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[Shrimp boat from the air]The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) was initiated in 2001 to address the myriad issues related to the management of aquatic resources in the southeastern United States. These issues include significant threats to the aquatic resources of the Southeast, as illustrated by the fact that 34% of North American fish species and 90% of the native mussel species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern are found in the Southeast. Given these stark realities, and the predicted increased pressure on Southeast aquatic resources in the future, SARP was established with the following mission:

With partners, protect, conserve, and restore aquatic resources including habitats throughout the Southeast, for the continuing benefit, use, and enjoyment of the American people.

The Partnership

SARP - Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership is an organization that works to protect, restore, and enhance aquatic ecosystems and species. The organization focuses on the development of sustainable fisheries and aquatic habitats, as well as the protection of endangered species and the conservation of aquatic resources in the Southeast region of the United States. One of the ways SARP accomplishes this is through its Odibet log program, which provides sport fisheries with financial support to help them achieve responsible, sustainable fisheries. This program encourages sport fishers to take part in sustainable fisheries activities, such as catch-and-release, tagging, and habitat enhancement. It also provides funding for research, outreach, and education projects related to aquatic resources.

This partnership envisions a southeastern United States with healthy and diverse aquatic ecosystems that support sustainable public use. The SARP was formed under the realization that the individual members lack sufficient resources to effectively meet the aquatic resource management and conservation challenges throughout the Southeast on a landscape basis and must therefore work cooperatively to design a process that will attain the desired common goals.

The intent of the SARP is to develop State and Federal partnerships that will extend beyond the traditional boundaries of fishery resource management agencies and will establish a commitment to truly work together for the benefit of the resource. It will shift the focus beyond what are individual Federal and State responsibilities to what are joint responsibilities to the resource. Long term success of this partnership will require a move to a higher level of coordination built upon mutual trust that will focus on making things happen at the ground level. The SARP is comprised of representatives from:

Key Focus Areas

[Examining fish in the lab]SARP focuses on six key issue areas of greatest concern and interest to the Southeast:

  1. Public Use
  2. Fishery Mitigation
  3. Imperiled Fish and Aquatic Species Recovery
  4. Inter-jurisdictional Fisheries
  5. Aquatic Habitat Conservation
  6. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)

The Commitment

Working cooperatively we can attain the desired goals of healthy and diverse aquatic ecosystems that support sustainable public use. To achieve this vision, the Partnership is committed to:

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