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
Staff will provide a review and discussion of goliath grouper, including biology, updates on ongoing research, and stakeholder opinions. Staff will seek Commission approval on next steps for goliath management in state waters, including whether to prepare a draft rule for limited harvest.
Comment on this item below using the commenting form.
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.
Staff have heard concerns in recent years about the status of dolphinfish in Florida, particularly from south Florida and the Florida Keys, and is gathering feedback on this fishery throughout Florida waters in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Staff is seeking feedback on potential management measures to address these concerns including reduced bag limits and vessel limits for dolphinfish in Florida state waters. Comment on this topic 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.
Blue Crab Trap Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs)
Diamondback terrapins are considered a Species of Greatest Concern in Florida. They live in brackish coastal ecosystems, commonly inhabiting salt marsh and mangrove habitats. Because diamondback terrapins and blue crabs share similar habitat and diets, terrapins can be incidentally caught in blue crab traps. Staff is working on a holistic management approach for terrapins to address potential threats to this species, including regulation changes, outreach and education, and habitat restoration.
At its December meeting, the Commission approved draft proposals to prohibit the take and possession of diamondback terrapins and require the use of bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) in blue crab traps. They also directed staff to continue looking into the draft proposals before the Commission considers approval of final rules, including further exploring the potential impacts requiring BRDs may have on the blue crab industry.
Staff is continuing to gather public input on BRDs and potential impacts to the blue crab industry before returning to a future FWC Commission meeting for a final hearing.
The FWC is hosting a day-long public discussion about snook research and management in Florida, including a stock assessment update, discussions about the importance of habitat, information about efforts to improve water quality, and updates on conservation and restoration efforts. While registration for this event is currently full, please feel free to share comments on snook to be addressed at the symposium using the form below.
The FWC is hosting a day and a half-long public discussion about redfish research and management in Florida in August. Dates coming soon. Please feel free to share comments on redfish to be addressed at the symposium using the form below.