Snapper Ledge, a popular dive site off of Tavernier in the Florida Keys, is home to some of the most dense and diverse marine life populations in the area. Unfortunately, Snapper Ledge has become a popular destination for spear-fishing. It is common for recreational SCUBA divers to see the carnage left by spear-fisherman, many of whom are underwater simply to shoot animals for sport. Some divers have even reported spear-fisherman killing animals within mere feet of them.
Stephen Frink wrote to me a few days ago and asked me to get Wetpixel behind a petition to get Snapper Ledge designated as a Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA). There seems to be good momentum behind getting this done, and we need as many signatures as possible before it can be presented to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Petitions work—our last petition, which fought for a no-take zone under the Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach, resulted in great success; the BHB area is now a no-take zone. We need you to sign the petition now and to help get the word out to all of your friends!
UPDATE: Stephen Frink has posted a 7-minute video on Scuba Diving’s website about Snapper Ledge. It is well worth a visit.
UPDATE: The news media has picked up the Snapper Ledge petition as a “photographer vs spearfisherman” issue. This is not the case. Read Stephen Frink’s thoughts on the matter, if you want more information.