Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

David Letson

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Manoj Shivlani


In 2015, Biscayne National Park approved a new General Management Plan. The plan includes no-take marine reserve zone for ~ 6% of the park’s total area. The recreational fishing community criticized the action, and legislative initiatives coalesced at state and federal levels aimed at reversing the decision to implement a marine reserve zone. A survey of licensed saltwater anglers in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties was conducted online. Participants were ranked by recreation specialization and their attitudes towards the plan, its development process, recreational fishing impacts, awareness of the plan and participation in the development process were compared to specialization. Specialization has a significant relationship with all factors, notably with opposition to the plan and strong pro-use attitudes. Survey results demonstrate that the vocal opposition is not representative of the majority opinion (14%). Spatial use data were also collected, and findings estimate only minor displacement (2.6%) and determine that highly and very specialized anglers are most impacted by displacement. These results support previous findings that stakeholders with negative perspectives about proposed management changes are more likely to vocalize their opposition publicly (Sutton, 2006; Sutton, 2008). Understanding the spectrum of attitudes within a stakeholder group promotes greater compliance and leads to more stable biological outcomes for the protected area.


Biscayne National Park; Recreation Specialization; Recreational Anglers