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Marine Fisheries Research

The waters along Florida’s coastline attract millions of recreational anglers and thousands of commercial fishers. Marine Fisheries Research biologists study the fish and invertebrates found in the state’s saltwater environments, gathering data important for the management of these species. The section’s research includes collecting and analyzing fishing data, monitoring species status and abundance, investigating biological information, and breeding and rearing certain species to enhance or rebuild their populations.

Luiz Barbieri, Section Leader

Staff: 414
FY 2023-2024 budget: $33,309,109

Two people stand in chest-deep water while pulling in a large net.


Keys Fisheries Research encompasses a variety of research and monitoring programs focused on the recreationally and commercially important fish and invertebrate species inhabiting the Florida Keys. Staff also conduct restoration research on critical fisheries habitat including nearshore hardbottom and sponges and coral reefs.

Subsection Leader
Tom Matthews,

Researchers collect and interpret data concerning the life history, reproductive biology, age and growth, movement patterns, genetics, stock structure, and fishery characteristics of important commercial and recreational fish and invertebrate species in Florida.

Subsection Leaders

Finfish Fisheries Research
Philip Stevens,

Invertebrate Fisheries Research
Ryan Gandy,

Genetics Research Program
Mike Tringali,

Researchers collect and analyze data on the number of fish caught and the number of trips made by commercial and recreational fishers, using this information to monitor trends in marine fisheries throughout Florida. These data provide assessments of how management regulations affect harvest and fishers.

Subsection Leader
Beverly Sauls,

Using statistically valid sampling methodologies, researchers capture or observe, identify, count and release millions of fish and invertebrates each year to monitor the status and relative abundance of economically important fish and invertebrate species in estuaries around the state as well as offshore waters of the West Florida Shelf and Northeast Florida. In addition to providing data to support single-species stock assessment and management, researchers collect and analyze data on community composition, diet, habitat quantity and quality, and water quality to provide information on the status of entire ecosystems.

Subsection Leader
Ted Switzer,

Researchers integrate the physical, biological and fisheries data gathered in the Marine Fisheries-Independent Monitoring, the Marine Fisheries-Dependent Monitoring and the Marine Fisheries Biology programs to analyze Florida’s marine fisheries stocks. This information is provided to marine fisheries managers.

Subsection Leader
Dustin Addis,

Biologists focus on captive spawning and production of marine sport fish for release into Florida waters to evaluate the use of these releases as a management tool to maintain or rebuild Florida’s sport fisheries.

Subsection Leader
Jason Lemus,