The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is updating and clarifying several existing rules related to marine fisheries as well as creating a new General Chapter. We are requesting public input on this draft rule language. Staff is particularly interested in ensuring that the draft language is easy to understand, formatted clearly and doesn’t create loopholes or inconsistencies in regulation.
The Commission directed staff to update and clarify these rules in response to several comments from the public and agency staff. Many of these rules have not been amended for years and include outdated references, redundant terms or archaic language.
FWC staff from the divisions of Law Enforcement and Marine Fisheries Management, as well as legal staff, have drafted updated language for 26 rule sections in Division 68B of the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) and the new General Chapter.
The General Chapter will include a series of definitions and other provisions that apply to all marine fisheries. This new chapter will improve fishing regulations by creating consistency, eliminating redundancy and extending important provisions to the harvest of otherwise unregulated species.
Some of the draft rule language proposed for the General Chapter will result in minor changes to existing regulations. All other draft rule language amendments should not change current regulatory action or intent.
Below are links to the current rule language chapters and their corresponding draft chapters.
Submit Your Comments
Please review the draft rules below and submit comments by November 30, 2012, to email@example.com
For more information please contact the Division of Marine Fisheries Management at (850) 487-0554 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of modifying Division 68B Florida Administrative Code is to make the language of marine fish regulations clear, consistent and understandable without altering the underlying intent or effect of the rules.
Make process transparent to all stakeholders
- Stick to plain speak
- Keep intent or effect of rules the same
- Develop consistent rule structure
- Revise as necessary to make rules enforceable
Here are three examples of issues we have identified:
Throughout the rules contained in 68B, the former Marine Fisheries Commission is referenced. This agency was combined with the former Game and Freshwater Fish Commission in 1999, which created the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The draft language corrects the outdated references to the Marine Fisheries Commission.
Some chapters in 68B, F.A.C., combine two unrelated species into one chapter. For example, 68B-48 is a chapter on sheepshead and flounder. This chapter is being separated so sheepshead and flounder will be in separate chapters. This will make the rules more accessible to the public and easier to understand.
Harvesting a fish using a multiple hook (example: treble hook) in conjuction with live or natural bait is currently prohibited for many, but not all marine species. The Multiple Hook and Bait Prohibition proposed in 68B-2.008, F.A.C., would prohibit the harvest of any marine species with a multiple hook if the angler is using natural bait. Because this prohibition is included in the General Chapter (and applies to all marine species), it will be removed from the other 26 rule sections. Prohibiting this practice for all species will result in greater survival of fish released after capture.
All draft rules are in PDF format