Florida park managers try again for no-fishing zones

Last time Biscayne National Park floated the idea of marine reserves — also known as "no-take'" or "no-fishing" zones — the public wasn't biting.

That was five years ago, and park managers are ready to try again, this time armed with threatened species status for two corals and a recommendation from a national reef task force to place a fifth of the U.S. tract in reserves.

The park will hold three meetings starting Tuesday to seek input from anglers, divers and others who enjoy one of Florida's most used and abused bodies of water. Elsa Alvear, chief of resource management, stressed that no areas have been proposed — yet.

"We want the public to help us determine where, if at all, we should put reserve zones," she said. "And, if so, how big should they be and how many should there be?"

There already are numerous no-take zones around major reefs in the Keys, and one of the world's largest reserves is in Dry Tortugas National Park.

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