Last of the watermen : the end of the commercial fishing tradition in the Florida Keys




Jones-Garcia, Dawn Elizabeth

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The time-honored profession of commercial fishing in the Florida Keys is in danger of extinction as each year passes and fewer commercial fishermen remain in an industry that is sinking in the wake of politicians, land developers, and financial woes. At the heart of the problem is the threat of overfishing, a subject that is increasingly at the forefront of media attention and environmental campaigns. The villain in this story of death and destruction more often than not are commercial fishermen. But the blame is misguided. Our fishermen work according to the letter of the law and strive to maintain healthy sustainable fish stocks and sound marine ecosystems. It is unlikely that the American hunger for seafood will diminish so in the absence of locally caught fish the public has no choice but to support the efforts of unchecked foreign fisheries—Fisheries that are not managed as well as ours and in some instances fish until there is nothing left to take.



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