Shrimping Laws



 

1370.15 Shrimp; regulation.--

(1) GENERAL AUTHORITY; CONSERVATION.--The commission has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section. The commission shall encourage the production of the maximum sustained yield consistent with the preservation and protection of breeding stock, taking into consideration the recommendations of the various marine laboratories, as well as those of interested and experienced groups of private citizens. Rules shall control the method, manner, and equipment used in the taking of shrimp or prawn, as well as limiting and defining the areas where taken.

(2) CATCHING SHRIMP AT NIGHT.--It is unlawful to catch or attempt to catch shrimp or prawn in the territorial waters of the state in any county whose coastal boundary borders solely on the Atlantic Ocean, by use of trawl nets during night hours except during the months of June, July, and August.

(3) SHRIMP TRAPS.--

(a) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to take or attempt to take shrimp by the use of any trap which:

1. Exceeds the following dimensions: 36 inches long (from rear of the heart to the leading edge of the trap), by 24 inches wide (between the leading edges of the trap, or heart opening), by 12 inches high; or

2. Has external or unattached wings, weirs, or other devices intended to funnel shrimp to the trap heart.

(b) This subsection shall not be construed to restrict the allowable shape or configuration of any shrimp trap so long as the trap, together with all of its parts, conforms to the specifications of paragraph (a).

(c) Any shrimp trap which conforms to the specifications of paragraph (a) shall not be considered a pound net.

(d) The user of any trap shall affix his or her name and address securely to each trap. Any such trap not having proper identification is subject to confiscation by the commission. No person, firm, or corporation shall have more than four traps in use at any time. The commission shall have the authority to inspect such traps when being used in or on the waters of the state.

(e) The presence of unattended shrimp traps on or attached to beaches, causeways, seawalls, bridges, or any other structures open for use by the public is hereby declared to be a nuisance. Any such trap which is not attended by the person whose name is affixed to the trap is subject to confiscation by the commission.

(4) SHRIMP TRAWLING.--All persons, firms, and corporations desiring to trawl for shrimp within areas in which trawling is permitted shall purchase a saltwater products license issued to a valid boat registration or in the name of an individual pursuant to s. 370.06. The saltwater products license shall remain on board at all times and is subject to immediate revocation upon conviction for violation of this section or when it becomes apparent that the best interests of saltwater conservation will be served by such action. Due to the varied habitats and types of bottoms and hydrographic conditions embraced by the open fishing area, the commission shall have the authority to specify and regulate the types of gear that may be used in the different sections of the open areas.

(5) CLOSED AREA IN SANTA ROSA SOUND.--

(a) It is unlawful to take or catch shrimp, other than live bait shrimp with any type net or other method, in the following area: That portion of Santa Rosa Sound lying in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties and between Brooks Bridge as the east boundary and Bascule Bridge in Santa Rosa County as the west boundary.

(b) A third or any subsequent violation by any person of this subsection within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(6) CLOSED AREA FOR SHRIMPING.--

(a) No shrimping except for live bait shrimp shall be permitted in all waters within the following described area: Begin at a point of latitude 24°41'54" North and longitude 81°40'30" West near Snipe Point in Monroe County; thence go North 35°53'16" West approximately 9 nautical miles to a point of approximate latitude 24°41'55" North and longitude 81°46'15" West, 3 marine leagues seaward of Snipe Point; thence easterly and northerly following a line which is 3 marine leagues seaward of the mean low-water line of the seawardmost points in Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to a point at latitude 26°00'00" North and approximate longitude 81°56'30" West; thence east to a point on the mean high-water line at latitude 26°00'00" North and approximate longitude 81°44'06" West; thence southerly and easterly along the mean high-water line of the Florida mainland to its intersection with the westerly right-of-way of the U.S. Highway 1 bridge in Long Sound; thence follow the westerly and northern right-of-way of U.S. Highway 1 to a point on Saddlebunch Key latitude 24°37'06" North and approximate longitude 81°36'42" West; thence on a straight line to the point of beginning.

(b) A second or any subsequent violation by any person of this subsection is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 59-343; s. 1, ch. 61-525; s. 1, ch. 63-338; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 65-343; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-344; s. 295, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 72-54; ss. 1, 2, ch. 74-58; s. 8, ch. 77-142; ss. 1, 3, ch. 79-263; s. 1, ch. 81-311; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 12, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 12, ch. 86-240; ss. 1, 6, ch. 88-412; s. 560, ch. 95-148; s. 80, ch. 98-200; s. 21, ch. 98-227; s. 247, ch. 99-245; s. 43, ch. 2000-364; s. 4, ch. 2003-143.

1Note.--Section 8, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121, and by s. 1, ch. 85-163, repealed the then-existing section, effective July 1, 1986, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1986, it would remain in force until such rules were effective. Section 9, ch. 83-134, provided that, prior to the adoption of rules amending, readopting, or repealing those provisions set forth in s. 8, the Marine Fisheries Commission would hold a public hearing thereon, and no such amendment, readoption, or repeal would be acted upon until it had been determined, based upon appropriate findings of fact, that such action would not adversely affect the resource. The Marine Fisheries Commission was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

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