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Comments

The FWC welcomes comments on any species, even those not featured on this page, at any time via the comment form below, email at Marine@MyFWC.com or phone at 850-487-0554.

The following topics are either tentatively slated to be brought before the Commission in the near future or items FWC staff plan to begin working on.

This is not an all-encompassing list and topics may be moved to a later date or not discussed at all.

Visit the Commission meeting agenda page to see what FWC staff will be presenting to the Commission at an upcoming meeting.

Public Workshops

Share your input in person by attending a public workshop.

Commission Meeting Topics

FWC staff has been collecting public comments on shore-based shark fishing and brought a draft rule proposal to the December Commission meeting This proposal was approved and will be brought back before the Commission for a final public hearing at the February 2019 meeting. 

Please provide comments on this topic by Jan. 31 for them to be considered at the February Commission meeting. 

Changes being considered include:

  • Creating a mandatory, no-cost, annual shore-based shark fishing permit.
  • Prohibiting chumming when fishing for any species from the beach.
  • Prohibiting delaying the release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore.
  • Requiring that prohibited shark species remain in the water (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
  • Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless-steel circle hooks with live or dead natural bait (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
  • Requiring the possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook (when fishing from shore or a vessel).
  • Cleaning up and updating the current rule language.

Staff hosted public workshops in July and August of 2018.

 

The FWC approved a proposed draft rule amendment at the December meeting that, if approved in February, would prohibit all collection of Marine Life at the Blue Heron Bridge dive site in Palm Beach County. Members of the dive community and local officials have raised concerns that the collection of Marine Life from waters around the Blue Heron Bridge negatively impacts the quality of this world-renowned dive site.

Please provide comments on this topic by Jan. 31 for them to be considered at the February Commission meeting. 

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is holding public hearings and a webinar to solicit public comments on Draft Amendment 50 – State Management of Recreational Red Snapper.  This amendment would, if approved, allow state management in future years and would provide flexibility to the Gulf states to set the recreational red snapper fishing season and potentially other management measures. 

See workshop page for dates and locations of public input gathering meetings across the state starting Dec. 3-Jan. 23. 

For 2018 and 2019 Florida is testing a pilot program to manage the recreational red snapper season in both Gulf state and federal waters through an Exempted Fishing Permit. Landings estimates show that Florida exceeded its 2018 quota by 13%. This means that Florida’s 2019 quota and season must be reduced to account for this overage and avoid another quota overage in 2019.

At its December meeting, the FWC Commission tentatively discussed a 32-day season in 2019 from June 11-July 12, with a possible fall reopening if quota is available. (See December GMFMC presentation for more details.) FWC staff will report back to the Commission at its February meeting for final review and approval of the 2019 recreational red snapper season.

Future Topics

Scallop

The FWC is gathering input on the bay scallop season structure for 2020 and beyond via an online survey. A draft rule on this item is anticipated to be discussed at the February Commission meeting.

View the 2019 bay scallops season dates and regulations.

 

Spotted Seatrout

Staff have heard concerns about spotted seatrout in recent years and is collecting public input on this fishery. A draft rule on this item is anticipated to be discussed at the February Commission meeting.

FWC is collecting feedback on Florida’s flounder fishery. If you fish for this species, we’d like to know more about:

  • Your thoughts on how these fisheries are doing – compared to the past and/or compared to other fisheries
  • Your thoughts on current management of these species

Read a presentation on this topic 

The FWC will be reviewing several trap fisheries in the upcoming year including spiny lobster, blue crab, stone crab, pinfish/baitfish, lionfish traps, trap retrieval, recreational trap fisheries, and traps used for shellfish aquaculture leases. Workshops scheduled for May. View workshop presentation 

FWC is undergoing a multi-phase project to clean up and reevaluate the shrimp rules.  The next phase of the project will focus on the Northeast Florida shrimp fishery rules.

Staff has been hearing concerns about the status of various fisheries in Charlotte Harbor and is gathering feedback on the fisheries in that area.

Fill out my online form.