Florida Wildlife Commission’s October Meeting Decisions

Commission meeting – October Marine fisheries items

The FWC Commission listened to public testimony on and discussed several marine fisheries management items at the Oct. 6-7 meeting in St. Augustine.

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

Atlantic coast: spot and Atlantic croaker (Consent Agenda): The Commission approved the creation of new species-specific regulations for spot and Atlantic croaker in state waters from the Florida-Georgia border through Miami-Dade County. Approved changes include establishing a daily recreational bag limit of 50 fish per person for each species and establishing commercial vessel limits of 2,200 lbs. for spot and 1,200 lbs. for Atlantic croaker. Regulations will go into effect. Dec. 1, 2021. Learn more.
Draft proposal (these items will be brought back to a future meeting for final decision):

Goliath grouper: The Commission proposed a draft rule that, if approved at a future meeting, could allow for a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper. This proposal is NOT final and will come back for final consideration at a future Commission meeting. The draft proposal includes a special harvest opportunity through a lottery draw, as well as area and seasonal closures, size and gear restrictions, and post-harvest requirements. Learn more.

Redfish: The Commission listened to a staff report on the current status and regulations for redfish in Florida. This included outcomes of the inaugural Redfish Summit (held in August), a summary of recent stakeholder comments, and next steps for stakeholder engagement. Following this report, the Commission accepted staff’s recommendations regarding development of a new management approach for this fishery, and to let the Executive Order (EO) for the Tampa Bay area expire after Oct. 11, 2021.

Sharks: The Commission listened to and discussed a presentation on sharks that included an overview of FWC’s shark management history, rationale behind current FWC shark regulations, and recommended next steps for shark management in state waters. Read “An Overview of Shark Management in Florida.”

Federal fishery management updates: The Commission discussed outcomes of recent meetings of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Other Commission updates:

Redfish, snook, and spotted seatrout recreational harvest reopened in Tampa Bay Oct. 12, 2021. Learn more.

Red grouper, gray triggerfish, and blackfin, wenchman, silk and queen snappers closed to harvest in Gulf state waters Oct. 11. These species are currently closed in Gulf federal waters as well.

READ MORE at myfwc.com