Qualifying for the Restricted Species Endorsement

Application Forms

Acceptable proof of income

A Restricted Species Endorsement authorizes the holder of a Saltwater Products License to commercially harvest marine species designated as "restricted species" in Chapter 68B, F.A.C. and to sell these species to a licensed wholesale dealer. 

Applicants must meet the established income requirements relating to commercial fishing during the past three years. There are various income requirements and exemptions that apply for the following classes of applicants.

Endorsment holders must be requalified each year based on their reported and verified trip tickets or they must provide other proof of income using the qualifying documentation as explained below.

 


Required documentation

Trip tickets that have been reported and can be verified by the FWRI Trip Ticket Office (official 1/3 sheet ticket or a print-out from 'Blue Fin'). Do not submit original tickets.

Out of state sales as evidenced by copies of out of state trip tickets and the out of state fishing license.  Trip tickets must include license numbers, dates, species, weights and monetary values.

Complete Tax Returns must include all forms and schedules.  Joint returns must include all forms and schedules for spouce (W2, etc.).

Crewshare statement (a notarized FWC form requiring the name of the license holder, dates of sales, monetary values, etc.) verifying income from the sale of saltwater products.  Sales must be reported to and verified by the Trip Ticket Office.

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Income requirements and exemptions

New applicants for the RS must be at least 16 years old, hold a Saltwater Products License and qualify by one of the methods listed below.


A person or firm (unless otherwise exempted below) must provide acceptable proof of:

$5,000 in income from the sale of saltwater products to a licensed Florida Wholesale Saltwater Products Dealer during any 12 consecutive months in the last 36 months and documented with: 

  • Reported trip tickets
  • Crewshare statement
  • Out of state sales

OR 

25 percent of income during 1 of the last 3 years and documented with:

  • Copies of complete tax returns and
  • Trip tickets or crewshare statement

A crew member on a commercial fishing vessel must submit a notarized Crew Share Statement signed by the vessel license holder verifying $5,000 in income earned from the sale of saltwater products to a licensed Florida Wholesale Saltwater Products Dealer during the 12-month period specified on the statement.


A charter boat operator must provide acceptable proof that 50 percent of his annual income is derived from charter fishing and that he had $2,500 in sales to a licensed Florida Wholesale Saltwater Products Dealer during the same calendar year and documented with:

  • Copies of complete tax returns and
  • Trip tickets or crewshare statement

A person age 62 or older must have qualified for the RS for 3 out of the last 5 years or provide acceptable proof of $2,500 in sales of saltwater products to a licensed Wholesale Dealer during any 12 consecutive months in the last 36 months. *

A person age 70 or older will be granted permanent exemption to the income requirements listed herein if the applicant's license records show that the SPL was held 3 out of the last 5 years. *

A disabled resident must provide acceptable proof of disability from the Railroad Retirement Board, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Armed Forces, Social Security Administration or a licensed physician and must have held the SPL for 3 of the last 5 years prior to the date of disability. *

* Applies only to an SPL issued to an individual.


The buyer of a commercial fishing vessel from a seller who holds an active SPL and RS must submit: 

  • A copy of the signed vessel title or notarized coast guard bill of sale showing the purchase price and
  • A copy of active vessel registration or other current documentation showing use as Commercial/fishery vessel at the time of sale and after the transfer of title.

The RS will expire one year from the date of purchase of the vessel.

NOTE: You will only have 12 months from the date of purchase to produce trip tickets and document the required income from the sale of saltwater products necessary to renew the endorsement.


Death or disability of an immediate family member: An immediate family member of a fisherman who held the RS and has died or become disabled must provide a copy of the birth certificate and proof of death or disablement.

The RS will expire one year from the date of death or disability.

NOTE: You will only have 12 months from the date of death or disability to produce trip tickets and document the required income from the sale of saltwater products necessary to renew the endorsement.


Aquaculture producers should contact the licensing program if they wish to qualify for the RS endorsement.


Military Veterans

Three groups of Florida resident military veterans can qualify to receive an  RS endorsement without meeting the established income requirements specified herein. These exemptions only apply to:

  • The initial RS application
  • An SPL issued to an individual 

The RS will be issued for the remainder of the current license year and for the subsequent license year (July 1 – June 30). Re-qualifying sales must be valid sales to a licensed wholesale dealer in any 12 consecutive months in the previous 36 month period.  Qualifying disabled resident veterans will only be required to document $2,500 in qualifying landings or crew shares. 

Qualifying Florida resident military veterans: 

  1. Disabled resident military veteran who has been certified to be at least 10 percent service related disabled by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor or by any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and who submits a copy of their discharge/disability documentation.
  2. Any resident veteran honorably discharged from any branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Reserves, the Florida National Guard or the Coast Guard who submits a copy of their discharge documentation within 48 months of discharge. This exemption is allowed one time per military enlistment.

All other resident and non-resident military veterans must provide acceptable proof of the income as specified in the appropriate method listed herein. However, active duty may be excluded when calculating the previous 3 years and will not be counted for purposes of determining qualifying time. 

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Acceptable Proof of Income for New Applicants

Income attribution must apply to any 12 consecutive months of the previous 36 months.

Crew Share Statement - Notarized Crew Share Statement Adobe PDF signed by the license holder for the vessel under which the landings have been reported verifying the applicant's income earned from the lawful sale of saltwater products must be provided. The dates of harvest (month and year) must be specified on the Crew Share Statement.

Out-of-State Landings - Fishermen who have landings from locations other than Florida must submit copies of sales records documenting the sale of saltwater products and the applicable out-of-state license. Sales documentation must include the name and address of the company to which the qualifying sales were made.

Unless otherwise exempted from providing proof of income, all new applicants must submit acceptable proof of commercial income from the lawful sale of saltwater products, as evidenced by trip tickets generated pursuant to the FWC Marine Fisheries Management Information System. Income from sales must be attributable to sales to a licensed wholesale dealer.

Trip Tickets/Landings - A trip ticket is a form provided by the Commission on which wholesale dealers and others are required to report saltwater fish, bait or other marine life species purchased or produced for the first time (landings) pursuant to s. 379.362(6), F.S., and chapter 68E-5, F.A.C. Trip tickets should be embossed and must show a dollar value, date of harvest and the applicant's SPL number. Fishermen are encouraged to obtain and retain copies of their trip tickets. Trip tickets showing sales of restricted species or landings reported under a Retail Dealers License are not acceptable and cannot be used for the purpose of qualifying for the RS.

Tax Returns - A copy of the applicable federal income tax return (including Form 1099 attachments) verifying income earned from the sale of saltwater products, may be submitted to prove the percentage of income attributable to the sale of saltwater products. If a joint return is submitted, the applicant must provide all documentation necessary to separate the spouse's income. Trip tickets or out-of-state sales records must accompany your tax return. The dates of harvest on the trip tickets or out-of-state sales records used to qualify must fall within the same 12-month period as covered by the tax return.

Residency (resident includes resident alien)

Resident (includes resident alien) - A person who has continuously resided in the state of Florida for a period of one year preceding the application for license.

Resident Alien – A person who has continuously resided in the state of Florida for at least 1 year and can provide documentation of permanent residency status from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Non-Resident Alien – A person who has not resided in the state of Florida for at least 1 year and can provide documentation of permanent residency status from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

 


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FWC Facts:
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