Keep Turtles Safe July 28 8:30 am
In January 2017 Michael C. Barnette with NMFS, published a report on "POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF ARTIFICIAL REEF DEVELOPMENT ON SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION IN FLORIDA".
Because turtles frequent artificial reefs NOAA added an additional requirement for Artificial Reef deployment in 2017 in a rule requiring periodic artificial reef cleanup activities to remove monofilament and other lines entangled on artificial reef structure.
Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties possess extremely active artificial reef programs and significant fishing pressure. In particular, these three counties have deployed 212 vessels, or over 41% of all permitted vessels sunk off Florida (as of October 2015). Yet, there were only seven total entanglement observations stemming from those counties.
Lady Luck was deployed prior to this rule taking affect, however Okinawa was not. Shipwreck Park Pompano Beach is required to maintain Okinawa and South Florida Diving Headquarters agreed to schedule the maintenance every year with volunteers. Since both wrecks were sunk by Shipwreck Park Pompano Beach we decided just to do both and maybe even expand it to all wrecks in Shipwreck park next year!