There has been a long standing, seasonal conflict in the waters directly around Key West between the jet ski tour operators and flats fishing guides. The epicenter of the conflict is Sea Plane Basin. Sea Plane lies along a route that circumnavigates Key West. It is also a critical habitat for Tarpon moving up from the mouth of Northeast Channel; a place where they have historically rested before spreading out onto adjacent flats. Simply, jet skies and Tarpon trying to rest don’t mix well.
KeysKeeper helped work out an agreement between the two conflicting parties by initiating discussion, and negotiating between them. It helped that the 10 year Sanctuary review process is underway at the same time. That provided a window of opportunity for both parties to reach an agreement that was satisfactory and that could be maintained by the Sanctuary and by FWC code enforcement people.
The ability to act as an intermediary in negotiating an issue can be valuable in dealing with environmental problems. In this case, the issue was emotionally charged. In other cases, it is important to be able to work with both sides, free from the positions that necessarily accompany the debate between larger or more public organizations.
Our experience is that “anti” organizations are not skilled at negotiating a “deal”. Actually their opponents are often equally unskilled at negotiating with the “anti’s”. KeysKeeper money comes with its direct involvement in seeking solutions through negotiation.
The implementation steps are ongoing, but a deal that works for all the parties is underway. The PWC Agreement is a loyalty based agreement that has been presented to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association that which governs the FKNMS.
Below is the chart made by the Lower Keys Guides Association marking off the agreed zones.