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FWC approves changes to ballyhoo fishery rules

News Release

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Thursday approved rule amendments regarding license requirements for commercial ballyhoo fishermen.  These fishermen harvest ballyhoo with lampara nets and sell the fish to recreational anglers for use as fishing bait.

Fewer than 20 commercial fishermen in Florida qualify for an endorsement on their saltwater products license that allows them to use a lampara net to harvest ballyhoo.  The FWC's action now gives them the option to sell their endorsement to someone else if they decide to leave the fishery.

The rule amendments allow all ballyhoo endorsement holders to sell their endorsement to other commercial fishermen from July 1 - March 31 each year, limit any one entity from holding more than two ballyhoo endorsements at any one time, prohibit leasing of the endorsement, and allow only one endorsement per saltwater products license and one saltwater products license to be associated with a single endorsement.

These rules take effect on July 1, and the FWC will continue to review management issues in the commercial ballyhoo fishery.

FWC Facts:
Florida is #1 in the country for total days of wildlife viewing by nonresident visitors. (8.5 million)

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