Skip to main content

Marine Life

Update: Marine Life Harvest at Blue Heron Bridge

All collection of Marine Life (aquarium species) at the Blue Heron Bridge dive site in Palm Beach County is prohibited (see below for species that are considered to be Marine Life). Prohibitions will not apply to other fishing activities, such as hook-and-line fishing.

Learn more
Marine life Collage

Florida's commercial marine life fishery involves harvest of live saltwater finfish, invertebrates and plants, primarily for the aquarium trade. These organisms are landed and sold alive to wholesalers, retailers and aquarium owners.  An SPL with a Restricted Species (RS) and Marine Life tiered endorsement is required for harvest of marine life species listed in rule 68B-42, F.A.C. These regulations help control fishing effort in the commercial marine life fishery. 

Types of Marine Life Endorsements

Marine Life Transferable Dive (MLD)

Required to harvest commercial quantities of listed marine life species using allowable gears, including harvest by diving. Initially issued to applicants with a reported income of at least $5,000 from landings of marine life species or live rock during one of the license years between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2003.  The MLD is transferrable to another person with an SPL & RS. Requalification for this endorsement began in 2010/2011, based on prior years' landings.

A person renewing an MLD must document landings of $5,000 of marine life species as defined by Rule 68B-42.001, FAC, in one of the previous three license years or hold a live rock state lease or federal permit and have documented live rock landings value of greater than or equal to $5,000 during any one of the previous three license years. This endorsement is valid for three years from the date of documentation used to qualify, but must be renewed annually.

Marine Life Bycatch Endorsement (MLB)

Required to harvest commercial quantities of marine life as bycatch which does not include harvest by diving.  For persons who collected marine life primarily as bycatch in other fisheries, with gear other than diving gear, and with reported sales of less than $5000 during one of the qualifying years.  The bycatch endorsement is also transferable.

 

Marine Life Non-Transferable Dive (MLN)

Required to harvest commercial quantities of marine life by diving using gear for persons who had less than $5000 in marine life landings or held a state live rock lease or federal live rock permit during one of the qualifying years and wish to harvest by diving.  This endorsement is only transferrable to immediate family members in the event of death or disability.

Marine Life - Fish

Includes blue, queen, french and gray angelfish; cherubfish; and rock beauty

Bag Limits/Remarks

75 per person per day or 150 per vessel per day, whichever is less (vessel limit does not require a second ML endorsement).

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 FAC limited to 20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

Gray and french angelfish: 1 ½ - 8" slot limit

Blue and queen angelfish: 1 ¾ - 8" slot limit

Rock beauty: 2 - 5" slot limit

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

(total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit: 12"

Except Gray and Ocean Triggerfish and unicorn filefish

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

None

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

(total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit: 2"

 

Except reef fish and Longtail bass

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

None

Bag Limits/Remarks

50 per day/100 per vessel

Bag limit is unique per SPL number with unique marine life endorsement; vessel possession limit is per vessel with two or more unique SPL numbers with unique marine life endorsements aboard.

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

 

Size Limits

1 - 4" slot limit

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

Maximum size limit: 4"

Bag Limits/Remarks

75 per day/150 per vessel

Bag limit is unique per SPL number with unique marine life endorsement; vessel possession limit is per vessel with two or more unique SPL numbers with unique marine life endorsements aboard.

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Size Limits

Minimum size limit: 1 ½"

Includes Sharpnose Pufferfish, Striped Burrfish, Spotted Burrfish, Balloonfish, Porcupinefish

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Size Limits

None

Bag Limits/Remarks

400 dwarf seahorses per person or per vessel per day, whichever is less

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. 

Size Limits

None

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

Maximum size limit (Fork Length): 9"

Except Hogfish snapper; Spanish, Cuban Hogfish: 50 of each per day/100 total combined per vessel

Bag limit is unique per SPL number with unique marine life endorsement; vessel possession limit is per vessel with two or more unique SPL numbers with unique marine life endorsements aboard.

Bag Limits/Remarks

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 F.A.C.:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Collection prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Size Limits

Spanish Hogfish: 2 - 8" slot limit Cuban Hogfish: 3 - 8" slot limit

Marine Life - Invertebrates

Bag Limits/Remarks

Trip limit: 200 daily trip and vessel limit.

MLB endorsement holders using special gears other than those listed in 68B-42.007 FAC:  20 total marine life finfish per day.

Bag Limits/Remarks

Giant Caribbean anemone (Condylactis spp): Prohibited. Corallimorphs: 100 per day/200 per vessel**; Zoanthids: 1 gallon per day/2 gallons per vessel**; Corallimorphs and Zoanthids: Must be harvested with a flexible blade no wider than 2". Corallimorphs must be harvest as single polyps only.

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of attached substrate within 1" of octocoral base is permitted; harvest closes in response to federal octocoral closures.

Bag Limits/Remarks

400 per person or per vessel per day, whichever is less

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except Land Hermit Crabs; Scarlet reef hermit (Paguristes cadenati): 1 quart per day/2 quarts per vessel**; Blue-legged/tricolor hermit crabs (Clibanarius tricolor): 1 quart per day/per vessel, whichever is less

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest prohibited

Includes hard/stony (Order Scleractinia, fire (Genus Millepora), and black (Order Antipatharia)

 

Bag Limits/Remarks

Aquaculture only; live rock lease and/or state and/or federal permit required; includes live rock created by Sabellarid tube worms.

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except Common Octopus

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of Venus Sea Fan and Common (Purple) Sea Fan prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of Fire Coral prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except Sheepswool, Yellow, Grass, Glove, Finger, Wire, Reef and Velvet Sponges; harvest of substrate within 1" of base permitted north and west of the southernmost point of Egmont Key, no substrate allowed south of Egmont Key

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of the Bahama Starfish (Cushion Sea Star) prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

One gallon per day/2 gallons per vessel**

Includes Lithopoma americanum, Lithompoma tectum, Astralium phoebium

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of Longspine Urchin prohibited

Symbol Key

*MLD or MLN required for use and possession of quinaldine used to harvest tropical fish (Special Activity License also required).

 Such as groupers, snappers, sea basses, and amberjacks.  Must abide by regulations for these species.

***Bag limit is unique per SPL number with unique marine life endorsement; vessel possession limit is per vessel with two or more unique SPL numbers with unique marine life endorsements aboard.

Other Marine Life fish include: BassletsΔ, BatfishΔ, Blackbar SoldierfishΔ, BlenniesΔ, Brotulas (Black and Key), CardinalfishΔ, ClingfishΔ, CornetfishΔ, DamselfishΔ, Eels (Moray and Snake) Δ, FrogfishΔ, HawkfishΔ, High-hatΔ/Jacknife-fishΔ, Spotted DrumΔ, CubbyuΔ, PipefishΔ, Reef CroakersΔ, Sleepers, Yellow Stingray, SweepersΔ, ToadfishΔ, TrumpetfishΔ, and TrunkfishΔ/CowfishΔ

Other Marine Life invertebrates include: Brittlestars, Decorator (Furcate Spider) Crab, False Arrow Crab, Nimble Spray (Urchin) Crab, Red Mithrax Crab, Red Ridged Clinging Crab, Spotted Porcelain Crab, Yellowline Arrow Crab, Fileclams, Upside-down Jellyfish, Nudibranchs/Sea Slug, Sea Cucumbers, Sea Lilies, Cleaner/Peppermint Shrimp, Coral Shrimp, Snapping Shrimp, Nassarius Snails, Featherduster Worms, and Calcareous Tube Worms.

Marine Life plants include: Coralline red algae, Caulerpa, Halimeda/Mermaid's Fan/Mermaid's Shaving Brush

 

Blue Heron Boundry

All harvest of marine life prohibited at Blue Heron Bridge dive site. (boundaries pictured to right)