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Commercial

Regulations by Species - Fish

Species/Licenses

Does not include ballyhoo or menhaden

License requirements: SPL only

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: None

Trip/bag limit: See 68B-50

Closed season: None

Other Regulations

Local baitfish restrictions apply

Species/Licenses

ballyhoo

Includes halfbeaks/balao, and silver stripe halfbeaks)

License requirements: SPL & RS (L & PS optional. See Other regulations for more.)

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: None

Trip/bag limits:

  • See 68B-50
  • SPL with Lampara Net Endorsement
  • 10 boxes per vessel per day. Box max dimensions 4.25’ X 2’ X 2’
  • SPL only 5 gallons per day
  • SPL with Purse Seine endorsement incidental bycatch 10 gallons per day

Closed season: Use of a lampara net prohibited Aug. 1 – Aug. 31 in state and federal waters. 

Other Regulations

Allowable gear: cast net, hook and line, landing or dip net, lampara net.

Directed harvest with a Lampara Net requires Lampara Net endorsement.

Incidental bycatch with a purse seine requires Purse Seine endorsement.

Limits and Seasons

gulf menhaden

Size limit: None

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Atlantic: See ASMFC limits
  • Gulf: None

Closed season: None

License Requirements

black drum

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 14-24 inches total length. Maximum size limit applies to sale.

Trip/bag limit: 500 lbs. per person or vessel per day, whichever is less. See 68B-50. Bag limit applies regardless of the possession or use of additional vessels.

Closed season: None

 

 

 

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Prohibition on multiple or snatch hook applies to state and federal waters.

Harvest prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

License Requirements

Black sea bass

Gulf: SPL and RS

Atlantic: SPL, federal permit

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 

  • Atlantic: 11 inches total length
  • Gulf: 10 inches total length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Atlantic: see SAFMC
  • Gulf: None

Closed season:

  • Atlantic: see SAFMC
  • Gulf: None

 

Other Regulations

See full state rules at 68B-14

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

South Atlantic snapper grouper permit required in Atlantic. Black Sea Bass Pot endorsement required in Atlantic.

License Requirements

bluefish

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 12 inches fork length

Trip/bag limits: State and federal waters north of Miami-Dade/Monroe county line is 7,500 pounds per vessel per day. Other state and federal waters: none. See 68B-43.

 

Closed seasons: None

Other Reguations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

See 68B-43 for detailed rules.

Species/Licenses

cobia

Also known as ling.

Licenses: SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 33 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Atlantic/Monroe County: 2 fish per person, per day. Maximum of 6 per vessel. 
  • Gulf (excluding Monroe County): 1 per person, 2 per vessel. 
  • See 68B-19

Closed season: None

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

May not possess a recreational bag limit and a commercial bag limit at the same time.

Size limit applies to sale. 

Species/License

dolphinfish

Also known as Mahi.

Licenses required: SPL and RS (federal permit required in Atlantic)

To apply for a vessel, dealer or operator permit, interested parties should contact the Permits Office, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida, 33702; or by phone at 727-824-5326.

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 20 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Gulf: Incidental bycatch only: 10 fish per person. No direct harvest. 
  • Atlantic: Limited by federal permit.
  • See 68B-41

Closed season: None

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear: hook and line, longline gear (federal waters ONLY), and spearing. 

Size limit applies to purchase and sale of fish.

Species and License

gulf flounder

Includes Gulf, Southern, Summer and Fringed.

Licenses required: SPL and RS.

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 12 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Directed harvest: none
  • Incidental bycatch: 50 pounds in shrimp trawls.
  • See 68B-48

Closed season: None

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear: beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line and spearing.

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

In Volusia County, spearing with barbed spear having more than 3 prongs prohibited.

Size limit applies to sale of fish.

License Requirements

SPL, RS and federal permit

Limits and Seasons

See 

 

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

hogfish

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 

  • Atlantic: 16 inches fork length
  • Gulf: 14 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • Atlantic: 25 pounds
  • Gulf: None

See 68B-14 

Atlantic size limits & bag limits also apply in Gulf state and federal waters south of 25°09 N. Lat. Gulf includes all Gulf waters North of 25°09 N. Latitude.

Size limit applies to imported fish.

14” size limit applies to imported fish. 

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Licenses required

greater amberjack

SPL, RS and federal permit

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 36 inches fork length (including imports)

Trip/bag limit: see

Closed season: March, April and May.

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Follow limits in permit.

License Requirements

king mackerel

SPL and RS

Federal permit required for commercial harvest in federal waters and to exceed the recreational bag limit in state waters. 

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 24 inches fork length

Trip/bag limits: See

Closed seasons: Regional

Other Regulations

For more, visit the king mackerel commercial regulations page.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

 

License Requirements

spanish mackerel

SPL and RS

Federal permit if fishing in federal waters. 

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 12 inches fork length

Trip/bag limits: See 68B-23

Closed season: Regional

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear: beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line, or by spearing.

Species and Licenses

Marine life Collage

Includes harvest of live saltwater finfish, invertebrates and plants, primarily for the aquarium trade.  

License requirements: SPL, RS and Marine Life Endorsement

Regulations

Visit Marine Life page or, for full rule, visit 68B-42

Species and License

Also known as white, fantail or redeye.

License requirements: SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: none

Trip/bag limit: see mullet page

Closed season: regional

Other Regulations

See more on mullet regulations by visiting the commercial mullet page. See full rule at 68B-39

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Species and Licenses

Illustration of a striped mullet showing important characteristics

Also known as black mullet.

Licenses required: SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

See mullet page or 68B-39 for details on trip/bag limits and regional seasons

Size limit: 11 inches fork length with a 10 percent allowance by weight for undersize fish

 

Other Regulations

See more on mullet regulations by visiting the commercial mullet page. For full rule see 68B-39

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Required Licenses

permit

SPL, RS and federal permit

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: Not less than 11 inches or more than 20 inches fork length

Trip/bag limits: no directed commercial harvest. 100 incidental bycatch outside SPZ when fishing with nets targeting other species in federal waters.  

For more on limits and closed seasons, visit the permit/pompano page or see the full rule at 68B-35.

Other Regulations

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Special Commercial Permit Zone (SPZ) includes all state and federal waters south of a line running due east from Cape Florida and south of a line running due west from Cape Sable.

License Requirements

pompano

SPL and RS

Must have pompano endorsement to use gill and entangling nets in the pompano endorsement zone (federal waters between Hurricane Pass and Cape Sable in the Gulf). 

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 11-20 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • without pompano endorsement
    • Direct harvest: 250 trip limit
    • Incidental bycatch with gillnets in federal waters: 100
  • with pompano endorsement in the PEZ
    • unlimited

For more on trip limits and closed seasons, visit the pompano/permit page or full rule at 68B-35.

For federal limits, visit GMFMC or SAFMC

Other Regulations

For more, visit the pompano/permit page or full rule at 68B-35

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Must transit all harvested fish directly through
state waters to land without stopping and must be landed within the PEZ.

License Requirements

african pompano

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

For more, visit the pompano/permit page or full rule at 68B-35

Size limit: 24 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 2 per person or per vessel, whichever is less

Other Regulations

For more, visit the pompano/permit page or full rule at 68B-35

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

State waters: hook and line only.

Federal waters: hook and line and spearing.

License Requirements

red porgy

Atlantic: SPL, RS and federal permit

Gulf: SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 

  • Atlantic: 14 inches total length
  • Gulf: none

Trip/bag limit:

  • Atlantic: 50 pounds daily vessel limit.
  • Gulf: none

Closed season:

  • Atlantic: Jan. 1-April 30
  • Gulf: none

 

Other Regualations

For full rule, visit 68B-14. 

For Atlantic federal regulations, visit SAFMC.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Atlantic: a person harvesting other species for commercial purposes during the closure may harvest and possess three red porgy. During this closed season, the purchase, sale, or exchange of any red porgy harvested from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean is prohibited.

License Requirements

black tip shark

SPL and federal highly migratory species permit

Limits and Seasons

Trip/bag limit: 1 per person per day or 2 per vessel, whichever is less, in state waters. 

Federal closures apply in state waters.

Other Regulations

For more, visit the shark page or 68B-44

For federal information, visit HMS (NOAA).

Spearing prohibited.

Must remain in whole condition in state waters.

Purchase and sale of sharks landed after the closure date is prohibited. 

Gear and license requirements apply.

Hook and line only in state waters.

License Requirements

sheepshead

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 12 inches fork length

Trip/bag limit: 

  • directed harvest: none
  • incidental bycatch: 50 pounds shrimp trawls

Closed season: none

Other Regulations

For full rule, visit 68B-59

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear for directed harvest: beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line, and spearing.

Licenses Required

SPL, RS, and federal permit

Limits and Seasons

Other Regulations

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

License Requirements

spotted sea trout

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 15 to 24 inches total length

Trip/bag limit: 75 fish per person per day or a vessel limit of 150 when two or more licensed fishermen are aboard.

Closed seasons: regional

Other Regulations

For more, visit the spotted seatrout page or 68B-37.

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear: cast net or hook and line. Spearing prohibited.

Simultaneous possession of gill nets and seatrout is prohibited.

Towing extra vessel to exceed bag limit is prohibited.

Sale of seatrout inventory will be allowed for 30 days after the season closes.

License Requirements

swordfish

SPL and federal highly migratory species permit

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 47 inches lower jaw fork length with head attached or 29 inches cleithrum to keel length if head removed, or 33 pounds dressed. Learn more about measuring.

Size limits apply to fish damaged by shark bites. Lower jaw FL = a straight-line measurement from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the caudal fin.
Cleithrum to keel length = a curved measurement from the point of the cleithrum that provides the measurement along the body contour to the anterior portion of the caudal keel.
The cleithrum is the semicircular bony structure
at the posterior edge of the gill opening. A dressed fish may have its head, viscera, and fins removed, but its backbone and remaining carcass must remain intact and not be halved, quartered or otherwise further reduced.

Other Regulations

For more, visit 68B-58 or NOAA HMS

License Requirements

gray triggerfish

SPL, RS and federal permit

Limit and Seasons

Size limit: 14 inches fork length

 

Other Regulations

For more, visit 68B-14, SAFMC or GMFMC

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Size limit applies to imported fish.

License Requirements

triple tail

SPL and RS

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 18 inches total length

Trip/bag limit: 10 per person, per day or vessel, whichever is less. 

Incidental bycatch: 2 per person, per day or vessel, whichever is less.

Closed season: None. 

Other Regulations

For full rule visit 68B-49.

Harvest prohibited by or with the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait or any snatch hook.

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Allowable gear: hook and line. Spearing
prohibited.

Size limit applies to sale of fish.

License Requirements

wahoo

SPL and RS

Federal permit required on Atlantic coast.

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: None

Trip/bag limit: 500 pound daily limit

Closed season: none

Other Regulations

For full rules visit 68B-57 or SAFMC

Must remain in whole condition until landed ashore (head & tail intact).

Regulations by Species - Crabs, Shrimp, Shellfish

Species and License

Blue crabs

Blue Crab ID

License Requirements: SPL, RS and blue crab endorsement (VH, VS, VN)

Regulations

Learn more about traps and regulations such as size and bag limits on blue crab page.

For full rule, visit 68B-45

Gear and harvest specifications and size and bag limits differ for the various fishery segments (hard crabs, bycatch, peeler crabs, or live bait.)

License Requirements

SPL 

ML endorsement optional

Bio-med optional

A biomedical collection permit is required for collecting blood (crabs must be released alive in the area where collected.)

Limits

Size limit: none

Trip/bag limit: 25 per person per day or 100 per person per day with marine life endorsement.

Closed season: none

Other Regulations

For full rule, visit 68B-46.

Allowable gear: by hand or gig.

Limits extend to docks, piers, bridges, beaches and
adjacent fishing sites.

Licenses Required

SPL only

Regulations

Possession of eggbearing lobster prohibited.

Possession prohibited in designated area of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

 

Licenses

SPL + RS + C (trap) or CD (Dive) or N (Bully Net)

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 3” carapace 5 ½” tail 

Trip/bag limit:

  • Trap fishery: None.
  • Bully Net: 250 lobster vessel limit.
  • Dive Fishery: 250 lobster vessel limit.

Closed season: April 1 – Aug. 5

Other Regulations

For more details, visit lobster page.

For full rule, visit 68B-24

A Guide to Closed Areas for Commercial Spiny Lobster Trap Fishing 

Allowable gear: by diving, traps, hand-held net, hoop net (diameter no longer than 10’), or bully net (diameter no larger than 3’).

Specific restrictions and requirements depend on the method of harvest.

Licenses

SPL + AP (if in Apalachicola)

Shellfish Endorsement Harvest Training Course

Regulations

Size limit: 3” in greatest dimension.

For more details, including additional season and bag limit information, visit the commercial oyster regulations page. 

For full rule, visit 68B-27 FAC

Regulations

For full rule, visit 68B-53

Trip/bag limit: ≤250 individual meats per 1 lb. sample.

Bycatch of other species prohibited.
No person shall harvest calico scallops for commercial purposes within or without the waters of the state using any gear other than an otter trawl. 68B-53.003

Licenses

SPL

ML# required for the harvest of some species.
See: “Marine Life” Regulations.

The term “Live Shellfish” includes mollusks and
echinoderms, such as clams, snails, starfish, brittle stars, urchins, etc.

 

Regulations

For full rule, visit 68B-26

Trip/bag limit:

  • Manatee County: 2 live shellfsh of any
    single species per day.
  • Lee County: Harvest prohibited year-round.
  • All other counties: None.

Manatee and Lee county prohibitions on harvest do not apply to shells that are empty when collected or to live oysters, hard clams, and sunray venus clams.

Species and Licenses

Includes Brown, Pinkspotted, Pink, White, Roughneck, Roughback, Seabob

Licenses required include

SPL + RS 

Other licenses required in Tampa Bay and St. Johns River (TB#, DS#, LS#)



Regulations

For full rule, see 68B-31 FAC

Trip/bag limits:

  • Food Shrimp: Regional
  • Live Shrimp: 5 gallons dead shrimp, heads on, except in NE region, 1 gallon.

Regional harvest gear and gear restrictions, size and bag limits, closed seasons, license
requirements, and fishing gear limitations apply.

Shrimp may not be harvested as live bait and food shrimp on the same trip.

Turtle Excluder Device (TED) required on all otter and skimmer trawls, except single try net
or roller from trawl. Otter and skimmer
trawls must have bycatch reduction device (BRD) installed.

Species and Licenses

Includes sheepswool, yellow, grass, finger, wire,
reef, and velvet.

License requirements: SPL and sponge endoresement

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 5 inches across the top when wet. Measure in greatest dimension across the top. Applies to possession and sale within the state.

 

Other Regulations

For full rule, see 68B-28

Hooks must be 5” wide.

Diving prohibited, except in the Big Bend & Southwest Florida areas.

Licenses

Stone crab

SPL + RS + Stone Crab Endorsement (X#, or I#)

Limits and Seasons

Size limit: 2 ¾” Claw

Trip/bag limit: None.

  • Incidental bycatch: 5 gallons.

Closed season: May 16 – Oct. 14

Other Regulations

For more, visit the stone crab page.

Stone crab processing notice

For full rule, see 68B-13

Landings limited to legal size claws measured
by a straight line from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable finger.

Transport and sale of intact crabs prohibited.

License, trap and harvest specifications apply.

Commercial Licensing System Online

Contact for Commercial Fisheries

Division of Marine Fisheries Management
2590 Executive Center Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32301
850-487-0554

Marine@MyFWC.com
Fax: 850-488-7152