The waters along Florida’s coastline attract millions of recreational anglers and thousands of commercial fishers. Marine Fisheries Research biologists study the fish and invertebrates found in the state’s saltwater environments, gathering data important for the management of these species. The section’s research includes collecting and analyzing fishing data, monitoring species status and abundance, investigating biological information, and breeding and rearing certain species to enhance or rebuild their populations.
Annual Budget: $23,873,279
Highlights on Current Research
Gulf Reef Fish Survey – The Future of Recreational Fisheries Monitoring
Considering the economic significance of many species of reef fish, such as red snapper, the GRFS was created out of a need for more timely and precise data from recreational anglers.
Snook: Climate change and range expansion
Marine Fisheries biologists are curious how rising global and ocean water temperatures effects fish species found in Florida’s Gulf waters, particularly common snook.
Sample of Active Projects
FWRI scientists are using new subsampling procedures to analyze the diets of the commercially and recreationally important hogfish.
Reef Fish Habitat Mapping
Since 2010, FWC biologists in the marine Fisheries-Independent Monitoring program have used side scan sonar to map reef habitats in the eastern Gulf between 30 and 400 feet. Reef fish surveys are conducted on identified natural and artificial reef-fish habitats.
Using Fisheries-Independent Monitoring data to evaluate Lake Worth Habitat Restoration Project
FWRI biologists are developing a Fisheries-Independent Monitoring database to assess the utilization of restored habitats by juvenile and adult fish and invertebrates.