IGFA Applauds Seasonal Closure of the Western Dry Rocks
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) applauds the recent decision of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to approve a four-month (April – July) seasonal closure in a one-square mile section of the Western Dry Rocks off the Florida Keys.
The Western Dry Rocks is a unique location and situation favoring this management approach because multi-species spawning aggregations in combination with seasonally favorable currents distribute eggs, larvae, and young fish back into the Florida Keys.
As such, this important decision will protect the peak spawning seasons of some of the most important recreational and commercial species in Florida including permit, and multiple snapper and grouper species.
Last summer, the IGFA helped assemble a coalition of leading recreational fishing groups consisting of the American Sportfishing Association, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Coastal Conservation Association-Florida, Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Lower Keys Guides Association, and Wild Oceans to voice unified support for a four-month closure.
“We applaud the decision of the FWC to protect this spawning aggregation that will generate long-term benefits to fisheries in the Florida Keys,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “I would also like to thank our coalition members that worked in unison with the IGFA to achieve this significant conservation victory.”
The IGFA thanks all the coalition partners for their tireless efforts in putting together the best scientific evidence available and their outreach to the public and the FWC. The IGFA also applauds FWC and the Commissioners for their decision to conserve spawning fish populations at Western Dry Rocks, and we look forward to seeing the benefits of increased abundance of these important species for future generations of anglers.