FWC takes over management of octocorals in federal waters
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Media contact: Martha Bademan, 850-487-0554
(Back to Commission meeting news)
On Thursday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) took final action on a series of proposed changes
to its marine life (aquarium species) requirements. The amendments
extend state conservation efforts governing the harvest of marine
life into federal waters adjacent to state waters.
For octocorals, a group of soft corals like
sea plumes and
sea whips, the changes also create an annual quota and adopt
the federal areas currently closed to harvest by the NOAA Fisheries
Service. These conservation efforts take effect Oct. 31.
The federal fishery management councils are in the process of
repealing federal regulations for octocorals in federal waters off
Florida, which allows Florida to take over management of these
species. At the request of the federal councils, Florida agreed to
manage the octocoral fishery in both state and federal waters.
Specifically, the octocoral rule amendments extend existing
state regulations into federal waters, establish an annual harvest
quota and prohibit the use of power-assisted tools. The new rules
continue to prohibit all harvest of octocorals in Atlantic federal
waters north of Cape Canaveral and in the Coral Habitat Areas of
Particular Concern adjacent to Florida state waters (Stetson-Miami
Terrace and Pourtales Terrace). Finally, the rule clarifies that
regulations for all marine life species apply in state and adjacent
To see the
Marine Life Rule Extension: Octocoral, go to
MyFWC.com/Commission, select "Commission Meetings" and click on the
link to the September meeting agenda.