New Permit Regulations on the Way for Florida
The proposed draft rules would create separate management strategies for permit, Florida pompano, and African pompano.
At their April 6 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of their staff, and will consider the proposed new regulations for a final vote at their meeting in June 2011. The proposed new regulations can be viewed here.
From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission April 6 agenda:
The proposed draft rules would create separate management strategies for permit, Florida pompano, and African pompano. Technical modifications are also proposed to simplify the current rule language. The proposed draft rules would modify the Commission's rule for permit, Florida pompano, and African pompano rule as follows: (Permit and Pompano Presentation)
68B-35.002, Definitions - The proposed draft rule would add definitions for harvest for commercial purposes, person, recreational harvester, spearing, and snagging, and define the Special Permit Zone (SPZ) where special permit regulations apply. The SPZ would include state and federal waters lying south of a line running due east from Cape Florida at 25°40' North Latitude, waters of Biscayne Bay south of Rickenbacker Causeway, and waters south of a line just south of Cape Romano at 25°50' North Latitude running west through federal waters and running east to the mainland.
68B-35.003, Size and Bag Limits; Prohibition of Sale - The proposed draft rule would extend current size regulations for commercial harvesters of permit and Florida pompano and for recreational and commercial harvesters of African pompano into adjacent federal waters. It would also prohibit the possession of any permit or Florida pompano with a fork length greater than 20 inches on commercial vessels in all waters. The proposed draft rule would establish a minimum size of 22 inches for recreational permit harvest inside the SPZ, and a slot size of 11-22 inches for recreational permit harvest in all waters outside the SPZ. The proposed draft rule would replace the recreational slot of 11-20 inches for Florida pompano with a minimum size limit of 11 inches. As a technical fix, the bag limit language in this section would be moved into a newly created section of the rule.
68B-35.0035, Bag Limits (NEW) - The proposed draft rule would establish this new section to define bag limits for permit, Florida pompano, and African pompano. As a technical fix, the bag limits from all the other portions of this rule would be moved to this new section. The proposed draft rule would maintain a recreational bag limit of 6 Florida pompano per person for all waters. This bag limit would no longer include permit. The proposed draft rule would extend the current commercial bag limit of 250 Florida pompano to federal waters. It would also establish a recreational bag limit of 1 permit per person, with a vessel maximum of 2 permit, inside the SPZ. Also, it would prohibit captain and crew of for-hire vessels from keeping permit. Outside the SPZ, the recreational bag limit for permit would be 2 per person, including 1 allowed over 22 inches, and a vessel limit of 2 permit over 22 inches. Inside the SPZ, commercial harvest of permit would be prohibited. The proposed draft rule would prohibit all directed commercial harvest of permit in all waters, but establish an incidental bycatch allowance of 100 permit for commercial harvesters legally targeting other species with gill nets in federal waters only outside of the SPZ. The proposed draft rule would also extend the 2 fish bag limit for African pompano for all harvesters into federal waters.
68B-35.004, Gear Specifications and Prohibited Gear - The proposed draft rule would extend the current allowable recreational and commercial gears for Florida pompano into federal waters. The allowable gear for permit in all state waters would continue to be hook and line only. The allowable gears for permit in all federal waters would be hook and line and spearing. For African pompano, hook and line would continue to be the only allowable gear in state waters, but spearing would also be allowed for recreational and commercial harvest in federal waters. As a technical fix, the pompano endorsement zone boundaries and gear language would be moved to another section of the rule.
68B-35.005, Commercial Pompano Harvest Requirements: Pompano Endorsement Criteria; State and Federal Waters Pompano Daily Harvest Limits and License Requirements for Sale or Purchase - The proposed draft rule would allow pompano endorsement holders to incidentally harvest permit while targeting Florida pompano in the pompano endorsement zone using the current allowable gears for Florida pompano, including gill nets. As a technical fix, the proposed draft rule would add Florida pompano endorsement gear language and zone boundaries to this part of the rule, clarify that zone possession restriction for Florida pompano would now include permit, clarify the language on zone boundaries and landing requirements, and rename this section of the rule. As a technical fix, the pompano commercial bag limit language in this section would be moved into a newly created section of the rule.
68B- 35.006, Closed Season (NEW) - The proposed draft rule would establish a closed season for permit harvest inside the SPZ during the months of May, June and July.
We want your input: