Florida Keys National Marine SanctuaryNote: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.
Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION
d - Human population and current activities
Inhabitants inside the area or in the zone of potential direct impact on the protected area:
|Inside the area||In the zone of potential direct impact|
Comments about the previous table:
Description of population, current human uses and development:
Description of the population inside the area:
Of the 1,700 islands in the Keys, approximately 70 are inhabited. In 2003 the total resident population was approximately 80,000. Seasonal visitors, including those living in residential accommodations, in tourist facilities, aboard vessels, or with friends and relatives.
Description of the population within the zone of potential direct impact on the protected area: Because of the region's unique geography, the Keys are divided into discreet population centers. Larger islands, such as Key Largo, have multiple population foci, while other islands have just one. Several inhabited Keys have never been the focus of concentrated growth, however, and remain rural. Certain areas have also become the center of communities, and can be defined by their “sense of community,” rather than their population. The size of an area is often determined by the boundaries of the islands on which it is located. Monroe County's economy is essentially based on tourism and tourist-related service industries, and the Keys' population fluctuates seasonally. Peak tourist populations occur in the first quarter (January to March) of each year. The tourist season is longer in the Upper Keys than in the Lower Keys, extending from January to August, and is based on weekend tourists from Miami and South Florida.
|Activities||Current human uses||Possible development||Description / comments, if any|
|Tourism||very important||increase||Tourism is the number one industry in the Florida Keys, with over $1.2 billion dollars being spent annually by over 3 million visitors. The majority of visitors participate in activities such as snorkeling, SCUBA diving, recreational fishing, viewing wildlife and studying nature. Recreational and commercial fishing are the next most important sectors of the local economy, annually contributing an estimated $500 million and $57 million respectively. Distinct winter and summer peaks.|
|Fishing||significant||increase||~ 5000 commercial fishing permits issued ~ 30,000 recreational fishing permits issued|