Addi tional staff would be required to assess, plan and manage cultural resource studies. Management of cultural resources is an important goal for the National Park Service, ev en if natural resources remain superior in priority. Half of the annual budget allocated to na tural resource manage ment is assigned to management of cultural resources, and many parks only have one or two members of the staff assigned to cultural resource management (Gamble 2003). Of the four south Florida parks (Biscayne, Everglades, Big Cypr ess, and Dry Tortugas), Biscayne has the only cultural resource manager. Despite sh ortcomings in natural resource management staff as well, cultural resource management is hardly represented in park units with such rich cultural history. Still, if the National Park Service trul y wants to provide an interdisciplinary program and satisfy its requirements for manage ment of natural and cultural resources, a new approach must be developed in which resource management can be combined. The Ethnographic Overview and Assessment fo r Biscayne National Park (EDAW 2003) emphasized the importance of fishing as a cult ural activity of the park users (commercial and recreational), and my study provides more information of the commercial fishermen working in the park. However, my study is only skimming the surface. Imagine an ongoing effort of documenting local ecologi cal knowledge and information about the commercial fisheries from the participants point of view. What park management knows about the resource would greatly increas e, and the fishermen would be involved in the process. A well-rounded approach to collecting data and planning would be a significant contribution to both t ypes of resource management.

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85 Biscayne should press for more funding for ethnographic research and, if that fails, develop creative ways to combine forcesfor example, recruit fishermen for assistance with research projects. Through this, park st aff will develop relationships with park users and be collecting ethnographic data through participant obse rvation. It would also involve the fishermen in the res earch and planning process. Another suggestion is to not only soli cit or recommend information from the fishermen, but to require it. In addition to licen ses to work in the park, include a rule that fishermen must attend meetings, report to park staff on the status of the target species, or make recommendations for improvement of mana gement on a regular basis. Even simple informal conversations once or twice a y ear (such as when they renew the pending special permit licenses to fish in the park), during which they could inform park staff of problems or concerns that they have notice d, would at the very l east open up a dialogue between the managers and the fishermen. The park is a unique and beautiful area that faces increasing pressure for potential loss of its natural resources. All informati on that can contribute to knowledge about the bay and how it is affected by human activit ies is important--scientific and local knowledge alike. Biscayne must be willi ng to accept help and knowledge from the fishermen, who depend on the resource fo r their livelihoods and of whom many expressed deep connections to the bay. Pe rhaps with different motives, the fishermen and managers share the same goal: conserving the resource.

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86 Table 6-1: Some comparisons of scientific knowledge and local ecological knowledge of the biology and ecology of the target species. Species and concept Scientific Knowledge Local Ecological Knowledge Blue crab spawning males carry females until eggs are released, spawning occurs year-round but most from March-December occurs year-round age of sexual maturity/harvest size sexual maturity at about 1 yrs. legal harvest size in 4 months Stone crab spawning April to September, peaks in August and September occurs during the closed season (May 16-October 14), but has been observed during the open season also age of sexual maturity/harvest size sexual maturity at 2 yrs. le gal harvest size in 1-2 yrs. Spiny lobster spawning late spring to early summer, peaks in April and May n/a age of sexual maturity/harvest size sexual maturity at 2 yrs. legal harvest size in 1 yr. Shrimp spawning occurs offshore in the summer months offshore, inshore, throughout the bay [no consensus] age of sexual maturity/harvest size sexual maturity in about 10 weeks preferable size in 3-9 months

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87 APPENDIX FISHERMAN INTERVIEW PROTOCOL General How old are you? How long have you been fishing? What do you fish for commercially? How did you learn how to fish? Have you taught anyone else how to fish? What kind of boat and motor do you have? What kind of gear do you use? How does it work? Do you use GPS or other technology? Who do you sell to? Do you know anyone else who fishes commercially in Biscayne? Do you have any other sources of income? Local ecological knowledge What time of year do you fish? Why? What time of day do you fish? Why? What do you use for bait (trap fishermen)? Where do you get the bait? How old are the shrimp/crabs /lobsters that you catch? What kind of habitat does a shrimp/crab/lobster live in? What does a crab/shrimp/lobster eat? What eats a crab/shrimp/lobster? How does a crab/shrimp/lobster defend itself? Has there ever been a problem with predators affecting catch? What is the strangest thing you ev er caught in your trap/trawl? How does weather affect crabs/shrimp/lobsters? How does tide affect your catch? Have the populations of crab s/shrimp/lobsters changed? What other problems have you noticed in the bay? Are there places in the bay with pollution? Are there places in the bay with too many boats? Behavior How do you know where to fish? Do you tell other fishermen about your catch? How do you maintain your own fishing spots? Is there conflict with other fishermen?

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88 LIST OF REFERENCES Abel, T., and J.R. Stepp. 2003 A new ecosystems ecology for anthropology. Conservation Ecology 7(3):12. http://www.consecol.org/ vol7/iss3/art12 [10 May 2006]. Acheson, J.M. 1981 The anthropology of fishing. Annual Review of Anthropology 10:275-316. Acheson, J.M. 1988 The lobster gangs of Maine Hanover: University Press of New England. Acheson, J.M., J.A. Wilson, and R.S. Steneck. 1998 Managing chaotic fisheries, in Linking social and eco logical systems: Management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience Edited by F. Berkes and C. Folke, pp. 390-413. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Acheson, J.M., and J.A. Wilson. 1996 Order out of chaos: The case fo r parametric fisheries management. American Anthropologist 98(3):579-594. Adams, C., S. Jacob, and S. Smith. 2000 What happened after the net ban? FE 123, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Alden, P., R.B. Cech, R. Keen, A. Leve nter, G. Nelson, and W.B. Zomlefer. 1998 National Audubon Society fi eld guide to Florida New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Alleman, R.W. 1995 An update to the surface water im provement and management plan for Biscayne Bay. South Florida Water Manage ment District, West Palm Beach, Florida. Aswini, S., and M. Lauer. 2006 Incorporating fishermens local know ledge and behavior into geographical information systems (GIS) for designing marine protected areas in Oceania. Human Organization 65(1):81-102.

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89 Ault, J.S., S.G. Smith, G.A. Meester, J. Luo, and J.A. Bohnsack. 2001 Site characterization for Biscayne National Park: Assessment of fisheries resources and habitats NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC468. Miami, FL: SEFSC/NMFS/NOAA. Baird, I.G. 2001 Local ecological knowledge and small-scale freshwater fisheries management in the Mekong River in s outhern Laos, presented at Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work conferen ce, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, August 27-30. Berlin, B., D.E. Breedlove, and P.H. Raven. 1973 General principles of classificati on and nomenclature in folk biology. American Anthropologist 75(1):214-242. Bernard, H.R. 2002 Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches New York: Altamira Press. Berkes, F. 1984 Competition between commercial and sport fishermen: An ecological analysis. Human Ecology 12(4):413-428. Berkes, F. 1985 Fishermen and the tragedy of the commons. Environmental Conservation 12:199-206. Berkes, F. 1999 Sacred ecology: Traditional ecol ogical knowledge and resource management Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis. Berkes, F., J. Colding, and C. Folke. 2000 Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications 10:1251-1262. Bert, T.M., R.E. Warner, and L.D. Kessler. 1978 The biology and Florida fi shery of the stone crab, Menippe mercenaria (Say), with emphasis on southwest Florida Sea Grant Technical Paper no. 9, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Biscayne National Park website. 2004 http://www.nps.gov/bisc [13 March 2005]. Bielsa, L.M., W.H. Murdich, and R.F. Labisky. 1983 Species profiles: Life histories and en vironmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Atlantic)pink shrimp U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82 (11.17). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TR EL-82-4.

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90 Cantillo, A.Y., K. Hale, E. Collins, L. Pikula, and R. Caballero. 2000 Biscayne Bay: Environmental history and annotated bibliography NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCO S CCMA 146. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administ ration, Silver Spring, MD. Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 2005 Development of the Central and South Florida Project. Http://www. evergladesplan.org/about/restudy_c sf_devel.cfm [10 March 2006]. Couch, J.A., and S. Martin. 1982 Protozoan symbionts and relate d diseases of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission 7:71-80. Davis, G.E., D.S. Baughman, J.D. Chap man, D. MacArthur, and A.C. Pierce. 1978 Mortality associated with declawing stone crabs, Menippe mercenaria. South Florida Resources Center Report T-522. Davis, G.E. 1981 Effects of injuries on spiny lobster, Panulirus argus and implications for fishery management. U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service Fishery Bulletin 78:979-984. Department of the Air Force. 2001 Second supplemental record of decision: Disposal of portions of the former Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. Duff, J.A., and W.C. Harrison. 1997 The law, policy, and politics of gillnet restrictions in st ate waters of the Gulf of Mexico Saint Thomas Law Review 9:389-417. EDAW. 2003 Biscayne National Park ethnographic overview and assessment San Diego. Eggleston, D.B., and R.N. Lipcius. 1992 Shelter selection by spiny lobster under variable predation risk, social conditions, and shelter size. Ecology 73(3):992-1011. Feeny, D., S. Hanna, and A.F. McEvoy 1996 Questioning the assumptions of the tragedy of the commons model of fisheries. Land Economics 72(2):187-205. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2000 Reporting requirements for the mari ne fisheries information system. Chapter 68E-5. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2005a http://myfwc.c om [10 March 2006].

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91 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2005b Commercial fishing regulations 2005-2006. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2005c Blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Florida Power and Light. 2005 Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant fact sheet. http://www.fpl.com/ environment/nuclear/pdf/turke ypointfact.pdf [10 March 2006]. Florida Senate. 2006 Senate bill 2490: Re lating to saltwater fisheries/crabs/lobsters. http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/ 2006/Senate/bills/b illtext/pdf/s2490. pdf [1 June 2006]. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2004 The state of world fisheries and a quaculture. http://www.fao.org [28 March 2005]. Gamble, D. 2003 The natural bias against cultura l resources in our national parks Unpublished essay, National Park s Conservation Association, Washington, D.C. Gasalla, M.A. 2001 Ethnoecological models of marine ecosystems: Fishing for fishermen to address local knowledge in southeas tern Brazil industr ial fisheries, presented at Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, August 27-30. Gosner, K.L. 1978 A field guide to the Atlantic seasho re. Boston: Houglin Mifflin Company. Gosse, K., J. Wroblewski, and B. Neis. 2001 Closing the loop: Commercial fisher harvesters' knowledge and science in a study of coastal cod in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, presented at Putting Fishers' Knowledge to Work Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, August 27-30. Hardin, G. 1968 The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243-1248. Hilborn, R., Punt, A.E., and J. Orensanz. 2004 Beyond band-aids in fisheries ma nagement: Fixing world fisheries. Bulletin of Marine Science 74(3):493-507.

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92 Humann, P., and N. DeLoach. 1995 Snorkeling guide to marine life: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas Jacksonville, FL: New Worl d Publications, Inc. Hunt, J.H., R.J. Carroll, V. Ch inchilli, and D. Frankenberg. 1980 Relationship between environmental factors and brown shrimp production in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina Special Science Report no. 33. North Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Commercial Division, Division of Marine Fisheries. Irlandi, E., B. Orlando, S. Macia, P. Biber, T. Jones, J. Kaufman, D. Lirman, and E.T. Patterson. 2002 The influence of freshwater ru noff on biomass, morphometrics, and production of Thalassia testudinum Aquatic Botany 72:87-78. Jentoft, S., B.J. McCay, and D.C. Wilson. 1998 Social theory and fisheries co-management. Marine Policy 22(4-5):423436. Johannes, R.E. 1998 The case for data-less marine resource management: Examples from tropical nearshore finfisheries. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13(6):243-246. Johnson, J.C., and M.K. Orbach. 1990 A fishery in transition: Impacts of urbanization on Floridas spiny lobster fishery. City and Society 4(1):88-104. Katz, C. 1998 The nature of Floridas ocean life Melbourne Beach, FL: Atlantic Press. Klotzbach, P.J., and W.H. Gray. 2006. Extended range forecast of Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity and U.S. landfall strike probability for 2006. http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu /forecasts/2006/j une2006/ [10 June 2006]. Kutkuhn, J.H. 1966 Dynamics of a penaeid shrimp population and management implications. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bulletin 65:313-338. Larson, S.C., M.J. Van Der Avyle, and E.L. Bozeman, Jr. 1989 Species profiles: Life histories and en vironmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Atlantic)brown shrimp U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82 (11.90). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TR EL-82-4.

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93 Leynes, J.B., and D. Cullison. 1998 Biscayne National Park historic resource study Atlanta: National Park Service Southeast Region. Lindberg, W.J., and M.J. Marshall. 1984 Species profiles: Life histories and enviro nmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Atlantic)stone crab U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82 (11). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TR EL-82-4. Link, J.S. 2002 What does ecosystem-based management mean? Fisheries 27(4):18-21. Lirman, D., and W.P. Cropper, Jr. 2003 The influence of salinity on seagrass growth, survivorship and distribution within Biscayne Bay, Florida: Field, experimental, and modeling studies. Estuaries 26(1):131-141. Lirman, D., B. Orlando, B. Macia, D. Manzell o, L. Kaufman, P. Biber, and T. Jones. 2003 Coral communities of Biscayne Bay, Florida, and adjacent offshore areas: Diversity, abundance, distribution, and environmental correlates. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Systems 13(2):121-135. Little, E.J., and G.R. Milano. 1980 Techniques to monitor recruitmen t of postlarval spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus to the Florida Keys Florida Marine Resources Publication no. 37. Mackinson, S., and L. Nottestad. 1998 Combining local a nd scientific knowledge. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 8:481-290. Marx, J.M., and W.F. Herrnkind. 1986 Species profiles: Life histories and en vironmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (Sout h Atlantic)spiny lobster U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82 (11.61). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TR EL-82-4. Mathiesen, C. 2004 Analytical framework for studying fishers behaviour and adaptation strategies, in Beyond boom and bust in the Circumpolar North Edited by H. Myers and J. Reschny. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference of the Circumpolar Arctic Social Science Ph.D. Network, August. UNBC Press. Miller, M.L., J. Kaneko, P. Bartram, J. Marks, and D.D. Brewer. 2004 Cultural consensus analysis and e nvironmental anthropology: Yellowfin tuna fishery management in Hawaii. Cross-Cultural Research 38(3):289314.

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94 More, W.R. 1969 A contribution to the biology of the blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus Rathbun) in Texas, with a description of the fishery. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Technical Service 1:1-31. National Park Service. 2000 Media release: $1 million settlement in coral reef grounding case. December 11. National Park Service. 2001 Cultural resource management guideline. NPS-28. Neis, B. 1999 Familial and social patriarchy in the Newfoundland fishing industry, in Fishing places, fishing people: Trad itions and issues in Canadian smallscale fisheries Edited by D. Newell and R.E. Ommer, pp.32-54. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Neis, B., L.F. Felt, R.L. Haedrich, and D.C. Schneider. 1999 An interdisciplinary method for collecting and integrating fishers ecological knowledge into resource management, in Fishing places, fishing people: Traditions and issues in Canadian small-scale fisheries Edited by D. Newell and R.E. Omme r, pp. 217-238. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Olsson, P., and C. Folke. 2001 Local ecological knowledge and in stitutional dynamics for ecosystem management: A study of Lake Racken watershed, Sweden. Ecosystems 4:85-104. Paolisso, M. 2002 Blue crabs and controversy on the Chesapeake Bay: A cultural model for understanding watermens reasoning about blue crab management. Human Organization 61(3):226-239. Parks, A.M. 1981 Miami: The magic city Tulsa, OK: Continental Heritage Press. Perry, H.M. 1975 The blue crab fishery in Mississippi. Gulf Resources Report 5(1):39-57. Perry, H.M., and T.D. McIlwain. 1986 Species profiles: Life histories and en vironmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (South Atlantic)blue crab U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 82 (11.55). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers TR EL-82-4.

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95 Pinkerton, E. 1998 Integrated management of a temp erate montane forest ecosystem through wholistic forestry: A British Columbia example, in Linking social and ecological systems: Management pr actices and social mechanisms for building resilience Edited by F. Berkes and C. Folke, pp.363-389. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Poizat, G., and E. Baran. 1997 Fishermens knowledge as background in formation in tropical fish ecology: A quantitative comparison with fish sampling results. Environmental Biology of Fishes 50:435-449. Ramrez-Snchez, S. 2006 Finding emotions in the drama of the commons: A multi-relational and multi-level analysis of the access to fi shery resources in the Loreto Bay Marine Park, Baja California Sur, Me xico, presented at the Eleventh Conference of the Inte rnational Association for the Study of Common Property, June 19-23, Ubud, Bali. Rousefell, G.A. 1975 Ecology, utilization, and management of marine fisheries Saint Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company. Ruddle, K. 1994 Local knowledge in the folk manage ment of fisheries and coastal marine environments, in Folk management in the worlds fisheries Edited by C.L. Dyer and J.R. McGoodwin, pp. 161-206. Niwot, CO: University of Colorado Press. Salas, S., and D. Gaertner. 2004 The behavioural dynamics of fi shers: Management implications. Fish and Fisheries 5:153-167. Savage, T., and J.R. Sullivan. 1978 Growth and claw regene ration of the stone crab Menippe mercenaria Marine Resources Publication 32:1-23. Scholz, A., K. Bonzon, R. Fujita, N. Benjami n, N. Woodling, P. Black, and C. Steinback. 2004 Participatory socioeconomic anal ysis: Drawing on fishermens knowledge for marine protected area planning in California. Marine Policy 28:335349. Shipman, S., V.W. Baisden, and H.L. Ansley. 1983 Study and assessment of Georgi as marine resources 1977-1981 Completion report, Georgi a Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division, Brunswick, GA.

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96 Simmons, T., and M. Littlejohn. 2001 Biscayne National Park visitor study Visitor Services Study, Report 125. Smith, A.H., and F. Berkes. 1991 Solutions to the "trage dy of the commons:" Sea ur chin management in St. Lucia, West Indies. Environmental Conservation 18(2):131-136. Smith, S., and M. Jepson. 1993 Big fish, little fish: Po litics and power in the regul ation of Floridas marine resources. Social Problems 40(1):39-49. Smith, S., S. Jacob, and M. Jepson. 2003 After the Florida net ban: The imp acts on commercial fishing families. Society and Natural Resources 16:39-59. South Florida Water Management District. 1997 Know the flow West Palm Beach, FL. Spain, G. 2000 Rethinking fisheries management: Why fisheries management fails, presented at the Tenth Biennial Confer ence of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade. Or egon State University, July 10-14. Sullivan, J.R. 1979 The stone crab Menippe mercenaria in the southwest Florida, USA, fishery Florida Marine Resource s Publication no. 36:1-37. Tagatz, M.E. 1968 Growth of juvenile blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, in the St. Johns River, Florida. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fishery Bulletin 67(2):281-288. Thunberg, E.M., S. Smith, and M. Jepson. 1994 Social and economic issues in ma rine fisheries allocations: A Florida perspective. Trends 31(1):31-36. U.S. Census Bureau. 2000 Population of Miami-Dade Co unty, Florida. Washington, D.C. U.S. Congress. 1980. Establishment of Bi scayne National Park. 96th Congress, 2nd session. H.R. 5926. U.S. Congress. 1996 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conser vation and Management Act.104th Congress, 2nd session. S. 39.

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97 U.S. Congress. 2005 A bill to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 109th Congress, 1st session. H.R. 4940. Viglucci, A. 2006 A new role for an old base? Miami Herald March 25. Voss, G.L. 1976 Seashore life of Florida and the Caribbean Miami, FL: Banyan Books, Inc. Walters, C.J., and S.J.D. Martell. 2004 Fisheries ecology and management Princeton: Princeton University Press. Well, E.L., R.J. Maliao, and S.V. Siar. 2004 Using local user perceptions to evaluate outcomes of protected area management in the Sagay Marine Reserve, Philippines. Environmental Conservation 31(2):138-148. Williams, A.B. 1955 A contribution to the life histories of commercial shrimp (Penaeidae) in North Carolina. Bulletin of Marine Science of the Gulf and Caribbean 5:116-146. Wilson, D.C. 2003 Examining the two cultures theory of fisheries knowledge: The case of bluefish management. Society and Natural Resources 16:491-508.

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98 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH I was born and raised in Stockbridge, Georgia, atte nded Stockbridge High School and graduated with honors in 1996. I acquired my bachelors degree in ecology from the University of Georgia in 2000. Until I began the masters program in enterdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida in 2003, I traveled throughout Central America, where I studied Spanish in Guatemala and wo rked at an eco-lodge in Punta Banco, Costa Rica. The focus in my graduate studies includes ecological anthropology and environmental education. After graduation, I will continue at the University of Florida in the Ph.D. program in interdisciplinary ecology, focusing on the use of ecological anthropology to improve environmental ed ucation in the United States. Following my Ph.D., I hope to have the opportunity to teach at the university leve l and design research plans that allow for collaboration with external institutions.


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Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE, LIMITATIONS, AND PERCEPTIONS OF
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SMALL-SCALE COMMERCIAL
FISHERMEN IN BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK















By

KARI MACLAUCHLIN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006





























Copyright 2006

by

Kari MacLauchlin















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to Dr. Stephen Humphrey and the

School of Natural Resources and Environment for providing funding during my graduate

work. I would like to thank my committee members for being flexible and supportive

throughout the process. Mike Jepson gave me amazing advice from personal experience,

and Chuck Cichra was always ready with input and motivation. I also want to thank my

committee chair, Rick Stepp, for supporting me, giving me freedom to do this study, and

most of all, for his never-ending positivity. Even in difficult times, he still found a

moment to listen and push me through. Finally, I would like to acknowledge Eric Jones,

my honorary committee member and close friend, who always gave me honest feedback

and advice.

The Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Florida, provided me

with inexpensive housing during my field work; I cannot thank them enough for allowing

me to stay there and being so helpful, especially Dr. Van Waddill, Marie Thorp, and

Monica DeLeon-Herrera. My roommates during my time in south Florida, Xing and Yan

Wang, kept tabs on me during my excursions and kept me calm during the hurricane. I

also want to acknowledge the advice and guidance of three other people in the area:

Marella Crane, Doug Gregory, and Don Pybas. Brenda Lanzendorf from Biscayne

National Park was a wonderful source of information, along with Dr. Tony Paredes,

recently retired from the NPS Southeast Regional Office, who provided feedback and

motivation for this study. Todd Kellison, also from Biscayne, always took a minute to









answer questions and listen to my ideas-I cannot thank him enough. Also, I would like

to acknowledge the input from Greg Guest and David Casagrande, who took the time to

read over my ideas and give me feedback.

I also want to thank my family and friends for their support. My grandmother

Eleanor sent me letters and emails that kept me going. Richard, my grandfather, is the

greatest anthropologist I ever knew and taught me how to ask lots of questions. My

parents have been my rock; without their unconditional love and patience I never would

make it. My father's positive outlook always made me worry less. I want to thank my

mother, my best friend and my ultimate committee member, for always lending an ear

and, most of all, for reminding me to breathe.

I cannot begin to thank the wonderful second family I have found in my friends.

My first friend in Florida, Jenny Haddle, gave me support, love, and a laugh ever since

the beginning. Thank goodness she went through all of this first so she could tell me

what I was supposed to be doing. Lindsay Eddleblute was there to get me through the

hard parts and celebrate during the good parts. Jonathan Ament continues to be a daily

occurrence in my life and the best storyteller I know; I thank him for listening to my own

stories, for his advice on writing, and for his friendship. I also would like to

acknowledge Daniel Whitman, whose familiar face gave me company while I was in

south Florida, and whose competitiveness drives my motivation. Jason Page gave me

endless support and advice throughout the planning and fieldwork.

Finally, I would like to thank the fishermen of Biscayne for welcoming me into

their community and helping me with my research. They were enthusiastic and

interested, and I am lucky to have crossed paths with such a wonderful group of people. I









wish that I could list some of their names but the IRB says I cannot. So, the following

people, once my informants but now my friends, know who they are: the captain of the

"Cadillac," the last shrimper in Key Largo, the family of shrimpers with a new boat, and

most of all-Toad. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know them.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iii

L IST O F TA B LE S .................................. ................................. ............ .. ix

LIST OF FIGURES ............................... ... ...... ... ................. .x

ABSTRACT .............. .................. .......... .............. xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

State ent of the P problem .................................................................................. 1
R research O bjectives.......... ................................................................... ........ .... .3
L im stations of the Study ............................................................... ....................... 3
Overview of Thesis................. ............... ......... ..................... .... 4

2 LITERA TURE REVIEW .......................................................... ..............6

Fisheries M anagem ent .................. ........................................ .. ........ ..
L ocal E cological K now ledge....................................... .......................................8
Inform al and Co-m anagem ent ......................................................... ............. 10
Sum m ary of the L iterature........................................................................... ...... 12

3 RESEARCH CONTEXT AND STUDY SITE ...................................................14

F fishing in F lorida .................... .. .... ........ .... ....................... 14
Current Commercial Fishing Regulations in Florida .......................................15
The N et B an................................................... ........................... ....... 15
Study Site: Biscayne N national Park................................ ......................... ........ 16
Environment of Biscayne National Park ..........................................................17
Population Growth of Nearby Miami-Dade County .......................................17
Canals and Freshwater Flow ..................... ............................. 18
Other Pressures for Biscayne National Park ........................ ........................18
Status and Management of Marine Resources at Biscayne National Park..........19
Summaries of Scientific Knowledge of Each Target Species .............. .................21
Blue Crab ..................................... ............................... ........... 21
S to n e C rab ...................................................... ................ 2 2









S p in y L o b ste r ................................................................................................. 2 2
B row n and P ink Shrim p ........................................................... .....................23

4 M E T H O D O L O G Y ......................................... .. .. .................................................. 3 1

Locating Inform ants ............. ................. .................. .... ..... ...............3 1
Interview s w ith Fisherm en ........................................................................................32
Communication with Fisheries Management Staff at Biscayne National Park..........33
P participant O b servation ..................................................................... ...................33
Interview Protocol .............. .......... ....................................... .... ...... 34
Interview Schedule and Constraints ........................................ ....................... 35
S e c o n d ary D ata ..................................................................................................... 3 6
D ata A nalysis...................... ............... ...............36
Fishermen Interviews and Field Notes............... ......................................36
Taxonom ic D ata ........................................ ... .... ........ ......... 37
Secondary D ata...................................................................................37

5 R E S U L T S .............................................................................3 9

Demographics of the Biscayne National Park Fishermen ........................................39
Overview of the Fisheries ...................................... ................ ............... 41
B lue C rab ................................. ................................ ... ....... 4 1
S to n e C ra b ..................................................................................................... 4 2
S p in y L o b ste r ................................................................................................. 4 3
B a it S h rim p .................................................................................................... 4 4
L local E ecological K now ledge.............................. ........ ..... .................................. 48
Trapped Species (Blue Crab, Stone Crab, Spiny Lobster) ................................48
B a it S h rim p .................................................................. 5 1
B iodiv ersity .......................................................................... 53
Factors A affecting Effort and Catch........................................ ......................... 55
T rap F ish erm en ........................................................................... ............... 55
T h eft ................ ...................................... ................ 5 5
Seasonality and w weather ..................................... ........................ .. .......... 57
Territory and conflict ......................... .. .. ......... ......... ........ ......58
S h rim p ers ...................................... .............................................. 5 9
S e a so n ality .................................................. ................ 5 9
Secrecy .................................. ........... ................. ............ 60
The network of the bait shrimpers.....................................................61
W working alone .................. ............................. ...... .. .. ........ .... 62
Conservation and Management ............................................................................63

6 D ISC U S SIO N ............................................................................... 7 1

K now ledge of the Fisherm en ............................................................... ............... .... 71
Comparison of Scientific Knowledge and Local Ecological Knowledge ..................73
Lim stations on the Fisherm en ............................................. ............................ 74
Fishermen and "Commons" Assumptions...............................................................75









Selfishness .................................................................... .........75
Overexploitation and Limited Resources ................................. ................ 77
Common Property and Open-access .................................... ............... 78
Could Biscayne National Park Become a "Tragedy?" ......................................80
The Future of the Fisheries at Biscayne National Park ............................................80
R recreational F fishing ................. ............................................................ .... 8 1
Biscayne Fishermen in the National Park Service Context ........................................83

APPENDIX

FISHERMAN INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ..................... ............... 87

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ........................................................................ .....................88

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................98
















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

2-1 Summary of main characteristics of local ecological knowledge of fishermen...... 12

3-1 Current costs of licenses and endorsements for commercial fishing. ....... ........ 24

3-2 Federally listed endangered species in Biscayne National Park ...........................24

3-3 Summary of the development of the fisheries management plan at Biscayne
N atio n al P ark ...................................................... ................ 2 5

3-4 Summary of elements of the Biscayne fisheries management plan........................25

4-1 Themes used in coding interviews and field notes..........................................38

5-1 Organisms mentioned during interviews and documented in field notes. ..............64

6-1 Some comparisons of scientific knowledge and local ecological knowledge ........86
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

2-1 Combining information sources of fishermen and scientists. ................................13

3-1 Sam ple trip ticket. ............................................. ................... ........ 26

3-2 M ap of B iscayne N national Park ................................................................... ..... 26

3-3 Habitat distribution in Biscayne National Park................... ..................................27

3-4 Propeller scars on a seagrass bed in Biscayne Bay. ..............................................28

3-5 Population of Miami-Dade County from 1900 to 2000. .......................................28

3-6 Elevated landfill near Black Point Marina, nicknamed "Mt. Trashmore.".............29

3-7 Canal system in M iami-Dade County................... ............. ......... ............. 29

3-8 A view of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant from Biscayne Bay.......................30

4-1 Trip ticket area codes for Biscayne National Park...............................................38

5-1 Blue crab (m ale). .................................... .. ....... .... .............. .. 66

5-2 B lue crab trap w ith tw o levels ........................................ ........................... 66

5-3 Stone crab trap .................................................. ................. 67

5-4 Spiny lobster........................................................................ ... ...... ...... 67

5-5 Lobster sanctuary boundaries within Biscayne National Park.............................68

5-6 Lobster trap (in repair). ................................................ ............................... 68

5-7 Rollerframe trawl on a bait shrimp boat ...... ......... ...................................... 69

5-8 Holding tanks on a bait shrimp boat..................................................................... 69

5-9 Picking tray on a bait shrimp boat with seagrass "trash."..................................... 70

5-10 Bait shrim p boat.. ....................... ......... .. .. ...... .. .............. 70















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE, LIMITATIONS, AND PERCEPTIONS OF
CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF SMALL-SCALE COMMERCIAL
FISHERMEN IN BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK
By

Kari MacLauchlin

August 2006

Chair: John Richard Stepp
Major Department: Interdisciplinary Ecology

Decline in fish stocks and degradation of marine habitats are growing problems

facing many areas of the world. In addition to quota restrictions, ecosystem-based

approaches are being applied to management plans. Recently, there has been more

attention placed of the value of studies on the fishermen, including documentation of

local ecological knowledge, cultural aspects, factors influencing fishermen behavior, and

projects involving co-management.

This study used qualitative data collection and analysis to examine the local

ecological knowledge, limitations, and perceptions of the small-scale commercial

fishermen working within Biscayne National Park, Florida. I collected data through

interviews with fishermen in addition to participant observation and informal

conversations documented in field notes. Local ecological knowledge was coded into life

cycle, diet, predation, habitat, seasonality, and taxonomy.









The knowledge of the fishermen was broad and pertained to how and where they

fish. When compared to existing scientific knowledge on the target species (blue crab,

stone crab, spiny lobster, and bait shrimp), local ecological knowledge was similar except

on the topics of spawning and age of sexual maturity or harvest size. External factors

that affect or limit the fishermen's behavior included theft, environmental seasonality,

and market. Within the fishing community, I found that secrecy and the social network

play important roles in transmission of knowledge and how the fishermen work.

Perceptions of conservation and management were also documented, including concerns

discussed by the fishermen. While the fishermen understand the importance of

conserving the marine resources of Biscayne National Park, they place more value on the

continuation of commercial fishing in the park. Each major finding was discussed in the

context of implications for fisheries management at the park and in the context of

common property management. In addition, emphasis is placed on the importance of

collaboration between managers and fishermen, and suggestions for improving this

relationship are offered.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem

Due to increasing pressure on the world's marine resources, fisheries management

is becoming more important for the conservation of the resources. Since 1950, there has

been a 400% increase in world fishery harvest (Food and Agriculture Organization of the

United Nations 2004). However, fisheries management is a complicated process. Marine

environments are dynamic and fisheries biologists may disagree on research findings.

Furthermore, perfect satisfaction of data needs will rarely occur due to limited resources

and time (Johannes 1998); managers must also consider economic and social

consequences during the planning process (Walters and Martell 2004:6). Many marine

systems are treated as open-access resources and common property, adding more stress to

the duties of managers because they must address the issues and complications of

ownership, access rights and availability (Rousefell 1975:249). Yet scholars still have

confidence in the potential of fisheries management, as the science is evolving

continuously (Johannes 1998).

Some fisheries management schemes have not produced the desired results of

restored stocks and sustainability. New concepts have begun to emerge, including

adaptive management, ecosystem management, and responsible fisheries. These types of

management are based on participation from users, who may have useful knowledge of

the ecosystem and who are more likely to support and comply with regulations when they

are a part of the process (Jentoft et al. 1998). With local participation, managers can also









determine the conservation ethic of the user groups (to identify appropriate educational

plans) and utilize fishermen in ongoing data collection and monitoring research

(Johannes 1998).

Local fishermen have developed, over many years and from firsthand experience,

an understanding of the ecosystem on which they rely (Baird 2001). In some cases,

fishing communities have been able to reduce overfishing through self-management

(Acheson 1988; Smith and Berkes 1991) and formed agreements among the local

community members to avoid gear conflicts and assist one another during difficult times

(Acheson 1981), based on local ecological knowledge. Combining local ecological

knowledge with scientific data is an alternative for fisheries management that may help

reach the desired goal (Gosse et al. 2001).

The marine resources at Biscayne National Park are also recognized to be in peril,

based on scientific data and from observations of park users and staff (Todd Kellison,

personal communication). A fisheries management plan is currently being developed by

the park. Community participation in the planning process exists in the form of public

meetings and via local representatives of the commercial fisheries appointed to the

Biscayne Working Group-a panel made up of fishermen, scientists, divers, government

officials and others-that was established to provide recommendations for and comment

on the management plan. However, little research has been conducted on the local

commercial fishermen at Biscayne National Park and their roles in the ecosystem

(EDAW:6.3 2003). This thesis will examine what commercial fishermen at Biscayne

National Park know about the ecology of the marine resources, internal and external









limitations that influence behavior and success, and perceptions of the current status of

the environment and government management.

Research Objectives

The overall objective of the study was to characterize the Biscayne National Park

fisheries in a natural and cultural context from the viewpoint of the fishermen. The

specific objectives were to:

* document local ecological knowledge that contributes to fishing success.

* describe factors (other than government regulation) that affect behavior and limit
harvest of the target species.

* identify fishermen's perspectives on conservation and management.

I did not set out to test hypotheses or compare the fishermen in terms of specific

variables, but to document their knowledge about the resource, observations and

concerns, and the basics of how each fishery functions on a cultural and economic level.

Although much research has been conducted on the marine resource itself over the past

few decades, there has not been an in-depth study of the Biscayne fishermen themselves.

Limitations of the Study

The first limitation of the study was my status as an outsider. I was in the field for

three months, and although welcomed into the community, I constantly had to reassure

my informants that I did not work for the park. Seldom was I able to walk into an

interview without a full explanation of my motives. In addition, I am sure that all of the

responses given were not always truthful; at times, I was requesting my informants for

their secrets of success, and I am certain I was not given all the details in every response.

One aspect not covered by this study is my interaction with Hispanic captains.

From resources on the commercial fisheries in the park, I was under the impression that









there were very few Latinos working in Biscayne National Park and had not prepared an

informed consent document in Spanish. Once I realized that this status had changed over

the past year, I submitted a request for permission to use a consent document in Spanish

to the University of Florida Internal Review Board, but did not receive approval in time

to approach any Hispanic captains for interviews. Therefore, the study focuses on the

body of knowledge of longtime Anglo fishermen.

I conducted my research during the hurricane season of 2005, which was the most

active hurricane season in the history of the United States. While there were no direct

hits during my fieldwork, south Florida did experience harsh weather at several times

throughout the summer. Scheduled interviews took a back seat to preparation for and

recovery from these events, at which time I was not able to contact the fishermen for

periods ranging from a few days to two weeks.

Finally, the most substantial limitation is that the research only captures the

fishermen of Biscayne National Park as a snapshot in time. The fisheries have been

established for many decades and subsequently, as people come and go, information may

be lost or forgotten.

Overview of Thesis

The manuscript will describe knowledge about the local biophysical environment

from the viewpoint of the commercial fishermen of Biscayne National Park. Chapter 2 is

a literature review of approaches to the study of local ecological knowledge and marine

anthropology and considers the implications for management of engaging the knowledge

and participation of fishermen. Chapter 3 describes the background and current situation

of the marine resources and commercial fisheries, and a description of Biscayne National

Park. Chapter 4 explains methodology used for collecting and analyzing data, which









included interviews, participant observation and reviewing secondary data. Chapter 5

provides the results of my study, including local ecological knowledge, internal and

external factors limiting the fishermen, and perceptions of the current situation of the

resource and management. Chapter 6 includes implications for management and

scientific research based on the observations and knowledge of the fishermen, plus

suggestions for further involvement of the fishermen in research and planning. Overall,

my thesis will provide a closer look at the culture of the fishermen, what they know and

how they know it, and hopefully provide a additional base of knowledge to the scientific

research being conducted in the bay.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Despite progress in fisheries science, the majority of the world's fisheries continue

to decline. A paradigm shift in how marine resources have traditionally been managed is

needed and focus is shifting towards both ecosystem-based management and

collaboration with resource users (Hilbom et al. 2004; Link 2002; Mackinson and

Nottestad 1998; Spain 2000), particularly small-scale commercial fishermen.

The following theoretical framework provides support for my research conducted

on the Biscayne National Park fishermen. It examines these new directions for fisheries

management and how research on and with local fishermen can be used in planning. The

framework also examines concepts and previous studies on local ecological knowledge,

and how this knowledge is useful by expanding the information base of a specific area.

Next, it outlines how documentation of local ecological knowledge provides insight on

fishermen's strategies, success, and behavior. The discussion of ecological knowledge is

followed by a review of literature on the self-management of fishing culture. The chapter

concludes with a summary of how research on fishing communities is useful for fisheries

management.

Fisheries Management

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act was amended

in1996 to include the goal of maximizing fisheries benefits but also sustain the industry

for long-term viability. It recognizes the economic and social potential of United States

fisheries, but also the limitations of exploitation (U.S. Congress 1996). In 2005, the act









was modified with the Fisheries Science and Management Act. The enhancement

included improved use of science, training for council members, and equal representation

of user groups on councils. Furthermore, the amendments encourage an ecosystem-based

approach and increased collaboration with fishermen for cooperative research (U.S.

Congress 2005).

The Enhancement Act calls for more emphasis on an ecosystems approach.

Contemporary fisheries management is often based on a single-species approach and is

grounded in scientific data, which is sometimes leads to little or no improvement in the

resource following implementation of management plans (Link 2002). Finding a stock to

be below its expected population level, then placing limitations on harvest might seem to

be the logical route to conserve a species, but this only treats a symptom of a larger

problem within the entire system (Hilborn et al. 2004). Resource users are not the sole

source of any problem in a marine environment. The system in which a target species

lives is complex and connected. Often, changes in the habitat or food web are also the

results of degradation caused by pollution, development, man-made water flow

restrictions, and other anthropogenic factors. These changes most likely have a similar or

greater impact on the marine organisms than fishing, and should also be considered when

developing a management plan (Spain 2000).

Fisheries do not exist without the resource users, and managers must take into

account the social, cultural and economic aspects of a fishery in addition to the biological

and ecological factors, i.e., the human ecosystem. A human ecosystems approach to

fisheries management would consider the human and non-human components, system

dynamics, and resilience of the resource and resource users (Abel and Stepp 2003). A









system so complex with so many working factors cannot be evaluated with focus on a

single stock of fish; all facets must be examined.

Despite its importance and attention, ecosystem-based management must overcome

a major obstacle: funding. Monetary resources for data collection in fisheries

management are inadequate, even to carry out basic research (Spain 2000). A shift to

ecosystem-based management, which considers complex interactions of all organisms

within a system, is even more expensive (Link 2002). Considering not only the

population of a target species but also its predators, prey, habitat, migration, life cycle,

etc., requires much more time, money, and manpower. However, there is a largely

untapped resource available to fisheries managers that is based on years of observations,

easily consolidated and as accessible as the target species themselves: local ecological

knowledge of the fishermen.

Local Ecological Knowledge

Local ecological knowledge is defined by Olsson and Folke (2001) as "knowledge

held by a specific group of people about their local ecosystems... [and] may be a mix of

scientific and practical knowledge." Studies have been conducted on local ecological

knowledge of many different biophysical environments and in many different areas of the

world. In the past few decades, the value of local knowledge to conservation measures

and resource management plan has received more attention by anthropologists, ecologists

and other interest groups (Berkes et al. 2000). Likewise, conservation of marine

resources has spawned an interest and recommendation for documenting local ecological

knowledge of small-scale fishermen.

The knowledge systems of fishermen are specific to their locations and conditions,

and are an accumulation of information over long periods of time (Table 2-1). They are









based on empirical information about the biophysical environment, habitat, behavior of

the target species, and ecological interactions (Ruddle 1994). Local ecological

knowledge is developed over many years and comes from firsthand experience, and is

also transmitted orally between the fishermen and to subsequent generations (Baird 2001)

or through shared experiences (Berkes et al. 2000). Along with general observations,

fishermen commonly formulate theories on the processes that they witness: the 'why' in

addition to the 'what' (Gasalla 2001).

Documenting local ecological knowledge is a useful way to broaden the resource

management knowledge base and therefore strengthen the logic behind fisheries

management (Figure 2-1). Although it may not be collected, analyzed, or interpreted in

the same way as scientific knowledge, it is still a viable source of information that can be

used in addition to studies conducted by trained marine researchers to fill in gaps and

suggest emerging problems (Scholz et al. 2004). Local ecological knowledge comes in a

compiled form; it is the accumulation of previous generations and the present network of

fishermen working in an area (Mackinson and Nottestad 1998). Finally, the opportunity

to share knowledge, and possibly gain a better understanding to improve their own

fishing abilities, generates local fishermen's enthusiasm for involvement (Baird 2001).

The complex qualities of ecosystems requires a complex understanding, including

dynamics, interactions and adaptation, in order to properly manage them. Local

knowledge systems are in themselves complicated and ever-changing (Acheson and

Wilson 1996) and consider all aspects of the resource: cultural, economic and ecological.

Several studies have examined the value of local ecological knowledge for management









of the complex marine resources (Acheson and Wilson 1996; Aswini and Lauer 2006;

Berkes et al. 2000; Olsson and Folke 2001).

A benefit from documenting local ecological knowledge is that it also leads to

understanding the behavior of the various user groups (Mathiesen 2004). What a

fishermen knows will dictate when and where he fishes, in both the long and short term,

and he must have a profound understanding of the resource to be successful (Acheson

1981).

Informal and Co-management

There have been many studies of the role of local ecological knowledge in the

development of co-management schemes for marine resources, both in the United States

and other areas of the world. Examples include the development of marine protected

areas (Aswini and Lauer 2006; Scholz et al. 2004; Well et al. 2004), data collection on

spawning and migration (Gosse et al. 2001), population monitoring (Baird 2001), and

biodiversity sampling (Poizat and Baran 1997).

Informal self-management at the community level is based on local ecological

knowledge of the group and a product of social mechanisms of a culture (Acheson and

Wilson 1996, Berkes et al. 2000). Some examples of self-management are similar to

conventional management, such as monitoring, temporal restrictions, and single-species

selection; examples usually not part of conventional management include ecosystem-

based approaches and resource rotation (Berkes et al. 2000).

There is a growing body of literature on a variety of social mechanisms and local

ecological knowledge of fishing communities. Acheson (1988) discussed informal

territory among lobster fishermen in Maine and how these informal 'property rights'

affect the sustainability of both the resource and the lobster industry. Temporal









restrictions of harvest of sea urchins in the West Indies allow populations to recover

during the socially enforced closed season (Smith and Berkes 1991). Johannes (1998)

pointed out the value of local ecological knowledge of Indonesian fishermen in the

planning of management schemes based on local knowledge of spawning location and

times. In Brazil, fishermen not only recognize changes in the ecosystem, but also

formulate their own theories about them (Gassala 2001). Religious beliefs are found to

be the basis of many fishermen's perceptions of ecological processes in Chesapeake Bay

(Paolisso 2002). Studies have been conducted in many parts of the world, and also cover

other resource management areas such as forests and wildlife (Berkes 1999; Pinkerton

1998).

One of the most prevalent themes in this literature is that local management tends

to regulate "how" fishing is done, including limitations on seasons, location access,

technology, and harvest during a specific stage in the life cycle of a species. This is in

contrast to the method of quotas, in which fisheries managers regulate resource use by

limiting "how many" fish can be caught. The use of quotas is the most important concept

in fisheries management, but absent in almost all local management (Acheson et al. 1998;

cf. Walters and Martell 2004:65).

The 'tragedy of the commons' is a popular topic of debate for anthropologists

studying fishing communities (Hardin 1968). Berkes (1985) outlined the three

assumptions of the 'tragedy': users are selfish and personal gain trumps public interest;

resources are limited and harvest exceeds regeneration; and the resource at stake is open-

access and public property. Commercial fishermen may fit these assumptions and

contribute to degradation of the resource. However, many communities have sustained









stocks and marine ecosystems without formal regulation or introduction of private

property. Social factors and cultural norms can also influence the behavior of the

fishermen and thus, limit harvest (Berkes 1985).

Summary of the Literature

Fisheries management requires research, planning, and implementation. Each

aspect of management has the opportunity to utilize and collaborate with the resource

users, especially small-scale commercial fishermen. A compilation of years of

experiences and intergenerational transmission, local ecological knowledge contributes to

the database of information about the resource, from biodiversity to habitat change to

effects of human impacts. Additionally, knowledge dictates fishermen behavior and can

help fisheries managers identify fishing effort by the fleet and areas subject to greater

exploitation. Finally, cultural aspects of a fishing community, including internal and

external factors that limit the fishermen or affect their behavior, should be considered by

fisheries managers when planning to assess potential economic and social impact on the

user group. Fisheries are made up of fish and fishermen; both species should be equally

as important when making management decisions.

Table 2-1: Summary of main characteristics of local ecological knowledge of fishermen
(Ruddle 1994).

1. Knowledge is based on long-term, empirical, and local observation, and is adapted to
local conditions.

2. Knowledge is based on practicality and drive fishermen behavior.

3. Knowledge systems have structure; this complements scientific concepts.

4. Knowledge systems are dynamic and adapt to changes in the system (environmental or
economic).









More complete
knowledge base


Fishermen
(practical data)


Scientists
(hard data)


Fisheries
managers

I
Better decisions
and planning

I
Improved marine
resources
Figure 2-1: Combining information sources of fishermen and scientists to increase
knowledge of the marine resource (adapted from Mackinson and Nottestad
1998).














CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH CONTEXT AND STUDY SITE

This chapter provides background information on fishing in Florida, including

current commercial fishing regulations and the ongoing struggle between small-scale

commercial fishermen and recreational anglers. A brief description of the history,

environment, and marine resources of Biscayne National Park follows. The chapter

concludes with a summary of scientific literature on life histories of each target species,

which will be compared to the local ecological knowledge of the fishermen in the

discussion section.

Fishing in Florida

Florida has a coastline of over 1,900 km, and saltwater fishing has figured as a

prominent way of life since the earliest people inhabited these shores. Recreational

fishing is of major economic importance to the state, spawning activity from local bait

shops to charter guides to national fishing equipment companies. Commercial fishing

also contributes to the economy to a lesser extent, but continues to be particularly salient

in the social and cultural aspects of the state's past and present.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was established in

1999 and resulted from a merger of several state agencies responsible for overseeing fish

and wildlife (FWC 2005a). Along with the Division of Marine Fisheries, the FWC

regulates and monitors the marine resources of Florida and of all commercial and

recreational activities in Florida's coastal waters.









Current Commercial Fishing Regulations in Florida

Several permits are required for commercial fishermen in Florida (Table 3-1). All

fishermen must obtain a Saltwater Products License, which can be purchased for an

individual or for a vessel. Harvest of many species-including blue crab, stone crab,

spiny lobster, and shrimp-entails a Restricted Species endorsement. This endorsement

requires that the fisherman previously reported landings through the trip ticket program.

The four crustaceans also require additional specific certificates, and crab or lobster traps

must have appropriate tags attached to them. Federal permits are required for some

species and to participate in limited entry fisheries (FWC 2005b).

The Marine Fisheries Trip Ticket system was established in 1984 in an effort to

track commercial landings. The program requires wholesalers to complete a trip ticket

with each purchase from a fishermen (Figure 3-1). Information recorded on the ticket

include license numbers for the buyer and seller; date; location; species; amount caught;

gear; and payment, among other information. Wholesalers can use paper copies of

tickets or enter information using a computer program (FWC 2000).

The Net Ban

In 1994 Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment to discontinue use of

entanglement nets and all nets over 500 square feet. Usually, the issue would have been

addressed in the state congress, but extensive media campaigns by recreational fishing

lobby groups put the decision into the hands of Florida residents. In an effort to educate

Floridians on the negative impacts of gillnets, conservation and recreational advocates

advertised heavily; the commercial fishermen could not compete with them (Duff and

Harrison 1997). Over 1,500 fishing families were negatively affected by the ban (Smith

et al. 2003), despite buyback programs (Duff and Harrison 1997). Six years later, some









target stocks had improved, although it is unknown if the net ban contributed to this

(Adams et al. 2000).

Although conservation was the stated goal of the amendment's advocates, the

campaign might be interpreted as a matter of resource allocation, a common issue for

small-scale fishermen (Smith et al. 2003; Thunberg et al. 1994). Additionally there

appears to have been little focus on the social consequences of banning gill nets (Smith et

al. 2003). The net ban did not directly affect the Biscayne fishermen but is an example of

the ubiquitous struggle between Florida's commercial fishermen and the recreational

anglers and environmental groups. In addition, commercial activity within a protected

area generates opposing views on access rights and resource allocation.

Study Site: Biscayne National Park

Established as a national monument in 1968 and later as a national park in 1980,

Biscayne National Park is located between Miami-Dade County and the upper Keys

community of Key Largo (Leynes and Cullison 1998) (Figure 3-2). Because it

encompasses most of Biscayne Bay, the park itself is also commonly referred to as

Biscayne Bay or often simply Biscayne; references to the area in this thesis also use those

designations. The park occupies about 700 km2, of which 95% is water. Approximately

500,000 people visit Biscayne each year with the most common activities being nature

viewing, walking/hiking and fishing (Simmons and Littlejohn 2001). The most

significant pressures the park faces comes from urban development, discharge and

thermal pollution from a nearby nuclear power plant, and the changes in water quality of

Biscayne Bay (EDAW 2003:6.3). Humans have utilized the marine resources at

Biscayne for at least 10,000 years, according to archeological findings (Biscayne









National Park 2004). Currently, the commercial fisheries include blue crab, stone crab,

food shrimp, bait shrimp, finfish and spiny lobster (EDAW 2003:4.2).

Environment of Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park is a diverse ecosystem of land and water (Figure 3-3).

Where it is not developed, the coast is outlined by mangroves that provide habitat for

larval and juvenile fishes (Ault et al. 2001). Within the bay, there are seagrass beds and

hardbottom, and the outer eastern area is part of a coral reef system that extends south

into the Florida Keys.

Biscayne is home to 14 federally protected species and 39 state-protected species,

which includes sea turtles, birds, mammals, fish, and plants. Ten are listed as endangered

by the federal government (Table 3-2). The park also utilizes the Park Resources

Protection Act, which allows resource managers to pursue monetary compensation for

environmental damage. Often prosecution usually is not possible due to the difficulty in

identifying the responsible party. The most common damage is the scarring of seagrass

beds by boat propellers (Figure 3-4). In 2000, the park won a $1 million lawsuit against a

negligent tanker that caused major damage to a coral reef. The money will be used for

restoration (National Park Service 2000).

Population Growth of Nearby Miami-Dade County

The 2000 census reported that Miami-Dade County had a total population of

2,253,362 people. Historical data show that the population sharply increased in the 1940s

and has continued to grow into the 21st century (Figure 3-5) and now has a density of

1,158 people per square mile [compared to the state's average of 296 people per square

mile] (U.S. Census 2000). In addition to the resident population, south Florida has eight

million visitors each year (Biscayne National Park 2004). Along with a growing









population comes urban development, including buildings, bridges, sewer systems and

landfills (Figure 3-6). In addition, because of the likelihood of flooding in south Florida

came the drainage project.

Canals and Freshwater Flow

The Central and South Florida project was authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1948

with the goal of flood control for the state (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan

2005). In 1947, a major hurricane hit south Florida and put 80% of the area under water

(Parks 1981). The state requested funding and authorization to construct a system of

about 1,000 miles of levees, 720 miles of canals, and 200 structures for water control

(Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 2005). The canals are now under the

jurisdiction of the South Florida Water Management District (Figure 3-7).

The floodgates are opened under the advisement of the South Florida Water

Management District when the canals reach capacity following heavy rainfall. Smaller

canals in neighborhoods flow into larger canals that eventually carry the water to the

coast (South Florida Water Management District 1997). The influx of freshwater causes

a lower salinity gradient in the western part of Biscayne Bay, which is where several

canals enter the bay (Alleman 1995). Studies have been conducted on the effects of

water flow from the canals and found changes in natural hierarchy of the flora (Irlandi et

al. 2002; Lirman and Cropper 2003) and animal biodiversity (Lirman et al. 2003).

Other Pressures for Biscayne National Park

The Turkey Point Power Plant, located in the southwestern part of the park, added

nuclear units in 1972 and 1973 (Cantillo et al. 2000) (Figure 3-8). The plant provides

power for 450,000 homes. A canal system is used to cool water before it is circulated for

re-use. The main concern with the plant is thermal pollution from the cooling canals,









although the power plant reports a viable population of the endangered American

Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) and a wide variety of birds living in or near the canals

(Florida Power and Light 2005). The canals are also rumored to be superb fishing spots,

but strict security measures prevent anyone from being in close proximity to the plant.

Homestead Air Force Base was constructed in 1942 as an airfield and activated as a

base in 1955 following its closing due to hurricane damage (Cantillo et al. 2000). In

2001, a proposal to create a commercial airport on the base, only two miles from

Biscayne National Park boundaries, was struck down (Department of the Air Force

2001). Environmentalists, concerned with the potential trash and noise pollution from an

airport, were pleased with the decision, but the developers continued to fight for the

airport, including a lawsuit against the Air Force. The lawsuit was overturned but airport

supporters plan to appeal (Viglucci 2006).

Status and Management of Marine Resources at Biscayne National Park

The waters of Biscayne Bay are clear enough to see the bottom, but there are other

factors at work that are affecting the quality of the bay's biophysical environment and

marine resources. In addition to changes in salinity and the effects of pollution

(specifically trash and fertilizer runoff), exploitation of fish stocks also has come into the

spotlight. An analysis based on records of harvest lengths shows that 77% of the 33

target species were analyzed to be overfished (Ault et al. 2001).

Jurisdiction of commercial and recreational fishing in the park belongs to the state

of Florida, as indicated in the enabling legislation of the park (U.S. Congress 1980). A

major attractant for visitors, fishing contributes to the economy and plays an important

role in the social connection of visitors to the area (EDAW 2003). However, with the









decline in fish populations and the growing population of the surrounding area, a fisheries

management plan was formulated in 2000 (Table 3-3).

The first phase in planning for the fisheries management plan for Biscayne

National Park was a public comment period to obtain recommendations from resource

users in 2002 and 2003. A main suggestion was to form a working group of local

residents who represented user groups. The Biscayne National Park Fishery Management

Plan Working Group was assembled with the purpose of making recommendations for

the plan and providing input on the desired future conditions (Todd Kellison, personal

communication). The members were chosen with recommendations from Florida's

Fisheries Management Division, who had formed an advisory board for the establishment

of the marine reserve in the Dry Tortugas. Participants of the Working Group included

commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, charter captains, divers, biologists, and

representatives of environmental groups.

Resource managers at Biscayne National Park have to meet the requirements of

Florida and the National Park Service, and the management plan must be evaluated by

federal and state entities. In the spring of 2005, the first draft of the plan was sent out for

review. The park reports that it will be published in the Federal Registry and made

available for public comment again when copies are made available on the Registry.

The main changes that will be implemented include additional permits, changes in

lobster fishing and spear fishing, and revisions in bag limits (Table 3-4). Under the

plan's 'preferred alternative' [four alternatives were presented in previous drafts of the

plan], special permits from the park will be required for commercial fishermen and

charter guides. All recreational anglers and boaters would have to obtain an annual









permit to fish in park waters. The two-day "mini season," during which recreational

lobster fishing occurs prior to the opening of the official season, would no longer be

allowed in park boundaries. Use of trigger guns and SCUBA equipment while

spearfishing would be prohibited under the plan, and bag limits for some fish species

would be increased or decreased.

Summaries of Scientific Knowledge of Each Target Species

Blue Crab

Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are found along the Atlantic coasts of Nova

Scotia south to Argentina (FWC 2005c). They are benthic omnivores and also serve as a

food source for many marine and terrestrial animals. They occupy a variety of habitats,

depending on life stage and environmental conditions, which include estuaries, offshore

waters and shallow lagoons (Perry and McIlwain 1986).

Mating for blue crabs is not immediately followed by spawning. A male crab will

inseminate a newly molted female and carry her until her shell hardens, at which time she

will release the eggs (Perry and McIlwain 1986). Mating has been observed year-round

but mostly takes place from March to December (FWC 2005c). Larvae develop offshore

and move into estuaries with currents. A blue crab reaches sexual maturity at about one

year following birth (Tagatz 1968).

Salinity is an important factor in migration and distribution. An inverse

relationship between salinity and abundance was observed by More (1969) and sexual

distribution depends on the salinity of the water (Perry 1975). Temperature also has an

effect on the species, especially cold snaps that can cause mortality (Couch and Martin

1982).









Stone Crab

Stone crab (Menippe mercenaria) is different from the other fisheries in Biscayne

National Park because only the claws (chelipeds) are harvested. The strong chelipeds are

used as defense against predators, which include octopi, sea turtles, and horse conchs

(Bert et al. 1978). Stone crabs are mostly carnivorous and the claws are used to crush

mollusk shells during feeding (Lindberg and Marshall 1984). After claws are removed,

they take about one year to regenerate (Sullivan 1979). A study on mortality after claw

removal reported that 28% of stone crabs died after loss of a single cheliped, and 46.5%

died when both claws were removed (Davis et al. 1978).

Stone crab spawning occurs April thru September, with peaks in August and

September (Lindberg and Marshall 1984). As temperatures drop following the peak,

spawning decreases (Savage and Sullivan 1978). Sexual maturity is reached in

approximately two years, and adults are found in shallow flats, where they burrow into

the substrate (Lindberg and Marshall 1984).

Low temperatures, particularly cold snaps, cause the animals to burrow and

become inactive. Stone crabs are typically found in areas with lower salinity, perhaps

due to inverse relationship of salinity to growth periods (Lindberg and Marshall 1984).

Spiny Lobster

The spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) fishery in Florida is of major economic

importance, both commercially and recreationally. Lobsters reproduce from late spring

to early summer, with a peak from April to May (Marx and Hernnkind 1986). Juveniles

move inshore after metamorphosis in offshore waters. Adults are found near coral and

rock overhangs, where they can find shelter (Davis 1981) and food. Sexual maturity is









reached in about two years, depending on environmental conditions. Spiny lobsters are

nocturnal foragers and mostly carnivorous (Marx and Hernnkind 1986).

Adult lobsters congregate, especially in shelters, for protection and mating

(Eggleston and Lipcius 1992). They are social animals and attracted to areas with higher

concentrations of other lobsters, and respond as a group when a predator, usually a large

fish or nurse shark, is near. When mass migration occurs, spiny lobsters have been

observed traveling in single-file lines (Marx and Hernnkind 1986). Although adults can

tolerate cold snaps in south Florida, lower temperatures can trigger movement (Little and

Milano 1980).

Brown and Pink Shrimp

Brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) and pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum) have

similar life histories. Both are harvested in the bait shrimp fishery in Biscayne National

Park, but pink shrimp are the most prevalent in the southeast Atlantic region (Bielsa et al.

1983). Adults move offshore to deeper, cooler waters when water temperatures rise, and

subsequently spawn. Pink shrimp have been reported to spawn in waters of 4-48 m in

depth (Williams 1955) and brown shrimp in depths of 18 m (Shipman et al. 1983), which

occurs mostly during the summer months, although it is not conclusively known if the

warm waters of south Florida are an overwintering area. A pink shrimp spawns several

times during its lifetime, but a brown shrimp will die after reproducing once (Bielsa et al.

1983; Larson et al. 1989).

Shrimp larvae are moved inshore via tides and winds, where they continue

development in estuaries where seagrass provides protection and food. They are sexually

mature and of preferential harvest size in about nine to ten weeks following hatching

(Bielsa et al. 1983). Adults move out from the estuaries and are found in mud, sand, or









seagrass beds. These types of habitat allow the shrimp to bury up in the sand during the

day to avoid predation from the many species of fish that feed on them (Larson et al.

1989). Adults are omnivorous, feeding on detritus to small invertebrates, and nocturnal

(Hunt et al. 1980).

Water temperature and currents dictate most migration patterns of both species of

shrimp. A rise in temperature will cause them to move offshore and water movement

pushes them into different areas, and lower temperatures result in the shrimp burrowing.

Adult pink and brown shrimp prefer saltier waters and will move to areas of higher

salinity if there is too much freshwater (Bielsa et al. 1983; Larson et al. 1989). It has

been reported that turbidity causes higher concentrations of shrimp, most likely due to

increase in nutrient availability and decreased visibility of the shrimp to their predators

(Kutkuhn 1966).

Table 3-1: Current costs of licenses and endorsements for commercial fishing.

Fishing License Price
Saltwater Products License (individual) $50-$300
Saltwater Products License (vessel) $100-$600
Restricted Species Endorsement Free, but must have reported landings in
previous years
Blue crab endorsement Free (moratorium)
Stone crab endorsement $125
Spiny lobster endorsement $100-$150
Blue crab trap tag $0.50
Stone crab trap tag $0.50
Lobster trap tag $1.00

Table 3-2: Federally listed endangered species in Biscayne National Park.

Common Name Scientific Name
Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas
Hawksbill Sea Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata
Leatherback Sea Turtle Dermochelys coriacea
Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys kempii
West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus









Table 3-2. Continued
Common Name
American Crocodile
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Wood Stork
Schaus Swallowtail


Scientific Name
Crocodylus acutus
Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Falco peregrinus
Mycteria americana
Papilio aristodemus ponceanus


Table 3-3: Summary of the development of the fisheries management plan at Biscayne
National Park.

2000 Collaboration with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to
determine longterm goals for the fisheries resources.

2002 First public comment period includes concerns about overfishing, habitat
degradation, and enforcement issues.

2003 Second public comment period includes suggestions for formation of an
advisory group.

2004 The Working Group provides input over a series of six meetings to provide
recommendations on the proposed alternatives of the draft plan.

2004-05 The draft plan is reviewed by the National Park Service and the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

2006 The plan is approved for inclusion in the Federal Registry and a final public
comment period is planned. The Working Group also meets again to review
how its recommendations were considered and provide comments on the
current version of the plan.


Table 3-4: Summary of elements of the Biscayne fisheries management plan.

special-use permits for commercial fishermen and charter captains
annual permits for recreational fishermen and boaters
elimination of lobster "mini-season" within park boundaries
prohibition of spearguns with triggers and use of SCUBA equipment while
spearfishing
establishment of coral reef protection areas
changes in bag limits for some species













MARINE FISHERIES TRIP TICKET
SPECIES
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0 5 10 20 Miles
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AS


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Figure 3-2: Map of Biscayne National Park (red outline). Data source: Florida
Geographic Data Library.


Figure 3-1: Sample trip ticket.








5 Mles


A


WI


Habitat type


M Patchy seagrass
S| Seagrass meadow
M Barebottom
Hardbotorom with grass
Hardbottiom


Figure 3-3: Habitat distribution in Biscayne National Park (outlined in black). Data
source: Florida Geographic Data Library.





















































Figure 3-4: Propeller scars on a seagrass bed in Biscayne Bay.







2,500,000





2,000,000





1,500,000
1u



E
S1,000,000





500,000






1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Year




Figure 3-5: Population of Miami-Dade County from 1900 to 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau).

























Figure 3-6: Elevated landfill near Black Point Marina, nicknamed "Mt. Trashmore."


/


1%

-'--V


0 5 10 20 Mies
I I I I i I I


Figure 3-7: Canal system (in blue) in Miami-Dade
Geographic Data Library.


County. Data source: Florida


i










1 I


Figure 3-8: A view of Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant from Biscayne Bay.














CHAPTER 4
METHODOLOGY

The overall methodology involved collection and analysis of qualitative data.

Interviews and field notes were coded by prevalent themes, and participant observation

was used to supplement responses. The data were organized into four major fields:

fishing technique and gear, local ecological knowledge, limitations, and conservation/

management.

Locating Informants

Prior to and during the first weeks at my study site, I contacted several people from

Biscayne National Park, Florida Sea Grant, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and

Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami for suggestions for finding commercial

fishermen in Biscayne Bay. Those inquiries provided no contacts, but online information

about the Biscayne National Park Fisheries Management Plan Working Group provided

names of a few local captains, and I finally was able to contact some of them. I also

visited bait shops to ask how to get in touch with the fishermen, and was pointed to one

of the local marinas.

After making initial contacts, I found that snowball sampling (Bernard 2002)

worked best, as expected. Typically, the initial interviews included information about

other fishermen or stories heard from other fishermen. In this way, I could inquire about

additional informants and acquire additional information regarding the status of a

potential interviewee within the fishing community. Many fishermen, once they felt

comfortable with me, were willing to pass along names and phone numbers of others.









Often, when I would get in touch with the new informant, he would tell me that he had

been told I would be calling and ask why did it take so long for me to follow through and

contact him. As I met more fishermen, the networking among them became easier.

Interviews with Fishermen

I conducted over 30 hours of semi-structured interviews with 13 commercial

fishermen. I also had countless hours of informal conversation from my time at the docks

and fish house, and during social time spent with the informants, which was documented

in my field notes. Upon consent, I tape-recorded the semi-structured interviews and later

transcribed them. Initially I used a list of questions as a guide but found out that carrying

out the interviews as relaxed conversations typically led to the informants being more

comfortable and thus, more open with me. I also found that some topics, (e.g., bycatch

and pollution) were more easily approached using different questions that allowed the

conversation to somewhat naturally veer into the touchy subject without being directly

introduced by me.

Because I was an outsider and the fishermen did not know be well initially, I

formatted each interview to be as similar to a conversation as possible. I also found that

when I asked a direct question about certain subjects, they would either not be able to

answer it on the spot or tell me that they did not know. However, whenever information

was solicited in the form of a story, they would volunteer a substantial amount of

information. Stories, included in responses, were found to be one of the most important

sources for obtaining information relevant to my interests.

Because I was unable to obtain permission from Biscayne National Park to

conduct research within park boundaries, I conducted 16 interviews at Black Point

marina (n=4), restaurants (n=2), fish houses (n=2), and at the fishermen's homes (n=8).









With three of the informants, I conducted a second interview. My preference for

interviews was at the fisherman's home to maximize comfort and convenience, and also

to include wives, who were useful in reminding the fishermen of events (Neis 1999), and

whom I found to be as knowledgeable as the fishermen, even if the wives had never

worked in the fishing industry. However, I would also agree to meet them in restaurants

or their place of work such as the fish house or marina.

Communication with Fisheries Management Staff at Biscayne National Park

Prior to my field work, I contacted the fisheries manager at the park and informed

him of my upcoming research. He updated me on the status of the fisheries management

plan and gave me contact information for past researchers and for local residents who

might know the commercial fishermen. Later, I conducted a short interview with him

about the Fisheries Management Plan Working Group and how the participants were

selected, and also about the fisheries management plan. I documented that interview with

written notes.

Participant Observation

In addition to interviews, I used participant observation to build trust, provide

concrete examples of topics discussed in interviews, and to fill in gaps in baseline data

(Bernard 2002:333-335; Paolisso 2002). I spent time at the marina when the fishermen

were preparing for an evening trip and while they were working on boats and equipment.

I also spent social time with the fishermen, when invited, which included dinners and

visits to their homes.

I spent approximately 30 hours on the boats with shrimpers and one lobster

fisherman. I asked the blue crab fishermen during the interviews if they would allow me

to join them when they went out; each of them consented, although none contacted me on









the days of the planned outing, so I was unable to observe the techniques and locations

they visited. I did not go out with any stone crab fishermen because my fieldwork took

place when the season was closed.

Participant observation proved to be an important source of data, since fishermen

typically transmit ecological knowledge orally-sometimes unintentionally-frequently

during the course of fishing. Furthermore, local ecological knowledge of fishermen is

part of everyday life, and becoming involved with this lifestyle helped me reveal

additional information not discussed in interviews (Neis et al. 1999), especially

pertaining to sensitive issues and conflict (mostly hearsay concerning a personal

disagreement between two fishermen). Each time I interacted with fishermen, I

documented my findings and observations in my field notes.

Interview Protocol

I primarily used informal semi-structured interviews to obtain the study data from

the fishermen. I had a list of specific topics that I wanted to address either with direct

questions or that would naturally come up in the conversation (Appendix). I used a small

notebook to jot down topics that I wanted to remember to bring up later. I typically

found that the same themes came up in each interview without prompts by me. The

questions were based on topics included in other researchers' studies of local ecological

knowledge of fishing communities and basic ecological concepts.

I always opened the interview asking about the informant's experience in the

fishery: how long have you been doing it, how did you learn, etc. This typically led into

questions about how the fisherman knows where to set his traps or drag his trawls,

followed by inquiries about the target species' biology and ecology, plus information

about the ecosystem as a whole, including effects of weather and seasonality. I also









asked about pollution and other human impacts that the informant had observed or heard

about. Each interview included some discussion about resource management that is

carried out by the local, state, and federal governments. Finally, I also noted answers to

basic close-ended questions concerning age, marital status, boat and motor types,

technology used, and alternative incomes.

Often, if an informant did not know the answer to a specific question, he would

use the phrase "I don't know, but I heard..." I used these responses to solicit information

about other possible informants and also to construct a basic net of social relationships of

the fishing community at Biscayne National Park.

At the end of each interview, I asked the informant to tell me his "best fisherman

story." Partly out of my own interest, the stories were also documented and ended up

revealing additional cultural aspects of their fishing behavior and knowledge. These are

discussed in the results.

Interview Schedule and Constraints

The semi-structured interviews were conducted from May through July of 2005.

Each interview typically lasted one to three hours, although the entire time was never

spent addressing my research questions and often involved small talk or questions

directed at me. This was not a problem, as informal conversations, even if straying far

from the topic, sometimes led to interesting discussions that would not have taken place

otherwise. I feel that casual conversation, plus answering questions about myself, helped

build rapport with my informants. Also, during small talk, my lack of background in

marine ecology was made obvious, which I felt was an advantage for me as an

interviewer; my informants always knew more than me and thus, were willing to share

their knowledge.









As an outsider, it took several weeks to locate my informants. However, the

community was open to me once I began speaking with the fishermen. I was questioned

several times about my motives but, for the most part, the fishermen were interested in

my work and willing to assist me. I started, not necessarily by design, with several

central figures in the community who led me to additional informants. The tightness of

the fishermen's network also helped me develop rapport, as I was told many times by an

informant that he already knew my name and project through another informant.

Nonetheless, I was asking questions about secrets and did not expect to always be told the

truth. However, I feel that my informants gave me generally reliable information.

Secondary Data

Wholesalers in the commercial fishing industry in Florida are required to report

daily through the trip ticket system, which includes information on weight, location

caught, buyer and seller of the catch. I obtained the data from the FWC of reported

landings from 2000 to 2004, including preliminary data for 2005. The data are for the

zones within Biscayne National Park (see Figure 4-1) and include landings in pounds for

the blue crab, stone crab, spiny lobster, and bait shrimp fisheries. The captains' names

were not given to me to maintain confidentiality, but numbers of fishermen reporting

each year are included. Finally, I also received information on the Biscayne National

Park fisheries management plan from park staff and from the park website, including a

rough draft of the plan and briefings on the status of its enactment.

Data Analysis

Fishermen Interviews and Field Notes

I used an inductive coding approach for the transcriptions of fishermen interviews

(Bernard 2002). Some themes recurred during my research, and during analysis I









reviewed each transcript and added each informant's responses to notes regarding each

theme. For example, whenever a fishermen spoke about pollution, I made notes of what

he said in the 'pollution' section of my theme notes. Because I wanted a broad

representation of the culture as a whole rather than each individual's knowledge, I added

all responses together. However, I did make a note of each theme that was mentioned by

a majority of the informants, and a note of conflicting responses concerning the same

issue. Because my field notes were typically documentation of informal conversations, I

used the same approach and compiled the data with information from the interviews.

The main themes that I coded for were organized into three groups: local ecological

knowledge, limitations, and perceptions of conservation and management (Table 4-1).

Taxonomic Data

Each organism mentioned during interviews and recorded in field notes was

added to one list of species. Scientific names were assigned as best I knew and I enlisted

the help from the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Department at the University of Florida

to identify plant and algae species that I could not identify. The local names were then

each labeled as generic, specific, or varietal according to lexemes (Berlin et al. 1973). I

also noted if the organism was discussed as 'trash', predator, or impediment. I calculated

the frequency of each taxonomic level and the context in which the organism was

mentioned.

Secondary Data

Secondary data on commercial and recreational landings were entered into

Microsoft Excel. Graphs were generated for visual presentation, and to get a sense

whether there were any seasonal and annual trends. I also used the data on commercial










landings to estimate the number of commercial fishermen working within park

boundaries.

Table 4-1: Themes used in coding interviews and field notes.


Local ecological knowledge
life cycles
diet/bait
predator and defense
seasons
habitat
migration
taxonomy

Limitations
theft
seasons
market (supply and demand)
cultural (secrecy, territory, network)

Conservation and management
perceptions of impacts by fishermen
perceptions of other anthropogenic impacts
sustainability
concerns and suggestions for management



Co&ds lf Area 744
744.0 Offshore watrs, 0-3 nautical miles offshore
744.1 Florida Bay (in puIn
744.3 Bisayne Bay. outside of the National Prk
744.4 [iscaync National Park. inside the colr-c line
744.6 Card Sound
744.8 Biscayne National Park. fidral waer
744.5 Biscayne National Park. from the colreis line
to 3 nautical miles offshore
744.9 Federal Waters
744.7 Karncs S.und
- Biscayne National Park Boumdary
Colregs line


. I. ,


'N


Figure 4-1: Trip ticket area codes for Biscayne National Park. (Source: Florida Fish and
Wildlife Commission)


- W














CHAPTER 5
RESULTS

The commercial fishermen working in Biscayne National Park represent a group of

people affected by a mix of cultural, social, economic, ecological, and political factors.

Long past are the days when a Biscayne fisherman's main concern was simply how and

where to find the target species. The system has become much more complex, and he

faces pressure from a growing metropolitan area, dynamic market, and increased

regulations. He must know how external factors work as much as how ecological factors

affect his catch.

In this chapter, I will cover the major results from my study. All information is

taken from interviews and field notes unless otherwise noted as being from a secondary

source. I will begin with a demographic overview of the fishery participants and

descriptions of each fishery. Next I will outline local ecological knowledge of each

group of fishermen, discussing information they have about the marine resources at

Biscayne National Park. The chapter will continue into the results from responses about

limitations for fishing, considering both internal and external factors. Finally, I will

present ideas for conservation and management from the fishermen's viewpoints.

Demographics of the Biscayne National Park Fishermen

The demographics of the fisheries participants is based on information about the

informants and personal observation during my time at the marinas. Most information is

relevant to all target fisheries studied; specific information is noted as such.









Most of the trap fishermen and shrimpers are Anglo, and the estimated average

age is 45, although the Hispanic captains of the bait shrimp fishery (not included in this

study) were observed to be in their mid- to late 20s. Almost all are male, but stories of

the past and present indicate that some wives work in the fishery also. Several are

currently married and have families, but many are divorced. Those with wives lived in

double-income households. Children of the fishermen ranged from ages 6 to 25. The

majority of fishermen have lived most of their lives in south Florida; if they were not

born there, they had moved to the area at a young age. Most finished high school but

none of the fishermen I met or knew of had attended college or technical school.

Fishing was the dominant occupation for most fishermen in Biscayne National

Park, although some had worked in other areas of the southeast or on the west coast of

Florida. Most fishermen entered the industry after high school, around the age of 18.

Some of them became interested in fishing when they began working as helpers for other

fishermen, and eventually bought their own boats and worked alone. A few fishermen

reported additional income from other jobs, including farming, electrical work, and odd

jobs.

Homes of the fishermen in this study were spread out, from south Miami to Key

Largo. The trap fishermen typically kept their boats at home and launched them at Black

Point marina, which was usually not more than a 20-minute drive from where they lived.

Shrimpers that worked on boats at Dinner Key usually lived nearby in Miami, and those

at Black Point resided in Homestead. The few fishermen that lived in Key Largo had

residences located directly on channels and were able to dock their boats at their homes.











Overview of the Fisheries

Blue Crab

The target species for the blue crab fishery is Callinectes sapidus (Figure 5-1).

The blue crab fishery in Biscayne National Park has the least number of participants,

although it once had many fishermen involved. From interviews, there are only five blue

crabbers working in the park. However, data from the FWC lists seven fishers with

reported landings in 2004 within a single zone (trip ticket area code 744.4). The

remaining two may have come from areas north (Miami) or south (Key Largo) of the

park, versus those who typically launch their boats at Black Point marina or Card Sound.

All blue crab fishermen are part-time. Alternative incomes include working at fish

houses and participating in the other, more lucrative, trap fisheries.

The blue crab fishery is open year-round. There is a moratorium on the licenses at

this time so the number of participants in the fishery cannot grow. Blue crabs must be 5

inches from the tip of one lateral spine to the other to harvest legally. They are sold to

local fish markets (commonly called fish houses) in the Miami and Keys areas.

Blue crab traps are composed of a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic or

wire. They can be purchased pre-made or constructed by the fishermen. Many are

double-layered (Figure 5-2). The crab comes into the trap in an entrance on the bottom,

attracted to bait placed inside. Once it enters, the crab moves to the top part of the trap

and cannot exit. All traps have o-rings to allow small crabs and other bycatch to move

out. There is also biodegradable cord, required by law, that ensures escape by any

animals caught inside should the trap be lost and become a ghost trap.









Traps are marked with individual tags, purchased from the state, and buoys that

float on the water surface. They are placed in lines for ease in harvest. Blue crabbers

typically place their traps in shallow water (three to five feet) and do not use GPS.

In 2004, blue crab landings within Biscayne National Park (710 km2) equaled

7,303 pounds. According to trip ticket data, this is barely half of what was caught in the

Chicken Key area (0.5 km2), a small inlet located immediately north of the park

boundary. Although the Biscayne National Park Ethnographic Overview and Assessment

(EDAW 2003) summarizes landings reported from the FWC as having an increase from

1991 to 2001, the blue crabbers say that there has been a sharp decrease in the number of

fishermen over the past decade. They note movement of the crabs due to habitat change,

but no decline in catch, which indicates an increase in effort by the fleet.

Stone Crab

The target species for this fishery is Menippe mercenaria. The stone crab fishery

reported 11 participants at most in 2004, but I was only able to locate three of the

fishermen. Most combine stone crabbing with other fisheries, particularly lobster.

The stone crab season is October 15 to May 15. Only the claws can be harvested,

and must be removed in a specific way to avoid mortality of the crab. The legal harvest

size for a claw is 2.75 inches, and no egg-bearing female may be in possession. The

claws are sold to local fish houses.

Stone crabs are caught in traps similar to blue crab traps, with little or no escape

by the crabs. They are made of plastic (Figure 5-3) or wood, although the crabs can

break out of the wooden traps. Many stone crab traps have cement or some other form of

weight in the bottom to maintain placement. Each trap is baited and placed in a line with









buoys on each trap, or sometimes just on the traps at the end of the line. Some stone

crabbers use GPS to keep track of trap placement.

The state reported 8,621 pounds of stone crab claws landed in 2004. Most were

harvested in the outer eastern areas of the park. Only about a quarter of the landings were

harvested within the bay. Compared to the park's Ethnographic Overview and

Assessment (2003), this is a remarkable increase from landings in 2001, but similar to

landings from 1996 to 2000.

Spiny Lobster

The target species for this fishery is Panulirus argus (Figure 5-4). Data from the

FWC suggest that there are 14 to 18 lobster fishermen working in the park, according to

reports from 2004. One lobster fishermen noted that there were possibly illegal

immigrants working in the fishery. Therefore, some participants may not be reporting

their landings and the state may not be aware of them. Estimates by other informants

who participated in the fishery suggest there are less than ten lobster fishermen.

Because of the popularity of lobsters among both commercial and recreational

fishermen, a lobster sanctuary was established in the bay and includes most of the

western waters of Biscayne National Park (Figure 5-5). Lobster fishermen work further

east outside of the sanctuary, near the reefs, which is coded as area 744.5 for trip tickets.

There is a closed season for commercial lobster harvest from March 31 to August

6. The season is preceded by a two-day "mini season," which occurs during the last

weekend in July and is only open to recreational harvest (a limit of six legal lobsters per

person each day).

Lobster traps are made of wood and most are customized by the fishermen (Figure

5-6). They come in different sizes, depending on where they are intended to be placed.









Unlike crab traps, lobster traps do not confine the animal with little or no escape.

Instead, the funnel is large and acts as an entrance to a new home. Lobster fishermen do

bait the traps, but for the most part depend on the social characteristics of the lobster; i.e.,

lobsters congregate inside the trap, and the more inhabitants of the trap, the higher the

catch.

Each trap has a tag and buoy, and is placed in a line. Some lobster fishermen use

GPS to mark the locations of traps because the animals are usually found in deeper

waters. Because traps are usually weighted, they are heavy and many lobster fishermen

have installed hydraulic systems on their boats to hoist the traps onto the deck.

Legal lobsters must be three inches on the carapace (from posterior part of the head

to the anterior part of the tail) and have a tail length of 5.5 inches. If a small lobster,

known as a short, is found in the trap, it is placed back inside to serve as an attractant.

While some researchers feel that using shorts as attractants should not be allowed, lobster

fishermen note that they will most likely return to the trap anyway if the trap is placed

into a nearby location. Also, because any lobsters are free to move in and out of a trap,

there is no requirement for escape o-rings. There is, however, a mandatory minimum

size for the funnel to allow the animals to exit.

Commercial lobster landings for 2004 reported 21,698 pounds, of which 90% was

harvested east of the reefs. All of the lobster fishermen I interviewed reported a steady

catch since they began fishing, and some mentioned an increase over the past few years.

Bait Shrimp

The target species for the bait shrimp fishery includes brown shrimp (Penaeus

aztecus) and pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum). The bait shrimp fishery in Biscayne has

been established since the 1950s (EDAW 2003). There are two main docks, Dinner Key









in Miami and Black Point in Homestead. Some bait shrimpers dock south of the park, in

Card Sound or Key Largo. Data from trip tickets in 2004 report 18 to 30 shrimp

fishermen harvesting in Biscayne National Park; my estimate from interviews is 25

fishermen. Most captains are Anglo, but over the past year several Hispanic captains

were hired after one boat owner purchased several boats from a fisherman who left the

industry.

There is a quasi-hierarchy among the shrimpers at Biscayne National Park, in

which a more seasoned and successful shrimper typically moves up. Most shrimpers

follow this path but few reach the top. The hierarchy is based on experience and how

much money that position earns. The first level is as a helper on another shrimper's boat,

and he will be paid accordingly by the captain. Eventually, a helper will be hired by a

boat owner as a captain, at which time he will take home half of the profit each night and

allocate a portion of that to his helper, if he has hired one. The next step is to purchase

his own boat. Both profits and costs are the fisherman's responsibility at this level, and

this is the terminal point for most shrimpers. The highest level is the wholesaler, who

buys from the shrimpers and sells to the local bait shops. Most wholesalers also own

boats and hire captains. Usually wholesalers no longer run the boats, but will work if a

captain is not available one night.

Bait shrimpers work from sunset to near sunrise. There is no closed season for

shrimping and many work at least five nights a week. Often one or two boats will supply

one wholesaler, but the shrimpers will sell to other wholesalers if another captain cannot

meet his order, although these are informal agreements and do not occur on a regular

basis. There are a few captains who work as substitutes for other captains, and sell to









several different wholesalers, depending on which boat they are running. The bait

shrimpers of Biscayne National Park supply shrimp to bait shops from Miami to Key

West.

Bait shrimping in the bay utilizes the rollerframe trawl (Figure 5-7), reportedly

designed by an oldtime shrimper from Black Point. Previously, the bait shrimpers used

door nets, which were two pieces of plywood that are pulled apart by the water pressure

and collected up anything along the way. With the current gear, the bottom of the frame

is a metal roller and allows the trawl to run along the bottom and ideally roll over

anything in its path, such as rocks or grass. The front of the trawl includes stainless steel

bars, called fingerbars, that are spaced at most three inches apart. The fingerbars keep

out any large animals and plantlife. Any bottom-dwelling organisms that can fit through

the bars will be pushed into the net by the water pressure. The trawls are hoisted using

hydraulics installed on the boat.

Once a shrimper has made a drag, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, the catch is

brought on deck and placed into holding tanks with continuously circulating water

(Figure 5-8). Some shrimpers first remove as much grass as possible by swirling a stick

through the water. Then a scoop of the catch is placed on the picking tray and sorted by

hand (Figure 5-9). The target shrimp are thrown into a separate tank and the bycatch is

pushed overboard. The shrimpers make an attempt to keep the bycatch alive by returning

it to the water as soon as possible. Any plant, algae, or animal caught in the net that is

not a shrimp is known as "trash."

Some captains take mates with them, known as "pickers," to help sort the shrimp.

These are typically fishermen with less experience. Most captains work alone, especially









in the summer when supply is low, in an effort to save money. Autopilots on the boats

allow the shrimpers to pick simultaneously while making a drag.

Most boat owners have one or two boats and several work as captains as well.

The boats are sometimes purchased from other shrimpers, or the fishermen buy

recreational vessels and renovate them into working shrimp boats. Due to high costs of

labor for welding, electrical and hydraulic work, the shrimp fishermen design and

construct all gear on their boats by themselves. The boats are simple, usually consisting

of a cabin and fishing equipment (Figure 5-10).

GPS units are commonly found on shrimp boats, but used mostly to mark hazards,

such as buoys or rocky areas, and for documentation of locations fished at previous times.

Many shrimpers use lineups from radio towers and Turkey Point for navigation, relying

on the lights from the shore to guide them to certain locations or back to the marina. One

fisherman noted that the increase in cellular towers and a changing skyline means less

dependency on the lineups because the fishermen are no longer certain that the points of

light are the same ones as before.

When shrimpers sell to wholesalers, the shrimp are counted by the thousands.

The method used to estimate catch is to count out about 550 shrimp, weigh that group,

and then calculate the number by weighing all the catch. Trip tickets are also completed

using individual numbers of shrimp, which is converted to pounds for data entry by the

state.

In 2004, shrimpers reported 48,190 pounds of shrimp caught in Biscayne National

Park. No informants felt there was a decrease in catch, but noted that the shrimp are not

in the same locations they usually are at this time of year. The recent active hurricane









seasons affected both supply and demand, which has an impact on the cycle of landings

reported.

Local Ecological Knowledge

The local ecological knowledge of the informants is reported collectively and

organized into the trap fisheries and the bait shrimp fishery. The information presented is

based on responses during interviews and field notes that documented informal

conversations.

Trapped Species (Blue Crab, Stone Crab, Spiny Lobster)

These species are omnivores and are attracted to almost anything. Fish heads are

common bait with a preference for native species such as yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus

chrysurus). Blue crabs will not eat old fish heads so they are changed out regularly, even

if they are not eaten. Lobster and stone crabs are attracted to pork bones, pigs' feet, and

cowhide. Cowhide is widely used because it only attracts the target species rather than

fish and other animals. One lobster fishermen reported using a 'special bait' but would

not reveal what it was. However, it is an animal and was discovered with trial and error

based on "what the lobster usually eats in its natural environment."

Blue crab and stone crab traps are set in muddy, grassy areas. Crabs prefer the

grass because it provides protection and a habitat for many small animals that serve as a

food source for the crabs.

Lobsters typically live near rocks or coral, which provide them with protection.

Lobster traps are set near the ledges on sandy bottom (to avoid falling or tipping), and are

'homes' for the lobsters. Once one lobster has discovered a trap, it will send out

messages to other lobsters with its antennae. The more lobsters in a trap, the more will

be attracted to it. Because eventually lobsters become their own attractants, lobster









fishermen will keep a few 'shorts' in the trap to lure in others, and some fishermen

reported that they discontinue use of fish heads or cowhide after the trap is occupied.

Of the three species, only blue crab can be fished throughout the year. The

fishermen mentioned that there was "talk of a closed season" for the blue crab but did not

feel it was necessary. The blue crabs tend to move out of the bay in the summer, due to

higher temperatures and increased rain, and therefore have a natural closed season. Some

blue crabbers do continue fishing but with fewer traps, and for the most part "it's not

worth going out and wasting the time."

Stone crabs are only legal to harvest from October 15 to May 15. Fishermen feel

that the closed season is meant to allow the stone crabs to regenerate claws, and some

mentioned that it was the spawning season. However, stone crabs have also been

observed with eggs during harvest, so the regulated closed season may not overlap with

spawning.

Once a blue crab is hatched, it grows quickly and is of legal harvest size in four

months. A stone crab may take one or two years to reach legal size, and lobsters are legal

to harvest about a year after they hatch.

Blue crabs have many predators, especially during molting season when their shells

are soft. Stone crabs, however, were reported to only have one predator (besides

humans): the octopus (Octopus spp.). Each fisherman reported that octopi are found in

traps along with dead stone crabs, and octopus eggs have also been observed in the traps.

While there are certain times of the year when there are more octopi found in the bay,

they have never caused a major impact on the stone crab fishery.









Sea turtles also break into the traps, although not as often as other humans

(discussed later). One informant told me that the evidence of a sea turtle is that the wood

will be broken inward, because a turtle will use its nose, versus a human who will pull the

wood slats out. Sea turtles are not a major problem for the trappers, breaking traps only

on occasion.

Because there is little defense against humans or octopi regardless, stone crabs do

not need even one claw to survive, although as one fishermen put it, "it sure does make it

easier." When claws are removed, the animals will hide and filterfeed on small

organisms until the claws regenerate.

As the environmental conditions change, the animals will move. Blue crabs will

move outward when there is an abundance of rain or the canals are opened, although

immediately following rainfall there will be a larger harvest because they prefer

somewhat brackish water. Both stone crabs and blue crabs respond to changes in

barometric pressure; they will move if the pressure is high. Cold snaps will cause them

to move or bury up in the sand or mud.

The size of traps and type of material used can affect a fisherman's harvest.

Different sizes are used in different habitats. Also, depending on the bottom, traps can be

made of wire, wood, plastic, and be of different colors. One fishermen pointed out that

perhaps vision is important in the crab's decision to enter the trap. Some blue crab traps

have double layers in which a crab enters the trap and then moves to the top, where there

is no exit. The fishermen could not explain why the crabs always move to the top layer.

One fisherman reported modifying his traps in a particular way and achieving

positive results, but I promised not to divulge the details of his secret.









Bait Shrimp

Shrimp are omnivores and will eat anything, but primarily have an herbivorous

diet. Much of what they eat is microscopic. Likewise, anything will eat a shrimp, which

is why they are a popular bait for recreational anglers. Because of the universal appeal,

shrimp bury up in the sand for protection during the day, when they are easily seen in the

shallow, clear waters of the bay.

The target species can be found in areas with seagrass, but the fishermen's

preference for trawling is on the hardbottom, which is in front of Black Point. They

define hardbottom as a sandy bottom with little or no plant life. This allows the drags to

be cleaner, i.e., less seagrass and algae in the nets.

Shrimp are larger and more abundant in the wintertime, with January and February

typically being the best months for harvest. During the summer, they move offshore

towards the cooler water; the bay warms quickly and they prefer lower temperatures.

Basically, the summertime is when "the old crop's moved out and the new crop hasn't

shown up yet."

There is little agreement among the fishermen on where the shrimp spawn. Some

fishermen feel that they head to the waters offshore to breed, and the eggs float into the

bay with the easterlies. Others, based on observations of the earliest small shrimp

appearing in the bushes nearshore first, believe that they spawn inshore, or the eggs are

scattered in the bay. One fisherman, doubtful of the theory that shrimp are born offshore

and float in, said,

But to me, you're talking about something this big [-three inches] going all the
way back out there to find a piece of grass to lay eggs in that's going to float all the
way back here? I don't buy it.









Once a shrimp is born, it matures in three to nine months. It grows quickly,

doubling its size each month. The shrimpers note that the animals must reproduce

quickly because shrimping has occurred for many decades and there has not been a

decline in catch.

In addition to water temperatures, choppy weather also affects the movement of

the shrimp. Winds produce wave action on the top and bottom, and habitat can change

quickly under the surface. With exception to strong winds that make navigation difficult,

the fishermen prefer some wind to "stir up everything" and cause the shrimp to be more

available as the trawl passes. An overcast sky also helps because less moonlight will

bring the shrimp out of hiding in the sand.

One important environmental condition that affects shrimp is the east wind.

When storms come from the east, they push the shrimp inshore, and this increases catch

rates because more shrimp are available. Conversely, a west wind will push the shrimp

out of the bay, limiting the abundance that is accessible to the shrimpers. However, the

winds change rapidly and the fishermen know that with every west wind, there will be an

east wind to bring the shrimp back into the bay. For this reason, they never appear to

worry about availability of the stock.

Hurricanes play a major role in the availability of the shrimp. As mentioned

before, the direction from which the hurricane comes is an important factor. Following

Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which came from the east, there was a surprise increase in

shrimp during a normal and slow summertime. After Hurricane Dennis in July 2005, a

hurricane originating in the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Point shrimpers 'lost' the shrimp

for approximately ten days (e.g., the shrimp were not in the usual places they are found









during the summertime). However, the following week an easterly pushed them back

inshore and they were able to resume trawling.

Two informants mentioned problems with Cassiopeia jellyfish (Cassiopeia

frondosa); not as predators but with the jellyfish stinging the shrimp while in the holding

tank. While typically more abundant in the summer, they have not been a major problem.

However, one informant noted that they "are the biggest threat, and getting worse."

Freshwater, from abundant rain or opening of the canal gates, causes the shrimp to

move offshore. Shrimp prefer saltier water, and the shrimpers will wait to fill the holding

tanks until they are far from the dock to avoid too much freshwater and thus, higher

shrimp mortality. Also, over the years the influx of freshwater into the bay-from canals

or run-off from development-has changed the habitat. Areas that were once prime

shrimping spots are no longer viable, such as around Black Point marina.

Biodiversity

During interviews, informal conversations, and participant observation, the

informants discussed 70 marine animals (Table 5-1). To organize the names of animals, I

used methods for folk taxonomies by Berlin et al. (1973), based on the number of

lexemes. These species included 41 fishes, 17 crustaceans, eight non-crustacean

invertebrates, two reptiles and two marine mammals. The majority (58.6%) were

mentioned at the generic level (one lexeme used), such as damselfish, sponge, and sea

turtle. Twenty-three (32.9%) were at a specific level (two lexemes), such as spiny puffer,

and six (8.6%) were at a varietal level (three of more lexemes), such as bonnet-head

shark and shovel-nosed lobster. Most of the fish were at the generic level, but

conversely, only two crustaceans were mentioned in generic terms. As suggested by

Berlin et al. (1973), animals discussed at the generic level are the most numerous.









Thirty-seven (53.6%) organisms were noted or observed as bycatch. Larger

animals, such as horseshoe crabs and grouper, were cases of trap bycatch. Smaller

organisms, or at least slimmer animals that can fit through the finger bars on a shrimp

boat, were mentioned or observed with shrimpers. For example, common trawl bycatch

include trumpetfish, pinfish, juvenile lobsters, and other shrimp, which are easily swept

into the shrimp trawls. However, on occasion, larger animals like flounder and sting rays

(that appear as if their size would let them avoid being swept into the nets) are caught,

presumably because they were sideways at the time of the drag. When this happens, they

fit perfectly through the fingerbars. When questioned about the natural history of

different species during participant observation, the shrimpers knew many aspects,

including diet, life cycle, and obstacles for captivity. Many shrimpers admitted to

keeping interesting species in their home aquariums, where they observed the animals.

Twenty (29%) of the animals were mentioned as predators of the target species,

although no serious problems in a year's harvest has occurred due to abundance of any

predators. Most were mentioned during interviews with the shrimpers, boasting the

universality of shrimp as bait for recreational fishing in the bay. Two species from the

family Cnidaria, the Cassiopeia jellyfish and Portuguese Man O' War (Physaliaphysalis)

were mentioned as not only harmful to the catch but also the fishermen. Octopi were

mentioned as seasonal impediments for stone crab fishermen, and sea turtles were noted

as breaking into the lobster and crab traps.

The informants also discussed eight types of algae and six types of marine plants

(Table 5-1). Many were local names and some had multiple names. For example,

Sargassum spp. is known as sargassum or berry grass; Thalassia testudinum is called









turtle grass or blade grass; and Giffordia spp., a brown algae, is referred to as snotgrass or

gumbo. Of the algae, all were mentioned as impediments to traps (growing on or inside

the traps and deterring catch) or clogging up shrimp trawls. The marine plants were all

included in responses to questions about habitat, although the bait shrimpers consider

grass in their nets as trash and detrimental to upkeep of the nets or interfering with sorting

out the shrimp.

Factors Affecting Effort and Catch

In addition to regulations from local, state, and federal governments, the

commercial fishermen of Biscayne National Park are subject to several aspects of

limitations that may prevent them from their maximum exploitation of the resources. In

this section, I will describe two main external factors that affect trappers-theft and

seasonality-and the social aspects of territory and conflict that limit space. For

shrimpers, the main limitation is environmental and economic seasonality. Internal

limitations include secrecy, networking, and aspects of working without a picker.

Trap Fishermen

Theft

The most substantial problem for the trap fishermen was theft. Every informant

who participated in one of the trap fisheries brought up this issue, and once mentioned

theft was mentioned, went into details and personal experiences (which all reported

having). Theft, at this point, is simply part of being a crab or lobster fisherman.

Although stealing is not a new phenomenon, the trap fishermen blame the

population increase of adjacent Miami-Dade County for the growing problem. As more

people move in, the higher the likelihood that traps will be stolen or vandalized.

Molestation of traps is a third-degree felony, entailing a fine up to $5000 and









imprisonment of a maximum of five years (Florida Senate 2006), but it is hard to enforce

the law and theft continues to be an issue.

Crab and lobster traps are kept at the commercial dock at Black Point. There is

little security at the dock and one lobster trapper reported that some of his best traps had

been stolen during the night before the interview. He said that they are taken to be used

as decorations for patios. Because he has no other place to store hundreds of traps, he

must depend on enforcement from the marina staff

Most occurrences involve robbing a trap, which almost always includes damaging

it in some way. A blue crabber told me, "they don't steal the traps, they just take what's

there out of there and leave it." One informant reported that he can tell if the thief was a

human versus a sea turtle: the wood will be pulled out instead of pushed inward. He also

noted that robbing from a trap was the equivalent to robbing a store. Another informant

stated that "it's one thing to steal from you, but kill [obstruct] your trap from not being

able to catch?" Damaging the traps only adds insult to injury. Also, many time the lines

are cut or the traps moved, causing it to become a ghost trap if the fishermen is unable to

find it.

Because the trappers are required to mark each trap or line with buoys, it is not

difficult for recreational anglers, divers, and other passersby to locate the traps. A boat

trip in the bay will provide several instances where passengers will see trap buoys. Blue

crabs, which are fished for in shallow inshore waters, are especially easy to find. In an

area the size of Biscayne National Park, with open boundaries, there was seldom another

boat in sight during my excursions out in the bay. Not being seen robbing a trap is even

easier at night.









To combat theft, one fisherman is considering using time-release buoys made of

zinc, available from a fishing supplies company. The zinc erodes in saltwater over a

course of two weeks and releases the buoy. Another response is to only place buoys on

the ends of each line, but this method requires knowing exact placement of traps or use of

GPS.

Another way to cope with theft is through the network, which was mentioned by

one of the trappers: "All of us around here, we try to watch for stuff like that, which

helps". When I accompanied a lobster fisherman on a harvest, he was communicating

with other fishermen using a Nextel walkie-talkie, discussing an unknown boat near an

area popular for lobster traps. Because the boat was not checking any other traps, the

fisherman was worried that someone was waiting for him to leave. He asked another

trapper, who was on his way to the area to check his own traps, to keep an eye on the

boat.

Several fishermen relayed stories they had heard of thieves being arrested and

prosecuted, and all had personal accounts of theft of their own traps. One informant

stated, "I will never go for restitution, I'll just go for jailtime."

One informant told me that because there was little chance of catching a thief, in

the past the trappers had handled anyone caught or suspected of robbing traps by their

own means. The responses to thieves in these stories were very severe; it was revenge.

Robbing from a fisherman's trap is nothing to be taken lightly, as indicated in the stories

of the fates of thieves.

Seasonality and weather

The lobster and stone crab fisheries have closed seasons imposed by the state of

Florida. The best time of the season is in the first few months, and then there is a









decrease in catch. The blue crab fishery does not have a closed season but, as mentioned

above, less harvest occurs in the summer months as a result of an increase in temperature

(i.e., it is too hot to fish) and a decrease in availability of blue crabs.

Similar to effects of hurricanes on bait shrimp availability, one trapper reported

problems following strong westerlies but little impacts from easterlies, even a major

hurricane such as Andrew. The most substantial concern is the loss of traps and lack of

demand following extreme weather events.

Territory and conflict

While there are no rules about where a fisherman may place his traps, several

informants mentioned attempts to find less crowded areas and not informing other

fishermen of a new location. Territoriality is difficult, however, when traps must be

marked with buoys and are visible on the water surface. One trapper spoke of his

location:

It's not that anybody else can't go there, it's that you have to maneuver around the
trap without hitting another trap, and you have to have a certain amount of space.
And out of courtesy, whatever, etiquette of the blue crabber...if you see a guy's
line well, you give him a certain amount of distance to let him fix that area. That's
what I do.

Keeping a distance between one's traps with another fisherman's traps appears to

benefit both parties, but informants reported instances when trap lines were crossed by

another crab or lobster fisherman. However, no unwritten rules of territory were

mentioned. As one trapper stated, "my license is as good as anybody else's."

Each trapper interviewed mentioned shrimp trawlers potentially damaging crab

traps (lobster traps are typically set further out in the bay, in deeper water, and near coral

reefs-not desirable locations for shrimpers). One informant reported that he keeps a

local shrimper who frequently fishes the same area as he does updated on where he









placed his traps in an effort to minimize damage. Another crabber stated that he keeps

his traps closer inshore to keep the lines from being run over by the shrimp trawls.

Although mentioned in the interviews, conflict does not seem to be a major issue.

Interestingly, none of the shrimpers brought up a problem with the crab traps; the only

mention was included in a description of the mechanics of a trawl, and how they should

roll over the top of a trap.

Shrimpers

Seasonality

The environmental and economic seasons that affect the bait shrimpers of

Biscayne are interesting in how they parallel one another. The environment affects the

supply; the local economy-mainly recreational fishing tourism-affects the demand.

Both are at their lows in the summer and highs in the winter.

The changes in environment include basic weather patterns, and have impact on

both the shrimp and the shrimpers. In the summer, the shrimp are less available because

of their spawning and movement towards deeper waters once water temperature in the

bay begins to climb, according to some shrimpers.

During this time, a variety of factors change the normal routines of the fleet. The

shrimpers go out less (one shrimper reports that he takes the entire summer off), and

spend less time on the water. Also, nights are shorter in the summer, and because a

captain will "wait until the water looks good and black [no sunlight]," he will not go out

until at least 8 pm. Likewise, the sun begins to rise earlier in the summer, which causes

the shrimp to bury up in the sand sooner than in the winter. Longer daytime hours mean

less shrimping hours.









The summer precipitation and winds also alter the activities of the shrimpers. When

weather is rough, the informants reported that shrimping is better. However, potential

damage to the boats and personal safety are considered if the weather is too rough, which

it often is during the rainy summer months.

The recent active hurricane seasons of the past two years have caused some

problems for the shrimpers. Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30, with the

most active period in August and September. The years of 2004 and 2005 saw an

unusually high number of major hurricane landfalls, and 2006 has been predicted to be an

active season as well (Klotzbach and Gray 2006). While extreme weather can increase

catch during a usually slow time for the shrimpers, it also can cause problems. In

addition to storms from the west pushing the shrimp offshore, the shrimp boats can

sustain considerable damage if not properly secured. Also, rising gas prices that follow

the storms, particularly the spike after Katrina in 2005, deterred some shrimpers from

going out if they did not feel they could catch enough shrimp to make a profit. Gas

prices also play a role in the smaller number of tourists visiting south Florida.

The local economy of south Florida is driven by tourism, the primary income for

the state. When there are fewer tourists, there are fewer orders for shrimps from the bait

shops. Even if the shrimpers are catching an abundance of shrimp (e.g., following a

storm from the east) they do not always have an outlet for selling them. Shrimp are

typically not kept for more than a day if not sold immediately and therefore the fishermen

do not catch excess shrimp.

Secrecy

Bait shrimpers only harvest during the night and are sometimes difficult to see

once a certain distance is reached. Because of this, they can explore other areas of the









bay in search of their catch with other fishermen having little knowledge of where they

are. Several informants mentioned maintaining secrecy if they came upon a good spot,

particularly in the summertime. One shrimper said,

I'm kind of a sneaky shrimper. I don't let a lot of people know where I'm working

or know where I'm going. I keep to myself...because every time I ever let
somebody know something, next thing I know there's ten shrimpboats there,
pounding my area. Oh, what happened? There goes a month's worth of shrimp in
two days, wiped out.

Another shrimper told me that summer is when the captains are especially

protective of their spots, even if it means extra effort to deter them from following him.

He said, "If I caught ten thousand tonight, tomorrow night I'd go in a different direction.

I'd take the whole fleet somewhere else."

During my time on the boats, I noticed that the shrimpers used the CB radio often

to check in with other fishermen and see how their nights were going. When asked if

they divulge good locations, I was told that if a shrimper finds a spot like that, he does

not tell anyone else. One shrimper was known for being easy to figure out: if he was not

on the CB radio as usual, he had come upon a prime location and did not want the others

to ask where he was working.

The network of the bait shrimpers

The Anglo, longterm bait shrimpers at Black Point, where I spent a majority of

my time, were a close group of people. Many had known one another for decades, and

sometimes through means other than the fishery. While many of them spoke of the old

days, there seemed to be a closeknit network still functioning in the community.

However, when asked about the new captains, mostly Hispanic, my informants admitted









that they did not converse with them on a regular basis. The segregation at the dock

seemed no more than a language barrier.

Being a part of, and especially being a central figure, in the network is beneficial

to the fishermen for the most part. Through the network, information about catches,

problems, and stories of previous years passes. Often during interviews I heard the

phrases, "I heard," or "they say." Information flows freely among the fishermen.

Working alone

Most shrimpers work alone, especially during the summer months when catch is

low and an effort is made to maintain as much of the profit as possible. Autopilot on the

boats are useful when shrimping solo, as the captain can pick while he drags, only having

to check where he is going on occasion.

The drawback to working alone is the possibility of getting behind, i.e., finishing

a drag before a shrimper has the chance to complete picking the last drag's catch. This is

a common occurrence because there are two sets of trawls on each boat. It is plausible to

have two or more drags' worth of catch in the holding tanks at a time, but chances of

encountering a problem increase. For example, if there is already one drag in the tank

and the second drag contains a Cassiopeia jellyfish, both catches might be lost from the

stinging. Most shrimpers try their best to keep ahead of each drag.

However, there is only so much one person can do when working alone, and this

decreases the effort for harvest. There is only a certain amount of time in which the

shrimpers are able to work, and more time is spent at the picking tray when there is only

one person aboard.

With years of experience, many fishermen learn quicker ways to pick. It is

desirable to be as swift as possible. This is not only beneficial to the time management of









the shrimper, but also to the chance of survival for the bycatch. The faster a scoop is

sorted through, the faster the bycatch are placed back into the water. A slow picker may

be detrimental to the bycatch.

Conservation and Management

The informants in this study all expressed a desire to conserve the resource.

Some of them have children that are interested in following in their parents' footsteps,

but even the immediate future of the industry is a concern for them. However, many

were more focused on the uncertainty of being allowed to continue fishing within the

park rather than the sustainability of the fishery.

One prominent theme was that the fishermen felt like they were the target of

unfair accusations of destroying the habitat. They noted other sources of degradation,

such as freshwater influx, runoff, urban development, and recreational anglers. Many

also pointed out that they had not experienced a decline in catch, indicating that the

fisheries are sustainable.

When government regulations were discussed, almost all of the informants stated

that lack of enforcement was the main problem. Several relayed stories of law

enforcement approaching them and checking for permits and safety requirements, but no

one recalled a time when fishing gear was inspected, which seemed to bother those

fishermen that felt they followed all regulations when other fishermen did not adhere to

the rules. Verification that equipment was in good condition and functioning properly

was a common suggestion for improvement of management and for conservation of the

resource.













Table 5-1: Organisms mentioned during interviews and documented in field notes.


Fishermen Term
Animals
amberjack
angelfish
ballyhoo
barracuda
batfish
black drum
black-tipped shark
blood shrimp
blue crab
bonefish
bonnet-head shark
boxfish
brown shrimp
cassiopeia jellyfish
conch
cowfish
crocodile
damselfish
dolphin
fan
flounder
glass eel
grass shrimp
green moray eel
grouper
grunt
hermit crab
horseshoe crab
humpback shrimp
jewfish
kingfish
lace murex
mackerel
manatee
mantis shrimp
minnow
mud crab
mullet
nurse shark
octopus
parrot fish
permit
pinfish
pink shrimp


Scientific Term*

Seriola spp.
Family Pomacanthidae
Hemiramphus brasiliensis
Sphyraena spp.
Ogcocephalus cubifrons
Pogonias cromis
Carcharhinus spp.
**
Callinectes sapidus
Albula vulpes
Sphyrna tiburo
Lactophrys tricornis
Penaeus aztecus
Cassiopeia frondosa
Strombus spp.
Lactophrys quadricornis
Crocodylus acutus
Family Pomacentridae
Coryphaena spp.
Gorgonia ventalina
Paralichthys spp.
**
Hippolyte spp.
Gymnothorax funebris
Family Serranidae
Family Haemulidae
Pagurus spp.
Limulus polyphemus
**
Epinephelus itajara
Menticirrhus spp.
Chicoreus florifer
Scombermorous spp.
Trichechus manatus
Squilla empusa
Family Cyprinidae
**
Family Mugilidae
Gi. y ii, uii ,,1,1 cirratum
Octopus spp.
Families Labridae/Scaridae
Trachinotus falcatus
Lagodon rhomboides
Penaeus duorarum


Folk Taxonomic Rank

generic
generic
generic
generic
generic
specific
varietal
specific
specific
generic
varietal
generic
specific
specific
generic
generic
generic
generic
generic
generic
generic
specific
specific
varietal
generic
generic
specific
specific
specific
generic
generic
specific
generic
generic
specific
generic
specific
generic
specific
generic
generic
generic
generic
specific










Table 5-1. Continued.
Fishermen Term
pompano
porpoise
Portuguese man 'o war
puffer fish
red drum
rock shrimp
scorpionfish
sea cucumber
sea turtle
seahorse
sharp-nosed eel
snapper
snook
soldier crab
Spanish lobster
shovel-nosed lobster
spider crab
spiny lobster
spiny puffer
sponge
sting ray
stone crab
tarpon
trout
trumpetfish
yellowtail snapper


Plants and algae
berry grass
blade grass
eel grass
fern
gumbo
herring grass
kelp
lettuce grass
mangrove
rolling grass
sargassum
snot grass
turtle grass
wire grass


Scientific Term
Trachinotus falcatus
Order Cetacea
Physalia physalis
Family Tetraodontidae
Sciaenops ocellatus
Sicyonia brevirostri
Scorpaena spp.
Class Holothuroidea
Order Testudines
Hippocampus spp.
**
Family Lutjanidae
Centropomus spp.
Coenobita clypeatus
Scyllarides aequinoctialis
Scyllarides aequinoctalis
Libinia emarginata
Panulirus argus
Diodon holacanthus
Phylum Porifera
Dasyatis spp.
Menippe mercenaria
Megalops atlanticus
Cynoscion nebulosus
Aulostomus macalatus
Lutjanus chrysurus


Sargassum spp.
Thalassia testudinum
Zostera marina
Udotia spp.
Giffordia spp.
Halodule spp.
Phylum Phaeophyta
**
Family Rhizophoraceae
Gracilaria spp.
Sargassum spp.
Giffordia spp.
Thalassia testudinum
Svrinsodium filiforme


Folk Taxonomic Rank
generic
generic
varietal
generic
specific
specific
generic
generic
generic
generic
varietal
generic
generic
specific
specific
specific
specific
specific
specific
generic
generic
specific
generic
generic
generic
specific


specific
specific
specific
generic
generic
specific
generic
specific
generic
specific
generic
specific
specific
specific


*Common names listed with higher scientific taxa than genus or species are common
terms that could indicate several species of fish, and were not distinguished by the
fishermen.
** denotes insufficient information.
Sources: Alden et al. 1998; Tom Frazer, personal communication; Gosner 1978; Humann
and DeLoach 1995; Katz 1998; Voss 1976.

















H->
yi i-'i
L4s;
K~itA- *i-^


Figure 5-1: Blue crab (male).


Figure 5-2: Blue crab trap with two levels.






67



























Figure 5-3: Stone crab trap.


Figure 5-4: Spiny lobster.







68










I sod
-J








Figure 5-5 Lobster sanctuary boundaries (in blue) within Biscayne National Park.




F r .5blu w
c *-





Figure 5-5: Lobster sanctuary boundaries (in blue) within Biscayne National Park.


':.'.. ; y l,:', s" :,

-9 .11*' S .. .
Ab- 6
- .


Figure 5-6: Lobster trap (in repair).































Figure 5-7: Rollerframe trawl on a bait shrimp boat. Identification on the boat has been
hidden to maintain privacy.


Figure 5-8: Holding tanks on a bait shrimp boat.






70
























Figure 5-9: Picking tray on a bait shrimp boat with seagrass "trash."
Figure 5-9: Picking tray on a bait shrimp boat with seagrass "trash."


Figure 5-10: Bait shrimp boat. Identification has been covered to maintain privacy.


/ -1














CHAPTER 6
DISCUSSION

The overall objective of the study was to characterize the Biscayne National Park

fisheries in a natural and cultural context from the viewpoint of the fishermen. The

specific objectives were to:

* document local ecological knowledge that contributes to fishing success.

* describe factors (other than government regulation) that affect fishermen behavior
and limit harvest of the target species.

* identify fishermen's perspectives on conservation and management.

In Chapter 5, I presented the results as applied to these objectives. In this chapter, I

provide a brief summary of the results, followed by a discussion the implications of the

results, specifically the utility for management planning of having such information about

resource and user groups and of applying anthropological concepts to fisheries. I

conclude the discussion with suggestions for how this study can be used in management

at Biscayne National Park and by giving some suggestions for integrating cultural studies

of the fishermen into park research and planning.

Knowledge of the Fishermen

The information presented from my study regarding local ecological knowledge

encompass the biology and ecology of the target species (diet, predators, and life cycles)

and the habitat of the bay. Knowledge was concentrated on information that was

pertinent to commercial fishing success, although some information about other species









and fisheries was reported by the informants, which suggests dialogue among fisheries,

plus an interest of fishermen in the entire ecosystem.

The knowledge of users harvesting crabs, lobsters and shrimp is useful to not only

monitor stocks but to assess changes in the ecosystem, using the animals as bioindicators.

A change in the abundance of adult animals that are harvested might indicate a change in

population at the larval stage, which could affect biodiversity of the bay because of the

position of crustacean zooplankton in the food web.

Knowledge about the life cycles and migration of the target species provide

insight on how the informants make decisions on where to fish. Depending on the time

of year and weather, the fishermen will move to different areas of the bay, and

knowledge based on experience is the most important source of information about catch

availability. By documenting ecological knowledge of life cycles and migration,

fisheries managers can understand the patterns of use and can make use of the long-term

monitoring of the resource by the fishermen.

Information about predation on the target species reflects the compilation of

knowledge from years of experience and from interaction among the informants.

Predators affect the movement and abundance of the animals and are of concern to the

fishermen, especially if there is a period when predators affect catch. The only predation

emphasized in this study was octopi on stone crab, and of which the impact on catch was

minimal. However, the possibility of changes in the octopus population, continuously

monitored by the stone crab fishermen, can alert fisheries managers of changes in

biodiversity and possibly other issues.









Information recorded about changes in the bay, especially from fishermen who

have worked there for long periods, is valuable for assessing changes in habitat. Because

fishermen use information on habitat to make decisions on where to place their traps or

make a drag for shrimp, they are constantly taking mental notes of the location of the

target species and what is particular about that place that attracts the animals.

Comparison of Scientific Knowledge and Local Ecological Knowledge

When the local ecological knowledge of the fishermen in this study was compared

to documented scientific knowledge of the target species, the two sources agreed for the

most part, which was similar to findings from a comparison study on yellowfin tuna

between fishermen and managers (Miller et al. 2004). The few differences were mostly

on the life cycles and spawning of each species. Table 6-1 reviews how scientific

knowledge and local ecological knowledge diverge on these aspects.

One notable difference was that the information that fishermen knew typically

only pertained to adults, and little or no information on the other life stages was included

in the responses. This is perhaps because adult animals are what the fishermen are in

search of and primarily deal with. Larval stages were not discussed at all by the

fishermen, and juveniles were mentioned only by the shrimpers when they spoke of

smaller shrimp showing up near the shore during late summer.

Another difference concerns the age of the animal that is reported. In scientific

literature, the age at which the animal reaches sexual maturity is the focus because

recruitment is important for fisheries scientists (Wilson 2003). However, the fishermen

were more concerned and knowledgeable about how long it takes a crab or lobster to

reach legal harvest size, and the time for a shrimp to be a good size to catch. The

divergence reflects a difference in motives for each group.









Limitations on the Fishermen

There are internal and external factors that affect the ability to harvest crab,

lobster and shrimp. Internal factors are a product of the culture and include secrecy,

social networks and some fishermen territoriality. External factors originate from social,

economic and environmental sources.

Understanding how the fishermen interact with each other and what influences the

way that the other fishermen work together or not is useful to managers because it

provides insight on fishing effort of the fleet (Salas and Gaertner 2004). In the case of

the Biscayne fishermen, knowledge about mediocre locations is commonly shared, but

locations of abundance are often withheld. Knowing the areas that are more exploited

than others (mediocre locations) allows resource managers to assess impact more

thoroughly.

The external factors that affect the Biscayne fleets include theft, market, and

weather. Theft is a major concern for the crab and lobster fishermen and enforcement is

lacking. Information from the trappers on when and where this is happening could help

law enforcement officials to better address the situation.

The market also affects how the fishermen work. Understanding that the dynamics

of harvest are a result of not only supply but also demand is important in planning for

regulation, especially should the park decide to make seasonal changes.

Finally, the environmental factors that are affecting the Biscayne fishermen should

be taken into account during planning, and allow managers to work with limitations that

are already in place and influencing fishing effort.

A factor not directly mentioned, but discussed as the fishermen spoke of the rapid

development in south Florida, was urbanization and its effects on the fishermen. Johnson









and Orbach (1990) examined the impacts of urbanization on the spiny lobster fishery in

the Florida Keys, and found that most pressure came from new participants, who recently

moved to the area, entering the fishery; increased living expenses; and tourism growth.

While the Biscayne National Park fishermen do not have a problem with an influx of new

fishermen, they are subject to the expensive and growing cost of living in south Florida

and opposition from recreational fishing tourism. However, one fisherman told me that it

was the high cost of real estate in the area that kept new fishermen, who he perceived to

be middle class at most, from moving to south Florida and working in the park.

Fishermen and "Commons" Assumptions

The three assumptions of Hardin's 'tragedy of the commons' outlined earlier by

Berkes (1985) included selfish users, limited resources, and common properties. In this

section, I will discuss how the Biscayne National Park fisheries apply to each

assumption.

Selfishness

Regarding a group of people who all depend on the same resource and deal with

the same problems, at some point they will have to depend on the community in some

way, and the community will come to depend on them, which helps structure the

expression of selfishness. There are two specific realms in which this occurs: 1)

information transmission, and 2) response to change or difficulty.

In the realm of information transmission, fishermen seek to find answers to

questions about the resource through their networks (e.g., one fishermen asking another

where he worked the day/night before and how the catch was). Other fishermen are the

only resource for knowledge when personal experience is not sufficient. A shrimper

cannot consult the literature to decide where he will take his boat that night, nor can a









trapper watch the evening news to see where the crabs are showing up this week. He

depends on his own knowledge and at some point, the knowledge of others. In return, a

Biscayne fishermen will tell other members what he knows, albeit only under

circumstances of medium-level success. Desire to maintain the secrets of real success

keep fishermen from transmitting everything they know to one another. In this way they

fulfill the assumption of selfishness, but at the same time, limit the fishery as a whole by

not crowding prime locations.

The other aspect is cultural response to change or difficulty. Typically, the

Biscayne National Park fishermen are affected individually, but respond culturally. The

following example describes the Black Point shrimpers' preparation and response to a

hurricane.

Hurricanes are a part of life for the fishermen of Biscayne National Park. Prior to

a hurricane, they move the boats into the canal where there is a windbreak [the

informants reported that the marina will not allow them to move the boats into the

recreational dock, which is a more protected area]. All loose items are removed from the

deck of each boat and they are tied together to secure them. Following a hurricane, the

fishermen move the boats back out onto the dock and assess any damage.

Extreme weather alters the habitat in the bay, and typically the shrimpers will not

immediately be able to locate the shrimp after a storm. When Hurricane Dennis passed

on the west, none of the Black Point shrimpers made significant catches for a week. One

informant told me that the drivers, who are paid daily regardless of quantity, often lie to

the shrimpers about others' catches. For example, if a shrimper refuses to fish one night

because the catch will not be worth the while financially, the driver will tell him that









another shrimper had a success the night before. However, one phone call verifies or

disproves the claim; this would not happen without the tight-knit network of the

shrimpers. Furthermore, word travels quickly when a shrimper locates the target and

within days all the fishermen are updated on the status of the shrimp.

However, some boat owners and captains are not so fortunate following a storm,

and damage to boats might cause a delay in the return to fishing. Because each boat

supplies only one wholesaler, a lack of supply could mean an unfilled order. When this

occurs, other shrimpers will either catch extras or provide leftovers to wholesalers

without working boats.

Do the Biscayne fishermen meet the assumption of selfishness? In some ways the

answer is no. They rely too heavily on one another for information and for assistance

following a disturbance. In other ways, the answer is yes. Perhaps information is

transmitted in hopes of receiving information as well, and it is possible that help is given

with the expectation that the favor will be returned.

However, there is one other aspect that appears to be overlooked in most studies:

the fishermen are humans. They have names, faces, families, stories, hopes and fears.

Ramirez-Sanchez (2006) wrote that emotion plays a heavy role in cooperation within

social networks of fishermen-the binds that tie are more important than 'winning'.

Likewise with the Biscayne National Park fishermen, there are ties that no social network

analysis can show. Sometimes, it is not lack of selfishness or any other kind of cultural

force at work. Sometimes, it is simply because the fishermen are friends.

Overexploitation and Limited Resources

In many cases regarding a marine resource, it is hard to determine if a stock is

overfished. Typically a lack of insufficient data to provide an actual number of the









animals leads to the need for a model to estimate population, but limitations on harvest,

based on models do not always produce an improvement in stocks, which might indicate

a flaw in the model. The situation is similar in Biscayne, although current records of

commercial landings and information from the fishermen show that at this time there is

not a decline in target species. This is most likely due to the small number of fishermen

working in the bay and at such a small scale.

Common Property and Open-access

Biscayne National Park is considered a common property resource, as federal

lands are considered to be owned by the people. Likewise, it is open to all users,

recreational and commercial alike. Recreational visitors participate in diving, boating,

and fishing, and until recently (due to moratoria on licenses) anyone could become a

commercial fisherman.

It is the open-access concept that is not as easy to apply to this situation. Clearly

the park is available to commercial fishermen if they meet the government regulations,

which play the most significant role in limiting access. Without proper permits,

endorsements and tags, there might be more participants than the fishery could sustain.

At this time, the government provides restriction to the resource.

However, exactly how much do federal and government regulations maintain that

restriction? From the outside, Biscayne National Park is more of a state-regulated

property regime than open-access with myriad rules and regulations in place for the

fishermen. Feeny et al. (1996) distinguishes between two types of regimes, dejure and

defacto, which also apply to Biscayne National Park. The government (state and federal)

regulate resource use on paper. However, because there is little enforcement of

regulations that directly affect the fishermen's behavior and fishing effort (such as gear









specifications and harvest size restrictions), the situation is defacto more likely to be

open-access. In this case the behavior of the fishermen will dictate fishing effort moreso

than government regulations. According to this, I am presenting a discussion on the

open-access nature of the Biscayne National Park fisheries with little regard to

government regulations. The two sides to the debate are discussed below, the first from a

single-species approach, and the second from an ecosystems approach.

Although anyone person with fishing permits could participate in the commercial

fisheries at Biscayne National Park, he would still have to know the area fairly well to be

successful. Local ecological knowledge and familiarity with the gear are necessary and

only come with years of experience. In another context, if the target species was soup in

a can with no label and Biscayne Bay was a members-only warehouse (e.g., Costco or

Sam's Club), it would be a similar situation. A participant would have to pay to be a

member, and once he got in, would never find the soup can unless he knew where it in

the store, and along the way probably pick up a lot of cans he did not want (bycatch).

Only by trial and error or perhaps, if he knows the right person to ask, information he

received from other members. This is a simplified example, but representative of the

basics of how the fisheries work within the park. Without knowledge of the resource a

person would have little access, and the park becomes not as open-access as it appears on

the surface.

On the other side, from an ecosystems approach, is that the resource is open to

other forms of exploitation. For example, any person can place a crab trap in any area of

the park. In doing so, even if he is not successful at catching a crab, he has potentially

made an impact on the resource. He has not affected the stock but he has affected the









habitat, which may eventually affect the crabs and other organisms living there. When

examining the assumption of open access, we must consider different means of access for

the users to determine if the situation could possibly become a 'tragedy'.

Could Biscayne National Park Become a "Tragedy?"

It is difficult to assess if the commercial fisheries of Biscayne National Park are

sustainable with the little information available, both as natural and cultural resources.

However, it is important to know that there are factors at work that limit exploitation of

the resource beyond existing government regulations.

The fishermen experience a variety of factors that affect their success and limit

their activities beyond the scope of formal management. Internal cultural limitations

include secrecy, knowledge, and community status. External limitations include

environmental and social factors, such as ecological seasonality, supply and demand, and

theft. It is important for marine resource managers to consider these components of the

fishery to make informed decisions on management.

The Future of the Fisheries at Biscayne National Park

Is conservation of marine resources an important goal for the fishermen of

Biscayne National Park? I would argue yes, although not nearly as important as

conservation of the fisheries and fishermen. Interviews and conversations revealed that

the fishermen are not particularly worried about the stocks but more concerned with the

possibility that they will no longer be allowed to work within the park. They do not feel

that they are overfishing and they do not consider their activities to have a major impact

on the habitat.

When asked about the future of the fisheries, specifically when discussing whether

or not their children would follow in their footsteps, most fishermen expressed doubt or









stated that did not encourage their children to become fishermen. This was mostly

because of their uncertainty that there would even be a fishery for the children to

participate in. The end of commercial fishing within the park is perceived as being a very

real possibility in the very near future, and often the fishermen mentioned options that

they had been contemplating should commercial fishing in Biscayne National Park no

longer be allowed.

Often the fishermen referred to how they feel that they are perceived as: the bad

guys. Also noted in Smith and Jepson (1993), they feel that small-scale fishermen are a

dying breed, even though they see themselves as hard-working good people. They also

believe that much of the opposition comes from scientific studies, which portray the

fishermen, especially the bait shrimpers, as obstructions to resource protection due to the

damage caused by fishing gear. Several mentioned that scientists conducting research on

the marine resources within the park were not to be trusted, and "will find whatever

results they are paid to find." Clearly, the fishermen are wary of the motives of the

scientific community, and most of all, concerned with the reactions of the public to the

results of these studies.

The uncertainty of the continuation of commercial fishing in Biscayne National

Park is valid. Similar to many other small-scale commercial fishermen in Florida, they

face public scrutiny and are unsure of how and if they can refute the viewpoints (Smith

and Jepson 1993). Without time, funds, and ability to come together as a group, they

have little means to provide a counter argument.

Recreational Fishing

Although this thesis focuses on the commercial fishermen of Biscayne, I cannot

ignore the role of the recreational anglers that visit the park, and their relationship to the









commercial fisheries. A visitors' survey conducted in 2001 found fishing to be the

primary reason for visiting the park for 31% of the respondents (Simmons and Littlejohn

2001). The park's Ethnographic Overview and Assessment ( EDAW 2003) emphasized

user groups participating in recreational angling and its importance in how the general

public is linked to the area. Furthermore, the Miami Herald has a weekly fishing report

for the area and regularly publishes articles on recreational fishing, including coverage of

tournaments and other topics.

At a simple glance, there should be little conflict between recreational and

commercial fishermen, at least from a competition point of view. Although the number

recreational trap fishermen is much higher than that for commercial fishermen, there does

not appear to be a problem with competition between the two user groups. This is

perhaps because fishermen harvesting crab or lobster recreationally are allowed too few

traps to compete with commercial trap fishermen. Shrimpers are targeting species not

pursued by the recreational anglers, and they work only at night as recreational anglers

typically fish during the day.

However, a broader viewpoint could reveal other forms of competition. In a

study on competition between recreational and commercial fishermen on Lake Erie,

Berkes (1984) mentioned the effect on the food web by each fishery as a more likely

problem than overlapping territory or competing for a single species. In the case of

Biscayne National Park, the competition, at least on the surface, seems to be on who

should take the blame for decline in quality of the bay.

Many of my informants are concerned with the recreational anglers, mostly

stating that they are not educated on regulations and enforcement is difficult. Also, some









commercial fishermen note that recreational anglers do not depend on the resource for

their livelihoods, and are less likely to think about conservation when they are only in the

park for a brief period. Finally, the overall viewpoint on impact from recreational use in

the park is that the number of anglers in the park far outweighs the number of commercial

fishermen, and therefore should be the focus in management plans.

Biscayne Fishermen in the National Park Service Context

The National Park Service defines a cultural resource as:

an aspect of a cultural system that is valued by or significantly representative of a
culture or that contains significant information about a culture. A cultural resource
may be a tangible entity or a cultural practice. Tangible cultural resources are
categorized as districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects for the National
Register of Historic Places and as archeological resources, cultural landscapes,
structures, museum objects, and ethnographic resources for NPS management
purposes (National Park Service 2001).

In 1998, the service created a management plan for cultural resources that covered

six types of cultural resources and provided guidelines for research, planning and

stewardship. Included in the plan was information for ethnographic resources, which are

physical attributes (e.g., a site, landscape or natural resource feature) assigned

significance by a cultural group.

Ethnographic data on the traditional use and management of culturally important

natural resources helps inform ecosystem management, programs of consumptive use, the

Man and the Biosphere program, and global climate change research about relationships

between environmental issues and local resource uses.

The National Park Service knows the value of ethnographic studies for both sides.

Why are there not more conducted, especially prior to development of management

plans? One obstacle is lack of funding for staff or contracting external researchers to

complete the studies. Management and budget would have to be modified to make









ethnographic studies a priority for funding. Additional staff would be required to assess,

plan and manage cultural resource studies. Management of cultural resources is an

important goal for the National Park Service, even if natural resources remain superior in

priority. Half of the annual budget allocated to natural resource management is assigned

to management of cultural resources, and many parks only have one or two members of

the staff assigned to cultural resource management (Gamble 2003). Of the four south

Florida parks (Biscayne, Everglades, Big Cypress, and Dry Tortugas), Biscayne has the

only cultural resource manager. Despite shortcomings in natural resource management

staff as well, cultural resource management is hardly represented in park units with such

rich cultural history.

Still, if the National Park Service truly wants to provide an interdisciplinary

program and satisfy its requirements for management of natural and cultural resources, a

new approach must be developed in which resource management can be combined. The

Ethnographic Overview and Assessment for Biscayne National Park (EDAW 2003)

emphasized the importance of fishing as a cultural activity of the park users (commercial

and recreational), and my study provides more information of the commercial fishermen

working in the park. However, my study is only skimming the surface. Imagine an

ongoing effort of documenting local ecological knowledge and information about the

commercial fisheries from the participants' point of view. What park management

knows about the resource would greatly increase, and the fishermen would be involved in

the process. A well-rounded approach to collecting data and planning would be a

significant contribution to both types of resource management.









Biscayne should press for more funding for ethnographic research and, if that fails,

develop creative ways to combine forces-for example, recruit fishermen for assistance

with research projects. Through this, park staff will develop relationships with park users

and be collecting ethnographic data through participant observation. It would also

involve the fishermen in the research and planning process.

Another suggestion is to not only solicit or recommend information from the

fishermen, but to require it. In addition to licenses to work in the park, include a rule that

fishermen must attend meetings, report to park staff on the status of the target species, or

make recommendations for improvement of management on a regular basis. Even simple

informal conversations once or twice a year (such as when they renew the pending

special permit licenses to fish in the park), during which they could inform park staff of

problems or concerns that they have noticed, would at the very least open up a dialogue

between the managers and the fishermen.

The park is a unique and beautiful area that faces increasing pressure for potential

loss of its natural resources. All information that can contribute to knowledge about the

bay and how it is affected by human activities is important--scientific and local

knowledge alike. Biscayne must be willing to accept help and knowledge from the

fishermen, who depend on the resource for their livelihoods and of whom many

expressed deep connections to the bay. Perhaps with different motives, the fishermen

and managers share the same goal: conserving the resource.












Table 6-1: Some comparisons of scientific knowledge and local ecological knowledge of
the biology and ecology of the target species.

Species and concept Scientific Knowledge Local Ecological
Knowledge

Blue crab
spawning males carry females until occurs year-round
eggs are released, spawning
occurs year-round but most
from March-December
age of sexual sexual maturity at about 1 legal harvest size in 4
maturity/harvest size yrs. months

Stone crab
spawning April to September, peaks occurs during the closed
in August and September season (May 16-October
14), but has been observed
during the open season also
age of sexual sexual maturity at 2 yrs. legal harvest size in 1-2 yrs.
maturity/harvest size


'.\h1 11 l
spawning occurs offshore in the offshore, inshore,
summer months throughout the bay [no
consensus]
age of sexual sexual maturity in about 10 preferable size in 3-9
maturity/harvest size weeks months














APPENDIX
FISHERMAN INTERVIEW PROTOCOL

General
How old are you?
How long have you been fishing?
What do you fish for commercially?
How did you learn how to fish?
Have you taught anyone else how to fish?
What kind of boat and motor do you have?
What kind of gear do you use? How does it work?
Do you use GPS or other technology?
Who do you sell to?
Do you know anyone else who fishes commercially in Biscayne?
Do you have any other sources of income?

Local ecological knowledge
What time of year do you fish? Why?
What time of day do you fish? Why?
What do you use for bait (trap fishermen)?
Where do you get the bait?
How old are the shrimp/crabs/lobsters that you catch?
What kind of habitat does a shrimp/crab/lobster live in?
What does a crab/shrimp/lobster eat?
What eats a crab/shrimp/lobster?
How does a crab/shrimp/lobster defend itself?
Has there ever been a problem with predators affecting catch?
What is the strangest thing you ever caught in your trap/trawl?
How does weather affect crabs/shrimp/lobsters?
How does tide affect your catch?
Have the populations of crabs/shrimp/lobsters changed?
What other problems have you noticed in the bay?
Are there places in the bay with pollution?
Are there places in the bay with too many boats?

Behavior
How do you know where to fish?
Do you tell other fishermen about your catch?
How do you maintain your own fishing spots?
Is there conflict with other fishermen?















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Acheson, J.M.
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Acheson, J.M., J.A. Wilson, and R.S. Steneck.
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