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Who is required to obtain a mackerel tournament donation permit?

Tournaments that want to donate king and Spanish mackerel caught in state or federal waters to wholesale dealers, who then sell the fish and give the proceeds to a charity on the tournament’s behalf.

Tournaments must have 10 or more participants, have written rules and regulations, require an entry fee and award prizes to competitors. Donated fish must be caught during the tournament.


It is traditional practice for king and Spanish mackerel tournaments in Florida to raise money for charity. This practice has the added benefit of minimizing waste of mackerel, which are not always kept by tournament anglers for consumption. Both FWC and federal rules now require tournaments that raise money for charity by donating tournament-caught king and Spanish mackerel to a wholesale dealer to have a Mackerel Tournament Donation Permit.

Permit conditions:

  1. Permit only issued to the director of an organized tournament that has provided FWC with information required by rule.
  2. Spanish and king mackerel caught in an organized tournament can be donated to a licensed wholesale seafood dealer only. Donation of tournament fish as authorized by this permit does not constitute a sale.
  3. A licensed wholesale dealer must be present at the tournament check in location to receive the tournament-caught fish.
  4. The tournament organizer may not also be the licensed wholesale seafood dealer accepting donated fish from the tournament.
  5. Proceeds from the sale of the fish must be donated to a charitable organization.
  6. Proceeds cannot be used for tournament expenses or prizes.
  7. Tournament organizers must ensure that donated fish are properly handled and iced according to seafood safety standards.
  8. Fish must be reported by the wholesale dealer as tournament-caught on trip tickets.
  9. Tournament requirements rule language.

How to apply

Tournament Directors:

Complete and submit the Mackerel Tournament Application to:

Questions or comments?  Please contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554 or email