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Commission meeting – February

Commission meeting – February

Marine Fisheries items

Information: The FWC Commission listened to public testimony on and discussed the following marine fisheries management items at the virtual Feb. 25-26 meeting.

Decision making (regulation changes were made on these topics):

  • Western Dry Rocks: The Commission approved seasonal protections for a multi-species spawning aggregation site in the lower Florida Keys. Starting April 1, fishing will be prohibited in a 1-square-mile area near Western Dry Rocks from April 1 – July 31 each year. The Commission also adopted a seven-year sunset provision, which primarily will be used as a way to ensure the Commission can revisit this closure and discuss future management in this area.
  • Tortugas Shrimp Beds Boundary Line Cleanup (Consent Agenda): The Commission will update boundary coordinates for the Tortugas Shrimp Beds to align with locations of navigational aids and clarify the boundary description. This change is similar to a recent change in federal waters.


Discussions (no regulation changes were made on these items):

  • Southwest red tide update: snook, redfish and spotted seatrout: The Commission directed staff to gather public input on the future management of snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in the area of southwest Florida where they are currently catch-and-release only. The catch-and-release only measures were implemented in response to a severe and prolonged red tide event in 2017-2019. Direction from the Commission to gather additional public input came after they received a staff review of the latest Fish and Wildlife Research Institute monitoring data and listened to public input on snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in southwest Florida.
  • Federal fishery management updates: The Commission discussed outcomes of recent meetings of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and discussed the 2021 Gulf red snapper season. FWC expects to announce season dates in mid- to late-April.

Links for more information:

Agenda []

Commission Meetings

Find out what's coming to the next Commission meeting.

Red Tide Update

Snook, redfish and spotted seatrout catch-and-release only in areas affected by red tide through May 31, 2021. This includes all waters from Gordon Pass in Collier County north through Pasco County.

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