About the Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative
The Initiative, a program under the supervision of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is a public-private partnership created to ensure that the exceptional recreational fishing opportunities that have earned Florida its place as the fishing capital of the world remain available. In order to fulfill its mission, very specific project goals have been created:
- Florida will provide global leadership in marine fisheries enhancement, via production, habitat restoration, and adaptive management of enhancement and restoration impact.
- A balance of genetic quality and marine enhancement center output will be maintained.
- The best available science will drive the production and enhancement processes and ongoing knowledge gained will be applied to increase efficiencies and marine enhancement center output and effectiveness.
- The focus will be on viable production of recreational fish, in the most cost-effective manner possible.
The Initiative will be a multi-year, multi-million dollar project, with stepped implementation phases implemented over the next 10 years. The Wildlife Foundation of Florida will take the lead in generating public awareness and fund-raising under the umbrella "Support Florida Sportfish." We will need the help of all concerned stakeholders-citizens, businesses, communities, clubs and associations, schools-to succeed.
Cordgrass harvested from the SERF saltmarsh by volunteers offers educational and restoration opportunities.
Coastal wetland plants propagated at the Enhancement Centers are outplanted to sites in the region in need of restoration to promote shoreline stabilization and improved fisheries.
The Enhancement Centers will serve as hubs for restoration of all appropriate coastal habitats within each region.
The hatchery operations will serve as destinations for all age groups to learn about coastal fisheries and ecosystems.