It’s tarpon season again in south Florida, and as we’ve become accustomed during the last several years, a new fly-fishing video is making its way across the web – but this one, produced in conjunction with Jekyll Works, World Angling and the Lower Keys Guides Association, is a bit different.
“Silver Lining” no doubt features some great tarpon footage, but more important, it addresses an issue that’s been on the minds of guides and fishermen in Key West for quite some time: the ecological damage being wrought by the cruise ship industry.
According to the video, local officials are proposing a $35 million taxpayer-funded project that would dredge the main shipping channel into Key West to make it navigable for the largest of the so-called mega-cruise ships.
The problem? This dredging is nothing new, and guides have noticed a rapid decline in area’s fisheries since the last dredging in 2005, due to the constant siltation of the harbor and its surrounds, as well as the elimination of corals, reefs and natural-filtrating sponges.
Bottom line: The massive ships are taking a toll and degrading the very attraction that has made Key West such an important tourism destination for anglers and non-anglers alike.
Check out the video below – and for more information, including how you can help, contact the Lower Keys Guides Association.