Saltwater Public Comments
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.
Future Commission Meeting Topics
A stock status update completed by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute suggests that the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend in recent years and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Over the past few years, staff has also heard a variety of concerns and requests for management changes in the flounder fishery. In response to the recent flounder stock status update and public feedback, staff is seeking additional public comment on a potential management proposal.
The Commission approved draft changes at the October 2020 FWC meeting and this item will be brought back for final consideration in December. Learn more.
Provide comments below
The Apalachicola Bay oyster population has been declining since 2013 as a result of low freshwater input. The oyster population in the Bay continues to remain at a historic low despite FWC taking several steps to address concerns in this fishery over the years.
Starting Aug. 1, 2020, harvest of all wild oysters from Apalachicola Bay will be temporarily suspended and on-the-water possession of oyster harvesting equipment (tongs) will be prohibited. Staff will bring this item back before the Commission in the near future for final consideration and, if approved, these measures will remain in place through Dec. 31, 2025.
Interactions with sharks and their role in the environment are high profile topics with many divergent viewpoints. At the December Commission meeting, staff will provide a review and discussion of topics related to sharks. This presentation will include information on the current status of sharks worldwide and in the eastern United States, management of sharks, and an overview of a variety of shark-related topics including shark fin legislation, shore-based shark fishing, shark feeding, and negative interactions between fishermen/divers and sharks.
Please provide comments below.
The FWC will be reviewing several trap fisheries in the upcoming year including spiny lobster, blue crab, pinfish/baitfish, trap retrieval, recreational trap fisheries, and traps used for shellfish aquaculture leases.
Staff has been hearing concerns about the status of various fisheries in Charlotte Harbor and is gathering feedback on the fisheries in that area.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) coordinates management of spot and croaker along the Atlantic coast through an interstate fishery management plan. Population trends indicate potential cause for concern for these species and the Commission may consider modifying regulations.
Blue Crab Trap Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs)
Diamondback terrapins live in coastal brackish-water ecosystems, commonly inhabiting salt marshes and mangroves, and their populations in Florida have been declining. Because their habitat can overlap with species like blue crabs, which are recreationally and commercially harvested, terrapins can be incidentally caught in traps.
The Commission may consider a suite of conservation measures to benefit diamondback terrapins in Florida. One of the measures that could be considered is requiring bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in blue crab traps.
View this online workshop video and provide comments below.