FWC wraps up 2-day meeting near Tallahassee
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Media contact: (inland issues) Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130; (marine issues) Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
tackled numerous important issues during its meeting Wednesday and
Thursday at the Florida Public Safety Institute, northwest of
The Commission approved draft rules that would move the current
list of reptiles in the reptiles of concern category and reclassify
them as conditional species. The proposed rules would ban personal
possession of these reptiles. Final rule-approval will be
considered in June.
Commissioners also approved several final rules for captive
wildlife. One rule amendment requires Class I and II wildlife
facilities to make their Critical Incident and Disaster Plans
available for inspection by local emergency managers. Commissioners
also decided that people shipping captive wildlife must use more
detailed, informative shipping labels. At the meeting in
September, Commissioners will revisit issues regarding requirements
for captive wildlife facilities meeting local building and zoning
Final rule amendments were approved in state manatee-protection
zones in Sarasota County, which increase the size of the speed-zone
area. Commissioners also advanced draft rules for the FWC's
approval process for local boating ordinances and uniform marker
requirements. They approved technical corrections to the guidelines
for two Boating and Waterways grant programs.
The Commission approved draft rules related to the taking of
wildlife on airport property in emergency situations to ensure the
safety of aircraft and human life.
On Thursday, April 29, the Commission approved a rule amendment
that will make the recreational harvest season for red snapper in
Gulf of Mexico state waters consistent with this year's open season
in Gulf federal waters. This open harvest season will occur
from June 1 through July 23 this year.
Commissioners also approved new rules that will include all
species of bonefish found in Florida in the FWC's bonefish
management rules, extend current Florida bonefish regulations into
adjacent federal waters, and require that bonefish be landed in a
whole condition. These rules take effect July 1.
In addition, the Commission approved new rules that will
maintain the current number of commercial ballyhoo lampara net
endorsements, allow all ballyhoo endorsement holders to sell their
endorsement to other commercial fishers from July 1 - March 31 each
year, limit any one entity from holding more than two ballyhoo
endorsements at any one time, prohibit leasing of the endorsement,
and allow only one endorsement per saltwater products license and
one saltwater products license to be associated with a single
endorsement. These rules take effect July 1.
The FWC also approved a rule that will allow oyster harvesters
to stow hand tongs on their vessels from sunset to sunrise so they
can transit to oyster bars before dawn and begin harvesting oysters
at sunrise. This rule will take effect in early June.
In other marine fisheries action, the Commission reviewed and
discussed several federal fisheries management issues.
The full agenda is available online, as are individual news
releases on various issues, at MyFWC.com/Commission.