Fisheries and Conservation in the Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area

CONTACT: Susana Hervas Avila, Ph.D., Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, University of Florida,

Recap: Fisheries stakeholders are interested in working together towards enhancing conservation of the ecosystems and resources in the Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area.

Relevance: Coral reefs ecosystems and fisheries in the Kristin Jacobs Coral Reef Ecosystem Conservation Area are important to south Florida ecologically and economically. The conservation area, formerly referred to as the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Region and also known as the Coral ECA, includes the sovereign submerged lands and state waters offshore of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties from the northern boundary of the Biscayne National Park to the St. Lucie Inlet.

Response:  A stakeholder process is underway to develop recommendations for potential fisheries and environmental management actions to enhance coral reef ecosystem conservation and fishing quality in the Coral ECA. The stakeholder process is SEFCRI Project #52, and is facilitated by University of Florida (UF) and supported by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Coral Reef Conservation Program, and partners Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the NOAA Coral Reef Program.

The process engages diverse fisheries stakeholders from southeast Florida, including recreational anglers and spearfishers, headboat and charter operators, commercial fishers targeting reef-associated species, marine life collectors, marine industry (bait and tackle shops, marinas) and their respective organizations. The process is driven by a Fisheries Stakeholder Committee and involves wider community engagement through public meetings and scientific surveys. The recommendations will be made for consideration by agencies and will be subject to further deliberation through the respective agencies’ rule making processes.

Committee Members (Fisheries stakeholder representatives from the ECA): Martin Arostegui, Trip Aukeman, Patience Cohn, Chuck Collins, Gary Jennings, Dan Kipnis, Bruce Marx, Jim “Chiefy” Mathie, Ed “Butch” Olsen, William Parks, George Poveromo, April Price, Art Sapp, Randolph “Bouncer” Smith, John Sprague, William Taylor, Tom Twyford, Harry “Court” Vernon

Resources: Fact Sheet

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Committee Meetings

Public Meetings


  • Jan. 19, 2021: Coral Ecosystems: Video
  • Jan. 25, 2021: Fisheries Status: Video
  • May 25, 2021: Addressing Fisheries Information Gaps: Video 
  • Aug. 17, 2021: Reef Ecology: Video
  • Aug. 24, 2021: Water Quality (Update): Video
  • Oct. 28, 2020: Our Florida Reefs: Video
  • Oct. 29, 2020: Water Quality: Video

Project Lead: UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences

Project Partners: NOAA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Sea Grant