Florida is the only state in the continental United States with extensive shallow coral reef formations near its coasts. Coral reefs create specialized habitats that provide shelter, food, and breeding sites for numerous plants and animals. This includes ones important to fishing like spiny lobster, snapper, and grouper. Coral reefs lay the foundation of a dynamic ecosystem with tremendous biodiversity. Florida’s Coral Reef stretches approximately 360 linear miles from Dry Tortugas National Park west of the Florida Keys to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. Roughly two-thirds of Florida’s Coral Reef lies within Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a marine protected area that surrounds the Florida Keys island chain. The reefs stretching north of Biscayne National Park and the marine sanctuary are managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program with insight from the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative.
Florida’s coral reefs came into existence approximately 10,000 years ago when sea levels rose following the last Ice Age. Reef growth is relatively slow; individual colonies grow only one-half inch to seven inches a year, depending on the species. Coral reefs are in a constant state of flux, where new polyps (the living tissue) grow on the outer surface, while their skeleton erodes to help make the white sand for our beaches. During long periods of favorable conditions, the reefs may reach awe-inspiring heights and diversity.
This update is provided by Free Spool Sport Fishing, a custom built 43’ Sports Fisherman Free Spool at Haulover Marina offering an exciting deep sea fishing experience spearheaded by Miami native Captain Dennis Forgione. We fish for many different species of fish. For more information on sport fishing Miami, or to book a sport fishing charter Miami Beach trip, please call 305-582-5445.