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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Daniel O. Suman

Second Committee Member

Maria L. Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Tracy A. Ziegler


In 2007, Dry Tortugas National Park created a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 46% of its area as a management tool to protect natural resources. Marine protected areas have previously been shown to be successful in increasing fisheries (Roberts 2010). However, the parks’ 5 year science plan called for the development and implementation of a fisheries dependent survey system to evaluate the status of the Dry Tortugas fisheries. This study developed, implemented and analyzed a pilot creel fisheries dependent survey system to gauge the status of the fisheries and the effect of the created MPA. By analyzing target CPUE, overall CPUE, population length distribution, angling activity in and outside the park and boating activity, it was determined that with an overall CPUE of 3.07, the fisheries in the park are healthy and that the MPA has beneficial results. It was also determined that a fisheries dependent survey is an efficient and economical way to evaluate MPA effects on fisheries and the method could be extended to other similar areas, and will be continued in the future in Dry Tortugas National Park to allow for future longitudinal analyses.


MPA; Fisheries Dependent Surveys; Marine Reserve; CPUE; Dry Tortugas National Park