Featured Image Credit: NOAA
By: Kira Krall
Boaters near Marathon, Florida recently saved the life of a critically endangered sea turtle. They reported the leatherback, struggling against rope from a lobster pot, to the nearby Turtle Hospital. The Coast Guard also joined the rescue efforts. See footage from the event below!
As much as 70% of marine debris collected in the Keys is linked to the lobster fishery. Surveys conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) revealed that over 1,000 miles of lobster pot line hang beneath the waves That’s over 17,000 football fields of deadly rope scattered throughout the waters of the Florida Keys.
The shocking numbers can be explained by the immense popularity of lobster fishing. In 2016, this highest-earning Keys fishery generated over $54 million in just dockside harvest. That figure doesn’t include any revenue gained from processing or marketing the wildly coveted marine invertebrate.
To learn more about lobster fishery debris in the Keys, visit the FWC’s Conservation Lobster Trap Debris page.