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Commercial Sponging

Boat with harvested sponges

In the 1890s, harvesting sponges was second only to cigar-making in economic importance in the Florida Keys. Today, commercial sponging still takes place in these coral reefs areas, but on a much smaller scale. Large nets of recently harvested marine sponges can be seen drying on the top of this boat's wheelhouse. (photo: Scott Larosa)