2005 Florida Code - NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE SALTWATER FISHERIESChapter 370

CHAPTER 370

SALTWATER FISHERIES

370.01  Definitions.

370.021  Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions.

370.023  Administration of commission grant programs.

370.025  Marine fisheries; policy and standards.

370.027  Rulemaking authority with respect to marine life.

370.028  Enforcement of commission rules; penalties for violation of rule.

370.03  Water bottoms.

370.06  Licenses.

370.0603  Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund; purposes.

370.0607  Marine information system.

370.06091  Memorandum of agreement relating to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

370.06092  Harmful-Algal-Bloom Task Force.

370.06093  Harmful-algal-bloom program; implementation; goals; funding.

370.061  Confiscation, seizure, and forfeiture of property and products.

370.063  Special recreational crawfish license.

370.07  Wholesale and retail saltwater products dealers; regulation.

370.08  Fishers and equipment; regulation.

370.081  Illegal importation or possession of nonindigenous marine plants and animals; rules and regulations.

370.0821  St. Johns County; use of nets.

370.09  Industrial hazards; oil deposits discharge prohibited.

370.092  Carriage of proscribed nets across Florida waters.

370.093  Illegal use of nets.

370.10  Crustacea, marine animals, fish; regulations; general provisions.

370.101  Saltwater fish; regulations.

370.102  State preemption of power to regulate.

370.103  Agreements with Federal Government for the preservation of saltwater fisheries; authority of commission.

370.11  Fish; regulation.

370.1103  Land-based commercial and recreational fishing activities; legislative findings and purpose; definitions; legal protection; local ordinances; prohibited activity.

370.1105  Saltwater finfish; fishing traps regulated.

370.1107  Definition; possession of certain licensed traps prohibited; penalties; exceptions; consent.

370.1121  Bonefish; regulation.

370.12  Marine animals; regulation.

370.1201  Manatee protection; intent; conduct of studies; initiatives and plans.

370.1202  Enhanced manatee protection study.

370.13  Stone crab; regulation.

370.135  Blue crab; regulation.

370.14  Crawfish; regulation.

370.1405  Crawfish reports by dealers during closed season required.

370.142  Spiny lobster trap certificate program.

370.143  Retrieval of lobster, crawfish, and stone crab traps during closed season; commission authority; fees.

370.15  Shrimp; regulation.

370.151  Tortugas shrimp beds; penalties.

370.153  Regulation of shrimp fishing; Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, Flagler, and St. Johns Counties.

370.1535  Regulation of shrimp fishing in Tampa Bay; licensing requirements.

370.154  Shrimp regulations; closed areas; suspension of license, etc.

370.155  Regulation of shrimp fishing in a designated area.

370.16  Noncultured shellfish harvesting.

370.1601  Lease of state-owned water bottoms for growing oysters and clams.

370.1603  Oysters produced in and outside state; labeling; tracing; rules.

370.161  Oyster bottom land grants made pursuant to ch. 3293.

370.17  Sponges; regulation.

370.172  Spearfishing; definition; limitations; penalty.

370.18  Compacts and agreements; generally.

370.19  Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.

370.20  Gulf States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.

370.21  Florida Territorial Waters Act; alien-owned commercial fishing vessels; prohibited acts; enforcement.

370.22  Venue for proceedings against citizens and residents charged with violations outside state boundaries.

370.23  Sale of unlawfully landed product; jurisdiction.

370.25  Artificial reef program; grants and financial and technical assistance to local governments.

370.26  Aquaculture definitions; marine aquaculture products, producers, and facilities.

370.27  State employment; priority consideration for qualified displaced employees of the saltwater fishing industry.

370.28  Enterprise zone designation; communities adversely impacted by net limitations.

370.31  Commercial production of sturgeon.

370.01  Definitions.--In construing these statutes, where the context does not clearly indicate otherwise, the word, phrase, or term:

(1)  "Authorization" means a number issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or its authorized agent, which serves in lieu of a license or permits and affords the privilege purchased for a specified period of time.

(2)  "Beaches" and "shores" shall mean the coastal and intracoastal shoreline of this state bordering upon the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, and any part thereof, and any other bodies of water under the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, between the mean high-water line and as far seaward as may be necessary to effectively carry out the purposes of this act.

(3)  "Closed season" shall be that portion of the year wherein the laws or rules of Florida forbid the taking of particular species of game or varieties of fish.

(4)  "Coastal construction" includes any work or activity which is likely to have a material physical effect on existing coastal conditions or natural shore processes.

(5)  "Commission" shall mean the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(6)  "Common carrier" shall include any person, firm, or corporation, who undertakes for hire, as a regular business, to transport persons or commodities from place to place offering his or her services to all such as may choose to employ the common carrier and pay his or her charges.

(7)  "Coon oysters" are oysters found growing in bunches along the shore between high-water mark and low-water mark.

(8)  "Department" shall mean the Department of Environmental Protection.

(9)  "Erosion control," "beach preservation," and "hurricane protection" shall include any activity, work, program, project, or other thing deemed necessary by the Department of Environmental Protection to effectively preserve, protect, restore, rehabilitate, stabilize, and improve the beaches and shores of this state, as defined above.

(10)  "Exhibit" means to present or display upon request.

(11)  "Finfish" means any member of the classes Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, or Osteichthyes.

(12)  "Food fish" shall include mullet, trout, redfish, sheepshead, pompano, mackerel, bluefish, red snapper, grouper, black drum, jack crevalle, and all other fish generally used for human consumption.

(13)  "Guide" shall include any person engaged in the business of guiding hunters or hunting parties, fishers or fishing parties, for compensation.

(14)  "Marine fish" means any saltwater species of finfish of the classes Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, and Osteichthyes, and marine invertebrates in the classes Gastropoda, Bivalvia, and Crustacea, or the phylum Echinodermata, but does not include nonliving shells or Echinoderms.

(15)  "Molest," in connection with any fishing trap or its buoy or buoy line, means to touch, bother, disturb, or interfere or tamper with, in any manner.

(16)  A "natural oyster or clam reef" or "bed" or "bar" shall be considered and defined as an area containing not less than 100 square yards of the bottom where oysters or clams are found in a stratum.

(17)  "Nonresident alien" shall mean those individuals from other nations who can provide documentation from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services evidencing permanent residency status in the United States. For the purposes of this chapter, a "nonresident alien" shall be considered a "nonresident."

(18)  "Open season" shall be that portion of the year wherein the laws of Florida for the preservation of fish and game permit the taking of particular species of game or varieties of fish.

(19)  "Reef bunch oysters" are oysters found growing on the bars or reefs in the open bay and exposed to the air between high and low tide.

(20)  "Resident" or "resident of Florida" includes citizens of the United States who have continuously resided in this state, next preceding the making of their application for hunting, fishing, or other license, for the following period of time, to wit: For 1 year in the state and 6 months in the county when applied to all fish and game laws not related to freshwater fish and game.

(21)  "Resident alien" shall mean those persons who have continuously resided in this state for at least 1 year and 6 months in the county and can provide documentation from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services evidencing permanent residency status in the United States. For the purposes of this chapter, a "resident alien" shall be considered a "resident."

(22)  "Restricted species" means any species of saltwater products which the state by law, or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by rule, has found it necessary to so designate. The term includes a species of saltwater products designated by the commission as restricted within a geographical area or during a particular time period of each year. Designation as a restricted species does not confer the authority to sell a species pursuant to s. 370.06 if the law or rule prohibits the sale of the species.

(23)  "Salt water," except where otherwise provided by law, shall be all of the territorial waters of Florida excluding all lakes, rivers, canals, and other waterways of Florida from such point or points where the fresh and salt waters commingle to such an extent as to become unpalatable because of the saline content, or from such point or points as may be fixed for conservation purposes by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with the consent and advice of the board of county commissioners of the county or counties to be affected.

(24)  "Saltwater fish" shall include all classes of pisces, shellfish, sponges, and crustacea indigenous to salt water.

(25)  "Saltwater license privileges," except where otherwise provided by law, means any license, endorsement, certificate, or permit issued pursuant to this chapter.

(26)  "Saltwater products" means any species of saltwater fish, marine plant, or echinoderm, except shells, and salted, cured, canned, or smoked seafood.

(27)  "Shellfish" shall include oysters, clams, and whelks.

(28)  "Transport" shall include shipping, transporting, carrying, importing, exporting, receiving or delivering for shipment, transportation or carriage or export.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 63-40; s. 1, ch. 65-140; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 127, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 78-56; s. 76, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 85-234; s. 1, ch. 87-116; s. 4, ch. 88-412; s. 1, ch. 89-270; s. 4, ch. 90-310; s. 4, ch. 93-223; s. 192, ch. 94-356; s. 979, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 96-300; s. 2, ch. 98-203; s. 1, ch. 98-227; s. 94, ch. 99-245; s. 7, ch. 2003-143; s. 34, ch. 2004-5.

370.021  Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions.--

(1)  PENALTIES.--Unless otherwise provided by law, any person, firm, or corporation who is convicted for violating any provision of this chapter, or any rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission relating to the conservation of marine resources, shall be punished:

(a)  Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 60 days or by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(b)  On a second or subsequent conviction within 12 months, by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Upon final disposition of any alleged offense for which a citation for any violation of this chapter or the rules of the commission has been issued, the court shall, within 10 days, certify the disposition to the commission.

(2)  MAJOR VIOLATIONS.--In addition to the penalties provided in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), the court shall assess additional penalties against any person, firm, or corporation convicted of major violations as follows:

(a)  For a violation involving more than 100 illegal blue crabs, crawfish, or stone crabs, an additional penalty of $10 for each illegal blue crab, crawfish, stone crab, or part thereof.

(b)  For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of shrimp from a nursery or other prohibited area, or any two violations within a 12-month period involving shrimping gear, minimum size (count), or season, an additional penalty of $10 for each pound of illegal shrimp or part thereof.

(c)  For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of oysters from nonapproved areas or the taking or possession of unculled oysters, an additional penalty of $10 for each bushel of illegal oysters.

(d)  For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of clams from nonapproved areas, an additional penalty of $100 for each 500 count bag of illegal clams.

(e)  For a violation involving the taking, harvesting, or possession of any of the following species, which are endangered, threatened, or of special concern:

1.  Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum);

2.  Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus);

3.  Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis);

4.  Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta caretta);

5.  Atlantic green turtle (Chelonia mydas mydas);

6.  Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea);

7.  Atlantic hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata imbracata);

8.  Atlantic ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi); or

9.  West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris),

an additional penalty of $100 for each unit of marine life or part thereof.

(f)  For a second or subsequent conviction within 24 months for any violation of the same law or rule involving the taking or harvesting of more than 100 pounds of any finfish, an additional penalty of $5 for each pound of illegal finfish.

(g)  For any violation involving the taking, harvesting, or possession of more than 1,000 pounds of any illegal finfish, an additional penalty equivalent to the wholesale value of the illegal finfish.

(h)  Permits issued to any person, firm, or corporation by the commission to take or harvest saltwater products, or any license issued pursuant to s. 370.06 or s. 370.07 may be suspended or revoked by the commission, pursuant to the provisions and procedures of s. 120.60, for any major violation prescribed in this subsection:

1.  Upon a first conviction, for up to 30 calendar days.

2.  Upon a second conviction which occurs within 12 months after a prior violation, for up to 90 calendar days.

3.  Upon a third conviction which occurs within 24 months after a prior conviction, for up to 180 calendar days.

4.  Upon a fourth conviction which occurs within 36 months after a prior conviction, for a period of 6 months to 3 years.

(i)  Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving stone crabs, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a "major violation" means a major violation as prescribed for illegal stone crabs; any single violation involving possession of more than 25 stone crabs during the closed season or possession of 25 or more whole-bodied or egg-bearing stone crabs; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 75 illegal stone crabs in the aggregate are involved.

(j)  Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving crawfish, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a "major violation" means a major violation as prescribed for illegal crawfish; any single violation involving possession of more than 25 crawfish during the closed season or possession of more than 25 wrung crawfish tails or more than 25 egg-bearing or stripped crawfish; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 75 illegal crawfish in the aggregate are involved.

(k)  Upon the arrest and conviction for a major violation involving blue crabs, the licenseholder shall show just cause why his or her saltwater products license should not be suspended or revoked. This paragraph shall not apply to an individual fishing with no more than five traps. For the purposes of this paragraph, a "major violation" means a major violation as prescribed for illegal blue crabs, any single violation wherein 50 or more illegal blue crabs are involved; any violation for trap molestation, trap robbing, or pulling traps at night; or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 100 illegal blue crabs in the aggregate are involved.

(l)  Upon the conviction for a major violation involving finfish, the licenseholder must show just cause why his or her saltwater products license should not be suspended or revoked. For the purposes of this paragraph, a major violation is prescribed for the taking and harvesting of illegal finfish, any single violation involving the possession of more than 100 pounds of illegal finfish, or any combination of violations in any 3-consecutive-year period wherein more than 200 pounds of illegal finfish in the aggregate are involved.

(m)  For a violation involving the taking or harvesting of any marine life species, as those species are defined by rule of the commission, the harvest of which is prohibited, or the taking or harvesting of such a species out of season, or with an illegal gear or chemical, or any violation involving the possession of 25 or more individual specimens of marine life species, or any combination of violations in any 3-year period involving more than 70 such specimens in the aggregate, the suspension or revocation of the licenseholder's marine life endorsement as provided in paragraph (h).

Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 948.01, no court may suspend, defer, or withhold adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence for any major violation prescribed in this subsection. The proceeds from the penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used for marine fisheries research or into the commission's Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund as provided in s. 372.107, as applicable.

(3)  PENALTIES FOR USE OF ILLEGAL NETS.--

(a)  It is a major violation pursuant to this section, punishable as provided in paragraph (b) for any person, firm, or corporation to be simultaneously in possession of any species of mullet in excess of the recreational daily bag limit and any gill or other entangling net as defined in s. 16(c), Art. X of the State Constitution. Simultaneous possession under this provision shall include possession of mullet and gill or other entangling nets on separate vessels or vehicles where such vessels or vehicles are operated in coordination with one another including vessels towed behind a main vessel. This subsection does not prohibit a resident of this state from transporting on land, from Alabama to this state, a commercial quantity of mullet together with a gill net if:

1.  The person possesses a valid commercial fishing license that is issued by the State of Alabama and that allows the person to use a gill net to legally harvest mullet in commercial quantities from Alabama waters.

2.  The person possesses a trip ticket issued in Alabama and filled out to match the quantity of mullet being transported, and the person is able to present such trip ticket immediately upon entering this state.

3.  The mullet are to be sold to a wholesale saltwater products dealer located in Escambia County or Santa Rosa County, which dealer also possesses a valid seafood dealer's license issued by the State of Alabama. The dealer's name must be clearly indicated on the trip ticket.

4.  The mullet being transported are totally removed from any net also being transported.

(b)1.  A flagrant violation of any rule or statute which implements s. 16(b), Art. X of the State Constitution shall be considered a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For purposes of this paragraph, a flagrant violation shall be the illegal possession or use of a monofilament net or a net with a mesh area larger than 2,000 square feet. A violation means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

2.  In addition to being subject to the other penalties provided in this chapter, any violation of s. 16(b), Art. X of the State Constitution, or any statute or rule of the commission which implements the gear prohibitions and restrictions specified therein shall be considered a major violation; and any person, firm, or corporation receiving any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal of such violation shall be subject to the following additional penalties:

a.  For a first major violation within a 7-year period, a civil penalty of $2,500 and suspension of all saltwater products license privileges for 90 calendar days following final disposition shall be imposed.

b.  For a second major violation under this subparagraph charged within 7 years of a previous judicial disposition, which results in a second judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000 and suspension of all saltwater products license privileges for 12 months shall be imposed.

c.  For a third or subsequent major violation under this subparagraph, charged within a 7-year period, resulting in a third or subsequent judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal, a civil penalty of $5,000, lifetime revocation of the saltwater products license, and forfeiture of all gear and equipment used in the violation shall be imposed.

d.  For a first flagrant violation under this subparagraph, a civil penalty of $5,000 and a suspension of all saltwater license privileges for 12 months shall be imposed. For a second or subsequent flagrant violation under this subparagraph, a civil penalty of $5,000, a lifetime revocation of the saltwater products license, and the forfeiture of all gear and equipment used in the violation shall be imposed.

A court may suspend, defer, or withhold adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence only for any first violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its restrictions, determined by a court only after consideration of competent evidence of mitigating circumstances to be a nonflagrant or minor violation of those restrictions upon the use of nets. Any violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its restrictions, occurring within a 7-year period commencing upon the conclusion of any judicial proceeding resulting in any outcome other than acquittal shall be punished as a second, third, or subsequent violation accordingly.

(c)  During the period of suspension or revocation of saltwater license privileges under this subsection, the licensee shall not participate in the taking or harvesting, or attempt the taking or harvesting, of saltwater products from any vessel within the waters of the state; be aboard any vessel on which a commercial quantity of saltwater products is possessed through an activity requiring a license pursuant to this section; or engage in any other activity requiring a license, permit, or certificate issued pursuant to this chapter. Any person who is convicted of violating this paragraph:

1.  Upon a first or second conviction, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2.  Upon a third or subsequent conviction, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(d)  Upon reinstatement of saltwater license privileges suspended pursuant to a violation of this subsection, a licensee owning or operating a vessel containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters any gill net or other entangling net, or containing or otherwise transporting in nearshore and inshore Florida waters any net containing more than 500 square feet of mesh area shall remain restricted for a period of 12 months following reinstatement, to operating under the following conditions:

1.  Vessels subject to this reinstatement period shall be restricted to the corridors established by commission rule.

2.  A violation of the reinstatement period provisions shall be punishable pursuant to paragraphs (1)(a) and (b).

(4)  ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR MAJOR VIOLATIONS INVOLVING CERTAIN FINFISH.--It is a major violation pursuant to this section, punishable as provided in paragraph (3)(b), for any person to be in possession of any species of trout, snook, or redfish which is three fish in excess of the recreational or commercial daily bag limit.

(5)  SALTWATER PRODUCTS; UNLICENSED SELLERS; ILLEGALLY HARVESTED PRODUCTS.--In addition to other penalties authorized in this chapter, any violation of s. 370.06 or s. 370.07, or rules of the commission implementing s. 370.06 or s. 370.07, involving the purchase of saltwater products by a commercial wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility for public consumption from an unlicensed person, firm, or corporation, or the sale of saltwater products by an unlicensed person, firm, or corporation or the purchase or sale of any saltwater product known to be taken in violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or rule or statute implementing the provisions thereof, by a commercial wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility, for public consumption, is a major violation, and the commission may assess the following penalties:

(a)  For a first violation, the commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and may suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 90 calendar days.

(b)  For a second violation occurring within 12 months of a prior violation, the commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and may suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 180 calendar days.

(c)  For a third or subsequent violation occurring within a 24-month period, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $5,000 and shall suspend the wholesale or retail dealer's license privileges for up to 24 months.

Any proceeds from the civil penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used as follows: 40 percent for administration and processing purposes and 60 percent for law enforcement purposes.

(6)  PENALTIES FOR UNLICENSED SALE, PURCHASE, OR HARVEST.--It is a major violation and punishable as provided in this subsection for an unlicensed person who is required to be licensed under this chapter to sell or purchase any saltwater product or to harvest or attempt to harvest any saltwater product with intent to sell the saltwater product.

(a)  Any person who sells or purchases any saltwater product without having purchased the licenses required by this chapter for such sale is subject to additional penalties as follows:

1.  A first violation is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2.  A second violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 90 days.

3.  A third violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 6 months.

4.  A third violation within 1 year after a second violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 shall be permanently revoked.

5.  A fourth or subsequent violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 shall be permanently revoked.

(b)  Any person whose license privileges under this chapter have been permanently revoked and who thereafter sells or purchases or who attempts to sell or purchase any saltwater product commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 370.061.

(c)  Any person whose license privileges under this chapter are under suspension and who during such period of suspension sells or purchases or attempts to sell or purchase any saltwater product shall be assessed the following penalties:

1.  A first violation, or a second violation occurring more than 12 months after a first violation, is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, and such person may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 90 days.

2.  A second violation occurring within 12 months of a first violation is a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 180 days. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 370.061.

3.  A third violation within 24 months of the second violation or subsequent violation is a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 24 months. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 370.061.

(d)  Any person who harvests or attempts to harvest any saltwater product with intent to sell the saltwater product without having purchased a saltwater products license with the requisite endorsements is subject to penalties as follows:

1.  A first violation is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2.  A second violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 90 days.

3.  A third violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 6 months, and such person may also be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and is subject to a suspension of all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 for a period not exceeding 6 months.

4.  A third violation within 1 year after a second violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 shall be permanently revoked.

5.  A fourth or subsequent violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 1 year, and such person shall also be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter and chapter 372 shall be permanently revoked.

For purposes of this subsection, a violation means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

(7)  PUBLICATIONS BY COMMISSION.--The commission is given authority, from time to time in its discretion, to cause the statutory laws under its jurisdiction, together with any rules promulgated by it, to be published in pamphlet form for free distribution in this state. The commission is authorized to make charges for technical and educational publications and mimeographed material of use for educational or reference purposes. Such charges shall be made at the discretion of the commission. Such charges may be sufficient to cover cost of preparation, printing, publishing, and distribution. All moneys received for publications shall be deposited into the fund from which the cost of the publication was paid. The commission is further authorized to enter into agreements with persons, firms, corporations, governmental agencies, and other institutions whereby publications may be exchanged reciprocally in lieu of payments for said publications.

(8)  POWERS OF OFFICERS.--

(a)  Law enforcement officers of the commission are constituted law enforcement officers of this state with full power to investigate and arrest for any violation of the laws of this state and the rules of the commission under their jurisdiction. The general laws applicable to arrests by peace officers of this state shall also be applicable to law enforcement officers of the commission. Such law enforcement officers may enter upon any land or waters of the state for performance of their lawful duties and may take with them any necessary equipment, and such entry will not constitute a trespass. It is lawful for any boat, motor vehicle, or aircraft owned or chartered by the commission or its agents or employees to land on and depart from any of the beaches or waters of the state. Such law enforcement officers have the authority, without warrant, to board, inspect, and search any boat, fishing appliance, storage or processing plant, fishhouse, spongehouse, oysterhouse, or other warehouse, building, or vehicle engaged in transporting or storing any fish or fishery products. Such authority to search and inspect without a search warrant is limited to those cases in which such law enforcement officers have reason to believe that fish or any saltwater products are taken or kept for sale, barter, transportation, or other purposes in violation of laws or rules promulgated under this law. Any such law enforcement officer may at any time seize or take possession of any saltwater products or contraband which have been unlawfully caught, taken, or processed or which are unlawfully possessed or transported in violation of any of the laws of this state or any rule of the commission. Such law enforcement officers may arrest any person in the act of violating any of the provisions of this law, the rules of the commission, or any of the laws of this state. It is hereby declared unlawful for any person to resist such arrest or in any manner interfere, either by abetting or assisting such resistance or otherwise interfering, with any such law enforcement officer while engaged in the performance of the duties imposed upon him or her by law or rule of the commission.

(b)  The Legislature finds that the checking and inspection of saltwater products aboard vessels is critical to good fishery management and conservation and that, because almost all saltwater products are either iced or cooled in closed areas or containers, the enforcement of seasons, size limits, and bag limits can only be effective when inspection of saltwater products so stored is immediate and routine. Therefore, in addition to the authority granted in paragraph (a), a law enforcement officer of the commission who has probable cause to believe that the vessel has been used for fishing prior to the inspection shall have full authority to open and inspect all containers or areas where saltwater products are normally kept aboard vessels while such vessels are on the water, such as refrigerated or iced locations, coolers, fish boxes, and bait wells, but specifically excluding such containers that are located in sleeping or living areas of the vessel.

(9)  RETENTION, DESTRUCTION, AND REPRODUCTION OF RECORDS.--Records and documents of the commission created in compliance with and in the implementation of this chapter or former chapter 371 shall be retained by the commission as specified in record retention schedules established under the general provisions of chapters 119 and 257. Such records retained by the Department of Environmental Protection on July 1, 1999, shall be transferred to the commission. Further, the commission is authorized to:

(a)  Destroy, or otherwise dispose of, those records and documents in conformity with the approved retention schedules.

(b)  Photograph, microphotograph, or reproduce such records and documents on film, as authorized and directed by the approved retention schedules, whereby each page will be exposed in exact conformity with the original records and documents retained in compliance with the provisions of this section. Photographs or microphotographs in the form of film or print of any records, made in compliance with the provisions of this section, shall have the same force and effect as the originals thereof would have and shall be treated as originals for the purpose of their admissibility in evidence. Duly certified or authenticated reproductions of such photographs or microphotographs shall be admitted in evidence equally with the original photographs or microphotographs. The impression of the seal of the commission on a certificate made pursuant to the provisions hereof and signed by the executive director of the commission shall entitle the same to be received in evidence in all courts and in all proceedings in this state and shall be prima facie evidence of all factual matters set forth in the certificate. A certificate may relate to one or more records, as set forth in the certificate, or in a schedule continued on an attachment to the certificate.

(c)  Furnish certified copies of such records for a fee of $1 which shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.

(10)  COURTS OF EQUITY MAY ENJOIN.--Courts of equity in this state have jurisdiction to enforce the conservation laws of this state by injunction.

(11)  REVOCATION OF LICENSES.--Any person licensed under this chapter who has been convicted of taking aquaculture species raised at a certified facility shall have his or her license revoked for 5 years by the commission pursuant to the provisions and procedures of s. 120.60.

(12)  LICENSES AND ENTITIES SUBJECT TO PENALTIES.--For purposes of imposing license or permit suspensions or revocations authorized by this chapter, the license or permit under which the violation was committed is subject to suspension or revocation by the commission. For purposes of assessing monetary civil or administrative penalties authorized by this chapter, the person, firm, or corporation cited and subsequently receiving a judicial disposition of other than dismissal or acquittal in a court of law is subject to the monetary penalty assessment by the commission. However, if the license or permitholder of record is not the person, firm, or corporation receiving the citation and judicial disposition, the license or permit may be suspended or revoked only after the license or permitholder has been notified by the commission that the license or permit has been cited in a major violation and is now subject to suspension or revocation should the license or permit be cited for subsequent major violations.

History.--s. 2, ch. 61-231; s. 1, ch. 61-22; ss. 11, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-378; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 277, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 75-180; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 31, ch. 79-65; s. 1, ch. 80-356; s. 220, ch. 81-259; s. 30, ch. 84-258; s. 2, ch. 85-234; s. 1, ch. 86-132; s. 5, ch. 87-116; s. 5, ch. 88-412; s. 11, ch. 90-310; s. 86, ch. 91-221; ss. 197, 481, ch. 94-356; s. 980, ch. 95-148; s. 8, ch. 95-150; s. 9, ch. 95-414; s. 10, ch. 96-247; s. 22, ch. 96-321; s. 57, ch. 97-100; s. 78, ch. 98-200; s. 11, ch. 98-203; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 2, ch. 98-390; s. 95, ch. 99-245; ss. 10, 42, ch. 2000-197; s. 36, ch. 2000-364; s. 1, ch. 2001-62; s. 1, ch. 2002-264; s. 1, ch. 2003-143; s. 1, ch. 2004-61; s. 13, ch. 2004-264.

370.023  Administration of commission grant programs.--

(1)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to establish grant programs that are consistent with statutory authority and legislative appropriations. The commission is further authorized to receive funds from any legal source for purposes of matching state dollars or for passing through the agency as grants to other entities whether or not matching funds or in-kind matches are required.

(2)  For any grant program established by the commission, the commission shall adopt rules, pursuant to the requirements of chapter 120, for each grant program which shall include, but are not limited to: the method or methods of payment; the supporting documents required before payment will be made; when matching funds or in-kind matches are allowed; what moneys, services, or other sources and amounts of matching funds or in-kind matches will be eligible for use for matching the grant by the commission; who is eligible to participate in the program; and other provisions that the commission finds necessary to achieve program objectives and an accounting for state funds in accordance with law and generally accepted accounting principles.

(3)  The commission is authorized to preaudit or postaudit account books and other documentation of a grant recipient to assure that grant funds have been used in accordance with the terms of the grant and state rules and statutes. When such audit reveals that moneys have not been spent in accordance with grant requirements, the commission may withhold moneys or recover moneys previously paid. A grant recipient will be allowed a maximum of 60 days to submit any additional pertinent documentation to offset the amount identified as being due the commission.

History.--s. 2, ch. 83-225; s. 198, ch. 94-356; s. 237, ch. 99-245.

370.025  Marine fisheries; policy and standards.--

(1)  The Legislature hereby declares the policy of the state to be management and preservation of its renewable marine fishery resources, based upon the best available information, emphasizing protection and enhancement of the marine and estuarine environment in such a manner as to provide for optimum sustained benefits and use to all the people of this state for present and future generations.

(2)  The commission is instructed to make recommendations annually to the Governor and the Legislature regarding marine fisheries research priorities and funding. All administrative and enforcement responsibilities which are unaffected by the specific provisions of this act are the responsibility of the commission.

(3)  All rules relating to saltwater fisheries adopted by the commission shall be consistent with the following standards:

(a)  The paramount concern of conservation and management measures shall be the continuing health and abundance of the marine fisheries resources of this state.

(b)  Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best information available, including biological, sociological, economic, and other information deemed relevant by the commission.

(c)  Conservation and management measures shall permit reasonable means and quantities of annual harvest, consistent with maximum practicable sustainable stock abundance on a continuing basis.

(d)  When possible and practicable, stocks of fish shall be managed as a biological unit.

(e)  Conservation and management measures shall assure proper quality control of marine resources that enter commerce.

(f)  State marine fishery management plans shall be developed to implement management of important marine fishery resources.

(g)  Conservation and management decisions shall be fair and equitable to all the people of this state and carried out in such a manner that no individual, corporation, or entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges.

(h)  Federal fishery management plans and fishery management plans of other states or interstate commissions should be considered when developing state marine fishery management plans. Inconsistencies should be avoided unless it is determined that it is in the best interest of the fisheries or residents of this state to be inconsistent.

(4)  Pursuant to s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution, the commission has full constitutional rulemaking authority over marine life, and listed species as defined in s. 372.072(3), except for:

(a)  Endangered or threatened marine species for which rulemaking shall be done pursuant to chapter 120; and

(b)  The authority to regulate fishing gear in residential, manmade saltwater canals which is retained by the Legislature and specifically not delegated to the commission.

(c)  Marine aquaculture products produced by an individual certified under s. 597.004. This exception does not apply to snook, prohibited and restricted marine species identified by rule of the commission, and rulemaking authority granted pursuant to s. 370.027.

History.--ss. 4, 5, ch. 83-134; ss. 16, 17, 18, ch. 93-213; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 94-247; s. 199, ch. 94-356; s. 8, ch. 98-203; s. 39, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2000-153.

1370.027  Rulemaking authority with respect to marine life.--Marine aquaculture producers shall be regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall adopt rules, by March 1, 2000, to regulate the sale of farmed red drum and spotted sea trout. These rules shall specifically provide for the protection of the wild resource, without restricting a certified aquaculture producer pursuant to s. 597.004 from being able to sell farmed fish. To that extent, these rules must only require that farmed fish be kept separate from wild fish and be fed commercial feed; that farmed fish be placed in sealed containers; that these sealed containers must have the name, address, telephone number and aquaculture certificate number, issued pursuant to s. 597.004, of the farmer clearly and indelibly placed on the container; and that this information must accompany the fish to the ultimate point of sale. Marine aquaculture products produced by a marine aquaculture producer, certified pursuant to s. 597.004, are exempt from Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission resource management rules, with the exception of such rules governing any fish of the genus Centropomus (snook). By July 1, 2000, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall develop procedures to allow persons possessing a valid aquaculture certificate of registration to sell and transport live snook produced in private ponds or private hatcheries as brood stock, to stock private ponds, or for aquarium display consistent with the provisions of rule 39-23.009, Florida Administrative Code.

History.--ss. 2, 5, ch. 83-134; s. 1, ch. 86-219; s. 2, ch. 86-240; ss. 16, 17, 18, ch. 93-213; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 94-247; s. 201, ch. 94-356; s. 11, ch. 96-247; s. 8, ch. 98-203; s. 9, ch. 98-333; s. 40, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 99-390.

1Note.--Section 11, ch. 89-98, provides that "[a]ny language contained within chapter 370, Florida Statutes, which is subject to being replaced by rules adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission under section 370.027, Florida Statutes, shall remain in force until the Governor and Cabinet have adopted appropriate rules pursuant to section 370.027, Florida Statutes." The Marine Fisheries Commission was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

370.028  Enforcement of commission rules; penalties for violation of rule.--Rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall be enforced by any law enforcement officer certified pursuant to s. 943.13. Any person who violates or otherwise fails to comply with any rule adopted by the commission shall be punished pursuant to s. 370.021(1).

History.--ss. 2, 5, ch. 83-134; ss. 3, 17, ch. 85-234; ss. 16, 17, 18, ch. 93-213; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 94-247; s. 8, ch. 98-203; s. 96, ch. 99-245.

370.03  Water bottoms.--

(1)  OWNERSHIP.--All beds and bottoms of navigable rivers, bayous, lagoons, lakes, bays, sounds, inlets, oceans, gulfs and other bodies of water within the jurisdiction of Florida shall be the property of the state except such as may be held under some grant or alienation heretofore made. No grant, sale or conveyance of any water bottom, except conditional leases and dispositions hereinafter provided for, shall hereafter be made by the state, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or any other official or political corporation. Persons who have received, or may hereafter receive permits to do business in this state, with their factories, shucking plants and shipping depots located in this state, may enjoy the right of fishing for oysters and clams from the natural reefs and bedding oysters and clams on leased bedding grounds, and shall have the right to employ such boats, vessels, or labor and assistants as they may need. Provided that no oysters shall be transported unshucked and in the shells, out of the state, except for use in what is commonly known as the "half-shell trade." When the oyster meats have been separated from the shells it shall be permissible to ship the meats out of the state for further processing and for canning or packing. It shall be unlawful to transport oysters out of the state, unshucked and in the shells, for processing or packing.

(2)  CONTROL.--The Department of Environmental Protection has exclusive power and control over all water bottoms, not held under some grant or alienation heretofore made, including such as may revert to the state by cancellation or otherwise, and may lease the same to any person irrespective of residence or citizenship, upon such terms, conditions and restrictions as said division may elect to impose, without limitation as to area to any one person, for the purpose of granting exclusive right to plant oysters or clams thereon and for the purpose of fishing, taking, catching, bedding and raising oysters, clams and other shellfish. No such lessee shall re-lease, sublease, sell or transfer any such water bottom or property; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as giving said department authority to lease sponge beds.

(3)  FEES FOR BOTTOM LEASES, ETC.--The department shall charge and receive a fee of $2 for each lease granted, and in all other cases, not specifically provided by this chapter, the same fees as are allowed clerks of the circuit court for like services. All fees shall be paid by the party served.

(4)  CONFIRMATION OF FORMER GRANTS; PROVISO.--All grants prior to June 1, 1913, made in pursuance of heretofore existing laws, where the person receiving such grant, the person's heirs or assigns, have bona fide complied with the requirements of said law, are hereby confirmed; provided, that if any material or natural oyster or clam reefs or beds on such granted premises are 100 square yards in area and contained natural oysters and clams (coon oysters not included) in sufficient quantity to have been resorted to by the general public for the purpose of gathering oysters or clams to sell for a livelihood, at the time they were planted by such grantee, his or her heirs or assigns, such reefs or beds are declared to be the property of the state; and when such beds or reefs exist within the territory heretofore granted as above set forth, or that may hereafter be leased, such grantee or lessee shall mark the boundaries of such oyster and clam reefs or beds as may be designated by the department as natural oyster or clam reefs or beds, clearly defining the boundaries of the same, and shall post notice or other device, as shall be required by the department, giving notice to the public that such oyster or clam beds or reefs are the property of the state, which said notice shall be maintained from September 1 to June 1 of each and every year, on each oyster bed or reef and on each clam bed for such period of each year as the board may direct, at the expense of the grantee or lessee. The department shall investigate all grants heretofore made, and where, in its opinion, the lessee or grantee has not bona fide complied with the law under which he or she received his or her grant or lease, and the department is authorized and required to institute legal proceedings to vacate the same, in order to use such lands for the benefit of the public, subject to the same dispositions as other bottoms.

History.--ss. 2, 3, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29941, 1955; ss. 14, 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 202, ch. 94-356; s. 982, ch. 95-148; s. 238, ch. 99-245.

370.06  Licenses.--

(1)  LICENSE ON PURSE SEINES.--There is levied, in addition to any other taxes thereon, an annual license tax of $25 upon each purse seine used in the waters of this state. This license fee shall be collected in the manner provided in this section.

(2)  SALTWATER PRODUCTS LICENSE.--

(a)  Every person, firm, or corporation that sells, offers for sale, barters, or exchanges for merchandise any saltwater products, or which harvests saltwater products with certain gear or equipment as specified by law, must have a valid saltwater products license, except that the holder of an aquaculture certificate under s. 597.004 is not required to purchase and possess a saltwater products license in order to possess, transport, or sell marine aquaculture products. Each saltwater products license allows the holder to engage in any of the activities for which the license is required. The license must be in the possession of the licenseholder or aboard the vessel and is subject to inspection at any time that harvesting activities for which a saltwater products license is required are being conducted.

(b)1.  A restricted species endorsement on the saltwater products license is required to sell to a licensed wholesale dealer those species which the state, by law or rule, has designated as "restricted species." This endorsement may be issued only to a person who is at least 16 years of age, or to a firm certifying that over 25 percent of its income or $5,000 of its income, whichever is less, is attributable to the sale of saltwater products pursuant to a saltwater products license issued under this paragraph or a similar license from another state. This endorsement may also be issued to a for-profit corporation if it certifies that at least $5,000 of its income is attributable to the sale of saltwater products pursuant to a saltwater products license issued under this paragraph or a similar license from another state. However, if at least 50 percent of the annual income of a person, firm, or for-profit corporation is derived from charter fishing, the person, firm, or for-profit corporation must certify that at least $2,500 of the income of the person, firm, or corporation is attributable to the sale of saltwater products pursuant to a saltwater products license issued under this paragraph or a similar license from another state, in order to be issued the endorsement. Such income attribution must apply to at least 1 of the last 3 years. For the purpose of this section, "income" means that income that is attributable to work, employment, entrepreneurship, pensions, retirement benefits, and social security benefits.

2.  To renew an existing restricted species endorsement, a marine aquaculture producer possessing a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement may apply income from the sale of marine aquaculture products to licensed wholesale dealers.

3.  The commission is authorized to require verification of such income for all restricted species endorsements issued pursuant to this paragraph. Acceptable proof of income earned from the sale of saltwater products shall be:

a.  Copies of trip ticket records generated pursuant to this subsection (marine fisheries information system), documenting qualifying sale of saltwater products;

b.  Copies of sales records from locales other than Florida documenting qualifying sale of saltwater products;

c.  A copy of the applicable federal income tax return, including Form 1099 attachments, verifying income earned from the sale of saltwater products;

d.  Crew share statements verifying income earned from the sale of saltwater products; or

e.  A certified public accountant's notarized statement attesting to qualifying source and amount of income.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who owns a retail seafood market or restaurant at a fixed location for at least 3 years, who has had an occupational license for 3 years prior to January 1, 1990, who harvests saltwater products to supply his or her retail store, and who has had a saltwater products license for 1 of the past 3 license years prior to January 1, 1990, may provide proof of his or her verification of income and sales value at the person's retail seafood market or restaurant and in his or her saltwater products enterprise by affidavit and shall thereupon be issued a restricted species endorsement.

4.  Exceptions from income requirements shall be as follows:

a.  A permanent restricted species endorsement shall be available to those persons age 62 and older who have qualified for such endorsement for at least 3 of the last 5 years.

b.  Active military duty time shall be excluded from consideration of time necessary to qualify and shall not be counted against the applicant for purposes of qualifying.

c.  Upon the sale of a used commercial fishing vessel owned by a person, firm, or corporation possessing or eligible for a restricted species endorsement, the purchaser of such vessel shall be exempted from the qualifying income requirement for the purpose of obtaining a restricted species endorsement for a period of 1 year after purchase of the vessel.

d.  Upon the death or permanent disablement of a person possessing a restricted species endorsement, an immediate family member wishing to carry on the fishing operation shall be exempted from the qualifying income requirement for the purpose of obtaining a restricted species endorsement for a period of 1 year after the death or disablement.

e.  A restricted species endorsement may be issued on an individual saltwater products license to a person age 62 or older who documents that at least $2,500 of such person's income is attributable to the sale of saltwater products.

f.  A permanent restricted species endorsement may also be issued on an individual saltwater products license to a person age 70 or older who has held a saltwater products license for at least 3 of the last 5 license years.

g.  Any resident who is certified to be totally and permanently disabled by the Railroad Retirement Board, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor, or by any branch of the United States Armed Forces, or who holds a valid identification card issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs pursuant to s. 295.17, upon proof of the same, or any resident certified to be disabled by the United States Social Security Administration or a licensed physician, upon proof of the same, shall be exempted from the income requirements if he or she also has held a saltwater products license for at least 3 of the last 5 license years prior to the date of the disability. A restricted species endorsement issued under this paragraph may be issued only on an individual saltwater products license.

(c)  At least one saltwater products license bearing a restricted species endorsement shall be aboard any vessel harvesting restricted species in excess of any bag limit or when fishing under a commercial quota or in commercial quantities, and such vessel shall have a commercial vessel registration. This subsection does not apply to any person, firm, or corporation licensed under s. 370.07(1)(a)1. or (b) for activities pursuant to such licenses.

(d)  A saltwater products license may be issued in the name of an individual or a valid commercial vessel registration number. However, a firm or corporation may only receive a license issued to a valid commercial vessel registration number. A saltwater products license may not be transferred by the licenseholder to another individual, firm, or corporation. A decal shall be issued with each saltwater products license issued to a valid commercial vessel registration number. The saltwater products license decal shall be the same color as the vessel registration decal issued each year pursuant to s. 328.48(5) and shall indicate the period of time such license is valid. The saltwater products license decal shall be placed beside the vessel registration decal and, in the case of an undocumented vessel, shall be placed so that the vessel registration decal lies between the commercial vessel registration number and the saltwater products license decal. Any saltwater products license decal for a previous year shall be removed from a vessel operating on the waters of the state.

(e)  The annual fee for a saltwater products license is:

1.  For a license issued in the name of an individual which authorizes only that individual to engage in commercial fishing activities from the shore or a vessel: a resident must pay $50; a nonresident must pay $200; or an alien must pay $300.

2.  For a license issued in the name of an individual which authorizes that named individual to engage in commercial fishing activities from the shore or a vessel and also authorizes each person who is fishing with the named individual aboard a vessel to engage in such activities: a resident must pay $150; a nonresident must pay $600; or an alien must pay $900.

3.  For a license issued to a valid commercial vessel registration number which authorizes each person aboard such registered vessel to engage in commercial fishing activities: a resident, or a resident firm or corporation, must pay $100; a nonresident, or a nonresident firm or corporation, must pay $400; or an alien, or an alien firm or corporation, must pay $600. For purposes of this subparagraph, a resident firm or corporation means a firm or corporation formed under the laws of this state; a nonresident firm or corporation means a firm or corporation formed under the laws of any state other than Florida; and an alien firm or corporation means a firm or corporation organized under any laws other than laws of the United States, any United States territory or possession, or any state of the United States.

(f)  Any person who sells saltwater products pursuant to a saltwater products license may sell only to a licensed wholesale dealer. A saltwater products license must be presented to the licensed wholesale dealer each time saltwater products are sold, and an imprint made thereof. The wholesale dealer shall keep records of each transaction in such detail as may be required by rule of the commission not in conflict with s. 370.07(6), and shall provide the holder of the saltwater products license with a copy of the record. It is unlawful for any licensed wholesale dealer to buy saltwater products from any unlicensed person under the provisions of this section, except that a licensed wholesale dealer may buy from another licensed wholesale dealer. It is unlawful for any licensed wholesale dealer to buy saltwater products designated as "restricted species" from any person, firm, or corporation not possessing a restricted species endorsement on his or her saltwater products license under the provisions of this section, except that a licensed wholesale dealer may buy from another licensed wholesale dealer. For purposes of this subsection, any saltwater products received by a wholesale dealer are presumed to have been purchased.

(g)  The commission shall be the licensing agency, may contract with private persons or entities to implement aspects of the licensing program, and shall establish by rule a marine fisheries information system in conjunction with the licensing program to gather fisheries data.

(h)  Any person who sells, offers for sale, barters, or exchanges for merchandise saltwater products must have a method of catch preservation which meets the requirements and standards of the seafood quality control code promulgated by the commission.

(i)  A saltwater products license is required to harvest commercial quantities of saltwater products. Any vessel from which commercial quantities of saltwater products are harvested must have a commercial vessel registration. Commercial quantities of saltwater products shall be defined as:

1.  With respect to those species for which no bag limit has been established, more than 100 pounds per person per day, provided that the harvesting of two fish or less per person per day shall not be considered commercial quantities regardless of aggregate weight; and

2.  With respect to those species for which a bag limit has been established, more than the bag limit allowed by law or rule.

(j)1.  In addition to the saltwater products license, a marine life fishing endorsement is required for the harvest of marine life species as defined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This endorsement may be issued only to a person who is at least 16 years of age or older or to a corporation holding a valid restricted species endorsement.

2.a.  Effective July 1, 1998, and until July 1, 2002, a marine life endorsement may not be issued under this paragraph, except that those endorsements that are active during the 1997-1998 fiscal year may be renewed.

b.  In 1998 persons or corporations holding a marine life endorsement that was active in the 1997-1998 fiscal year or an immediate family member of that person must request renewal of the marine life endorsement before December 31, 1998.

c.  In subsequent years and until July 1, 2002, a marine life endorsement holder or member of his or her immediate family must request renewal of the marine life endorsement before September 30 of each year.

d.  If a person or corporation holding an active marine life fishing endorsement or a member of that person's immediate family does not request renewal of the endorsement before the applicable dates specified in this paragraph, the commission shall deactivate that marine life fishing endorsement.

e.  In the event of the death or disability of a person holding an active marine life fishing endorsement, the endorsement may be transferred by the person to a member of his or her immediate family or may be renewed by any person so designated by the executor of the person's estate.

f.  Persons or corporations who hold saltwater product licenses with marine life fishing endorsements issued to their vessel registration numbers and who subsequently replace their existing vessels with new vessels may transfer the existing marine life fishing endorsement to the new boat registration numbers.

g.  Persons or corporations who hold saltwater product licenses with marine life fishing endorsements issued to their name and who subsequently incorporate or unincorporate may transfer the existing marine life fishing endorsement to the new corporation or person.

3.  The fee for a marine life fishery endorsement on a saltwater products license shall be $75. These license fees shall be collected and deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and used for the purchase and installation of vessel mooring buoys at coral reef sites and for research related to marine fisheries.

(3)  NET LICENSES.--Except for cast nets and bait seines which are 100 feet in length or less and which have a mesh that is 3/8 inch or less, all nets used to take finfish, including, but not limited to, gill nets, trammel nets, and beach seines, must be licensed or registered. Each net used to take finfish for commercial purposes, or by a nonresident, must be licensed under a saltwater products license issued pursuant to subsection (2) and must bear the number of such license.

(4)  SPECIAL ACTIVITY LICENSES.--

(a)  A special activity license is required for any person to use gear or equipment not authorized in this chapter or rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for harvesting saltwater species. In accordance with this chapter, s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, and rules of the commission, the commission may issue special activity licenses for the use of nonconforming gear or equipment, including, but not limited to, trawls, seines and entangling nets, traps, and hook and line gear, to be used in harvesting saltwater species for scientific and governmental purposes, and, where allowable, for innovative fisheries. The commission may prescribe by rule application requirements and terms, conditions, and restrictions to be incorporated into each special activity license. This subsection does not apply to gear or equipment used by certified marine aquaculturists as provided for in s. 597.004 to harvest marine aquaculture products.

(b)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to issue special activity licenses in accordance with this section and s. 370.31, to permit the importation and possession of wild anadromous sturgeon. The commission is also authorized to issue special activity licenses, in accordance with this section and s. 370.31, to permit the importation, possession, and aquaculture of native and nonnative anadromous sturgeon until best-management practices are implemented for the cultivation of anadromous sturgeon pursuant to s. 597.004. The special activity license shall provide for specific management practices to protect indigenous populations of saltwater species.

(c)  The conditions and specific management practices established in this section shall be incorporated into permits and authorizations issued pursuant to chapter 253, chapter 373, chapter 403, or this chapter, when incorporating such provisions is in accordance with the aquaculture permit consolidation procedures. No separate issuance of a special activity license is required when conditions and specific management practices are incorporated into permits or authorizations under this paragraph. Implementation of this section to consolidate permitting actions does not constitute rules within the meaning of s. 120.52.

(d)  The commission is authorized to issue special activity licenses in accordance with s. 370.101 and this section; aquaculture permit consolidation procedures in s. 370.26(2); and rules of the commission to permit the capture and possession of saltwater species protected by law and used as stock for artificial cultivation and propagation.

(e)  The commission is authorized to adopt rules to govern the administration of special activities licenses as provided in this chapter and rules of the commission. Such rules may prescribe application requirements and terms, conditions, and restrictions for any such special activity license requested pursuant to this section.

(5)  APALACHICOLA BAY OYSTER HARVESTING LICENSE.--

(a)  For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

1.  "Person" means an individual.

2.  "Resident" means any person who has:

a.  Continuously resided in this state for 6 months immediately preceding the making of his or her application for an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license; or

b.  Established a domicile in this state and evidenced that domicile as provided in s. 222.17.

(b)  No person shall harvest oysters from the Apalachicola Bay without a valid Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This requirement shall not apply to anyone harvesting noncommercial quantities of oysters in accordance with chapter 46-27, Florida Administrative Code, or to any person less than 18 years old.

(c)  Any person wishing to obtain an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license shall submit an annual fee for the license during a 45-day period from May 17 to June 30 of each year preceding the license year for which the license is valid. Failure to pay the annual fee within the required time period shall result in a $500 late fee being imposed before issuance of the license.

(d)  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall collect an annual fee of $100 from residents and $500 from nonresidents for the issuance of an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license. The license year shall begin on July 1 of each year and end on June 30 of the following year. The license shall be valid only for the licensee. Only bona fide residents of Florida may obtain a resident license pursuant to this subsection.

(e)  Each person who applies for an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license shall, before receiving the license for the first time, attend an educational seminar of not more than 16 hours length, developed and conducted jointly by the Department of Environmental Protection's Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Apalachicola District Shellfish Environmental Assessment Laboratory. The seminar shall address, among other things, oyster biology, conservation of the Apalachicola Bay, sanitary care of oysters, small business management, and water safety. The seminar shall be offered five times per year, and each person attending shall receive a certificate of participation to present when obtaining an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license. The educational seminar is not required for renewal of an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license.

(f)  Each person, while harvesting oysters in Apalachicola Bay, shall have in possession a valid Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license, or proof of having applied for a license within the required time period, and shall produce such license or proof of application upon request of any law enforcement officer.

(g)  Each person who obtains an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license shall prominently display the license number upon any vessel the person owns which is used for the taking of oysters, in numbers which are at least 10 inches high and 1 inch wide, so that the permit number is readily identifiable from the air and water. Only one vessel displaying a given number may be used at any time. A licensee may harvest oysters from the vessel of another licensee.

(h)  Any person holding an Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license shall receive credit for the license fee against the saltwater products license fee.

(i)  The proceeds from Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license fees shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund and, less reasonable administrative costs, shall be used or distributed by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the following purposes in Apalachicola Bay:

1.  Relaying and transplanting live oysters.

2.  Shell planting to construct or rehabilitate oyster bars.

3.  Education programs for licensed oyster harvesters on oyster biology, aquaculture, boating and water safety, sanitation, resource conservation, small business management, marketing, and other relevant subjects.

4.  Research directed toward the enhancement of oyster production in the bay and the water management needs of the bay.

(j)  Any person who violates any of the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (d)-(g) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the application of existing penalties.

(k)  Any oyster harvesting license issued pursuant to this subsection must be in compliance with the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulating gear or equipment, harvest seasons, size and bag limits, and the taking of saltwater species.

(6)  LICENSE YEAR.--The license year on all licenses relating to saltwater products dealers, seafood dealers, aliens, residents, and nonresidents, unless otherwise provided, shall begin on July 1 of each year and end on June 30 of the next succeeding year. All licenses shall be so dated. However, if the commission determines that it is in the best interest of the state to issue a license required under this chapter to an individual on the birthday of the applicant, the commission may establish by rule a procedure to do so. This section does not apply to licenses and permits when their use is confined to an open season.

(7)  LICENSES SUBJECT TO INSPECTION; NONTRANSFERABLE; EXCEPTION.--Licenses of every kind and nature granted under the provisions of the fish and game laws of this state are at all times subject to inspection by the police officers of this state and the officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Such licenses are not transferable unless otherwise provided by law.

(8)  COLLECTION OF LICENSES, FEES.--Unless otherwise provided by law, all license taxes or fees provided for in this chapter shall be collected by the commission or its duly authorized agents or deputies to be deposited by the Chief Financial Officer in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund. The commission may by rule establish a reasonable processing fee for any free license or permit required under this chapter. The commission is authorized to accept payment by credit card for fees, fines, and civil penalties levied pursuant to this chapter.

(9)  DENIAL OF LICENSE RENEWAL OR ISSUANCE.--The commission shall deny the renewal or issuance of any saltwater products license, wholesale dealer license, or retail dealer license to anyone that has unpaid fees, civil assessments, or fines owed to the commission.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 3, 4, ch. 59-399; s. 1, ch. 59-499; s. 1, ch. 61-520; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-399; s. 2, ch. 70-336; s. 281, ch. 71-136; s. 104, ch. 71-355; s. 2, ch. 78-56; s. 10, ch. 83-134; s. 34, ch. 85-81; s. 4, ch. 85-234; s. 2, ch. 86-219; s. 3, ch. 86-240; s. 2, ch. 87-116; s. 2, ch. 87-120; s. 17, ch. 89-175; ss. 1, 3, ch. 89-250; ss. 1, 2, 5, 6, ch. 90-310; ss. 17, 18, ch. 91-78; ss. 1, 4, ch. 91-254; s. 4, ch. 92-60; s. 11, ch. 93-223; s. 1, ch. 94-174; s. 209, ch. 94-356; s. 983, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 96-247; s. 23, ch. 96-321; s. 37, ch. 97-160; s. 19, ch. 97-164; s. 1, ch. 98-200; s. 3, ch. 98-203; s. 10, ch. 98-333; s. 150, ch. 99-13; ss. 41, 97, ch. 99-245; s. 33, ch. 99-289; s. 2, ch. 99-390; s. 51, ch. 2000-158; s. 34, ch. 2000-362; ss. 9, 37, ch. 2000-364; s. 1, ch. 2001-272; s. 2, ch. 2002-264; s. 380, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2005-158.

370.0603  Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund; purposes.--

(1)  The Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall serve as a broad-based depository for funds from various marine-related and boating-related activities and shall be administered by the commission for the purposes of:

(a)  Funding for marine research.

(b)  Funding for fishery enhancement, including, but not limited to, fishery statistics development, artificial reefs, and fish hatcheries.

(c)  Funding for marine law enforcement.

(d)  Funding for administration of licensing programs for recreational fishing, saltwater products sales, and related information and education activities.

(e)  Funding for the operations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(f)  Funding for titling and registration of vessels.

(g)  Funding for marine turtle protection, research, and recovery activities from revenues that are specifically credited to the trust fund for these purposes.

(h)  Funding activities for rehabilitation of oyster harvesting areas from which special oyster surcharge fees are collected, including relaying and transplanting live oysters.

(i)  Funding for boating research, boating-related programs and activities, and for law enforcement on state waters.

(2)  The Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund shall receive the proceeds from:

(a)  All license fees collected pursuant to ss. 370.06 and 370.07.

(b)  All funds collected from the registration of vessels and other fees pursuant to s. 328.72.

(c)  All fees collected pursuant to ss. 370.063, 370.142, and 372.5704.

(d)  All fines and penalties pursuant to s. 370.021.

(e)  Other revenues as provided by law.

(3)  Funds provided to the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund from taxes distributed under s. 201.15(11) shall be used for the following purposes:

(a)  To reimburse the cost of activities authorized pursuant to the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior. Such facilities must be involved in the actual rescue and full-time acute care veterinarian-based rehabilitation of manatees. The cost of activities includes, but is not limited to, costs associated with expansion, capital outlay, repair, maintenance, and operation related to the rescue, treatment, stabilization, maintenance, release, and monitoring of manatees. Moneys distributed through the contractual agreement to each facility for manatee rehabilitation must be proportionate to the number of manatees under acute care rehabilitation; the number of maintenance days medically necessary in the facility; and the number released during the previous fiscal year. The commission may set a cap on the total amount reimbursed per manatee per year.

(b)  For training on the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of marine mammals at the Whitney Laboratory and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida.

(c)  For program administration costs of the agency.

(d)  Funds not distributed in any 1 fiscal year must be carried over for distribution in subsequent years.

(4)  Funds transferred to the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund from the Fuel Tax Collection Trust Fund pursuant to s. 206.606 shall be used for the following purposes:

(a)  To provide additional water-related law enforcement positions within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission primarily for the purpose of enforcing laws designed to protect manatee populations. Law enforcement positions funded under this provision shall be assigned to counties having the highest incidence of manatee deaths and injuries.

(b)  For the placement of uniform waterway markers on state waters.

(c)  To provide funding for construction and maintenance of publicly owned boat ramps, piers, and docks, directly and through grants to counties and municipalities.

(d)  To implement and administer programs related to boating safety and education, manatee technical avoidance technology, and economic development initiatives to promote boating in the state, including competitive grants programs as provided in s. 327.47.

(e)  For other activities of the Boating and Waterways Section such as coordinating the submission of state comments on boating-related events.

Funds not used in one fiscal year must be carried over for use in subsequent years.

History.--s. 24, ch. 96-321; s. 59, ch. 99-245; s. 34, ch. 99-289; s. 35, ch. 2000-197; s. 2, ch. 2001-62; s. 51, ch. 2002-1; s. 4, ch. 2002-46; s. 4, ch. 2003-156; s. 3, ch. 2004-264.

370.0607  Marine information system.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall establish by rule a marine information system in conjunction with the licensing program to gather marine fisheries data.

History.--s. 6, ch. 89-270; s. 211, ch. 94-356; s. 239, ch. 99-245.

370.06091  Memorandum of agreement relating to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.--A memorandum of agreement will be developed between the Department of Environmental Protection and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which will detail the responsibilities of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to the department, to include, at a minimum, the following services:

(1)  Environmental monitoring and assessment.

(2)  Restoration research and development of restoration technology.

(3)  Technical support and response for oil spills, ship groundings, major marine species die-offs, hazardous spills, and natural disasters.

History.--s. 14, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2004-264.

370.06092  Harmful-Algal-Bloom Task Force.--

(1)  There is established a Harmful-Algal-Bloom Task Force for the purpose of determining research, monitoring, control, and mitigation strategies for red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida waters. The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shall appoint to the task force scientists, engineers, economists, members of citizen groups, and members of government. The task force shall determine research and monitoring priorities and control and mitigation strategies and make recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for using funds as provided in this act.

(2)  The Harmful-Algal-Bloom Task Force shall:

(a)  Review the status and adequacy of information for monitoring physical, chemical, biological, economic, and public health factors affecting harmful algal blooms in Florida;

(b)  Develop research and monitoring priorities for harmful algal blooms in Florida, including detection, prediction, mitigation, and control;

(c)  Develop recommendations that can be implemented by state and local governments to develop a response plan and to predict, mitigate, and control the effects of harmful algal blooms; and

(d)  Make recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for research, detection, monitoring, prediction, mitigation, and control of harmful algal blooms in Florida.

History.--s. 1, ch. 99-185; s. 5, ch. 2004-264.

370.06093  Harmful-algal-bloom program; implementation; goals; funding.--

(1)(a)  The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute shall implement a program designed to increase the knowledge of factors that control harmful algal blooms, including red tide, and to gain knowledge to be used for the early detection of factors precipitating harmful algal blooms for accurate prediction of the extent and seriousness of harmful algal blooms and for undertaking successful efforts to control and mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms.

(b)  The Legislature intends that this program enhance and address areas that are not adequately covered in the cooperative federal-state program known as Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB-Florida), which includes the University of South Florida, the Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

(c)  The goal of this program is to enable resource managers to assess the potential for public health damage and economic damage from a given bloom and to undertake control and mitigation efforts through the development and application of an integrated detection and prediction network for monitoring and responding to the development and movement of harmful algal blooms in Florida marine and estuarine waters.

(2)  A financial disbursement program is created within the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute to implement the provisions of this act. Under the program, the institute shall provide funding and technical assistance to government agencies, research universities, coastal local governments, and organizations with scientific and technical expertise for the purposes of harmful-algal-bloom research, economic impact study, monitoring, detection, control, and mitigation. The program may be funded from state, federal, and private contributions.

History.--s. 2, ch. 99-185; s. 6, ch. 2004-264.

370.061  Confiscation, seizure, and forfeiture of property and products.--

(1)  SEIZURE, FORFEITURE; PROCEDURE.--Nothing in this subsection affects the commission's authority to confiscate in any case illegal saltwater products, illegally taken saltwater products, or illegal fishing gear in accordance with this section.

(a)  Property used in connection with a violation resulting in a conviction for the illegal taking, or attempted taking, sale, possession, or transportation of saltwater products is subject to seizure and forfeiture as part of the commission's efforts to protect the state's marine life. Saltwater products and seines, nets, boats, motors, other fishing devices or equipment, and vehicles or other means of transportation used or attempted to be used in connection with, as an instrumentality of, or in aiding and abetting such illegal taking or attempted taking are hereby declared to be nuisances.

(b)  Upon a conviction of a person in whose possession the property was found, the court having jurisdiction over the criminal offense, notwithstanding any jurisdictional limitations on the amount in controversy, may make a finding that the property was used in connection with a saltwater products violation and may order such property forfeited to the commission.

(c)  For purposes of this section, a conviction, except with respect to a first time offender under this chapter for whom adjudication is withheld, is any disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

(2)  SEIZURE, FORFEITURE; NOTICE.--The requirement for a conviction before forfeiture of property establishes to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt that the property was used in connection with the violation resulting in conviction. Prior to the issuance of a forfeiture order for any vessel, vehicle, or other property under subsection (1), the commission shall seize the property and notify the registered owner, if any, that the property has been seized by the commission. Except as provided in subsection (6), the procedures of chapter 932 do not apply to any seizure or forfeiture of property under this section.

(a)  Notification of property seized under this section must be sent by certified mail to a registered owner within 14 days after seizure. If the commission, after diligent inquiry, cannot ascertain the registered owner, the notice requirement is satisfied.

(b)  Upon a first conviction for a violation under this chapter, the property seized under this section shall be returned to the registered owner if the commission fails to prove by a preponderance of the evidence before the court having jurisdiction over the criminal offense that the registered owner aided in, abetted in, participated in, gave consent to, knew of, or had reason to know of the violation.

(c)  Upon a second or subsequent conviction for a violation under this chapter, the burden shall be on the registered owner to prove by a preponderance of the evidence before the court having jurisdiction over the criminal offense that the registered owner in no way aided in, abetted in, participated in, knew of, or had reason to know of the second or subsequent violation which resulted in seizure of the lawful property.

(d)  Any request for a hearing from a registered owner asserting innocence to recover property seized under these provisions must be sent to the commission's Division of Law Enforcement within 21 days after the registered owner's receipt of the notice of seizure. If a request for a hearing is not timely received, the court shall forfeit to the commission the right to, title to, and interest in the property seized, subject only to the rights and interests of bona fide lienholders.

(e)  If a motor vehicle is seized under this section and is subject to any existing liens recorded under s. 319.27, all further proceedings shall be governed by the expressed intent of the Legislature not to divest any innocent person, firm, or corporation holding such a recorded lien of any of its reversionary rights in such motor vehicle or of any of its rights as prescribed in s. 319.27, and upon any default by the violator purchaser, the lienholder may foreclose its lien and take possession of the motor vehicle involved.

(3)  COURT ORDER OF FORFEITURE.--When any illegal or illegally used seine, net, trap, or other fishing device or equipment, or illegally taken, possessed, or transported saltwater products, are found and taken into custody, and the owner thereof is not known to the officer finding the item or items, such officer shall immediately procure from the county court judge of the county wherein the item or items were found an order forfeiting the illegally used or illegally taken saltwater products, seines, nets, traps, boats, motors, or other fishing devices to the commission.

(4)  DESTRUCTION OR DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY.--All property forfeited under this section may be destroyed, used by the commission, disposed of by gift to charitable or state institutions, or sold, with the proceeds derived from the sale deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used for law enforcement purposes, or into the commission's Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund as provided in s. 372.107, as applicable.

(5)  CONFISCATION AND SALE OF PERISHABLE SALTWATER PRODUCTS; PROCEDURE.--

(a)  When an arrest is made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and illegal, perishable saltwater products or saltwater products illegally taken or landed are confiscated, the defendant may post bond or cash deposit in an amount determined by the judge to be the fair value of such confiscated products. The defendant shall have 24 hours to transport the products outside the limits of Florida for sale or other disposition. Should no bond or cash deposit be given within the time fixed by the judge, the judge shall order the sale of the confiscated saltwater products at the highest price obtainable. When feasible, at least three bids shall be requested.

(b)  Moneys received from the sale of confiscated saltwater products, either by the defendant or by order of the court, shall be received by the judge and shall be remitted to the commission to be deposited into a special escrow account in the State Treasury to be held in trust pending the outcome of the trial of the defendant. If bond is posted by the defendant, it shall also be remitted to the commission to be held in escrow pending the outcome of the trial of the defendant.

(c)  In the event of acquittal, the proceeds of a sale or the bond or cash deposit required by this subsection shall be returned to the defendant. In the event of a conviction, the proceeds of a sale or the bond or cash deposit required by this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used for law enforcement purposes or into the commission's Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund as provided in s. 372.107, as applicable. Such deposit into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund or the Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund shall constitute confiscation.

(d)  For purposes of confiscation under this subsection, the term "saltwater products" has the meaning set out in s. 370.01(26), except that the term does not include saltwater products harvested under the authority of a recreational license unless the amount of such harvested products exceeds three times the applicable recreational bag limit for trout, snook, or redfish.

(6)  MUNICIPAL OR COUNTY ENFORCEMENT; SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING.--

(a)  Any municipal or county law enforcement agency that enforces or assists the commission in enforcing the provisions of this chapter, which results in a forfeiture of property as provided in this section, shall be entitled to receive all or a share of any property based upon its participation in such enforcement.

(b)  If a municipal or county law enforcement agency has a marine enforcement unit, any property delivered to any municipal or county law enforcement agency as provided in paragraph (a) may be retained or sold by the municipal or county law enforcement agency, and the property or proceeds shall be used to enforce the provisions of this chapter and chapters 327 and 328. If a municipal or county law enforcement agency does not have a marine enforcement unit, such property or proceeds shall be disposed of under the provisions of chapter 932.

(c)  Any funds received by a municipal or county law enforcement agency pursuant to this subsection shall be supplemental funds and may not be used as replacement funds by the municipality or county.

History.--s. 3, ch. 61-231; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 24, ch. 73-334; s. 1, ch. 77-181; s. 1, ch. 85-304; s. 1, ch. 90-286; s. 556, ch. 95-148; s. 27, ch. 96-321; s. 3, ch. 98-390; s. 241, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2002-264; s. 8, ch. 2003-143.

370.063  Special recreational crawfish license.--There is created a special recreational crawfish license, to be issued to qualified persons as provided by this section for the recreational harvest of crawfish (spiny lobster) beginning August 5, 1994.

(1)  The special recreational crawfish license shall be available to any individual crawfish trap number holder who also possesses a saltwater products license during the 1993-1994 license year. A person issued a special recreational crawfish license may not also possess a trap number.

(2)  The special recreational crawfish license is required in order to harvest crawfish from state territorial waters in quantities in excess of the regular recreational bag limit but not in excess of a special bag limit as established by the 1Marine Fisheries Commission for these harvesters before the 1994-1995 license year. Such special bag limit does not apply during the 2-day sport season established by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(3)  The holder of a special recreational crawfish license must also possess the recreational crawfish permit required by s. 372.57(8)(d).

(4)  As a condition precedent to the issuance of a special recreational crawfish license, the applicant must agree to file quarterly reports with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in such form as the commission requires, detailing the amount of the licenseholder's crawfish (spiny lobster) harvest in the previous quarter, including the harvest of other recreational harvesters aboard the licenseholder's vessel.

(5)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall issue special recreational crawfish licenses. The fee for each such license is $100 per year. Each license issued in any license year must be renewed by June 30 of each subsequent year by the initial individual holder thereof. Noncompliance with the reporting requirement in subsection (4) or with the special recreational bag limit established under subsection (6) constitutes grounds for which the commission may refuse to renew the license for a subsequent license year. The number of such licenses outstanding in any one license year may not exceed the number issued for the 1994-1995 license year. A license is not transferable by any method. Licenses that are not renewed expire and may be reissued by the commission in the subsequent license year to new applicants otherwise qualified under this section.

(6)  To promote conservation of the spiny lobster (crawfish) resource, consistent with equitable distribution and availability of the resource, the commission shall establish a spiny lobster management plan incorporating the special recreational crawfish license, including, but not limited to, the establishment of a special recreational bag limit for the holders of such license as required by subsection (2). Such special recreational bag limit must not be less than twice the higher of the daily recreational bag limits.

(7)  The proceeds of the fees collected under this section must be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and used as follows:

(a)  Thirty-five percent for research and the development of reliable recreational catch statistics for the crawfish (spiny lobster) fishery.

(b)  Twenty percent for administration of this section.

(c)  Forty-five percent to be used for enforcement of this section.

History.--ss. 7, 8, ch. 93-223; s. 216, ch. 94-356; s. 29, ch. 96-321; s. 152, ch. 99-13; s. 43, ch. 99-245; s. 5, ch. 2002-46.

1Note.--Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

370.07  Wholesale and retail saltwater products dealers; regulation.--

(1)  DEFINITIONS; LICENSES AUTHORIZED.--Annual license or privilege taxes are hereby levied and imposed upon dealers in the state in saltwater products. It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to deal in any such products without first paying for and procuring the license required by this section. Application for all licenses shall be made to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on blanks to be furnished by it. All licenses shall be issued by the commission upon payment to it of the license tax. The licenses are defined as:

(a)1.  "Wholesale county dealer" is any person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products to any person, firm, or corporation except to the consumer and who may buy saltwater products in the county designated on the wholesale license from any person licensed pursuant to s. 370.06(2) or from any licensed wholesale dealer.

2.  "Wholesale state dealer" is a person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products to any person, firm, or corporation except to the consumer and who may buy saltwater products in any county of the state from any person licensed pursuant to s. 370.06(2) or from any licensed wholesale dealer.

3.  "Wholesale dealer" is either a county or a state dealer.

(b)  A "retail dealer" is any person, firm, or corporation which sells saltwater products directly to the consumer, but no license is required of a dealer in merchandise who deals in or sells saltwater products consumed on the premises or prepared for immediate consumption and sold to be taken out of any restaurant licensed by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Any person, firm, or corporation which is both a wholesale dealer and a retail dealer shall obtain both a wholesale dealer's license and a retail dealer's license. If a wholesale dealer has more than one place of business, the annual license tax shall be effective for all places of business, provided that the wholesale dealer supplies to the commission a complete list of additional places of business upon application for the annual license tax.

(2)  LICENSES; AMOUNT, TRUST FUND.--

(a)  A resident wholesale county seafood dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $300.

(b)  A resident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $450.

(c)  A nonresident wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $500.

(d)  A nonresident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,000.

(e)  An alien wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,000.

(f)  An alien wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,500.

(g)  A resident retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $25; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $25 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $10 for each other place of business.

(h)  A nonresident retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $200; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $200 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $25 for each other place of business.

(i)  An alien retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $250; however, if such a dealer has more than one place of business, the dealer shall designate one place of business as a central place of business, shall pay an annual license tax of $250 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $50 for each other place of business.

(j)  License or privilege taxes, together with any other funds derived from the Federal Government or from any other source, shall be deposited in a Florida Saltwater Products Promotion Trust Fund to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the sole purpose of promoting all fish and saltwater products produced in this state, except that 4 percent of the total wholesale and retail saltwater products dealer's license fees collected shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund administered by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the purpose of processing wholesale and retail saltwater products dealer's licenses.

(3)  APALACHICOLA BAY OYSTER SURCHARGE.--

(a)  For purposes of this section, "bag" means an amount of oysters with shells weighing approximately 60 pounds.

(b)  Effective October 1, 1989, there shall be assessed a surcharge of 50 cents on each bag of oysters to be paid by the wholesale dealer first receiving, using, or selling the oysters after harvesting from the waters of Apalachicola Bay.

(c)1.  Each wholesale dealer shall certify, on such forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, to any subsequent purchasing wholesale dealer or other purchaser that the surcharge imposed by this subsection has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer first receiving the oysters.

2.  In the case where the harvester is also the wholesale dealer, such wholesale dealer shall maintain documentation, on forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, adequate to establish that the surcharge has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer.

3.  In such case where the wholesale dealer is also the retail dealer under paragraph (1)(b), such wholesale dealer shall maintain documentation, on forms as may be prescribed by the Department of Revenue, adequate to establish that the surcharge has been paid or will be paid by such wholesale dealer.

(d)  Except for the collection allowance pursuant to s. 212.12 and estimated tax filing requirements pursuant to s. 212.11, the same duties and privileges imposed by chapter 212 upon dealers of tangible personal property respecting the remission of the surcharge, the making of returns, penalties and interest, the keeping of books, records and accounts, and the compliance with the rules of the Department of Revenue in the administration of chapter 212 shall apply and be binding upon all wholesale dealers who are subject to the surcharge imposed by this subsection.

(e)  The Department of Revenue shall keep records showing the amount of the surcharge collected.

(f)  The Department of Revenue shall collect the surcharge for transfer into the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(g)  The Department of Revenue is empowered to promulgate rules, establish audit procedures for the audit of wholesale dealers, assess for delinquency, and prescribe and publish such forms as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this subsection.

(h)  Annually, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall furnish the Department of Revenue with a current list of wholesale dealers in the state.

(i)  Collections received by the Department of Revenue from the surcharge shall be transferred quarterly to the General Inspection Trust Fund of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, less the costs of administration.

(j)  The executive director of the Department of Revenue is hereby authorized to adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4) for purposes of implementing this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, such emergency rules shall remain effective for 6 months from the date of adoption. Other rules of the Department of Revenue related to and in furtherance of the orderly implementation of this subsection shall not be subject to a s. 120.56(2) rule challenge or a s. 120.54(3)(c)2. drawout proceeding but, once adopted, shall be subject to a s. 120.56(3) invalidity challenge. Such rules shall be adopted by the Governor and Cabinet and shall become effective upon filing with the Department of State, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 120.54(3)(e)6.

(k)  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall use or distribute funds generated by this surcharge, less reasonable costs of collection and administration, to fund the following oyster management and restoration programs in Apalachicola Bay:

1.  The relaying and transplanting of live oysters.

2.  Shell planting to construct or rehabilitate oyster bars.

3.  Education programs for licensed oyster harvesters on oyster biology, aquaculture, boating and water safety, sanitation, resource conservation, small business management, and other relevant subjects.

4.  Research directed toward the enhancement of oyster production in the bay and the water management needs of the bay.

(4)  TRANSPORTATION OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--

(a)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced in this state, regardless of destination, shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species and the name, physical address, and the Florida wholesale dealer number of the dealer of origin.

(b)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced outside this state to be delivered to a destination in this state shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species, the name and physical address of the dealer of origin, and the name, physical address, and Florida wholesale dealer number of the Florida dealer to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

(c)  A person transporting in this state saltwater products that were produced outside this state which are to be delivered to a destination outside this state shall have in his or her possession invoices, bills of lading, or other similar instruments showing the number of packages, boxes, or containers and the number of pounds of each species, the name and physical address of the dealer of origin, and the name and physical address of the dealer to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

(d)  If the saltwater products in transit come from more than one dealer, distributor, or producer, each lot from each dealer shall be covered by invoices, bills of lading, and other similar instruments showing the number of boxes or containers and the number of pounds of each species. Each invoice, bill of lading, and other similar instrument shall display the wholesale dealer license number and the name and physical address of the dealer, distributor, or producer of the lot covered by the instrument.

(e)  It is unlawful to sell, deliver, ship, or transport, or to possess for the purpose of selling, delivering, shipping, or transporting, any saltwater products without all invoices concerning the products having thereon the wholesale dealer license number in the form prescribed under this subsection and the rules of the commission. Any saltwater products found in the possession of any person who is in violation of this paragraph may be seized by the commission and disposed of in the manner provided by law.

(f)  Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to apply to the sale and delivery to a consumer of saltwater products in an ordinary retail transaction by a licensed retail dealer who has purchased such products from a licensed wholesale dealer, or to the sale and delivery of the catch or products of a saltwater products licensee to a Florida-licensed wholesale dealer.

(g)  Wholesale dealers' licenses shall be issued only to applicants who furnish to the commission satisfactory evidence of law-abiding reputation and who pledge themselves to faithfully observe all of the laws, rules, and regulations of this state relating to the conservation of, dealing in, or taking, selling, transporting, or possession of saltwater products, and to cooperate in the enforcement of all such laws to every reasonable extent. This pledge may be included in the application for license.

(h)  A wholesale dealer, retail dealer, or restaurant facility shall not purchase or sell for public consumption any saltwater products known to be taken illegally, or known to be taken in violation of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, or any rule or statute implementing its provisions.

(i)  Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(5)  LICENSE DENIAL, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION.--

(a)  A license issued to a wholesale or retail dealer is good only to the person to whom issued and named therein and is not transferable. The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any licensee:

1.  Upon the conviction of the licensee of any violation of the laws or regulations designed for the conservation of saltwater products;

2.  Upon conviction of the licensee of knowingly dealing in, buying, selling, transporting, possessing, or taking any saltwater product, at any time and from any waters, in violation of the laws of this state; or

3.  Upon satisfactory evidence of any violation of the laws or any regulations of this state designed for the conservation of saltwater products or of any of the laws of this state relating to dealing in, buying, selling, transporting, possession, or taking of saltwater products.

(b)  Upon revocation of such license, no other or further license may be issued to the dealer within 3 years from the date of revocation except upon special order of the commission. After revocation, it is unlawful for such dealer to exercise any of the privileges of a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.

(c)  In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection, the commission may impose penalties pursuant to s. 370.021.

(6)  RECORDS TO BE KEPT ON SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--

(a)  Wholesale dealers shall be required by the commission to make and preserve a record of the names and addresses of persons from whom or to whom saltwater products are purchased or sold, the quantity so purchased or sold from or to each vendor or purchaser, and the date of each such transaction. Retail dealers shall be required to make and preserve a record from whom all saltwater products are purchased. Such record shall be open to inspection at all times by the commission. A report covering the sale of saltwater products shall be made monthly or as often as required by rule to the commission by each wholesale dealer. All reports required under this subsection are confidential and shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) except that, pursuant to authority related to interstate fishery compacts as provided by ss. 370.19(3) and 370.20(3), reports may be shared with another state if that state is a member of an interstate fisheries compact, and if that state has signed a Memorandum of Agreement or a similar instrument agreeing to preserve confidentiality as established by Florida law.

(b)  The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any dealer for failure to make and keep required records, for failure to make required reports, for failure or refusal to permit the examination of required records, or for falsifying any such record. In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalties imposed pursuant to this paragraph and s. 370.021, the commission may impose against any person, firm, or corporation who is determined to have violated any provision of this paragraph or any provisions of any commission rules adopted pursuant to s. 370.0607, the following additional penalties:

1.  For the first violation, a civil penalty of up to $1,000;

2.  For a second violation committed within 24 months of any previous violation, a civil penalty of up to $2,500; and

3.  For a third or subsequent violation committed within 36 months of any previous two violations, a civil penalty of up to $5,000.

The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used for administration, auditing, and law enforcement purposes.

(7)  PURCHASE OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS AT TEMPORARY LOCATION.--Wholesale dealers purchasing saltwater products pursuant to s. 370.06(2) at any site other than a site located in a county where the dealer has a permanent address must notify the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the location of the temporary site of business for each day business is to be conducted at such site.

(8)  UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS.--It is unlawful for any licensed retail dealer or any restaurant licensed by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to buy saltwater products from any person other than a licensed wholesale or retail dealer. For purposes of this subsection, any saltwater products received by a retail dealer or a restaurant are presumed to have been purchased.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29990, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-387; ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-335; s. 2, ch. 61-22; s. 1, ch. 61-376; s. 1, ch. 65-537; s. 1, ch. 67-212; s. 1, ch. 67-262; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 282, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 75-95; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 1, ch. 80-115; ss. 6, 12, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 5, 17, ch. 85-234; ss. 3, 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 4, 19, ch. 86-240; s. 1, ch. 87-120; s. 26, ch. 87-225; s. 2, ch. 88-412; s. 18, ch. 89-175; s. 1, ch. 89-213; s. 9, ch. 90-310; s. 36, ch. 92-151; s. 36, ch. 94-218; s. 217, ch. 94-356; s. 987, ch. 95-148; s. 30, ch. 96-321; s. 171, ch. 96-406; s. 97, ch. 96-410; s. 12, ch. 98-203; s. 12, ch. 2000-197; s. 10, ch. 2000-364; s. 4, ch. 2002-264.

1370.08  Fishers and equipment; regulation.--

(1)  ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF SEINES AND NETS.--No person may have in his or her custody or possession in any county of this state any fishing seine or net, the use of which for fishing purposes in such county is prohibited by law. Such possession shall be evidence of a violation of this subsection by both the owner thereof and the person using or possessing said net. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to shrimp nets, to pound nets or purse nets when used in taking menhaden fish, to seines used exclusively for taking herring, or to legal beach seines used in the open gulf or Atlantic Ocean if the possession of such nets is not prohibited in the county where found.

(2)  STOP NETTING DEFINED; PROHIBITION.--

(a)  It is unlawful for any person to obstruct any river, creek, canal, pass, bayou or other waterway in this state by placing or setting therein any screen, net, seine, rack, wire or other device, or to use, set, or place any net or seine or similar device of any kind, either singularly or in rotation or one behind another in any manner whatsoever so as to prevent the free passage of fish.

(b)  It is unlawful for any person, while fishing or attempting to fish for shrimp or saltwater fish, to attach or otherwise secure a frame net, trawl net, trap net, or similar device to any state road bridge or associated structure situated over any saltwater body or to use more than one such net or device while fishing from such bridge or structure. For the purposes of this paragraph, a "frame net" is any net similar to a hoop net, the mouth of which is held open by a frame, with a trailing mesh net, of any size. Cast nets, dip nets, and similar devices are specifically excluded from the operation of this paragraph.

(3)  USE OF PURSE SEINES, GILL NETS, POUND NETS, ETC.--No person may take food fish within or without the waters of this state with a purse seine, purse gill net, or other net using rings or other devices on the lead line thereof, through which a purse line is drawn, or pound net, or have any food fish so taken in his or her possession for sale or shipment. The provisions of this section shall not apply to shrimp nets or to pound nets or purse seines when used for the taking of tuna or menhaden fish only.

(4)  RETURN OF FISH TO WATER.--All persons taking food fish from any of the waters of this state by use of seines, nets, or other fishing devices and not using any of such fish because of size or other reasons shall immediately release and return such fish alive to the water from which taken and no such fish may be placed or deposited on any bank, shore, beach or other place out of the water.

(5)  THROWING EXPLOSIVES OR USE OF FIREARMS IN WATER FOR PURPOSE OF KILLING FOOD FISH PROHIBITED.--No person may throw or cause to be thrown, into any of the waters of this state, any dynamite, lime, other explosives or discharge any firearms whatsoever for the purpose of killing food fish therein. The landing ashore or possession on the water by any person of any food fish that has been damaged by explosives or the landing of headless jewfish or grouper, if the grouper is taken for commercial use, is prima facie evidence of violation of this section.

(6)  SEINES, POCKET BUNTS.--In any counties where seines are not prohibited on the open gulf or Atlantic Ocean, such seines may have a pocket bunt on the middle of the seine of a mesh size less than that provided by law.

(7)  ILLEGAL USE OF POISONS, DRUGS, OR CHEMICALS.--

(a)  It is unlawful for any person to place poisons, drugs, or other chemicals in the marine waters of this state unless that person has first obtained a special activity license for such use pursuant to s. 370.06 from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(b)  Upon application on forms furnished by the commission, the commission may issue a license to use poisons, drugs, or other chemicals in the marine waters of this state for the purpose of capturing live marine species. The application and license shall specify the area in which collecting will be done; the drugs, chemicals, or poisons to be used; and the maximum amounts and concentrations at each sampling.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 57-765; s. 1, ch. 57-766; s. 1, ch. 59-477; s. 1, ch. 65-182; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-231; s. 283, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 73-66; s. 1, ch. 76-101; s. 1, ch. 78-80; s. 1, ch. 78-159; s. 2, ch. 78-404; s. 2, ch. 79-263; s. 7, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 6, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 6, ch. 86-240; ss. 1, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 219, ch. 94-356; s. 988, ch. 95-148; s. 11, ch. 98-227; s. 242, ch. 99-245.

1Note.--Section 7, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121, and by s. 1, ch. 85-163, repealed the then-existing subsections (1)-(3) and (5)-(12), effective July 1, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, these subsections 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. 7, 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.

370.081  Illegal importation or possession of nonindigenous marine plants and animals; rules and regulations.--

(1)  It is unlawful to import or possess any marine plant or marine animal, not indigenous to the state, which, due to the stimulating effect of the waters of the state on procreation, may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard, except as provided in this section.

(2)  Marine animals not to be imported shall include, but are not limited to, all species of the following:

(a)  Sea snakes (Family Hydrophiidae), except as provided in subsection (4);

(b)  Weeverfishes (Family Trachinidae); and

(c)  Stonefishes (Genus Synanceja).

(3)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to adopt, pursuant to chapter 120, rules and regulations to include any additional marine plant or marine animal which may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard.

(4)  A zoological park and aquarium may import sea snakes of the family Hydrophiidae for exhibition purposes only under the following conditions:

(a)  Only male sea snakes may be possessed.

(b)  A zoological park and aquarium possessing sea snakes shall not be located in a coastal county and shall have no contiguous connection with any waters of the state.

(c)  Each zoological park and aquarium possessing sea snakes shall provide quarterly reports to the department regarding the number of each species of sea snakes on the premises and any changes in inventory resulting from death or additions by importation.

(d)  Sea snakes shall not be released into the waters of the state.

(e)  Each zoological park and aquarium possessing sea snakes shall post with the commission a $1 million letter of credit. The letter of credit shall be in favor of the State of Florida, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, for use by the commission to remove any sea snake accidentally or intentionally introduced into waters of the state. The letter of credit shall be written in the form determined by the commission. The letter of credit shall provide that the zoological park and aquarium is responsible for the sea snakes within that facility and shall be in effect at all times that the zoological park and aquarium possesses sea snakes.

(f)  A zoological park and aquarium shall not barter, sell, or trade sea snakes within this state.

(g)  A zoological park and aquarium that imports sea snakes may bring the sea snakes into this state only by airplane that may only land at an airport located in a noncoastal county within this state.

(h)  A zoological park and aquarium possessing sea snakes shall abide by all statutory and regulatory requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with respect to venomous reptiles.

(5)  It is unlawful to release into the waters of the state any nonindigenous saltwater species whether or not included in subsection (2) or prohibited by rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (3) or authorized by subsection (4).

History.--s. 1, ch. 71-68; s. 1, ch. 77-65; s. 1, ch. 92-60; s. 220, ch. 94-356; s. 11, ch. 98-333; s. 102, ch. 99-245.

1370.0821  St. Johns County; use of nets.--

(1)  In addition to all other restrictions imposed by this section, the use of any type of net or seine, other than a common cast net or a recreational net as hereafter defined, is prohibited in the salt waters of St. Johns County, and within 1/4 mile seaward of the beaches and coast thereof, between May 1 and September 15 each year. During the remainder of the year, the use of nets or seines, other than common cast nets or recreational nets as hereafter defined, is prohibited on Saturdays, Sundays, and all legal holidays designated as such by the Department of Management Services.

(2)  In addition to all other restrictions imposed by this section, the use of any net or seine, including a recreational net as hereafter defined, other than a common cast net, is prohibited in the following areas of St. Johns County and adjacent salt waters:

(a)  Within a 1-mile, 360-degree radius of a point situated in the center of the A1A bridge across Matanzas Inlet.

(b)  In the waters of Salt Run, St. Augustine Inlet, the Matanzas River, North River, or the Intercoastal Waterway, or water adjacent to any of the aforementioned waters, lying north of the Mickler-O'Connell Bridge, south of the Vilano Beach Bridge across the Intercoastal Waterway (North River), and inland of a line drawn from headland to headland across the mouth of St. Augustine Inlet.

(c)  On the Atlantic Ocean beaches, and beach areas, within 1 mile north and 1 mile south of the center of St. Augustine Inlet, and within 1 mile seaward of such beaches, and a line drawn from headland to headland across the mouth of St. Augustine Inlet.

(d)  On the Atlantic Ocean beaches, and beach areas, within 2 miles north and 2 miles south of the center of the St. Augustine Beach Pier, and within 1 mile seaward of such beaches and beach areas.

(3)  No person, firm, or corporation shall use, or cause to be used, any manner of seine net, other than a recreational net as hereafter defined, in the salt waters of St. Johns County, or within 1 mile seaward of the Atlantic Ocean beaches and coast thereof, without a permit issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Applications for such permits shall be made on forms to be supplied by the commission, which shall require the applicant to furnish such information as may be deemed pertinent to the best interests of saltwater conservation. The fee for such permits shall be $250 per year. Each permit shall entitle the holder thereof to use no more than one seine net at any one time, subject to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2). The commission may refuse to grant any permit when it is apparent that the best interests of saltwater conservation will be served by such denial. All permits granted shall be in the holder's possession whenever the holder is engaged in using a seine net. Each permit is subject to immediate revocation upon conviction of a violation of any provision of this section or when it is apparent that the best interests of saltwater conservation will be served by such revocation.

(4)(a)  The term "recreational net" means a seine or similar net not exceeding 100 feet in length set and hauled solely by hand and without use of any motor-driven boat or vehicle.

(b)1.  No recreational net may be set or hauled within 100 feet of any other recreational or commercial net.

2.  No recreational net shall be used after the hours of sunset and before sunrise between May 1 and September 15 of each year.

3.  Unless the user of a recreational net is also a holder of a permit specified in subsection (3), no user of a recreational net shall retain on the beach, in a vehicle on the beach, or in a boat, during the time that such net is in use, more than one bushel container of fish per net in use. All fish in excess of one bushel container per net and all unwanted species taken shall be returned alive to the waters when caught.

(5)  Any nets, boats, vehicles, or paraphernalia used in violation of the provisions of this section may be seized and, upon conviction of the offender, may be confiscated or destroyed by order of the court as provided by s. 370.061.

History.--s. 1, ch. 77-310; s. 3, ch. 78-404; s. 1, ch. 79-328; s. 7, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 7, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 123, ch. 92-279; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 222, ch. 94-356; ss. 6, 12, ch. 98-227; s. 153, ch. 99-13; s. 243, ch. 99-245.

1Note.--Section 7, 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, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, the section 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. 7, 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.

370.09  Industrial hazards; oil deposits discharge prohibited.--It is unlawful for any person to discharge, flow, drain or deposit oil or to suffer or permit oil to be discharged, flowed, drained or deposited upon or into any of the salt waters of the state, either from or out of any vessel, barge, or other floating craft, or from any wharf, mill, mine, factory or other establishment or place whatever.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953.

370.092  Carriage of proscribed nets across Florida waters.--

(1)  This section applies to all vessels containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters any gill net or other entangling net and to all vessels containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters any net containing more than 500 square feet of mesh area the use of which is restricted or prohibited by s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution. This section does not apply to vessels containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters dry nets which are rolled, folded, or otherwise properly stowed in sealed containers so as to make their immediate use as fishing implements impracticable.

(2)  Every vessel containing or otherwise transporting in or on Florida waters any gill net or other entangling net and every vessel containing or otherwise transporting in or on nearshore and inshore Florida waters any net containing more than 500 square feet of mesh area shall proceed as directly, continuously, and expeditiously as possible from the place where the vessel is regularly docked, moored, or otherwise stored to waters where the use of said nets is lawful and from waters where the use of said nets is lawful back to the place where the vessel is regularly docked, moored, or otherwise stored or back to the licensed wholesale dealer where the catch is to be sold. Exceptions shall be provided for docked vessels, for vessels which utilize nets in a licensed aquaculture operation, and for vessels containing trawl nets as long as the trawl's doors or frame are not deployed in the water. Otherwise, hovering, drifting, and other similar activities inconsistent with the direct, continuous, and expeditious transit of such vessels shall be evidence of the unlawful use of such nets. The presence of fish in such a net is not evidence of the unlawful use of the net if the vessel is otherwise in compliance with this section.

(3)  Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), unless authorized by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, it is a major violation under this section, punishable as provided in s. 370.021(3), for any person, firm, or corporation to possess any gill or entangling net, or any seine net larger than 500 square feet in mesh area, on any airboat or on any other vessel less than 22 feet in length and on any vessel less than 25 feet if primary power of the vessel is mounted forward of the vessel center point. Gill or entangling nets shall be as defined in s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution, s. 370.093(2)(b), or in a rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission implementing s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution. Vessel length shall be determined in accordance with current United States Coast Guard regulations specified in the Code of Federal Regulations or as titled by the State of Florida. The 1Marine Fisheries Commission is directed to initiate by July 1, 1998, rulemaking to adjust by rule the use of gear on vessels longer than 22 feet where the primary power of the vessel is mounted forward of the vessel center point in order to prevent the illegal use of gill and entangling nets in state waters and to provide reasonable opportunities for the use of legal net gear in adjacent federal waters.

(4)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall adopt rules to prohibit the possession and sale of mullet taken in illegal gill or entangling nets. Violations of such rules shall be punishable as provided in s. 370.021(3).

(5)  The commission has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.

History.--s. 7, ch. 95-414; s. 2, ch. 96-300; s. 59, ch. 97-100; s. 38, ch. 97-160; s. 20, ch. 97-164; ss. 79, 234, ch. 98-200; s. 5, ch. 98-203; s. 13, ch. 98-227; s. 103, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2001-62; s. 5, ch. 2002-264; s. 2, ch. 2004-61.

1Note.--Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

370.093  Illegal use of nets.--

(1)  It is unlawful to take or harvest, or to attempt to take or harvest, any marine life in Florida waters with any net that is not consistent with the provisions of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution.

(2)(a)  Beginning July 1, 1998, it is also unlawful to take or harvest, or to attempt to take or harvest, any marine life in Florida waters with any net, as defined in subsection (3) and any attachments to such net, that combined are larger than 500 square feet and have not been expressly authorized for such use by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The use of currently legal shrimp trawls and purse seines outside nearshore and inshore Florida waters shall continue to be legal until the commission implements rules regulating those types of gear.

(b)  The use of gill or entangling nets of any size is prohibited, as such nets are defined in s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution. Any net constructed wholly or partially of monofilament or multistrand monofilament material, other than a hand thrown cast net, or a handheld landing or dip net, shall be considered to be an entangling net within the prohibition of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution unless specifically authorized by rule of the commission. Multistrand monofilament material shall not be defined to include nets constructed of braided or twisted nylon, cotton, linen twine, or polypropylene twine.

(c)  This subsection shall not be construed to apply to aquaculture activities licenses issued pursuant to s. 370.26.

(3)  As used in s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution and this subsection, the term "net" or "netting" must be broadly construed to include all manner or combination of mesh or webbing or any other solid or semisolid fabric or other material used to comprise a device that is used to take or harvest marine life.

(4)  Upon the arrest of any person for violation of this subsection, the arresting officer shall seize the nets illegally used. Upon conviction of the offender, the arresting authority shall destroy the nets.

(5)  Any person who violates this section shall be punished as provided in s. 370.021(3).

(6)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is granted authority to adopt rules pursuant to s. 370.025 implementing this section and the prohibitions and restrictions of s. 16, Art. X of the State Constitution.

History.--s. 39, ch. 97-160; s. 21, ch. 97-164; s. 235, ch. 98-200; s. 6, ch. 98-203; s. 50, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2001-62; s. 6, ch. 2002-264; s. 3, ch. 2004-61.

370.10  Crustacea, marine animals, fish; regulations; general provisions.--

(1)  OWNERSHIP OF FISH, SPONGES, ETC.--All fish, shellfish, sponges, oysters, clams, and crustacea found within the rivers, creeks, canals, lakes, bayous, lagoons, bays, sounds, inlets, and other bodies of water within the jurisdiction of the state, and within the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean within the jurisdiction of the state, excluding all privately owned enclosed fish ponds not exceeding 150 acres, are the property of the state and may be taken and used by its citizens and persons not citizens, subject to the reservations and restrictions imposed by these statutes. No water bottoms owned by the state shall ever be sold, transferred, dedicated, or otherwise conveyed without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereon, except as otherwise provided in these statutes.

(2)  TAKING SALTWATER SPECIES FOR EXPERIMENTAL, AQUACULTURAL, SCIENTIFIC, EDUCATION, AND EXHIBITION PURPOSES.--Notwithstanding any other provisions of general or special law to the contrary, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may authorize, upon such terms, conditions, and restrictions as it may prescribe by rule, any properly accredited person to harvest or possess indigenous or nonindigenous saltwater species for experimental, scientific, education, and exhibition purposes or to harvest or possess reasonable quantities of aquacultural species for brood stock. Such authorizations may allow collection of specimens without regard to, and not limited to, size, seasonal closure, collection method, reproductive state, or bag limit. Authorizations issued under the provisions of this section may be suspended or revoked by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission if it finds that the person has violated this section, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules or orders, or terms or conditions of the authorization or has submitted false or inaccurate information in his or her application.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 284, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 78-70; s. 1, ch. 80-90; s. 221, ch. 81-259; s. 8, ch. 85-234; s. 557, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 98-333; s. 3, ch. 99-390.

370.101  Saltwater fish; regulations.--

(1)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to establish weight equivalencies when minimum lengths of saltwater fish are established by law, in those cases where the fish are artificially cultivated.

(2)  A special activity license may be issued by the commission pursuant to s. 370.06 for catching and possession of fish protected by law after it has first established that such protected specimens are to be used as stock for artificial cultivation.

(3)  A permit may not be issued pursuant to subsection (2) until the commission determines that the artificial cultivation activity complies with the provisions of ss. 253.67-253.75 and any other specific provisions contained within this chapter regarding leases, licenses, or permits for maricultural activities of each saltwater fish, so that the public interest in such fish stocks is fully protected.

History.--s. 1, ch. 67-546; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 78-78; s. 78, ch. 79-164; s. 8, ch. 86-240; s. 13, ch. 2000-197.

370.102  State preemption of power to regulate.--The power to regulate the taking or possession of saltwater fish, as defined in s. 370.01, is expressly reserved to the state. This section does not prohibit a local government from prohibiting, for reasons of protecting the public health, safety, or welfare, saltwater fishing from real property owned by that local government.

History.--s. 1, ch. 73-208; s. 1, ch. 89-273.

370.103  Agreements with Federal Government for the preservation of saltwater fisheries; authority of commission.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered to enter into cooperative agreements with the Federal Government or agencies thereof for the purpose of preserving saltwater fisheries within and without state waters and for the purpose of protecting against overfishing, waste, depletion, or any abuse whatsoever. Such authority includes the authority to enter into cooperative agreements whereby officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are empowered to enforce federal statutes and rules pertaining to fisheries management. When differences between state and federal laws occur, state laws shall take precedence.

History.--s. 1, ch. 83-225; s. 223, ch. 94-356; s. 244, ch. 99-245.

1370.11  Fish; regulation.--

(1)  CATCHING FOOD FISH FOR PURPOSES OF MAKING OIL PROHIBITED.--No person shall take any food fish from the waters under the jurisdiction of the state, for the purpose of making oil, fertilizer or compost therefrom. Purse seines may be used, for the taking of nonfood fish for the purpose of making oil, fertilizer or compost.

(2)  REGULATION; FISH; TARPON, ETC.--No person may sell, offer for sale, barter, exchange for merchandise, transport for sale, either within or without the state, offer to purchase or purchase any species of fish known as tarpon (Tarpon atlanticus) provided, however, any one person may carry out of the state as personal baggage or transport within or out of the state not more than two tarpon if they are not being transported for sale. The possession of more than two tarpon by any one person is unlawful; provided, however, any person may catch an unlimited number of tarpon if they are immediately returned uninjured to the water and released where the same are caught. No common carrier in the state shall knowingly receive for transportation or transport, within or without the state, from any one person for shipment more than two tarpon, except as hereinafter provided. It is expressly provided that any lawful established taxidermist, in the conduct of taxidermy, may be permitted to move or transport any reasonable number of tarpon at any time and in any manner he or she may desire, as specimens for mounting; provided, however, satisfactory individual ownership of the fish so moved or transported can be established by such taxidermist at any time upon demand. Common carriers shall accept for shipment tarpon from a taxidermist when statement of individual ownership involved accompanies bill of lading or other papers controlling the shipment. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may, in its discretion, upon application issue permits for the taking and transporting of tarpon for scientific purposes.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 1, chs. 29869, 29877, ss. 1, 2, ch. 29945, s. 24, ch. 29615, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-372; s. 1, ch. 57-127; s. 1, ch. 59-384; s. 1, ch. 59-473; s. 1, ch. 61-169; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-96; s. 285, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-154; ss. 1, 1A, 2, ch. 71-156; s. 1, ch. 73-38; s. 1, ch. 74-220; s. 1, ch. 77-95; s. 7, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 9, 17, ch. 85-234; ss. 2, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 224, ch. 94-356; s. 989, ch. 95-148; s. 14, ch. 98-227; s. 14, ch. 2000-197.

1Note.--Section 7, 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, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, the section 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. 7, 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.

1370.1103  Land-based commercial and recreational fishing activities; legislative findings and purpose; definitions; legal protection; local ordinances; prohibited activity.--

(1)  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.--The Legislature finds that commercial and recreational fishing constitute activities of statewide importance and that the continuation of commercial and recreational fishing will benefit the health and welfare of the people of this state. The Legislature further finds that commercial and recreational fishing operations conducted in developing and urbanizing areas are potentially subject to curtailment as a result of local government zoning and nuisance ordinances which may unreasonably force the closure of productive commercial and recreational fishing operations. It is the purpose of this act to prevent the curtailment or abolishment of commercial and recreational fishing operations solely because the area in which they are located has changed in character or the operations are displeasing to neighboring residents.

(2)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this act, "commercial fishing operation" means any type of activity conducted on land, requiring the location or storage of commercial fishing equipment such as fishing vessels, fishing gear, docks, piers, loading areas, landing areas, and cold storage facilities, including any activity necessary to prepare finfish or shellfish for refrigeration. This definition does not include operations with the sole or primary function of processing seafood.

(3)  LEGAL PROTECTION OF COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL FISHING OPERATIONS.--No commercial or recreational fishing operation shall be declared a public or private nuisance solely because of a change in ownership or a change in the character of the property in or around the locality of the operation.

(4)  LOCAL ORDINANCE.--No local governing authority shall adopt any ordinance that declares any commercial or recreational fishing operation to be a nuisance solely because it is a commercial or recreational fishing operation, or any zoning ordinance that unreasonably forces the closure of any commercial or recreational fishing operation. Nothing in this act shall prevent a local government from regulating commercial and recreational fishing operations, including by requiring the use of methods, structures, or appliances where such use will prevent, ameliorate, or remove conditions which create or may create a nuisance or, pursuant to the applicable local zoning code, by declaring a commercial or recreational fishing operation to be a nonconforming use.

(5)  WHEN EXPANSION OF OPERATION NOT PERMITTED.--This act shall not be construed to permit an existing commercial or recreational fishing operation to change to a larger operation with regard to emitting more noise or odor, where such change violates local ordinances or regulations or creates a nuisance.

History.--s. 3, ch. 89-273.

1Note.--Also published at s. 372.993.

1370.1105  Saltwater finfish; fishing traps regulated.--

(1)  It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to set, lay, place, or otherwise attempt to fish for saltwater finfish with any trap other than:

(a)  A crab, crawfish, or shrimp trap specifically permitted under s. 370.13, s. 370.135, s. 370.14, or s. 370.15;

(b)  A pinfish trap not exceeding 2 feet in any dimension, with a throat or entrance not exceeding 3 inches in height by three-quarters of an inch in width; or

(c)  A black sea bass trap which has a biodegradable panel and a throat or entrance, the narrowest point of which is not more than 5 inches in height by 2 inches in width and the outer dimensions of which do not exceed 2 feet in height, 2 feet in width, and 2 feet in depth. However, such traps may be used only north of latitude 27° N.

(2)  It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to possess any fish trap other than a trap specified in paragraph (1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or paragraph (1)(c) or to land, take, sell, or offer to sell any saltwater finfish caught by any trap other than a trap specified in paragraph (1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or paragraph (1)(c).

(3)  Any vessel, vehicle, or equipment used in violation of this section, and any fish caught with a trap in violation of this section, shall be seized and may be forfeited.

History.--s. 1, ch. 80-63; s. 7, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234.

1Note.--Section 7, 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, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, the section 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. 7, 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.

370.1107  Definition; possession of certain licensed traps prohibited; penalties; exceptions; consent.--

(1)  As used in this section, the term "licensed saltwater fisheries trap" means any trap required to be licensed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and authorized by the commission for the taking of saltwater products.

(2)  It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association to be in actual or constructive possession of a licensed saltwater fisheries trap registered with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in another person's, firm's, corporation's, or association's name.

(a)  Unlawful possession of less than three licensed saltwater fisheries traps is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  Unlawful possession of three or more licensed saltwater fisheries traps is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c)  Upon receipt of any judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of violating this section or any provision of law or rule making unlawful the possession of another's saltwater fishing trap, a person shall permanently lose all saltwater fishing privileges, including licenses, trap certificates, and the ability to transfer trap certificates.

(3)  It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association to possess, attempt to possess, interfere with, attempt to interfere with, or remove live bait from a live bait trap or cage of another person, firm, corporation, or association. Unlawful possession of one or more live bait traps or cages is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(4)  This section shall not apply to the agents or employees of the registered owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap or to a person, firm, corporation, or association who has the written consent from the owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap, to possess such licensed saltwater fisheries trap, or to agents or employees of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who are engaged in the removal of traps during the closed season.

(5)  The registered owner of the licensed saltwater fisheries trap shall provide the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with the names of any agents, employees, or any other person, firm, company, or association to whom the registered owner has given consent to possess said licensed saltwater fisheries trap.

History.--s. 5, ch. 87-120; s. 225, ch. 94-356; s. 990, ch. 95-148; s. 104, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 99-390; s. 15, ch. 2000-197; s. 9, ch. 2003-143.

1370.1121  Bonefish; regulation.--

(1)  It is unlawful to take or attempt to take any bonefish (Albula vulpes) from any of the waters of the state for the purpose of sale or exchange while fishing with any net, seine, or similar device.

(2)  It is unlawful for any wholesale or retail fish dealer to possess, buy, sell, or store any bonefish or permit any bonefish to be possessed, sold, or stored on, in, or about the premises where such wholesale or retail fish business is carried on or conducted. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to buy or sell bonefish in any form.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 72-312; s. 7, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; ss. 3, 12, ch. 89-98.

1Note.--Section 7, 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, 1985, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1985, the section 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. 7, 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.

370.12  Marine animals; regulation.--

(1)  PROTECTION OF MARINE TURTLES.--

(a)  This subsection may be cited as the "Marine Turtle Protection Act."

(b)  The Legislature intends, pursuant to the provisions of this subsection, to ensure that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has the appropriate authority and resources to implement its responsibilities under the recovery plans of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the following species of marine turtle:

1.  Atlantic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).

2.  Atlantic green turtle (Chelonia mydas).

3.  Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

4.  Atlantic hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

5.  Atlantic ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempi).

(c)  As used in this subsection, the following phrases have the following meanings:

1.  A "properly accredited person" is:

a.  Students of colleges or universities whose studies with saltwater animals are under the direction of their teacher or professor; or

b.  Scientific or technical faculty of public or private colleges or universities; or

c.  Scientific or technical employees of private research institutions and consulting firms; or

d.  Scientific or technical employees of city, county, state, or federal research or regulatory agencies; or

e.  Members in good standing or recognized and properly chartered conservation organizations, the Audubon Society, or the Sierra Club; or

f.  Persons affiliated with aquarium facilities or museums, or contracted as an agent therefor, which are open to the public with or without an admission fee; or

g.  Persons without specific affiliations listed above, but who are recognized by the commission for their contributions to marine conservation such as scientific or technical publications, or through a history of cooperation with the commission in conservation programs such as turtle nesting surveys, or through advanced educational programs such as high school marine science centers.

2.  "Take" means an act that actually kills or injures marine turtles, and includes significant habitat modification or degradation that kills or injures marine turtles by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns, such as breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

(d)  Except as authorized in this paragraph, or unless otherwise provided by the Federal Endangered Species Act or its implementing regulations, a person, firm, or corporation may not:

1.  Knowingly possess the eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection.

2.  Knowingly take, disturb, mutilate, destroy, cause to be destroyed, transfer, sell, offer to sell, molest, or harass any marine turtles or the eggs or nest of any marine turtles described in this subsection.

3.  The commission may issue a special permit or loan agreement to any person, firm, or corporation, to enable the holder to possess a marine turtle or parts thereof, including nests, eggs, or hatchlings, for scientific, education, or exhibition purposes, or for conservation activities such as the relocation of nests, eggs, or marine turtles away from construction sites. Notwithstanding other provisions of law, the commission may issue such special permit or loan agreement to any properly accredited person as defined in paragraph (c) for the purposes of marine turtle conservation.

4.  The commission shall have the authority to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to prescribe terms, conditions, and restrictions for marine turtle conservation, and to permit the possession of marine turtles or parts thereof.

(e)1.  Any person, firm, or corporation that commits any act prohibited in paragraph (d) involving any egg of any marine turtle species described in this subsection shall pay a penalty of $100 per egg in addition to other penalties provided in this paragraph.

2.  Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses 11 or fewer of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a first degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083.

3.  For a second or subsequent violation of subparagraph 2., any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses 11 or fewer of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

4.  Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally possesses more than 11 of any eggs of any marine turtle species described in this subsection commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

5.  Any person, firm, or corporation that illegally takes, disturbs, mutilates, destroys, causes to be destroyed, transfers, sells, offers to sell, molests, or harasses any marine turtle species, or the eggs or nest of any marine turtle species as described in this subsection, commits a third degree felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

6.  Notwithstanding s. 777.04, any person, firm, or corporation that solicits or conspires with another person, firm, or corporation, to commit an act prohibited by this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

7.  The proceeds from the penalties assessed pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.

(f)  Any application for a Department of Environmental Protection permit or other type of approval for an activity that affects marine turtles or their nests or habitat shall be subject to conditions and requirements for marine turtle protection as part of the permitting or approval process.

(g)  The Department of Environmental Protection may condition the nature, timing, and sequence of construction of permitted activities to provide protection to nesting marine turtles and hatchlings and their habitat pursuant to the provisions of s. 161.053(5). When the department is considering a permit for a beach restoration, beach renourishment, or inlet sand transfer project and the applicant has had an active marine turtle nest relocation program or the applicant has agreed to and has the ability to administer a program, the department must not restrict the timing of the project. Where appropriate, the department, in accordance with the applicable rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall require as a condition of the permit that the applicant relocate and monitor all turtle nests that would be affected by the beach restoration, beach renourishment, or sand transfer activities. Such relocation and monitoring activities shall be conducted in a manner that ensures successful hatching. This limitation on the department's authority applies only on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

(h)  The department shall recommend denial of a permit application if the activity would result in a "take" as defined in this subsection, unless, as provided for in the federal Endangered Species Act and its implementing regulations, such taking is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity.

(i)  The department shall give special consideration to beach preservation and beach nourishment projects that restore habitat of endangered marine turtle species. Nest relocation shall be considered for all such projects in urbanized areas. When an applicant for a beach restoration, beach renourishment, or inlet sand transfer project has had an active marine turtle nest relocation program or the applicant has agreed to have and has the ability to administer a program, the department in issuing a permit for a project must not restrict the timing of the project. Where appropriate, the department, in accordance with the applicable rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, shall require as a condition of the permit that the applicant relocate and monitor all turtle nests that would be affected by the beach restoration, beach renourishment, or sand transfer activities. Such relocation and monitoring activities shall be conducted in a manner that ensures successful hatching. This limitation on the department's authority applies only on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

(2)  PROTECTION OF MANATEES OR SEA COWS.--

(a)  This subsection shall be known and may be cited as the "Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act."

(b)  The State of Florida is hereby declared to be a refuge and sanctuary for the manatee, the "Florida state marine mammal." The protections extended to and authorized on behalf of the manatee by this act are independent of, and therefore are not contingent upon, its status as a state or federal listed species.

(c)  Whenever the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is satisfied that the interest of science will be subserved, and that the application for a permit to possess a manatee or sea cow (Trichechus manatus) is for a scientific or propagational purpose and should be granted, and after concurrence by the United States Department of the Interior, the commission may grant to any person making such application a special permit to possess a manatee or sea cow, which permit shall specify the exact number which shall be maintained in captivity.

(d)  Except as may be authorized by the terms of a valid state permit issued pursuant to paragraph (c) or by the terms of a valid federal permit, it is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any manatee; injure or harm or attempt to injure or harm any manatee; capture or collect or attempt to capture or collect any manatee; pursue, hunt, wound, or kill or attempt to pursue, hunt, wound, or kill any manatee; or possess, literally or constructively, any manatee or any part of any manatee.

(e)  Any gun, net, trap, spear, harpoon, boat of any kind, aircraft, automobile of any kind, other motorized vehicle, chemical, explosive, electrical equipment, scuba or other subaquatic gear, or other instrument, device, or apparatus of any kind or description used in violation of any provision of paragraph (d) may be forfeited upon conviction. The foregoing provisions relating to seizure and forfeiture of vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies do not apply when such vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies are owned by, or titled in the name of, innocent parties; and such provisions shall not vitiate any valid lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage on such vehicles, vessels, equipment, or supplies if such lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage is property of public record at the time of the seizure.

(f)1.  Except for emergency rules adopted under s. 120.54, all proposed rules of the commission for which a notice of intended agency action is filed proposing to govern the speed and operation of motorboats for purposes of manatee protection shall be submitted to the counties in which the proposed rules will take effect for review by local rule review committees.

2.  No less than 60 days prior to filing a notice of rule development in the Florida Administrative Weekly, as provided in s. 120.54(3)(a), the commission shall notify the counties for which a rule to regulate the speed and operation of motorboats for the protection of manatees is proposed. A county so notified shall establish a rule review committee or several counties may combine rule review committees.

3.  The county commission of each county in which a rule to regulate the speed and operation of motorboats for the protection of manatees is proposed shall designate a rule review committee. The designated voting membership of the rule review committee must be comprised of waterway users, such as fishers, boaters, water skiers, other waterway users, as compared to the number of manatee and other environmental advocates. A county commission may designate an existing advisory group as the rule review committee. With regard to each committee, fifty percent of the voting members shall be manatee advocates and other environmental advocates, and fifty percent of the voting members shall be waterway users.

4.  The county shall invite other state, federal, county, municipal, or local agency representatives to participate as nonvoting members of the local rule review committee.

5.  The county shall provide logistical and administrative staff support to the local rule review committee and may request technical assistance from commission staff.

6.  Each local rule review committee shall elect a chair and recording secretary from among its voting members.

7.  Commission staff shall submit the proposed rule and supporting data used to develop the rule to the local rule review committees.

8.  The local rule review committees shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the proposed rule to submit a written report to commission members and staff. The local rule review committees may use supporting data supplied by the commission, as well as public testimony which may be collected by the committee, to develop the written report. The report may contain recommended changes to proposed manatee protection zones or speed zones, including a recommendation that no rule be adopted, if that is the decision of the committee.

9.  Prior to filing a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Florida Administrative Weekly as provided in s. 120.54(3)(a), the commission staff shall provide a written response to the local rule review committee reports to the appropriate counties, to the commission members, and to the public upon request.

10.  In conducting a review of the proposed manatee protection rule, the local rule review committees may address such factors as whether the best available scientific information supports the proposed rule, whether seasonal zones are warranted, and such other factors as may be necessary to balance manatee protection and public access to and use of the waters being regulated under the proposed rule.

11.  The written reports submitted by the local rule review committees shall contain a majority opinion. If the majority opinion is not unanimous, a minority opinion shall also be included.

12.  The members of the commission shall fully consider any timely submitted written report submitted by a local rule review committee prior to authorizing commission staff to move forward with proposed rulemaking and shall fully consider any timely submitted subsequent reports of the committee prior to adoption of a final rule. The written reports of the local rule review committees and the written responses of the commission staff shall be part of the rulemaking record and may be submitted as evidence regarding the committee's recommendations in any proceeding relating to a rule proposed or adopted pursuant to this subsection.

13.  The commission is relieved of any obligations regarding the local rule review committee process created in this paragraph if a timely noticed county commission fails to timely designate the required rule review committee.

(g)  In order to protect manatees or sea cows from harmful collisions with motorboats or from harassment, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized, in addition to all other authority, to provide a permitting agency with comments regarding the expansion of existing, or the construction of new, marine facilities and mooring or docking slips, by the addition or construction of five or more powerboat slips. The commission shall adopt rules under chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusions that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis:

1.  In Lee County: the entire Orange River, including the Tice Florida Power and Light Corporation discharge canal and adjoining waters of the Caloosahatchee River within 1 mile of the confluence of the Orange and Caloosahatchee Rivers.

2.  In Brevard County: those portions of the Indian River within three-fourths of a mile of the Orlando Utilities Commission Delespine power plant effluent and the Florida Power and Light Frontenac power plant effluents.

3.  In Indian River County: the discharge canals of the Vero Beach Municipal Power Plant and connecting waters within 11/4 miles thereof.

4.  In St. Lucie County: the discharge of the Henry D. King Municipal Electric Station and connecting waters within 1 mile thereof.

5.  In Palm Beach County: the discharges of the Florida Power and Light Riviera Beach power plant and connecting waters within 11/2 miles thereof.

6.  In Broward County: the discharge canal of the Florida Power and Light Port Everglades power plant and connecting waters within 11/2 miles thereof and the discharge canal of the Florida Power and Light Fort Lauderdale power plant and connecting waters within 2 miles thereof. For purposes of ensuring the physical safety of boaters in a sometimes turbulent area, the area from the easternmost edge of the authorized navigation project of the intracoastal waterway east through the Port Everglades Inlet is excluded from this regulatory zone.

7.  In Citrus County: headwaters of the Crystal River, commonly referred to as King's Bay, and the Homosassa River.

8.  In Volusia County: Blue Springs Run and connecting waters of the St. Johns River within 1 mile of the confluence of Blue Springs and the St. Johns River; and Thompson Creek, Strickland Creek, Dodson Creek, and the Tomoka River.

9.  In Hillsborough County: that portion of the Alafia River from the main shipping channel in Tampa Bay to U.S. Highway 41.

10.  In Sarasota County: the Venice Inlet and connecting waters within 1 mile thereof, including Lyons Bay, Donna Bay, Roberts Bay, and Hatchett Creek, excluding the waters of the intracoastal waterway and the right-of-way bordering the centerline of the intracoastal waterway.

11.  In Collier County: within the Port of Islands, within section 9, township 52 south, range 28 east, and certain unsurveyed lands, all east-west canals and the north-south canals to the southerly extent of the intersecting east-west canals which lie southerly of the centerline of U.S. Highway 41.

12.  In Manatee County: that portion of the Manatee River east of the west line of section 17, range 19 east, township 34 south; the Braden River south of the north line and east of the west line of section 29, range 18 east, township 34 south; Terra Ceia Bay and River, east of the west line of sections 26 and 35 of range 17 east, township 33 south, and east of the west line of section 2, range 17 east, township 34 south; and Bishop Harbor east of the west line of section 13, range 17 east, township 33 south.

13.  In Miami-Dade County: those portions of Black Creek lying south and east of the water control dam, including all boat basins and connecting canals within 1 mile of the dam.

(h)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis within that portion of the Indian River between the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County and the Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County and within the Loxahatchee River in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, including the north and southwest forks thereof.

(i)  The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic only where manatee sightings are frequent and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis within the Withlacoochee River and its tributaries in Citrus and Levy Counties. The specific areas to be regulated include the Withlacoochee River and the U.S. 19 bridge westward to a line between U.S. Coast Guard markers number 33 and number 34 at the mouth of the river, including all side channels and coves along that portion of the river; Bennets' Creek from its beginning to its confluence with the Withlacoochee River; Bird's Creek from its beginning to its confluence with the Withlacoochee River; and the two dredged canal systems on the north side of the Withlacoochee River southwest of Yankeetown.

(j)  If any new power plant is constructed or other source of warm water discharge is discovered within the state which attracts a concentration of manatees or sea cows, the commission is directed to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic within the area of such discharge. Such rules shall designate a zone which is sufficient in size, and which shall remain in effect for a sufficient period of time, to protect the manatees or sea cows.

(k)  It is the intent of the Legislature to allow the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to post and regulate boat speeds only where the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depth, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a periodic basis. It is not the intent of the Legislature to permit the commission to post and regulate boat speeds generally throughout the waters of the state, thereby unduly interfering with the rights of fishers, boaters, and water skiers using the areas for recreational and commercial purposes. The Legislature further intends that the commission may identify and designate limited lanes or corridors providing for reasonable motorboat speeds within waters of the state whenever such lanes and corridors are consistent with manatee protection.

(l)  The commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 regulating the operation and speed of motorboat traffic all year around within Turkey Creek and its tributaries and within Manatee Cove in Brevard County. The specific areas to be regulated consist of:

1.  A body of water which starts at Melbourne-Tillman Drainage District structure MS-1, section 35, township 28 south, range 37 east, running east to include all natural waters and tributaries of Turkey Creek, section 26, township 28 south, range 37 east, to the confluence of Turkey Creek and the Indian River, section 24, township 28 south, range 37 east, including all lagoon waters of the Indian River bordered on the west by Palm Bay Point, the north by Castaway Point, the east by the four immediate spoil islands, and the south by Cape Malabar, thence northward along the shoreline of the Indian River to Palm Bay Point.

2.  A triangle-shaped body of water forming a cove (commonly referred to as Manatee Cove) on the east side of the Banana River, with northern boundaries beginning and running parallel to the east-west cement bulkhead located 870 feet south of SR 520 Relief Bridge in Cocoa Beach and with western boundaries running in line with the City of Cocoa Beach channel markers 121 and 127 and all waters east of these boundaries in section 34, township 24 south, range 37 east; the center coordinates of this cove are 28°20'14" north, 80°35'17" west.

(m)  The commission shall promulgate regulations pursuant to chapter 120 relating to the operation and speed of motor boat traffic in port waters with due regard to the safety requirements of such traffic and the navigational hazards related to the movement of commercial vessels.

(n)  The commission may designate by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120 other portions of state waters where manatees are frequently sighted and the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit such waters periodically. Upon designation of such waters, the commission shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to regulate motorboat speed and operation which are necessary to protect manatees from harmful collisions with motorboats and from harassment. The commission may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to protect manatee habitat, such as seagrass beds, within such waters from destruction by boats or other human activity. Such rules shall not protect noxious aquatic plants subject to control under s. 369.20.

(o)  The commission may designate, by rule adopted pursuant to chapter 120, limited areas as a safe haven for manatees to rest, feed, reproduce, give birth, or nurse undisturbed by human activity. Access by motor boat to private residences, boat houses, and boat docks through these areas by residents, and their authorized guests, who must cross one of these areas to have water access to their property is permitted when the motorboat is operated at idle speed, no wake.

(p)  Except in the marked navigation channel of the Florida Intracoastal Waterway as defined in s. 327.02 and the area within 100 feet of such channel, a local government may regulate, by ordinance, motorboat speed and operation on waters within its jurisdiction where the best available scientific information, as well as other available, relevant, and reliable information, which may include but is not limited to, manatee surveys, observations, available studies of food sources, and water depths, supports the conclusion that manatees inhabit these areas on a regular basis. However, such an ordinance may not take effect until it has been reviewed and approved by the commission. If the commission and a local government disagree on the provisions of an ordinance, a local manatee protection committee must be formed to review the technical data of the commission and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and to resolve conflicts regarding the ordinance. The manatee protection committee must be comprised of:

1.  A representative of the commission;

2.  A representative of the county;

3.  A representative of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;

4.  A representative of a local marine-related business;

5.  A representative of the Save the Manatee Club;

6.  A local fisher;

7.  An affected property owner; and

8.  A representative of the Florida Marine Patrol.

If local and state regulations are established for the same area, the more restrictive regulation shall prevail.

(q)  The commission shall evaluate the need for use of fenders to prevent crushing of manatees between vessels (100' or larger) and bulkheads or wharves in counties where manatees have been crushed by such vessels. For areas in counties where evidence indicates that manatees have been crushed between vessels and bulkheads or wharves, the commission shall:

1.  Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 requiring use of fenders for construction of future bulkheads or wharves; and

2.  Implement a plan and time schedule to require retrofitting of existing bulkheads or wharves consistent with port bulkhead or wharf repair or replacement schedules.

The fenders shall provide sufficient standoff from the bulkhead or wharf under maximum operational compression to ensure that manatees cannot be crushed between the vessel and the bulkhead or wharf.

(r)  Any violation of a restricted area established by this subsection, or established by rule pursuant to chapter 120 or ordinance pursuant to this subsection, shall be considered a violation of the boating laws of this state and shall be charged on a uniform boating citation as provided in s. 327.74, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (s). Any person who refuses to post a bond or accept and sign a uniform boating citation shall, as provided in s. 327.73(3), be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(s)  Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, any person violating the provisions of this subsection or any rule or ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection commits a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s. 370.021(1)(a) or (b).

1.  Any person operating a vessel in excess of a posted speed limit shall be guilty of a civil infraction, punishable as provided in s. 327.73, except as provided in subparagraph 2.

2.  This paragraph does not apply to persons violating restrictions governing "No Entry" zones or "Motorboat Prohibited" zones, who, if convicted, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s. 370.021(1)(a) or (b), or, if such violation demonstrates blatant or willful action, may be found guilty of harassment as described in paragraph (d).

3.  A person may engage in any activity otherwise prohibited by this subsection or any rule or ordinance adopted pursuant to this subsection if the activity is reasonably necessary in order to prevent the loss of human life or a vessel in distress due to weather conditions or other reasonably unforeseen circumstances, or in order to render emergency assistance to persons or a vessel in distress.

(t)1.  In order to protect manatees and manatee habitat, the counties identified in the Governor and Cabinet's October 1989 Policy Directive shall develop manatee protection plans consistent with commission criteria based upon "Schedule K" of the directive, and shall submit such protection plans for review and approval by the commission. Any manatee protection plans not submitted by July 1, 2004, and any plans not subsequently approved by the commission shall be addressed pursuant to subparagraph 2.

2.  No later than January 1, 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall designate any county it has identified as a substantial risk county for manatee mortality as a county that must complete a manatee protection plan by July 1, 2006. The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to s. 120.54 for identifying substantial risk counties and establishing criteria for approval of manatee protection plans for counties so identified. Manatee protection plans shall include the following elements at a minimum: education about manatees and manatee habitat; boater education; an assessment of the need for new or revised manatee protection speed zones; local law enforcement; and a boat facility siting plan to address expansion of existing and the development of new marinas, boat ramps, and other multislip boating facilities.

3.  Counties required to adopt manatee protection plans under this paragraph shall incorporate the boating facility siting element of those protection plans within their respective comprehensive plans.

4.  Counties that have already adopted approved manatee protection plans, or that adopt subsequently approved manatee protection plans by the effective date of this act, are in compliance with the provisions of this paragraph so long as they incorporate their approved boat facility siting plan into the appropriate element of their local comprehensive plan no later than July 1, 2003.

(u)1.  Existing state manatee protection rules shall be given great weight in determining whether additional rules are necessary in a region where the measurable goals developed pursuant to s. 372.072 have been achieved. However, the commission may amend existing rules or adopt new rules to address risks or circumstances in a particular area or waterbody to protect manatees.

2.  As used in this paragraph, the term "region" means one of the four geographic areas defined by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the Florida Manatee Recovery Plan, 3rd revision (October 30, 2001).

(3)  PROTECTION OF MAMMALIAN DOLPHINS (PORPOISES).--It is unlawful to catch, attempt to catch, molest, injure, kill, or annoy, or otherwise interfere with the normal activity and well-being of, mammalian dolphins (porpoises), except as may be authorized by a federal permit.

(4)  ANNUAL FUNDING OF PROGRAMS FOR MARINE ANIMALS.--

(a)  Each fiscal year the Save the Manatee Trust Fund shall be available to fund an impartial scientific benchmark census of the manatee population in the state. Weather permitting, the study shall be conducted annually by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the results shall be made available to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor and Cabinet for use in the evaluation and development of manatee protection measures. In addition, the Save the Manatee Trust Fund shall be available for annual funding of activities of public and private organizations and those of the commission intended to provide manatee and marine mammal protection and recovery effort; manufacture and erection of informational and regulatory signs; production, publication, and distribution of educational materials; participation in manatee and marine mammal research programs, including carcass salvage and other programs; programs intended to assist the recovery of the manatee as an endangered species, assist the recovery of the endangered or threatened marine mammals, and prevent the endangerment of other species of marine mammals; and other similar programs intended to protect and enhance the recovery of the manatee and other species of marine mammals.

(b)  By December 1 each year, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall provide the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written report, enumerating the amounts and purposes for which all proceeds in the Save the Manatee Trust Fund for the previous fiscal year are expended, in a manner consistent with those recovery tasks enumerated within the manatee recovery plan as required by the Endangered Species Act.

(c)  When the federal and state governments remove the manatee from status as an endangered or threatened species, the annual allocation may be reduced.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 1, 2, ch. 57-771; s. 1, ch. 59-483; s. 1, ch. 67-2198; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-48; s. 1, ch. 70-357; s. 1, ch. 71-120; s. 289, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 1A, ch. 71-145; s. 1, ch. 74-20; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 78-252; s. 79, ch. 79-164; s. 6, ch. 81-228; ss. 1, 2, ch. 82-170; s. 1, ch. 83-81; s. 68, ch. 84-338; s. 10, ch. 85-234; s. 7, ch. 89-168; s. 1, ch. 89-314; s. 5, ch. 90-219; s. 3, ch. 91-199; s. 2, ch. 91-215; s. 1, ch. 93-83; s. 1, ch. 93-254; s. 226, ch. 94-356; s. 991, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 95-248; s. 31, ch. 96-321; s. 3, ch. 97-272; s. 2, ch. 98-200; ss. 7, 17, ch. 98-227; s. 154, ch. 99-13; s. 45, ch. 99-245; s. 35, ch. 99-289; s. 2, ch. 2000-153; s. 36, ch. 2000-197; s. 5, ch. 2001-62; s. 16, ch. 2002-264; s. 1, ch. 2003-59; s. 3, ch. 2003-111; s. 1, ch. 2003-156; s. 1, ch. 2004-343.

370.1201  Manatee protection; intent; conduct of studies; initiatives and plans.--It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission request the necessary funding and staffing through a general revenue budget request to ensure that manatees receive the maximum protection possible. The Legislature recognizes that strong manatee protection depends upon consistently achieving a high degree of compliance with existing and future rules. The commission shall conduct standardized studies to determine levels of public compliance with manatee protection rules, and shall use the results of the studies, together with other relevant information, to develop and implement strategic law enforcement initiatives and boater education plans. Drawing upon information obtained from the compliance studies and the implementation of enforcement initiatives together with boater education plans, the commission shall identify any impediments in consistently achieving high levels of compliance, and adjust their enforcement and boater education efforts accordingly.

History.--s. 19, ch. 2002-264.

1370.1202  Enhanced manatee protection study.--

(1)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall implement and administer an enhanced manatee protection study designed to increase knowledge of the factors that determine the size and distribution of the manatee population in the waters of the state. The enhanced study shall be used by the commission in its mission to provide manatees with the maximum protection possible, while also allowing maximum recreational use of the state's waterways. The goal of the enhanced study is to collect data that will enable resource managers and state and local policymakers, in consultation with the public, to develop and implement sound science-based policies to improve manatee habitat, establish manatee protection zones, and maximize the size of safe boating areas for recreational use of state waters without endangering the manatee population.

(2)(a)  As part of the enhanced manatee protection study, the Legislature intends that the commission shall contract with Mote Marine Laboratory to conduct a manatee habitat and submerged aquatic vegetation assessment that specifically considers:

1.  Manatee populations that congregate in the warm water discharge sites at power plants in the state and the potential risks for disease resulting from increased congregation of manatees at these sites;

2.  Development of research, monitoring, and submerged aquatic vegetation restoration priorities for manatee habitat in and near the warm water discharge sites at power plants in the state; and

3.  The potential impacts on manatees and manatee habitat if power plants that provide warm water discharge sites where manatees congregate are closed, including how closure will affect the size and health of submerged aquatic vegetation areas.

(b)  The Mote Marine Laboratory must submit an interim report on the manatee habitat and submerged aquatic vegetation assessment to the Governor, the Legislature, and the commission by September 1, 2006. The interim report must detail the progress of the assessment. The final report, due to the Governor, the Legislature, and the commission by January 1, 2007, must detail the results of the assessment and include recommendations for protection of manatee habitat in warm water discharge sites at power plants in the state.

(c)  The commission shall ensure that funds allocated to implement the manatee habitat and submerged aquatic vegetation assessment are expended in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of this subsection. The commission may require an annual audit of the expenditures made by Mote Marine Laboratory. Copies of any audit requested under this subsection must be provided to the appropriate substantive and appropriations committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives as they become available.

(3)  As part of the enhanced manatee protection study, the Legislature intends that the commission must conduct a signage and boat speed assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of manatee protection signs and sign placement and to assess boat speeds. The commission shall evaluate existing data on manatee mortality before and after existing manatee protection zones were established, boater compliance and comprehension of regulatory signs and buoys, changes in boating traffic patterns, and manatee distribution and behavior. The commission shall also provide recommendations on innovative marker designs that are in compliance with the federal aids to navigation system. The signage and boat speed assessment must address:

(a)  The effectiveness of signs and buoys to warn boaters of manatee slow-speed zones, with a goal of developing federally approved standards for marking manatee protection zones;

(b)  A determination of where buoys may be used in place of pilings for boating safety purposes; and

(c)  An evaluation of higher speed travel corridors in manatee zones to determine the most effective speed to balance safe boating, recreational use, vessel operating characteristics, and manatee protection.

The commission shall complete its signage and boat speed assessment by January 1, 2007, and must submit a report of its findings to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by February 1, 2007. The report must detail the results of the assessment and identify specific recommendations for developing state and local policies relating to the appropriate placement of signs, including innovative markers, in manatee slow-speed zones.

(4)  The commission is authorized to develop and implement the use of genetic tagging to improve its ability to assess the status and health of the manatee population, including the health and reproductive capacity of manatees, estimating annual survival rates through mark recapture studies, determining migration patterns, and determining maternity and paternity. The development and use of genetic tagging may be done in cooperation with federal agencies or other entities, such as genetic laboratories at schools within the State University System.

History.--s. 2, ch. 2004-343.

1Note.--Section 4, ch. 2004-343, provides that "[s]ubject to an appropriation by the Legislature, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall contract with Mote Marine Laboratory to conduct the manatee habitat and submerged aquatic vegetation assessment as provided in this act." Specific funds were not appropriated for this assessment in the 2004-2005 or 2005-2006 General Appropriations Acts.

370.13  Stone crab; regulation.--

(1)  FEES AND EQUITABLE RENT.--

(a)  Endorsement fee.--The fee for a stone crab endorsement for the taking of stone crabs, as required by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is $125, $25 of which must be used solely for trap retrieval under s. 370.143.

(b)  Certificate fees.--

1.  For each trap certificate issued by the commission under the requirements of the stone crab trap limitation program established by commission rule, there is an annual fee of 50 cents per certificate. Replacement tags for lost or damaged tags cost 50 cents each, except that tags lost in the event of a major natural disaster declared as an emergency disaster by the Governor shall be replaced for the cost of the tag as incurred by the commission.

2.  The fee for transferring trap certificates is $1 per certificate transferred, except that the fee for eligible crew members is 50 cents per certificate transferred. Eligible crew members shall be determined according to criteria established by rule of the commission. Payment must be made by money order or cashier's check, submitted with the certificate transfer form developed by the commission.

3.  In addition to the transfer fee, a surcharge of $1 per certificate transferred, or 25 percent of the actual value of the transferred certificate, whichever is greater, will be assessed the first time a certificate is transferred outside the original holder's immediate family.

4.  Transfer fees and surcharges only apply to the actual number of certificates received by the purchaser. A transfer of a certificate is not effective until the commission receives a notarized copy of the bill of sale as proof of the actual value of the transferred certificate or certificates, which must also be submitted with the transfer form and payment.

5.  A transfer fee will not be assessed or required when the transfer is within a family as a result of the death or disability of the certificate owner. A surcharge will not be assessed for any transfer within an individual's immediate family.

6.  The fees and surcharge amounts in this paragraph apply in the 2005-2006 license year and subsequent years.

(c)  Incidental take endorsement.--The cost of an incidental take endorsement, as established by commission rule, is $25.

(d)  Equitable rent.--The commission may establish by rule an amount of equitable rent per trap certificate that may be recovered as partial compensation to the state for the enhanced access to its natural resources. In determining whether to establish such a rent and the amount thereof, the commission may consider the amount of revenues annually generated by endorsement fees, trap certificate fees, transfer fees, surcharges, replacement trap tag fees, trap retrieval fees, incidental take endorsement fees, and the continued economic viability of the commercial stone crab industry. Final approval of such a rule shall be by the Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund.

(e)  Disposition of fees, surcharges, civil penalties and fines, and equitable rent.--Endorsement fees, trap certificate fees, transfer fees, civil penalties and fines, surcharges, replacement trap tag fees, trap retrieval fees, incidental take endorsement fees, and equitable rent, if any, must be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund. Not more than 50 percent of the revenues generated under this section may be used for operation and administration of the stone crab trap limitation program. The remaining revenues generated under this program are to be used for trap retrieval, management of the stone crab fishery, public education activities, evaluation of the impact of trap reductions on the stone crab fishery, and enforcement activities in support of the stone crab trap limitation program.

(f)  Program to be self-supporting.--The stone crab trap limitation program is intended to be a self-supporting program funded from proceeds generated under this section.

(g)  No vested rights.--The stone crab trap limitation program does not create any vested rights for endorsement or certificateholders and may be altered or terminated by the commission as necessary to protect the stone crab resource, the participants in the fishery, or the public interest.

(2)  PENALTIES.--For purposes of this subsection, conviction is any disposition other than acquittal or dismissal, regardless of whether the violation was adjudicated under any state or federal law.

(a)  In addition to any other penalties provided in s. 370.021, for any person, firm, or corporation who violates rule 68B-13.010(2), Florida Administrative Code, or rule 68B-13.011(5), (6), (7), (8), or (11), Florida Administrative Code, the following administrative penalties apply.

1.  For a first violation, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $1,000 and the stone crab endorsement under which the violation was committed may be suspended for the remainder of the current license year.

2.  For a second violation that occurs within 24 months of any previous such violation, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $2,000 and the stone crab endorsement under which the violation was committed may be suspended for 12 calendar months.

3.  For a third violation that occurs within 36 months of any previous two such violations, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $5,000 and the stone crab endorsement under which the violation was committed may be suspended for 24 calendar months.

4.  A fourth violation that occurs within 48 months of any three previous such violations, shall result in permanent revocation of all of the violator's saltwater fishing privileges, including having the commission proceed against the endorsement holder's saltwater products license in accordance with s. 370.021.

Any person assessed an administrative penalty under this paragraph shall, within 30 calendar days after notification, pay the administrative penalty to the commission, or request an administrative hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The proceeds of all administrative penalties collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.

(b)  It is unlawful for any person to remove the contents of another harvester's trap or take possession of such without the express written consent of the trap owner available for immediate inspection. Unauthorized possession of another's trap gear or removal of trap contents constitutes theft. Any person convicted of theft of or from a trap pursuant to this subsection or s. 370.1107 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 370.021 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all his or her saltwater fishing privileges, including saltwater products licenses, stone crab or incidental take endorsements, and all trap certificates allotted to him or her by the commission. In such cases, trap certificates and endorsements are nontransferable. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation convicted of violating the prohibitions referenced in this paragraph shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000. Immediately upon receiving a citation for a violation involving theft of or from a trap and until adjudicated for such a violation, or, upon receipt of a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on such a violation, the violator is prohibited from transferring any stone crab or lobster certificates.

(c)  Any person, firm, or corporation convicted of violating commission rules that prohibit any of the following, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

1.  The willful molestation of any stone crab trap, line, or buoy that is the property of any licenseholder, without the permission of that licenseholder.

2.  The bartering, trading, or sale, or conspiring or aiding in such barter, trade, or sale, or supplying, agreeing to supply, aiding in supplying, or giving away stone crab trap tags or certificates unless the action is duly authorized by the commission as provided by commission rules.

3.  The making, altering, forging, counterfeiting, or reproducing of stone crab trap tags.

4.  Possession of forged, counterfeit, or imitation stone crab trap tags.

5.  Engaging in the commercial harvest of stone crabs during the time either of the endorsements is under suspension or revocation.

In addition, any person, firm, or corporation convicted of violating this paragraph shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000, and the incidental take endorsement and/or the stone crab endorsement under which the violation was committed may be suspended for up to 24 calendar months. Immediately upon receiving a citation involving a violation of this paragraph and until adjudicated for such a violation, or if convicted of such a violation, the person, firm, or corporation committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any stone crab certificates or endorsements.

(d)  For any person, firm, or corporation convicted of fraudulently reporting the actual value of transferred stone crab certificates, the commission may automatically suspend or permanently revoke the seller's or the purchaser's stone crab endorsements. If the endorsement is permanently revoked, the commission shall also permanently deactivate the endorsement holder's stone crab certificate accounts. Whether an endorsement is suspended or revoked, the commission may also levy a fine against the holder of the endorsement of up to twice the appropriate surcharge to be paid based on the fair market value of the transferred certificates.

(e)  During any period of suspension or revocation of an endorsement holder's endorsement, he or she shall remove all traps subject to that endorsement from the water within 15 days after notice provided by the commission. Failure to do so will extend the period of suspension or revocation for an additional 6 calendar months.

(f)  An endorsement will not be renewed until all fees and administrative penalties imposed under this section are paid.

(3)  DEPREDATION PERMITS.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall issue a depredation permit upon request to any marine aquaculture producer, as defined in s. 370.26, engaged in the culture of shellfish, which shall entitle the aquaculture producer to possess and use up to 75 stone crab traps and up to 75 blue crab traps for the sole purpose of taking destructive or nuisance stone crabs or blue crabs within 1 mile of the producer's aquaculture shellfish beds. Stone crabs or blue crabs taken under this subsection may not be sold, bartered, exchanged, or offered for sale, barter, or exchange.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-482; s. 1, ch. 63-3; s. 290, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-335; s. 1, ch. 73-28; ss. 1, 2, ch. 74-141; s. 1, ch. 76-26; s. 1, ch. 77-142; s. 1, ch. 77-207; s. 1, ch. 80-299; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 11, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 1, 9, 19, ch. 86-240; ss. 4, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 227, ch. 94-356; s. 992, ch. 95-148; s. 36, ch. 95-196; s. 10, ch. 95-414; s. 9, ch. 98-203; s. 18, ch. 98-227; s. 106, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2000-153; ss. 11, 38, ch. 2000-364; s. 2, ch. 2001-272; s. 10, ch. 2003-143; s. 3, ch. 2005-158.

1370.135  Blue crab; regulation.--

(1)  No person, firm, or corporation shall transport on the water, fish with or cause to be fished with, set, or place any trap designed for taking blue crabs unless such person, firm, or corporation is the holder of a valid saltwater products license issued pursuant to s. 370.06 and the trap has a current state number permanently attached to the buoy. The trap number shall be affixed in legible figures at least 1 inch high on each buoy used. The saltwater products license must be on board the boat, and both the license and the crabs shall be subject to inspection at all times. Only one trap number may be issued for each boat by the commission upon receipt of an application on forms prescribed by it. This subsection shall not apply to an individual fishing with no more than five traps. It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, for any person willfully to molest any traps, lines, or buoys, as defined herein, belonging to another without the express written consent of the trap owner. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of willful molestation of a trap, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 370.021, shall lose all saltwater fishing privileges for a period of 24 calendar months. It is unlawful for any person to remove the contents of or take possession of another harvester's trap without the express written consent of the trap owner available for immediate inspection. Unauthorized possession of another's trap gear or removal of trap contents constitutes theft. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of theft of or from a trap pursuant to this section or s. 370.1107 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 370.021 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all his or her saltwater fishing privileges including his or her saltwater products license and blue crab endorsement. In such cases endorsements, landings history, and trap certificates are nontransferable. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for violating this subsection or s. 370.1107 shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000. Immediately upon receiving a citation for a violation involving theft of or from a trap and until adjudicated for such a violation, or receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for such a violation, the person, firm, or corporation committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any blue crab endorsements, landings history, or trap certificates.

(2)  No person shall harvest blue crabs with more than five traps, harvest blue crabs in commercial quantities, or sell blue crabs unless such person holds a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement and a blue crab endorsement (trap number) issued pursuant to this subsection.

(a)  Effective June 1, 1998, and until July 1, 2002, no blue crab endorsement (trap number), except those endorsements that are active during the 1997-1998 fiscal year, shall be renewed or replaced.

(b)  Effective January 1, 1999, and until July 1, 2002, a trap number holder, or members of his or her immediate family, must request renewal of the endorsement prior to September 30 of each year.

(c)  If a person holding an active blue crab endorsement, or a member of that person's immediate family, does not request renewal of the endorsement before the applicable dates as specified in this subsection, the commission shall deactivate that endorsement.

(d)  In the event of the death or disability of a person holding an active blue crab endorsement, the endorsement may be transferred by the person to a member of his or her immediate family or may be renewed by any person so designated by the executor of the person's estate.

(e)  Persons who hold saltwater products licenses with blue crab endorsements issued to their boat registration numbers and who subsequently replace their existing vessels with new vessels shall be permitted to transfer the existing licenses to the new boat registration numbers.

History.--s. 1, ch. 73-26; s. 1, ch. 76-105; s. 2, ch. 77-142; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-143; s. 2, ch. 80-299; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 10, 19, ch. 86-240; s. 558, ch. 95-148; s. 11, ch. 95-414; s. 10, ch. 98-203; s. 19, ch. 98-227; s. 245, ch. 99-245; s. 6, ch. 2000-212; s. 39, ch. 2000-364; s. 11, ch. 2003-143.

1Note.--Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984, this section 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. 6, 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.

1370.14  Crawfish; regulation.--

(1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain the crawfish industry for the economy of the state and to conserve the stocks supplying this industry. The provisions of this act regulating the taking of saltwater crawfish are for the purposes of ensuring and maintaining the highest possible production of saltwater crawfish.

(2)(a)1.  Each person taking or attempting to take crawfish with a trap in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes shall obtain and exhibit a crawfish trap number, as required by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The annual fee for a crawfish trap number is $125. This trap number may be issued by the commission upon the receipt of application by the person when accompanied by the payment of the fee. The design of the applications and of the trap number shall be determined by the commission. Any trap or device used in taking or attempting to take crawfish, other than a trap with the trap number, shall be seized and destroyed by the commission. The proceeds of the fees imposed by this paragraph shall be deposited and used as provided in paragraph (b). The commission may adopt rules to carry out the intent of this section.

2.  Each person taking or attempting to take crawfish in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes by any method, other than with a trap having a crawfish trap number issued by the commission, must pay an annual fee of $100.

(b)  Twenty-five dollars of the $125 fee for a crawfish trap number required under subparagraph (a)1. must be used only for trap retrieval as provided in s. 370.143. The remainder of the fees collected pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be deposited as follows:

1.  Fifty percent of the fees collected shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund for use in enforcing the provisions of paragraph (a) through aerial and other surveillance and trap retrieval.

2.  Fifty percent of the fees collected shall be deposited as provided in s. 370.142(5).

(3)  The crawfish license must be on board the boat, and both the license and the harvested crawfish shall be subject to inspection at all times. Only one license shall be issued for each boat. The crawfish license number must be prominently displayed above the topmost portion of the boat so as to be easily and readily identified.

(4)  It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully to molest any crawfish traps, lines, or buoys belonging to another without permission of the licenseholder.

(5)  Any crawfish licenseholder, upon selling licensed crawfish traps, shall furnish the commission notice of such sale of all or part of his or her interest within 15 days thereof. Any holder of said license shall also notify the commission within 15 days if his or her address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the license and shall, as a part of such notification, furnish the commission with his or her new address.

(6)(a)  By a special permit granted by the commission, a Florida-licensed seafood dealer may lawfully import, process, and package saltwater crawfish or uncooked tails of the species Panulirus argus during the closed season. However, crawfish landed under special permit shall not be sold in the state.

(b)  The licensed seafood dealer importing any such crawfish under the permit shall, 12 hours prior to the time the seagoing vessel or airplane delivering such imported crawfish enters the state, notify the commission as to the seagoing vessel's name or the airplane's registration number and its captain, location, and point of destination.

(c)  At the time the crawfish cargo is delivered to the permitholder's place of business, the crawfish cargo shall be weighed and shall be available for inspection by the commission. A signed receipt of such quantity in pounds shall be forwarded to the commission within 48 hours after shipment weigh-in completion. If requested by the commission, the weigh-in process will be delayed up to 4 hours to allow for a commission representative to be present during the process.

(d)  Within 48 hours after shipment weigh-in completion, the permitholder shall submit to the commission, on forms provided by the commission, a sworn report of the quantity in pounds of the saltwater crawfish received, which report shall include the location of said crawfish and a sworn statement that said crawfish were taken at least 50 miles from Florida's shoreline. The landing of crawfish or crawfish tails from which the eggs, swimmerettes, or pleopods have been removed; the falsification of information as to area from which crawfish were obtained; or the failure to file the report called for in this section shall be grounds to revoke the permit.

(e)  Each permitholder shall keep throughout the period of the closed season copies of the bill of sale or invoices covering each transaction involving crawfish imported under this permit. Such invoices and bills shall be kept available at all times for inspection by the commission.

(7)(a)  A Florida-licensed seafood dealer may obtain a special permit to import, process, and package uncooked tails of saltwater crawfish upon the payment of the sum of $100 to the commission.

(b)  A special permit must be obtained by any airplane or seagoing vessel other than a common carrier used to transport saltwater crawfish or crawfish tails for purchase by licensed seafood dealers for purposes as provided herein upon the payment of $50.

(c)  All special permits issued under this subsection are nontransferable.

(8)  No common carrier or employee of said carrier may carry, knowingly receive for carriage, or permit the carriage of any crawfish of the species Panulirus argus, regardless of where taken, during the closed season, except of the species Panulirus argus lawfully imported from a foreign country for reshipment outside of the territorial limits of the state under United States Customs bond or in accordance with paragraph (7)(a).

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29896, 1955; s. 1, ch. 65-53; s. 1, ch. 65-251; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-228; s. 1, ch. 70-140; s. 1, ch. 70-162; s. 1, ch. 70-369; ss. 292, 293, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 72-76; s. 1, ch. 72-250; s. 1, ch. 73-45; s. 1, ch. 73-211; s. 2, ch. 74-220; s. 1, ch. 76-107; s. 110, ch. 77-104; ss. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ch. 77-142; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 11, ch. 86-240; s. 3, ch. 87-116; s. 3, ch. 87-120; s. 1, ch. 88-369; ss. 5, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 4, ch. 89-270; s. 10, ch. 90-243; s. 3, ch. 90-310; s. 2, ch. 91-154; s. 228, ch. 94-356; s. 91, ch. 95-143; s. 993, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 95-414; s. 9, ch. 96-300; s. 32, ch. 96-321; s. 40, ch. 97-160; s. 22, ch. 97-164; s. 20, ch. 98-227; s. 155, ch. 99-13; s. 107, ch. 99-245; ss. 38, 42, ch. 2000-197; s. 7, ch. 2000-212; s. 42, ch. 2000-362; s. 40, ch. 2000-364; s. 38, ch. 2002-46; s. 1, ch. 2004-72.

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.

370.1405  Crawfish reports by dealers during closed season required.--

(1)  Within 3 days after the commencement of the closed season for the taking of saltwater crawfish, each and every seafood dealer, either retail or wholesale, intending to possess whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat during closed season shall submit to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, on forms provided by the commission, a sworn report of the quantity, in pounds, of saltwater whole crawfish, crawfish tails, and crawfish meat in the dealer's name or possession as of the date the season closed. This report shall state the location and number of pounds of whole crawfish, crawfish tails, and crawfish meat. The commission shall not accept any reports not delivered or postmarked by midnight of the 3rd calendar day after the commencement of the closed season, and any stocks of crawfish reported therein are declared a nuisance and may be seized by the commission.

(2)  Failure to submit a report as described in subsection (1) or reporting a greater or lesser amount of whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat than is actually in the dealer's possession or name is a major violation of this chapter, punishable as provided in s. 370.021(1), s. 370.07(6)(b), or both. The commission shall seize the entire supply of unreported or falsely reported whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat, and shall carry the same before the court for disposal. The dealer shall post a cash bond in the amount of the fair value of the entire quantity of unreported or falsely reported crawfish as determined by the judge. After posting the cash bond, the dealer shall have 24 hours to transport said products outside the limits of Florida for sale as provided by s. 370.061. Otherwise, the product shall be declared a nuisance and disposed of by the commission according to law.

(3)  All dealers having reported stocks of crawfish may sell or offer to sell such stocks of crawfish; however, such dealers shall submit an additional report on the last day of each month during the duration of the closed season. Reports shall be made on forms supplied by the commission. Each dealer shall state on this report the number of pounds brought forward from the previous report period, the number of pounds sold during the report period, the number of pounds, if any, acquired from a licensed wholesale dealer during the report period, and the number of pounds remaining on hand. In every case, the amount of crawfish sold plus the amount reported on hand shall equal the amount acquired plus the amount reported remaining on hand in the last submitted report. Copies of records or invoices documenting the number of pounds acquired during the closed season must be maintained by the wholesale or retail dealer and shall be kept available for inspection by the commission for a period not less than 3 years from the date of the recorded transaction. Reports postmarked later than midnight on the 3rd calendar day of each month during the duration of the closed season will not be accepted by the commission. Dealers for which late supplementary reports are not accepted by the commission must show just cause why their entire stock of whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat should not be seized by the commission. Whenever a dealer fails to timely submit the monthly supplementary report as described in this subsection, the dealer may be subject to the following civil penalties:

(a)  For a first violation, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $500.

(b)  For a second violation within the same crawfish closed season, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $1,000.

(c)  For a third violation within the same crawfish closed season, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $2,500 and may seize said dealer's entire stock of whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat and carry the same before the court for disposal. The dealer shall post a cash bond in the amount of the fair value of the entire remaining quantity of crawfish as determined by the judge. After posting the cash bond, a dealer shall have 24 hours to transport said products outside the limits of Florida for sale as provided by s. 370.061. Otherwise, the product shall be declared a nuisance and disposed of by the commission according to law.

(4)  All seafood dealers shall at all times during the closed season make their stocks of whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat available for inspection by the commission.

(5)  Each wholesale and retail dealer in whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat shall keep throughout the period of the crawfish closed season copies of the bill of sale or invoice covering each transaction involving whole crawfish, crawfish tails, or crawfish meat. Such invoices and bills shall be kept available at all times for inspection by the commission.

(6)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may adopt rules incorporating by reference such forms as are necessary to administer this section.

History.--s. 41, ch. 97-160; s. 23, ch. 97-164; s. 13, ch. 98-203; s. 8, ch. 98-227; s. 108, ch. 99-245; s. 16, ch. 2000-197.

370.142  Spiny lobster trap certificate program.--

(1)  INTENT.--Due to rapid growth, the spiny lobster fishery is experiencing increased congestion and conflict on the water, excessive mortality of undersized lobsters, a declining yield per trap, and public concern over petroleum and debris pollution from existing traps. In an effort to solve these and related problems, the Legislature intends to develop pursuant to the provisions of this section a spiny lobster trap certificate program, the principal goal of which is to stabilize the fishery by reducing the total number of traps, which should increase the yield per trap and therefore maintain or increase overall catch levels. The Legislature seeks to preserve as much flexibility in the program as possible for the fishery's various constituents and ensure that any reduction in total trap numbers will be proportioned equally on a percentage basis among all users of traps in the fishery.

(2)  TRANSFERABLE TRAP CERTIFICATES; TRAP TAGS; FEES; PENALTIES.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall establish a trap certificate program for the spiny lobster fishery of this state and shall be responsible for its administration and enforcement as follows:

(a)  Transferable trap certificates.--Each holder of a saltwater products license who uses traps for taking or attempting to take spiny lobsters shall be required to have a certificate on record for each trap possessed or used therefor, except as otherwise provided in this section.

1.  The Department of Environmental Protection shall initially allot such certificates to each licenseholder with a current crawfish trap number who uses traps. The number of such certificates allotted to each such licenseholder shall be based on the trap/catch coefficient established pursuant to trip ticket records generated under the provisions of s. 370.06(2) over a 3-year base period ending June 30, 1991. The trap/catch coefficient shall be calculated by dividing the sum of the highest reported single license-year landings up to a maximum of 30,000 pounds for each such licenseholder during the base period by 700,000. Each such licenseholder shall then be allotted the number of certificates derived by dividing his or her highest reported single license-year landings up to a maximum of 30,000 pounds during the base period by the trap/catch coefficient. Nevertheless, no licenseholder with a current crawfish trap number shall be allotted fewer than 10 certificates. However, certificates may only be issued to individuals; therefore, all licenseholders other than individual licenseholders shall designate the individual or individuals to whom their certificates will be allotted and the number thereof to each, if more than one. After initial issuance, trap certificates are transferable on a market basis and may be transferred from one licenseholder to another for a fair market value agreed upon between the transferor and transferee. Each such transfer shall, within 72 hours thereof, be recorded on a notarized form provided for that purpose by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and hand delivered or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the commission for recordkeeping purposes. In addition, in order to cover the added administrative costs of the program and to recover an equitable natural resource rent for the people of the state, a transfer fee of $2 per certificate transferred shall be assessed against the purchasing licenseholder and sent by money order or cashier's check with the certificate transfer form. Also, in addition to the transfer fee, a surcharge of $5 per certificate transferred or 25 percent of the actual market value, whichever is greater, given to the transferor shall be assessed the first time a certificate is transferred outside the original transferor's immediate family. No transfer of a certificate shall be effective until the commission receives the notarized transfer form and the transfer fee, including any surcharge, is paid. The commission may establish by rule an amount of equitable rent per trap certificate that shall be recovered as partial compensation to the state for the enhanced access to its natural resources. Final approval of such a rule shall be by the Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. In determining whether to establish such a rent and, if so, the amount thereof, the commission shall consider the amount of revenues annually generated by certificate fees, transfer fees, surcharges, trap license fees, and sales taxes, the demonstrated fair market value of transferred certificates, and the continued economic viability of the commercial lobster industry. The proceeds of equitable rent recovered shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and used by the commission for research, management, and protection of the spiny lobster fishery and habitat. A transfer fee may not be assessed or required when the transfer is within a family as a result of the death or disability of the certificate owner. A surcharge will not be assessed for any transfer within an individual's immediate family.

2.  No person, firm, corporation, or other business entity may control, directly or indirectly, more than 1.5 percent of the total available certificates in any license year.

3.  The commission shall maintain records of all certificates and their transfers and shall annually provide each licenseholder with a statement of certificates held.

4.  The number of trap tags issued annually to each licenseholder shall not exceed the number of certificates held by the licenseholder at the time of issuance, and such tags and a statement of certificates held shall be issued simultaneously.

5.  Beginning July 1, 2003, and applicable to the 2003-2004 lobster season and thereafter, it is unlawful for any person to lease lobster trap tags or certificates.

(b)  Trap tags.--Each trap used to take or attempt to take spiny lobsters in state waters or adjacent federal waters shall, in addition to the crawfish trap number required by s. 370.14(2), have affixed thereto an annual trap tag issued by the commission. Each such tag shall be made of durable plastic or similar material and shall, based on the number of certificates held, have stamped thereon the owner's license number. To facilitate enforcement and recordkeeping, such tags shall be issued each year in a color different from that of each of the previous 3 years. The annual certificate fee shall be $1 per certificate. Replacement tags for lost or damaged tags may be obtained as provided by rule of the commission.

(c)  Prohibitions; penalties.--

1.  It is unlawful for a person to possess or use a spiny lobster trap in or on state waters or adjacent federal waters without having affixed thereto the trap tag required by this section. It is unlawful for a person to possess or use any other gear or device designed to attract and enclose or otherwise aid in the taking of spiny lobster by trapping that is not a trap as defined in rule 68B-24.006(2), Florida Administrative Code.

2.  It is unlawful for a person to possess or use spiny lobster trap tags without having the necessary number of certificates on record as required by this section.

3.  It is unlawful for any person to willfully molest, take possession of, or remove the contents of another harvester's trap without the express written consent of the trap owner available for immediate inspection. Unauthorized possession of another's trap gear or removal of trap contents constitutes theft. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of theft of or from a trap pursuant to this subparagraph or s. 370.1107 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in ss. 370.021 and 370.14 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all his or her saltwater fishing privileges, including his or her saltwater products license, crawfish endorsement, and all trap certificates allotted to him or her through this program. In such cases, trap certificates and endorsements are nontransferable. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of willful molestation of a trap, in addition to the penalties specified in ss. 370.021 and 370.14, shall lose all saltwater fishing privileges for a period of 24 calendar months. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation charged with violating this paragraph and receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for violating this subparagraph or s. 370.1107 shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000. Immediately upon receiving a citation for a violation involving theft of or from a trap, or molestation of a trap, and until adjudicated for such a violation or, upon receipt of a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal of such a violation, the person, firm, or corporation committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any crawfish trap certificates and endorsements.

4.  In addition to any other penalties provided in s. 370.021, a commercial harvester, as defined by rule 68B-24.002(1), Florida Administrative Code, who violates the provisions of this section, or the provisions relating to traps of chapter 68B-24, Florida Administrative Code, shall be punished as follows:

a.  If the first violation is for violation of subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2., the commission shall assess an additional civil penalty of up to $1,000 and the crawfish trap number issued pursuant to s. 370.14(2) or (6) may be suspended for the remainder of the current license year. For all other first violations, the commission shall assess an additional civil penalty of up to $500.

b.  For a second violation of subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. which occurs within 24 months of any previous such violation, the commission shall assess an additional civil penalty of up to $2,000 and the crawfish trap number issued pursuant to s. 370.14(2) or (6) may be suspended for the remainder of the current license year.

c.  For a third or subsequent violation of subparagraph 1., subparagraph 2., or subparagraph 3. which occurs within 36 months of any previous two such violations, the commission shall assess an additional civil penalty of up to $5,000 and may suspend the crawfish trap number issued pursuant to s. 370.14(2) or (6) for a period of up to 24 months or may revoke the crawfish trap number and, if revoking the crawfish trap number, may also proceed against the licenseholder's saltwater products license in accordance with the provisions of s. 370.021(2)(h).

d.  Any person assessed an additional civil penalty pursuant to this section shall within 30 calendar days after notification:

(I)  Pay the civil penalty to the commission; or

(II)  Request an administrative hearing pursuant to the provisions of s. 120.60.

e.  The commission shall suspend the crawfish trap number issued pursuant to s. 370.14(2) or (6) for any person failing to comply with the provisions of sub-subparagraph d.

5.a.  It is unlawful for any person to make, alter, forge, counterfeit, or reproduce a spiny lobster trap tag or certificate.

b.  It is unlawful for any person to knowingly have in his or her possession a forged, counterfeit, or imitation spiny lobster trap tag or certificate.

c.  It is unlawful for any person to barter, trade, sell, supply, agree to supply, aid in supplying, or give away a spiny lobster trap tag or certificate or to conspire to barter, trade, sell, supply, aid in supplying, or give away a spiny lobster trap tag or certificate unless such action is duly authorized by the commission as provided in this chapter or in the rules of the commission.

6.a.  Any person who violates the provisions of subparagraph 5., or any person who engages in the commercial harvest, trapping, or possession of spiny lobster without a crawfish trap number as required by s. 370.14(2) or (6) or during any period while such crawfish trap number is under suspension or revocation, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

b.  In addition to any penalty imposed pursuant to sub-subparagraph a., the commission shall levy a fine of up to twice the amount of the appropriate surcharge to be paid on the fair market value of the transferred certificates, as provided in subparagraph (a)1., on any person who violates the provisions of sub-subparagraph 5.c.

7.  Any certificates for which the annual certificate fee is not paid for a period of 3 years shall be considered abandoned and shall revert to the commission. During any period of trap reduction, any certificates reverting to the commission shall become permanently unavailable and be considered in that amount to be reduced during the next license-year period. Otherwise, any certificates that revert to the commission are to be reallotted in such manner as provided by the commission.

8.  The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to subparagraph 4. and all fines collected pursuant to sub-subparagraph 6.b. shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.

9.  All traps shall be removed from the water during any period of suspension or revocation.

(d)  No vested rights.--The trap certificate program shall not create vested rights in licenseholders whatsoever and may be altered or terminated as necessary to protect the spiny lobster resource, the participants in the fishery, or the public interest.

(3)  TRAP REDUCTION.--The objective of the overall trap certificate program is to reduce the number of traps used in the spiny lobster fishery to the lowest number that will maintain or increase overall catch levels, promote economic efficiency in the fishery, and conserve natural resources. Therefore, the 1Marine Fisheries Commission shall set an overall trap reduction goal based on maintaining or maximizing a sustained harvest from the spiny lobster fishery. To reach that goal, the 1Marine Fisheries Commission shall, by July 1, 1992, set an annual trap reduction schedule, not to exceed 10 percent per year, applicable to all certificateholders until the overall trap reduction goal is reached. All certificateholders shall have their certificate holdings reduced by the same percentage of certificates each year according to the trap reduction schedule. Until July 1, 1999, the Department of Environmental Protection shall issue the number of trap tags authorized by the 1Marine Fisheries Commission, as requested, and a revised statement of certificates held. Beginning July 1, 1999, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall annually issue the number of trap tags authorized by the commission's schedule, as requested, and a revised statement of certificates held. Certificateholders may maintain or increase their total number of certificates held by purchasing available certificates from within the authorized total. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall provide for an annual evaluation of the trap reduction process and shall suspend the annual percentage reductions for any period deemed necessary by the commission in order to assess the impact of the trap reduction schedule on the fishery. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may then, by rule, resume, terminate, or reverse the schedule as it deems necessary to protect the spiny lobster resource and the participants in the fishery.

(4)  TRAP CERTIFICATE TECHNICAL ADVISORY AND APPEALS BOARD.--There is hereby established the Trap Certificate Technical Advisory and Appeals Board. Such board shall consider and advise the commission on disputes and other problems arising from the implementation of the spiny lobster trap certificate program. The board may also provide information to the commission on the operation of the trap certificate program.

(a)  The board shall consist of the executive director of the commission or designee and nine other members appointed by the executive director, according to the following criteria:

1.  All appointed members shall be certificateholders, but two shall be holders of fewer than 100 certificates, two shall be holders of at least 100 but no more than 750 certificates, three shall be holders of more than 750 but not more than 2,000 certificates, and two shall be holders of more than 2,000 certificates.

2.  At least one member each shall come from Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach Counties; and five members shall come from the various regions of the Florida Keys.

3.  At least one appointed member shall be a person of Hispanic origin capable of speaking English and Spanish.

(b)  The term of each appointed member shall be for 4 years, and any vacancy shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term with a person of the qualifications necessary to maintain the requirements of paragraph (a). There shall be no limitation on successive appointments to the board.

(c)  The executive director of the commission or designee shall serve as a member and shall call the organizational meeting of the board. The board shall annually elect a chair and a vice chair. There shall be no limitation on successive terms that may be served by a chair or vice chair. The board shall meet at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, at the request of the commission, or at such times as may be prescribed by its rules. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum, and official action of the board shall require a majority vote of the total membership of the board present at the meeting.

(d)  The procedural rules adopted by the board shall conform to the requirements of chapter 120.

(e)  Members of the board shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.

(f)  Upon reaching a decision on any dispute or problem brought before it, including any decision involving the allotment of certificates under paragraph (g), the board shall submit such decision to the executive director of the commission for final approval. The executive director of the commission may alter or disapprove any decision of the board, with notice thereof given in writing to the board and to each party in the dispute explaining the reasons for the disapproval. The action of the executive director of the commission constitutes final agency action.

(g)  In addition to those certificates allotted pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (2)(a)1., up to 125,000 certificates may be allotted by the board to settle disputes or other problems arising from implementation of the trap certificate program during the 1992-1993 and 1993-1994 license years. Any certificates not allotted by March 31, 1994, shall become permanently unavailable and shall be considered as part of the 1994-1995 reduction schedule. All appeals for additional certificates or other disputes must be filed with the board before October 1, 1993.

(h)  Any trap certificates issued by the Department of Environmental Protection and, effective July 1, 1999, the commission as a result of the appeals process must be added to the existing number of trap certificates for the purposes of determining the total number of certificates from which the subsequent season's trap reduction is calculated.

(i)  On and after July 1, 1994, the board shall no longer consider and advise the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on disputes and other problems arising from implementation of the trap certificate program nor allot any certificates with respect thereto.

(5)  DISPOSITION OF FEES AND SURCHARGES.--Transfer fees and surcharges, annual trap certificate fees, and recreational tag fees collected pursuant to paragraphs (2)(a) and (b) shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and used for administration of the trap certificate program, research and monitoring of the spiny lobster fishery, and enforcement and public education activities in support of the purposes of this section and shall also be for the use of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in evaluating the impact of the trap reduction schedule on the spiny lobster fishery; however, at least 15 percent of the fees and surcharges collected shall be provided to the commission for such evaluation.

(6)  RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-317; ss. 1, 3, 4, ch. 91-154; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 92-60; ss. 10, 12, ch. 93-223; s. 229, ch. 94-356; s. 994, ch. 95-148; s. 33, ch. 96-321; s. 98, ch. 96-410; s. 7, ch. 98-203; s. 156, ch. 99-13; s. 109, ch. 99-245; s. 41, ch. 2000-364; s. 7, ch. 2002-264; s. 12, ch. 2003-143.

1Note.--Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.

370.143  Retrieval of lobster, crawfish, and stone crab traps during closed season; commission authority; fees.--

(1)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to implement a trap retrieval program for retrieval of lobster, crawfish, and stone crab traps remaining in the water during the closed season for each species. The commission is authorized to contract with outside agents for the program operation.

(2)  A retrieval fee of $10 per trap retrieved shall be assessed trap owners. However, for each person holding a crawfish stamp number or a stone crab endorsement issued under rule of the commission, the retrieval fee shall be waived for the first five traps retrieved. Traps recovered under this program shall become the property of the commission or its contract agent, as determined by the commission, and shall be either destroyed or resold to the original owner. Revenue from retrieval fees shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and used solely for operation of the trap retrieval program.

(3)  Payment of all assessed retrieval fees shall be required prior to renewal of the trap owner's saltwater products license and stone crab and or crawfish endorsements. Retrieval fees assessed under this program shall stand in lieu of other penalties imposed for such trap violations.

(4)  In the event of a major natural disaster in an area declared by the Governor to be a disaster emergency area, such as a hurricane or major storm causing massive trap losses, the commission shall waive the trap retrieval fee.

History.--s. 4, ch. 87-116; s. 4, ch. 87-120; s. 230, ch. 94-356; s. 34, ch. 96-321; s. 246, ch. 99-245; s. 42, ch. 2000-364; s. 2, ch. 2004-72.

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.

1370.151  Tortugas shrimp beds; penalties.--

(1)  It is the intention of the Legislature that action should be taken to conserve the supply of shrimp in the large shrimp beds which lie in and around the coast of the Lower Keys of Florida and in the vicinity of the islands of Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys, hereinafter referred to as the "Tortugas Shrimp Bed," and which furnish more than 50 percent of the shrimp in waters adjacent to the coast of Florida. It is further the sense of this Legislature that the shrimp industry is a valuable industry to the economy of this state and deserves adequate protection.

(2)(a)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to take title in the name of the state to any vessel or vessels suitable for use in carrying out the inspection and patrol of the Tortugas Bed which may be offered as a gift to the state by any person, firm, corporation, or association in the shrimp industry for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section. In the event such title is taken to such vessel or vessels, the commission is authorized to operate and keep said vessel or vessels in proper repair.

(b)  The commission is further authorized to accept the temporary loan of any vessel or vessels, suitable for use in carrying out the provisions of this section, for periods not exceeding 1 year. However, the state shall not assume any liability to the owner or owners of said vessels for any damage done by said vessels to other vessels, persons, or property. In the operation of said loaned vessels, upkeep and repair shall consist only of minor repairs and routine maintenance. The owner or owners shall carry full marine insurance coverage on said loaned vessel or vessels for the duration of the period during which said vessels are operated by the state.

(3)  The owner or master of any vessel not equipped with live shrimp bait tanks dragging shrimp nets in the above-defined area without a live bait shrimping license for this area is guilty of a violation of this section. A third or any subsequent violation by any person under this subsection within a 3-year period shall be a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ch. 57-358; s. 1, ch. 61-470; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 62, ch. 69-353; s. 1, ch. 70-163; s. 296, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 72-54; s. 1, ch. 74-1; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 32, ch. 79-65; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 13, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 13, ch. 86-240; s. 22, ch. 98-227; s. 248, ch. 99-245.

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.

1370.153  Regulation of shrimp fishing; Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, Flagler, and St. Johns Counties.--

(1)  DEFINITIONS.--When used in this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(a)  "Inland waters" means all creeks, rivers, bayous, bays, inlets, and canals.

(b)  "Sample" means one or more shrimp taken from an accurately defined part of the area defined.

(c)  "Series" means 10 or more samples taken within a period of not more than 1 week, each sample being taken at a different station within the pattern.

(d)  "Pattern" means 10 or more stations.

(e)  "Station" means a single location on the water of the areas defined.

(f)  "Licensed live bait shrimp producer" means any individual licensed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to employ the use of any trawl for the taking of live bait shrimp within the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, or Clay Counties.

(g)  "Licensed dead shrimp producer" means any individual licensed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to employ the use of any trawl for the taking of shrimp within the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, or Clay Counties.

(2)  SHRIMPING PROHIBITED.--It is unlawful to employ the use of any trawl or other net, except a common cast net, designed for or capable of taking shrimp, within the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, or Clay Counties, except as hereinafter provided.

(3)  LIVE BAIT SHRIMP PRODUCTION.--

(a)  A live bait shrimp production license shall be issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission upon the receipt of an application by a person intending to use a boat, not to exceed 35 feet in length in Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, and Clay Counties and not to exceed 45 feet in length in Nassau County, for live shrimp production within the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, or Clay Counties and the payment of a fee of $250. The annual fee of $250 shall be collected by the commission for the issuance of the license during a 60-day period beginning June 1 of each year. The design of the application and permit shall be determined by the commission. The proceeds of the fee imposed by this paragraph shall be used by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the purposes of enforcement of marine resource laws.

(b)  The Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or his or her designated representative, may by order close certain areas to live bait shrimp production when sampling procedures justify the closing based upon sound conservation practices. The revocation of any order to close has the effect of opening the area.

(c)1.  Each licensed live bait shrimp producer who stores his or her catch for sale or sells his or her catch shall either:

a.  Maintain onshore facilities which have been annually checked and approved by the local commission office to assure the facilities' ability to maintain the catch alive when the live bait shrimp producer produces for his or her own facility; or

b.  Sell his or her catch only to persons who have onshore facilities that have been annually checked and approved by the local commission office to assure the facilities' ability to maintain the catch alive, when the producer sells his or her catch to an onshore facility. The producer shall provide the commission with the wholesale number of the facility to which the shrimp have been sold and shall submit this number on a form designed and approved by the commission.

2.  All persons who maintain onshore facilities as described in this paragraph, whether the facilities are maintained by the licensed live bait shrimp producer or by another party who purchases shrimp from live bait shrimp producers, shall keep records of their transactions in conformance with the provisions of s. 370.07(6).

(d)  All commercial trawling in Clay, Duval, and St. Johns Counties shall be restricted to the inland waters of the St. Johns River proper in the area north of the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville and at least 100 yards from the nearest shoreline.

(e)  A live shrimp producer must also be a licensed wholesale dealer. Such person shall not sell live bait shrimp unless he or she produces a live bait shrimp production license at the time of sale.

(f)  The commission shall rename the Live Bait Shrimp Production License as the Commercial Live Shrimp Production License.

(4)  DEAD SHRIMP PRODUCTION.--Any person may operate as a commercial dead shrimp producer provided that:

(a)  A dead shrimp production permit is procured from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission upon the receipt by the commission of a properly filled out and approved application by a person intending to use a boat, not to exceed 35 feet in length in Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, and Clay Counties, and not to exceed 45 feet in length in Nassau County, for dead shrimp production within the inland waters of Nassau County and the inland waters of the St. Johns River of Duval, Putnam, St. Johns, Flagler, or Clay Counties, which permit shall cost $250 and shall be required for each vessel used for dead shrimp production. The design of the application and permit shall be determined by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The proceeds of the fees imposed by this paragraph shall be deposited into the account of the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used by the commission for the purpose of enforcement of marine resource laws.

(b)  All commercial trawling in the St. Johns River proper shall be restricted to the area north of the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville and at least 100 yards from the nearest shoreline.

(c)  All commercial shrimping activities shall be allowed during daylight hours from Tuesday through Friday each week.

(d)  No person holding a dead shrimp production permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall simultaneously hold a permit for noncommercial trawling under the provisions of subsection (5). The number of permits issued by the commission for commercial trawling or dead shrimp production in any one year shall be limited to those active in the base year, 1976, and renewed annually since 1976. All permits for dead shrimp production issued pursuant to this section shall be inheritable or transferable to an immediate family member and annually renewable by the holder thereof. Such inheritance or transfer shall be valid upon being registered with the commission. Each permit not renewed shall expire and shall not be renewed under any circumstances.

(e)  It is illegal for any person to sell dead shrimp caught in the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, Clay, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties, unless the seller is in possession of a dead shrimp production license issued pursuant to this subsection.

(f)  It is illegal for any person to purchase shrimp for consumption or bait from any seller (with respect to shrimp caught in the inland waters of Nassau, Duval, Clay, Putnam, and St. Johns Counties (St. Johns River)) who does not produce his or her dead shrimp production license prior to the sale of the shrimp.

(g)  In addition to any other penalties provided for in this section, any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall have his or her license revoked by the commission.

(h)  The commission shall rename the Dead Shrimp Production License as the Commercial Food Shrimp Production License.

(5)  NONCOMMERCIAL TRAWLING.--If noncommercial trawling is authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, any person may trawl for shrimp in the St. Johns River for his or her own use as food under the following conditions:

(a)  Each person who desires to trawl for shrimp for use as food shall obtain a noncommercial trawling permit from the local office of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission upon filling out an application on a form prescribed by the commission and upon paying a fee for the permit, which shall cost $50.

(b)  All trawling shall be restricted to the confines of the St. Johns River proper in the area north of the Acosta Bridge in Jacksonville and at least 100 yards from the nearest shoreline.

(c)  No shrimp caught by a person licensed under the provisions of this subsection may be sold or offered for sale.

(6)  SAMPLING PROCEDURE.--

(a)  The Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall have samples taken at established stations within patterns at frequent intervals.

(b)  No area may be closed to live bait shrimp production unless a series of samples has been taken and it has been determined that the shrimp are undersized or that continued shrimping in this area would have an adverse effect on conservation. Standards for size may be established by rule of the commission.

(c)  No area may be opened to dead shrimp production unless a series of samples has been taken and it has been determined that the shrimp are of legal size. Legal-sized shrimp shall be defined as not more than 47 shrimp with heads on, or 70 shrimp with heads off, per pound.

(7)  LICENSE POSSESSION.--The operator of a boat employing the use of any trawl for shrimp production must be in possession of a current shrimp production license issued to him or her pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(8)  USE OF TRAWL; LIMITATION.--

(a)  The use of a trawl by either a live bait shrimp producer or dead shrimp producer shall be limited to the daylight hours, and the taking of dead shrimp shall not take place on Saturdays, Sundays, or legal state holidays.

(b)  The use of a trawl by either a live bait shrimp producer or dead shrimp producer within 100 yards of any shoreline is prohibited. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, by rule or order, may define the area or areas where this subsection shall apply.

(c)1.  It is unlawful to employ the use of any trawl designed for, or capable of, taking shrimp within 1/4 mile of any natural or manmade inlet in Duval County or St. Johns County.

2.  It is unlawful for anyone to trawl in the Trout River west of the bridge on U.S. 17 in Duval County.

(9)  CREDITS.--Fees paid pursuant to paragraphs (3)(a) and (4)(a) of this section shall be credited against the saltwater products license fee.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ch. 71-460; ss. 1, 2, ch. 72-116; s. 1, ch. 73-150; ss. 1, 2, ch. 74-140; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-186; s. 80, ch. 79-164; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 1, ch. 83-295; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 1, ch. 87-201; ss. 3, 6, ch. 88-412; ss. 6, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 7, ch. 90-310; s. 231, ch. 94-356; s. 995, ch. 95-148; s. 13, ch. 95-414; s. 35, ch. 96-321; s. 45, ch. 97-96; s. 23, ch. 98-227; s. 249, ch. 99-245; s. 44, 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 then-existing subsections (1), (2), and (4)-(9), and paragraphs (3)(b)-(f), effective July 1, 1986, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1986, they 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.

370.1535  Regulation of shrimp fishing in Tampa Bay; licensing requirements.--

(1)  No person shall operate as a dead shrimp producer in any waters of Tampa Bay unless such person has procured from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission a dead shrimp production permit.

(2)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to issue a dead shrimp production permit to persons qualified pursuant to the following criteria:

(a)  The person has submitted an application designed by the commission for such permit.

(b)  One permit is required for each vessel used for dead shrimp production in the waters of Tampa Bay. A permit shall only be issued to an individual who is the principal owner of the vessel or of the business entity owning the vessel and utilizing the permit. No more than three permits shall be issued to any individual.

(c)  Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a fee of $250 for each resident of the state and $1,000 for each nonresident of the state. The proceeds of the fees collected pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used by the commission for the purpose of enforcement of marine resource laws.

(d)  No person shall be issued a permit or be allowed to renew a permit if such person is registered for noncommercial trawling pursuant to s. 370.15(4).

(e)  Each applicant shall make application prior to June 30, 1992, and shall hold any other license or registration required to operate a commercial fishing vessel in Tampa Bay on the date of application.

(3)  Each permit issued in the base year of 1992 shall be renewable by June 30 in each subsequent year upon application meeting the requirements for issuance for an initial permit pursuant to subsection (2). The number of permits outstanding in any one year shall not exceed the number issued for 1992. No permit shall be transferable by any method, including devise or inheritance, and a permit shall be renewable only by the initial holder thereof. All permits not renewed for any reason shall expire and shall not be renewable under any circumstances.

(4)  No person harvesting dead shrimp from Tampa Bay shall sell such shrimp to any person unless such seller is in possession of a dead shrimp production permit issued pursuant to this section. Except for purchases from other wholesale dealers, no wholesale dealer, as defined in s. 370.07(1)(a)3., shall purchase dead shrimp harvested in Tampa Bay, unless the seller produces his or her dead shrimp production permit prior to the sale of the shrimp.

(5)  The operator of any vessel used in Tampa Bay for dead shrimp production shall possess while in or on the waters of the bay and produce upon the request of any duly authorized law enforcement officer a current dead shrimp production permit issued for the vessel pursuant to this section.

(6)  Each person harvesting shrimp in Tampa Bay pursuant to the permit required by this section shall comply with all rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulating such harvest.

(7)  For purpose of this section, "Tampa Bay" means all the waters of the bay east and north of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (U.S. 19 and Interstate 275).

History.--s. 1, ch. 91-101; s. 232, ch. 94-356; s. 996, ch. 95-148; s. 36, ch. 96-321; s. 157, ch. 99-13; s. 110, ch. 99-245; s. 5, ch. 2003-143.

370.154  Shrimp regulations; closed areas; suspension of license, etc.--Any person convicted of taking shrimp in a closed area who is punishable under s. 370.15(5) shall, in addition to the penalties set forth therein, have his or her permit and the permit of the boat involved in the violation, issued pursuant to s. 370.15(4), revoked, if the person holds such a permit, and he or she shall be ineligible to make application for such a permit for a period of 2 years from the date of such conviction. If a person not having a permit is convicted hereunder, that person and the boat involved in the violation shall not be eligible for such a permit for 5 years.

History.--s. 3, ch. 72-54; s. 561, ch. 95-148; s. 19, ch. 97-100; s. 158, ch. 99-13; s. 6, ch. 2003-143.

1370.155  Regulation of shrimp fishing in a designated area.--It shall be unlawful to catch or take, or attempt to catch or take, with nets in excess of 18 feet on the cork line, in excess of 24 feet on the lead line, and in excess of 3 feet on the leg line with trawl doors or otter boards which exceed 36 inches in length by 18 inches in width, shrimp from April 1 to June 15 of each year in the following area, to wit: Beginning at a central point on Cape San Blas, proceeding thence 180 degrees to a point 3 miles seaward, thence southeasterly along a meandering line 3 miles from the shoreline to a point 3 miles due south of Cape St. George, proceeding thence zero degrees to Cape St. George, thence follow the shoreline bordering the Gulf of Mexico to the point of beginning. It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her boat at one time more than one net of the permissible size to take shrimp in the area herein defined.

History.--ss. 1, 2, ch. 73-362; s. 1, ch. 75-262; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 14, ch. 86-240; s. 562, ch. 95-148.

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.

1370.16  Noncultured shellfish harvesting.--

(1)  PROTECTION OF SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE PRODUCTS.--

(a)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall assist in protecting shellfish aquaculture products produced on leased or granted reefs in the hands of lessees or grantees from the state. Harvesting shellfish is prohibited within a distance of 25 feet outside lawfully marked lease boundaries or within setback and access corridors within specifically designated high-density aquaculture lease areas and aquaculture use zones.

(b)  The department, in cooperation with the commission, shall provide the Legislature with recommendations as needed for the development and the proper protection of the rights of the state and private holders therein with respect to the oyster and clam business.

(2)  REMOVING OYSTERS, CLAMS, OR MUSSELS FROM NATURAL REEFS; LICENSES, ETC., PENALTY.--

(a)  It is unlawful to use a dredge or any means or implement other than hand tongs in removing oysters from the natural or artificial state reefs. This restriction shall apply to all areas of Apalachicola Bay for all shellfish harvesting, excluding private grounds leased or granted by the state prior to July 1, 1989, if the lease or grant specifically authorizes the use of implements other than hand tongs for harvesting. Except in Apalachicola Bay, upon the payment of $25 annually, for each vessel or boat using a dredge or machinery in the gathering of clams or mussels, a special activity license may be issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission pursuant to s. 370.06 for such use to such person.

(b)  The use of any mechanical harvesting device other than ordinary hand tongs for taking shellfish for any purpose from public shellfish beds in Apalachicola Bay shall be unlawful.

(c)  The possession of any mechanical harvesting device on the waters of Apalachicola Bay from 5 p.m. until sunrise shall be unlawful.

(d)  Each vessel used for the transport or deployment of a dredge or scrape shall prominently display the lease or grant number or numbers, in numerals which are at least 12 inches high and 6 inches wide, in such a manner that the lease or grant number or numbers are readily identifiable from both the air and the water.

(e)  Oysters may be harvested from natural or public grounds by common hand tongs or by hand, by scuba diving, free diving, leaning from vessels, or wading. In the Apalachicola Bay, this provision shall apply to all shellfish.

The commission shall apply other statutes, rules, or conditions necessary to protect the environment and natural resources from improper transport, deployment, and operation of a dredge or scrape. Any violation of this subsection or of any other statutes, rules, or conditions referenced in the special activity license shall be considered a violation of the license and shall result in revocation of the license and forfeiture of the bond submitted to the commission as a prerequisite to the issuance of this license.

(3)  FALSE RETURNS AS TO OYSTERS OR CLAMS HANDLED.--Each packer, canner, corporation, firm, commission person, or dealer in fish shall, on the first day of each month, make a return under oath to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as to the number of oysters, clams, and shellfish purchased, caught, or handled during the preceding month. Whoever is found guilty of making any false affidavit to any such report is guilty of perjury and punished as provided by law, and any person who fails to make such report shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months.

(4)  SEIZURE OF VESSELS AND CARGOES VIOLATING OYSTER AND CLAM LAWS, ETC.--Vessels, with their cargoes, violating the provisions of the laws relating to oysters and clams may be seized by anyone duly and lawfully authorized to make arrests under this section or by any sheriff or the sheriff's deputies, and taken into custody, and when not arrested by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputies, delivered to the sheriff of the county in which the seizure is made, and shall be liable to forfeiture, on appropriate proceedings being instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, before the courts of that county. In such case the cargo shall at once be disposed of by the sheriff, for account of whom it may concern. Should the master or any of the crew of said vessel be found guilty of using dredges or other instruments in fishing oysters on natural reefs contrary to law, or fishing on the natural oyster or clam reefs out of season, or unlawfully taking oysters or clams belonging to a lessee, such vessel shall be declared forfeited by the court, and ordered sold and the proceeds of the sale shall be deposited with the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the General Revenue Fund; any person guilty of such violations shall not be permitted to have any license provided for in this chapter within a period of 1 year from the date of conviction. Pending proceedings such vessel may be released upon the owner furnishing bond, with good and solvent security in double the value of the vessel, conditioned upon its being returned in good condition to the sheriff to abide the judgment of the court.

(5)  DREDGING OF DEAD SHELLS PROHIBITED.--The dredging of dead shell deposits is prohibited in the state.

(6)  REQUIREMENTS FOR OYSTER VESSELS.--All vessels used for the harvesting, gathering, or transporting of noncultured oysters for commercial use shall be constructed and maintained to prevent contamination or deterioration of oysters. To this end, all such vessels shall be provided with false bottoms and bulkheads fore and aft to prevent oysters from coming in contact with any bilge water. No dogs or other animals shall be allowed at any time on vessels used to harvest or transport oysters. A violation of any provision of this subsection shall result in at least the revocation of the violator's license.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 57-256; s. 1, ch. 57-163; s. 1, ch. 59-346; s. 1, ch. 59-490; s. 1, ch. 61-99; s. 2, ch. 61-58; s. 3, ch. 61-22; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 61-100; s. 19, ch. 63-512; ss. 1, 2, ch. 63-120; s. 1, ch. 63-396; s. 3, ch. 65-140; s. 1, ch. 65-436; s. 1, ch. 67-234; ss. 19, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 298, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-244; s. 1, ch. 71-245; s. 1, ch. 71-246; s. 129, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 72-204; s. 1, ch. 72-236; s. 102, ch. 73-333; s. 1, ch. 75-120; s. 1, ch. 76-106; s. 1, ch. 77-92; s. 111, ch. 77-104; s. 52, ch. 77-147; s. 1, ch. 77-197; s. 1, ch. 77-206; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 1, ch. 78-96; s. 33, ch. 79-65; s. 1, ch. 79-111; ss. 1, 2, ch. 80-52; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 1, ch. 82-408; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 27, ch. 83-216; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 15, ch. 84-254; ss. 14, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 16, 19, ch. 86-240; ss. 7, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 3, ch. 89-116; ss. 19, 26, 42, ch. 89-175; s. 16, ch. 91-78; ss. 4, 5, ch. 91-187; ss. 5, 6, ch. 91-254; s. 5, ch. 91-286; s. 234, ch. 94-356; s. 92, ch. 95-143; s. 997, ch. 95-148; s. 37, ch. 96-321; s. 13, ch. 98-333; s. 64, ch. 99-8; s. 60, ch. 99-245; s. 12, ch. 2000-364; s. 381, ch. 2003-261; s. 13, ch. 2004-264.

1Note.--Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed then-existing subsections (14)-(16) and (38), effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984, they 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. 6, 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.

370.1601  Lease of state-owned water bottoms for growing oysters and clams.--Effective July 1, 1988, persons wishing to lease state-owned water bottoms for the purpose of growing oysters and clams shall no longer be required to apply under the provisions of s. 370.16; such leases shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of ss. 253.67-253.75.

History.--s. 3, ch. 88-207.

370.1603  Oysters produced in and outside state; labeling; tracing; rules.--

(1)  No wholesale or retail dealer, as defined in s. 370.07(1), shall sell any oysters produced outside this state unless they are labeled as such, or unless it is otherwise reasonably made known to the purchaser that the oysters were not produced in this state.

(2)  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall promulgate rules whereby oysters produced in Florida waters can be traced to the location from which they were harvested. A wholesale or retail dealer may not sell any oysters produced in this state unless they are labeled so that they may be traced to the point of harvesting.

History.--s. 7, ch. 86-219; s. 21, ch. 86-240; s. 47, ch. 91-221; s. 235, ch. 94-356; s. 250, ch. 99-245.

370.161  Oyster bottom land grants made pursuant to ch. 3293.--

(1)  All grants previously issued by the several boards of county commissioners under the authority of chapter 3293, 1881, Laws of Florida, shall be subject to provisions of s. 597.010, relating to the marking of such lands, the payment of rents, the cultivation of such lands and the forfeiture provisions.

(2)  Any grantee of lands referred to in subsection (1) shall mark such lands and begin cultivation thereof as set forth in s. 597.010, within 90 days after the effective date of this act. The rentals prescribed by s. 597.010, shall be payable immediately upon the effective date of this act and in accordance with the provisions of said section.

(3)  If any grantee shall fail to comply with the provisions of this act his or her grant shall become null and void and the lands shall return to the ownership and jurisdiction of the state.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 61-502; s. 563, ch. 95-148; s. 13, ch. 2000-364.

1370.17  Sponges; regulation.--

(1)  NONRESIDENT LICENSE; SPONGE FISHING.--Any nonresident of the state, who desires to engage in the business or occupation of sponge fishing, either for that person or any other person, shall, before entering into said business or occupation, procure a nonresident saltwater products license issued in the name of an individual or to a valid boat registration pursuant to s. 370.06.

(2)  USE AND SIZE OF HOOKS.--Any person engaged in gathering sponges by use of a hook shall use a hook 5 inches wide for the purpose of removing sponges from the bottom, and no hook of other dimensions may be used.

(3)  TAKING, POSSESSING COMMERCIAL; SIZE.--

(a)  No person may take, by any means or method, from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the straits of this state or the other waters within the territorial limits of this state, any commercial sponges, measuring, when wet, less than 5 inches in their maximum diameter.

(b)  To make effective the foregoing subsection it is further provided that no person may land, cure, deliver, offer for sale, sell, or have in his or her possession, within the territorial limits of this state, or upon any boat, vessel, or vehicle, other than those operated interstate by common carriers, within the territorial limits of this state, any commercial sponges measuring, when wet, less than 5 inches in their maximum diameter.

(c)  The presence of commercial sponges within the territorial limits of this state, or upon any boat, vessel, or vehicle, other than those operated interstate by common carriers, within the territorial limits of this state, measuring, when wet, less than 5 inches in their maximum diameter, shall be evidence that the person having such sponges in his or her possession has violated this section.

(4)  POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.--The commission is authorized and empowered to make, promulgate, and put into effect all rules and regulations which the commission may consider and decide to be necessary to accomplish the purpose of this chapter for the taking and cultivation of sponges, including the power and authority to determine and fix, in its discretion, the seasons and period of time within which public state grounds may be closed to the taking, possessing, buying, selling, or transporting of sponges from the sponge cultivation districts herein provided for and to regulate and prescribe the means and methods to be employed in the harvesting thereof; however, notice of all rules, regulations, and orders, and all revisions and amendments thereto, prescribing closed seasons or prescribing the means and methods of harvesting sponges adopted by the commission shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the conservation district affected within 10 days from the adoption thereof, in addition to any notice required by chapter 120.

(5)  COOPERATION WITH UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.--The commission shall cooperate with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, under existing federal laws, rules and regulations, and is authorized to accept donations, grants and matching funds from said federal government under such conditions as are reasonable and proper, for the purposes of carrying out this chapter, and the commission is further authorized to accept any and all donations including funds and loan of vessels.

(6)  PENALTY.--Any person violating any of the foregoing provisions shall, for the second offense, be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and by the confiscation of all boats, tackle and equipment used in the commission of such violation.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 10, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 299, ch. 71-136; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 15, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 17, 19, ch. 86-240; ss. 8, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 4, ch. 89-116; s. 564, ch. 95-148; s. 111, ch. 99-245.

1Note.--Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984, this section 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. 6, 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.

1370.172  Spearfishing; definition; limitations; penalty.--

(1)  For the purposes of this section, "spearfishing" means the taking of any saltwater fish through the instrumentality of a spear, gig, or lance operated by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water.

(2)(a)  Spearfishing is prohibited within the boundaries of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the waters of Collier County, and the area in Monroe County known as Upper Keys, which includes all salt waters under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission beginning at the county line between Dade and Monroe Counties and running south, including all of the keys down to and including Long Key.

(b)  For the purposes of this subsection, the possession in the water of a spear, gig, or lance by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water in a prohibited area is prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this subsection regarding spearfishing.

(3)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall have the power to establish restricted areas when it is determined that safety hazards exist or when needs are determined by biological findings. Restricted areas shall be established only after an investigation has been conducted and upon application by the governing body of the county or municipality in which the restricted areas are to be located and one publication in a local newspaper of general circulation in said county or municipality in addition to any other notice required by law. Prior to promulgation of regulations, the local governing body of the area affected shall agree to post and maintain notices in the area affected.

History.--s. 1, ch. 57-303; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 301, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 2, ch. 73-141; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-381; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; s. 19, ch. 86-240; ss. 9, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 236, ch. 94-356; s. 251, ch. 99-245; s. 13, ch. 2004-264.

1Note.--Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984, this section 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. 6, 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.

370.18  Compacts and agreements; generally.--The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may enter into agreements of reciprocity with the fish commissioners or other departments or other proper officials of other states, whereby the citizens of the state may be permitted to take or catch shrimp or prawn from the waters under the jurisdiction of such other states, upon similar agreements to allow such nonresidents or aliens to fish for or catch seafood products within the jurisdiction of the state regardless of residence.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 237, ch. 94-356; s. 252, ch. 99-245.

370.19  Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.--

(1)  FORM.--The Governor of this state is hereby authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of the State of Florida with any one or more of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and with such other states as may enter into the compact, legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:



ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES

COMPACT

The contracting states solemnly agree:



ARTICLE I

The purpose of this compact is to promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell, and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries, and by the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries from any cause. It is not the purpose of this compact to authorize the states joining herein to limit the production of fish or fish products for the purpose of establishing or fixing the price thereof, or creating and perpetuating a monopoly.



ARTICLE II

This agreement shall become operative immediately as to those states executing it whenever any two or more of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida have executed it in the form that is in accordance with the laws of the executing state and the Congress has given its consent. Any state contiguous with any of the aforementioned states and riparian upon waters frequented by anadromous fish, flowing into waters under the jurisdiction of any of the aforementioned states, may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.



ARTICLE III

Each state joining herein shall appoint three representatives to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. One shall be the executive officer of the administrative agency of such state charged with the conservation of the fisheries resources to which this compact pertains or, if there be more than one officer or agency, the official of that state named by the governor thereof. The second shall be a member of the legislature of such state designated by such legislature or, in the absence of such designation, such legislator shall be designated by the governor thereof, provided that if it is constitutionally impossible to appoint a legislator as a commissioner from such state, the second member shall be appointed in such manner as is established by law. The third shall be a citizen who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries problem to be appointed by the governor. This commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth herein.



ARTICLE IV

The duty of the said commission shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the conservation and the prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their respective jurisdictions to promote the preservation of those fisheries and their protection against overfishing, waste, depletion or any abuse whatsoever and to assure a continuing yield from the fisheries resources of the aforementioned states.

To that end the commission shall draft and, after consultation with the advisory committee hereinafter authorized, recommend to the governors and legislatures of the various signatory states legislation dealing with the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall, more than one month prior to any regular meeting of the legislature in any signatory state, present to the governor of the state its recommendations relating to enactments to be made by the legislature of that state in furthering the intents and purposes of this compact.

The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the states party hereto with regard to problems connected with the fisheries and recommend the adoption of such regulations as it deems advisable.

The commission shall have power to recommend to the states party hereto the stocking of the waters of such states with fish and fish eggs or joint stocking by some or all of the states party hereto and when two or more of the states shall jointly stock waters the commission shall act as the coordinating agency for such stocking.



ARTICLE V

The commission shall elect from its number a chair and a vice chair and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place but must meet at least once a year.



ARTICLE VI

No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its general affairs except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states present at any meeting. No recommendation shall be made by the commission in regard to any species of fish except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states which have an interest in such species. The commission shall define what shall be an interest.



ARTICLE VII

The Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior of the Government of the United States shall act as the primary research agency of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperating with the research agencies in each state for that purpose. Representatives of the said Fish and Wildlife Service shall attend the meetings of the commission.

An advisory committee to be representative of the commercial fishers and the saltwater anglers and such other interests of each state as the commission deems advisable shall be established by the commission as soon as practicable for the purpose of advising the commission upon such recommendations as it may desire to make.



ARTICLE VIII

When any state other than those named specifically in Article II of this compact shall become a party thereto for the purpose of conserving its anadromous fish in accordance with the provisions of Article II the participation of such state in the action of the commission shall be limited to such species of anadromous fish.



ARTICLE IX

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the powers of any signatory state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by any signatory state imposing additional conditions to conserve its fisheries.



ARTICLE X

Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the governor thereof.



ARTICLE XI

The states party hereto agree to make annual appropriations to the support of the commission in proportion to the primary market value of the products of their fisheries, exclusive of cod and haddock, as recorded in the most recent published reports of the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior, provided no state shall contribute less than $200 per annum and the annual contribution of each state above the minimum shall be figured to the nearest $100.

The compacting states agree to appropriate initially the annual amounts scheduled below, which amounts are calculated in the manner set forth herein, on the basis of the catch record of 1938. Subsequent budgets shall be recommended by a majority of the commission and the cost thereof allocated equitably among the states in accordance with their respective interests and submitted to the compacting states.



Schedule of Initial Annual

State Contributions

Maine ............ $700

New Hampshire ............ 200

Massachusetts ............ 2,300

Rhode Island ............ 300

Connecticut ............ 400

New York ............ 1,300

New Jersey ............ 800

Delaware ............ 200

Maryland ............ 700

Virginia ............ 1,300

North Carolina ............ 600

South Carolina ............ 200

Georgia ............ 200

Florida ............ 1,500



ARTICLE XII

This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each compacting state until renounced by it. Renunciation of this compact must be preceded by sending 6 months' notice in writing of intention to withdraw from the compact to the other states party hereto.

(2)  COMMISSIONERS; APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL.--In pursuance of Article III of said compact there shall be three members (hereinafter called commissioners) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (hereinafter called commission) from this state. The first commissioner from this state shall be the Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, ex officio, and the term of any such ex officio commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said office of Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and his or her successor as commissioner shall be his or her successor as executive director. The second commissioner from this state shall be a legislator appointed on a rotating basis by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, beginning with the appointment of a member of the Senate, and the term of any such commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said legislative office. The Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate), shall appoint a citizen as a third commissioner who shall have a knowledge of, and interest in, the marine fisheries problem. The term of said commissioner shall be 3 years and the commissioner shall hold office until a successor shall be appointed and qualified. Vacancies occurring in the office of such commissioner from any reason or cause shall be filled by appointment by the Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate), for the unexpired term. The Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as ex officio commissioner may delegate, from time to time, to any deputy or other subordinate in his or her department or office, the power to be present and participate, including voting, as his or her representative or substitute at any meeting of or hearing by or other proceeding of the commission. The terms of each of the initial three members shall begin at the date of the appointment of the appointive commissioner, provided the said compact shall then have gone into effect in accordance with Article II of the compact; otherwise, they shall begin upon the date upon which said compact shall become effective in accordance with said Article II. Any commissioner may be removed from office by the Governor upon charges and after a hearing.

(3)  POWERS OF COMMISSION AND COMMISSIONERS.--There is hereby granted to the commission and the commissioners thereof all the powers provided for in the said compact and all the powers necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular. All officers of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed to do all things falling within their respective provinces and jurisdiction necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular; it being hereby declared to be the policy of the State of Florida to perform and carry out the said compact and to accomplish the purposes thereof. All officers, bureaus, departments and persons of and in the state government or administration of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed at convenient times and upon request of the said commission to furnish the said commission with information and data possessed by them or any of them and to aid said commission by loan of personnel or other means lying within their legal rights respectively.

(4)  POWERS OF COMMISSION SUPPLEMENTAL.--Any powers herein granted to the commission shall be regarded as in aid of and supplemental to and in no case a limitation upon any of the powers vested in said commission by other laws of the State of Florida or by the laws of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida or by the Congress or the terms of said compact.

(5)  ACCOUNTS TO BE KEPT BY COMMISSION; EXAMINATION.--

(a)  The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall report to the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Florida on or before the 10th day of December in each year, setting forth in detail the transactions conducted by it during the 12 months preceding December 1 of that year and shall make recommendations for any legislative action deemed by it advisable, including amendments to the statutes of the State of Florida which may be necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of the compact between the signatory states.

(b)  The Department of Financial Services is authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including its receipts, disbursements and such other items referring to its financial standing as such department deems proper and to report the results of such examination to the governor of such state.

(6)  APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENSES OF COMMISSION.--The sum of $600, annually, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the expenses of the commission created by the compact authorized by this law. The moneys hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the State Treasury on the audit and warrant of the Chief Financial Officer upon vouchers certified by the chair of the commission in the manner prescribed by law.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 130, ch. 71-377; s. 9, ch. 77-85; s. 238, ch. 94-356; s. 998, ch. 95-148; s. 253, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2001-272; s. 382, ch. 2003-261.

370.20  Gulf States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.--

(1)  FORM.--The Governor of this state is hereby authorized and directed to execute the compact on behalf of the State of Florida with any one or more of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and with such other state as may enter into a compact, legal joining therein in the form substantially as follows:



GULF STATES MARINE FISHERIES

COMPACT

The contracting states solemnly agree:



ARTICLE I

Whereas the gulf coast states have the proprietary interest in and jurisdiction over fisheries in the waters within their respective boundaries, it is the purpose of this compact to promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the seaboard of the Gulf of Mexico, by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries and the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries from any cause.



ARTICLE II

This compact shall become operative immediately as to those states ratifying it whenever any two or more of the States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas have ratified it and the Congress has given its consent subject to article I, s. 10 of the Constitution of the United States. Any state contiguous to any of the aforementioned states or riparian upon waters which flow into waters under the jurisdiction of any of the aforementioned states and which are frequented by anadromous fish or marine species may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.



ARTICLE III

Each state joining herein shall appoint three representatives to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. One shall be the head of the administrative agency of such state charged with the conservation of the fishery resources to which this compact pertains or, if there be more than one officer or agency, the official of that state named by the governor thereof. The second shall be a member of the legislature of such state designated by such legislature or in the absence of such designation, such legislator shall be designated by the governor thereof, provided that if it is constitutionally impossible to appoint a legislator as a commissioner from such state, the second member shall be appointed in such manner as may be established by law. The third shall be a citizen who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries, to be appointed by the governor. This commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth herein.



ARTICLE IV

The duty of the said commission shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the conservation and the prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the gulf coast. The commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their respective jurisdiction to promote the preservation of these fisheries and their protection against overfishing, waste, depletion or any abuse whatsoever and to assure a continuing yield from the fishery resources of the aforementioned states.

To that end the commission shall draft and recommend to the governors and the legislatures of the various signatory states, legislation dealing with the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of the gulf seaboard. The commission shall from time to time present to the governor of each compacting state its recommendations relating to enactments to be presented to the legislature of the state in furthering the interest and purposes of this compact.

The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the states party hereto with regard to problems connected with the fisheries and recommend the adoption of such regulations as it deems advisable.

The commission shall have power to recommend to the states party hereto the stocking of the waters of such states with fish and fish eggs or joint stocking by some or all of the states party hereto and when two or more states shall jointly stock waters the commission shall act as the coordinating agency for such stocking.



ARTICLE V

The commission shall elect from its number a chair and vice chair and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place but must meet at least once a year.



ARTICLE VI

No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its general affairs except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states. No recommendation shall be made by the commission in regard to any species of fish except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states which have an interest in such species. The commission shall define which shall be an interest.



ARTICLE VII

The Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior of the Government of the United States shall act as the primary research agency of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperating with the research agencies in each state for that purpose. Representatives of the said fish and wildlife service shall attend the meetings of the commission. An advisory committee to be representative of the commercial salt water fishers and the salt water anglers and such other interests of each state as the commissioners deem advisable may be established by the commissioners from each state for the purpose of advising those commissioners upon such recommendations as it may desire to make.



ARTICLE VIII

When any state other than those named specifically in article II of this compact shall become a party hereto for the purpose of conserving its anadromous fish or marine species in accordance with the provisions of article II, the participation of such state in the action of the commission shall be limited to such species of fish.



ARTICLE IX

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the powers or the proprietary interest of any signatory state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by a signatory state imposing additional conditions and restrictions to conserve its fisheries.



ARTICLE X

It is agreed that any two or more states party hereto may further amend this compact by acts of their respective legislatures subject to approval of Congress as provided in article I, s. 10, of the Constitution of the United States, to designate the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission as a joint regulating authority for the joint regulation of specific fisheries affecting only such states as shall be compact, and at their joint expense. The representatives of such states shall constitute a separate section of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission for the exercise of the additional powers so granted but the creation of such section shall not be deemed to deprive the states so compacting of any of their privileges or powers in the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission as constituted under the other articles of this compact.



ARTICLE XI

Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the governor thereof.



ARTICLE XII

The operating expenses of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission shall be borne by the states party hereto. Such initial appropriations as are set forth below shall be made available yearly until modified as hereinafter provided:

Florida ............ $3,500

Alabama ............ 1,000

Mississippi ............ 1,000

Louisiana ............ 5,000

Texas ............ 2,500


Total ............ $13,000


The proration and total cost per annum of $13,000, above-mentioned, is estimated only, for initial operations, and may be changed when found necessary by the commission and approved by the legislatures of the respective states. Each state party hereto agrees to provide in the manner most acceptable to it, the travel costs and necessary expenses of its commissioners and other representatives to and from meetings of the commission or its duly constituted sections or committees.



ARTICLE XIII

This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each compacting state until renounced by act of the legislature of such state, in such form as it may choose; provided that such renunciation shall not become effective until 6 months after the effective date of the action taken by the legislature. Notice of such renunciation shall be given to the other states party hereto by the secretary of state of the compacting state so renouncing upon passage of the act.

(2)  MEMBERS OF COMMISSION; TERM OF OFFICE.--In pursuance of article III of said compact, there shall be three members (hereinafter called commissioners) of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (hereafter called commission) from the State of Florida. The first commissioner from the State of Florida shall be the Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, ex officio, and the term of any such ex officio commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said office of Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and his or her successor as commissioner shall be his or her successor as executive director. The second commissioner from the State of Florida shall be a legislator appointed on a rotating basis by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, beginning with the appointment of a member of the House of Representatives, and the term of any such commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said legislative office. The Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate) shall appoint a citizen as a third commissioner who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries problem. The term of said commissioner shall be 3 years and the commissioner shall hold office until a successor shall be appointed and qualified. Vacancies occurring in the office of such commissioner from any reason or cause shall be filled by appointment by the Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate) for the unexpired term. The Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as ex officio commissioner, may delegate, from time to time, to any deputy or other subordinate in his or her department or office, the power to be present and participate, including voting, as his or her representative or substitute at any meeting of or hearing by or other proceeding of the commission. The terms of each of the initial three members shall begin at the date of the appointment of the appointive commissioner, provided the said compact shall then have gone into effect in accordance with article II of the compact; otherwise they shall begin upon the date upon which said compact shall become effective in accordance with said article II.

Any commissioner may be removed from office by the Governor upon charges and after a hearing.

(3)  COMMISSION; POWERS.--There is hereby granted to the commission and the commissioners thereof all the powers provided for in the said compact and all the powers necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular. All officers of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed to do all things falling within their respective provinces and jurisdiction necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular; it being hereby declared to be the policy of the State of Florida to perform and carry out the said compact and to accomplish the purposes thereof. All officers, bureaus, departments and persons of and in the state government or administration of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed at convenient times and upon request of the said commission to furnish the said commission with information and data possessed by them or any of them and to aid said commission by loan of personnel or other means lying within their legal rights respectively.

(4)  POWERS OF COMMISSION SUPPLEMENTAL.--Any powers herein granted to the commissioner shall be regarded as in aid of and supplemental to and in no case a limitation upon any of the powers vested in said commission by other laws of the State of Florida or by the laws of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida or by the Congress or the terms of said compact.

(5)  ACCOUNTS TO BE KEPT BY COMMISSION; EXAMINATION.--The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall report to the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Florida on or before the 10th day of December in each year, setting forth in detail the transactions conducted by it during the 12 months preceding December 1 of that year and shall make recommendations for any legislative action deemed by it advisable, including amendments to the statutes of the State of Florida which may be necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of the compact between the signatory states.

The Department of Financial Services is authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including its receipts, disbursements and such other items referring to its financial standing as such department deems proper and to report the results of such examination to the governor of such state.

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 131, ch. 71-377; s. 10, ch. 77-85; s. 239, ch. 94-356; s. 999, ch. 95-148; s. 254, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2001-272; s. 383, ch. 2003-261.

370.21  Florida Territorial Waters Act; alien-owned commercial fishing vessels; prohibited acts; enforcement.--

(1)  This act may be known and cited as the "Florida Territorial Waters Act."

(2)  It is the purpose of this act to exercise and exert full sovereignty and control of the territorial waters of the state.

(3)  No license shall be issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission under s. 370.06, to any vessel owned in whole or in part by any alien power, which subscribes to the doctrine of international communism, or any subject or national thereof, who subscribes to the doctrine of international communism, or any individual who subscribes to the doctrine of international communism, or who shall have signed a treaty of trade, friendship and alliance or a nonaggression pact with any communist power. The commission shall grant or withhold said licenses where other alien vessels are involved on the basis of reciprocity and retorsion, unless the nation concerned shall be designated as a friendly ally or neutral by a formal suggestion transmitted to the Governor of Florida by the Secretary of State of the United States. Upon the receipt of such suggestion licenses shall be granted under s. 370.06, without regard to reciprocity and retorsion, to vessels of such nations.

(4)  It is unlawful for any unlicensed alien vessel to take by any means whatsoever, attempt to take, or having so taken to possess, any natural resource of the state's territorial waters, as such waters are described by Art. II of the State Constitution.

(5)  It is the duty of all harbormasters of the state to prevent the use of any port facility in a manner which they reasonably suspect may assist in the violation of this act. Harbormasters shall endeavor by all reasonable means, which may include the inspection of nautical logs, to ascertain from masters of newly arrived vessels of all types other than warships of the United States, the presence of alien commercial fishing vessels within the territorial waters of the state, and shall transmit such information promptly to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and such law enforcement agencies of the state as the situation may indicate. Harbormasters shall request assistance from the United States Coast Guard in appropriate cases to prevent unauthorized departure from any port facility.

(6)  All licensed harbor pilots are required to promptly transmit any knowledge coming to their attention regarding possible violations of this act to the harbormaster of the port or the appropriate law enforcement officials.

(7)  All law enforcement agencies of the state, including but not limited to sheriffs and officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, are empowered and directed to arrest the masters and crews of vessels who are reasonably believed to be in violation of this law, and to seize and detain such vessels, their equipment and catch. Such arresting officers shall take the offending crews or property before the court having jurisdiction of such offenses. All such agencies are directed to request assistance from the United States Coast Guard in the enforcement of this act when having knowledge of vessels operating in violation or probable violation of this act within their jurisdictions when such agencies are without means to effectuate arrest and restraint of vessels and their crews.

(8)  The fine or imprisonment of persons and confiscation proceedings against vessels, gear and catch prescribed for violations of this chapter, shall be imposed for violation of this act; provided that nothing herein shall authorize the repurchase of property for a nominal sum by the owner upon proof of lack of complicity in the violation or undertaking.

(9)  No crew member or master seeking bona fide political asylum shall be fined or imprisoned hereunder.

(10)  Harbormasters and law enforcement agencies are authorized to request assistance from the Civil Air Patrol in the surveillance of suspect vessels. Aircraft of the Division of Forestry of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or other state or county agencies which are conveniently located and not otherwise occupied may be similarly utilized.

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ch. 63-202; ss. 14, 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 240, ch. 94-356; s. 255, ch. 99-245.

370.22  Venue for proceedings against citizens and residents charged with violations outside state boundaries.--

(1)  In any proceeding against a resident or citizen of the state to enforce the provisions of this chapter with respect to alleged violations occurring beyond the territorial waters of the state, the proper venue shall be the county within the state which is nearest the site of the violation.

(2)  For the purpose of this section, any person having embarked from, or having docked his or her vessel in, a port within this state who violates any provision of this chapter with respect to the unlawful landing of saltwater life, whether or not outside the territorial waters of the state, shall be considered a citizen of the state for the purpose of subjecting that person to the police powers of the state.

History.--s. 1, ch. 75-82; s. 565, ch. 95-148.

370.23  Sale of unlawfully landed product; jurisdiction.--It is unlawful for any person to bring to port, sell, or offer to sell any saltwater life landed in violation of the provisions of this chapter. Any person committing such a violation and docking his or her vessel at any port in the state, whether or not such product was landed in the territorial waters of the state, shall be deemed to have submitted himself or herself to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state for the purpose of the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

History.--s. 2, ch. 75-82; s. 566, ch. 95-148.

370.25  Artificial reef program; grants and financial and technical assistance to local governments.--

(1)  An artificial reef program is created within the commission to enhance saltwater opportunities and to promote proper management of fisheries resources associated with artificial reefs for the public interest. Under the program, the commission may provide grants and financial and technical assistance to coastal local governments, state universities, and nonprofit corporations qualified under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for the siting and development of artificial reefs as well as for monitoring and evaluating such reefs and their recreational, economic, and biological effectiveness. The commission is authorized to accept title, on behalf of the state, to vessels for use in the artificial reef program as offshore artificial reefs. The program may be funded from state, federal, and private contributions.

(2)  The commission may adopt by rule procedures for submitting an application for financial assistance and criteria for allocating available funds.

(3)  The commission may adopt by rule criteria for siting, constructing, managing, and evaluating the effectiveness of artificial reefs placed in state or adjacent federal waters and criteria implementing the transfer of vessel titles to the state for use as an offshore artificial reef.

(4)  The commission may adopt by rule criteria for determining the eligibility of nonprofit corporations qualified under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to apply for and receive funds available for artificial reef development or evaluation. The criteria must include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a)  The corporation must show proof that it is a nonprofit corporation qualified under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(b)  The corporation must state in its articles of incorporation or bylaws that one of its objectives is the development or monitoring of artificial reefs.

(5)  The commission's artificial reef program shall track all artificial-reef-development activities statewide, and maintain a computer database of these activities for the public interest and to facilitate long-range planning and coordination within the commission and among local governments.

(6)  It is unlawful for any person to:

(a)  Place artificial-reef-construction materials in state waters outside zones permitted under the terms and conditions defined in any artificial-reef permits issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers or by the Department of Environmental Protection.

(b)  Store, possess, or transport on or across state waters any materials reasonably suited for artificial-reef construction and stored in a manner providing ready access for use and placement as an artificial reef, unless a valid cargo manifest issued by the commission or a commission-certified inspector is onboard the transporting vessel. The manifest will serve as authorization to use a valid permitted site or land-based staging area, will validate that the type of artificial-reef construction material being transported is permissible for use at the permitted site, and will describe and quantify the artificial-reef material being transported. The manifest will also include the latitude and longitude coordinates of the proposed deployment location, the valid permit number, and a copy of the permit conditions for the permitted site. The manifest must be available for inspection by any authorized law enforcement officer or commission employee.

(7)(a)  An initial violation of subsection (6) is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A subsequent violation of subsection (6) which is committed within 12 months after a previous violation of that subsection is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(b)  If a violation of subsection (6) occurs, a law enforcement officer may terminate a vessel's voyage and order the vessel operator to return immediately to port. Failure or refusal to comply with an order to return to port constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The vessel operator must immediately dispose of the materials on shore according to applicable waste disposal laws.

(c)  If, at the time of the violation, the vessel that is involved in the violation:

1.  Is moored at a land-based facility, the registered owner of the vessel is responsible for the violation.

2.  Is underway or anchored, the captain or operator of the vessel and the registered owner of the vessel are jointly responsible for the violation.

(d)  In addition to the penalties imposed in this subsection, the commission shall assess civil penalties of up to $5,000 against any person convicted of violating subsection (6) and may seek the suspension or revocation of the vessel registration, existing reef-construction permits, or other state marine licenses held by the violator. For the purposes of this section, conviction includes any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.

History.--s. 1, ch. 81-267; s. 10, ch. 90-310; s. 241, ch. 94-356; s. 1, ch. 97-172; s. 9, ch. 98-227; s. 45, ch. 2000-364; s. 5, ch. 2001-272; s. 6, ch. 2002-46.

370.26  Aquaculture definitions; marine aquaculture products, producers, and facilities.--

(1)  As used in this section, the term:

(a)  "Marine aquaculture facility" means a facility built and operated for the purpose of producing marine aquaculture products. Marine aquaculture facilities contain culture systems such as, but not limited to, ponds, tanks, raceways, cages, and bags used for commercial production, propagation, growout, or product enhancement of marine products. Marine aquaculture facilities specifically do not include:

1.  Facilities that maintain marine aquatic organisms exclusively for the purpose of shipping, distribution, marketing, or wholesale and retail sales;

2.  Facilities that maintain marine aquatic organisms for noncommercial, education, exhibition, or scientific purposes;

3.  Facilities in which the activity does not require an aquaculture certification pursuant to s. 597.004; or

4.  Facilities used by marine aquarium hobbyists.

(b)  "Marine aquaculture producer" means a person holding an aquaculture certificate pursuant to s. 597.004 to produce marine aquaculture products.

(c)  "Marine aquaculture product" means any product derived from marine aquatic organisms that are owned and propagated, grown, or produced under controlled conditions by a person holding an aquaculture certificate pursuant to s. 597.004. Such product does not include organisms harvested from the wild for depuration, wet storage, or relayed for the purpose of controlled purification. Marine aquaculture products are considered saltwater products for the purposes of this chapter, except the holder of an aquaculture certificate is not required to purchase and possess a saltwater products license in order to possess, transport, or sell marine aquaculture products pursuant to s. 370.06. To renew an existing restricted species endorsement, marine aquaculture producers possessing a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement may apply income from the sales of marine aquaculture products to licensed wholesale dealers. Income from the sales of marine aquaculture products shall not be eligible for the purpose of acquiring a new restricted species endorsement. The holder of an aquaculture certificate must purchase and possess a saltwater products license in order to possess, transport, or sell saltwater products not specifically provided for in s. 597.004.

(2)  The Department of Environmental Protection shall encourage the development of aquaculture and the production of aquaculture products. The department shall develop a process consistent with this section that would consolidate permits, general permits, and other regulatory requirements to streamline the permitting process and result in effective regulation of aquaculture activities. This process shall provide for a single application and application fee for marine aquaculture activities which are regulated by the department. Procedures to consolidate permitting actions under this section do not constitute rules within the meaning of s. 120.52.

(3)  Until aquaculture general permits under s. 403.814 can be expanded and developed, the department shall establish criteria to temporarily permit aquaculture activities that may be presumed not to result in adverse environmental impacts. The criteria developed pursuant to this subsection do not constitute rules within the meaning of s. 120.52. Permit application fees under this subsection shall be no more than that established for a general permit. The department may delegate to the water management districts the regulatory authority for aquaculture facilities subject to the temporary general permitting criteria of this subsection. During the period prior to development of a general permit under s. 403.814, the department shall establish a compliance plan based on monitoring results that will assist in the development of the general permit.

(4)  The department shall request that the Aquaculture Review Council identify a working group of industry representatives who can provide technical assistance in developing aquaculture general permits. The industry representatives shall come from the segment of the industry to be affected by the specific general permit to be developed. The working group shall be included in all phases of developing the aquaculture general permits.

(5)  The department shall:

(a)  Coordinate with the Aquaculture Review Council, the Aquaculture Interagency Coordinating Council, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services when developing criteria for aquaculture general permits.

(b)  Permit experimental technologies to collect and evaluate data necessary to reduce or mitigate environmental concerns.

(c)  Provide technical expertise and promote the transfer of information that would be beneficial to the development of aquaculture.

(6)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall encourage the development of aquaculture in the state through the following:

(a)  Providing assistance in developing technologies applicable to aquaculture activities, evaluating practicable production alternatives, and providing management agreements to develop innovative culture practices.

(b)  Facilitating aquaculture research on life histories, stock enhancement, and alternative species, and providing research results that would assist in the evaluation, development, and commercial production of candidate species for aquaculture, including:

1.  Providing eggs, larvae, fry, and fingerlings to aquaculturists when excess cultured stocks are available from the commission's facilities and the culture activities are consistent with the commission's stock enhancement projects. Such stocks may be obtained by reimbursing the commission for the cost of production on a per-unit basis. Revenues resulting from the sale of stocks shall be deposited into the trust fund used to support the production of such stocks.

2.  Conducting research programs to evaluate candidate species when funding and staff are available.

3.  Encouraging the private production of marine fish and shellfish stocks for the purpose of providing such stocks for statewide stock enhancement programs. When such stocks become available, the commission shall reduce or eliminate duplicative production practices that would result in direct competition with private commercial producers.

4.  Developing a working group, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Aquaculture Review Council, and the Aquaculture Interagency Coordinating Council, to plan and facilitate the development of private marine fish and nonfish hatcheries and to encourage private/public partnerships to promote the production of marine aquaculture products.

(c)  Coordinating with public and private research institutions within the state to advance the aquaculture production and sale of sturgeon as a food fish.

(7)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall coordinate with the Aquaculture Review Council and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to establish and implement grant programs to provide funding for projects and programs that are identified in the state's aquaculture plan, pending legislative appropriations. The commission and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall establish and implement a grant program to make grants available to qualified nonprofit, educational, and research entities or local governments to fund infrastructure, planning, practical and applied research, development projects, production economic analysis, and training and stock enhancement projects, and to make grants available to counties, municipalities, and other state and local entities for applied aquaculture projects that are directed to economic development, pending legislative appropriations.

(8)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall provide assistance to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the development of an aquaculture plan for the state.

History.--s. 14, ch. 96-247; s. 14, ch. 98-333; s. 46, ch. 99-245; s. 5, ch. 99-390; s. 26, ch. 2000-364.

370.27  State employment; priority consideration for qualified displaced employees of the saltwater fishing industry.--All state agencies must give priority consideration to any job applicant who is able to document the loss of full-time employment in the commercial saltwater fishing industry as a result of the adoption of the constitutional amendment limiting the use of nets to harvest marine species, provided the applicant meets the minimum requirements for the position sought.

History.--s. 5, ch. 95-414.

370.28  Enterprise zone designation; communities adversely impacted by net limitations.--

(1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development is directed to identify communities suffering adverse impacts from the adoption of the constitutional amendment limiting the use of nets to harvest marine species.

(2)(a)  Such communities having a population of fewer than 7,500 persons and such communities in rural and coastal counties with a county population of fewer than 25,000 may apply to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development by August 15, 1996, for the designation of an area as an enterprise zone. The community must comply with the requirements of s. 290.0055, except that, for a community having a total population of 7,500 persons or more but fewer than 20,000 persons, the selected area may not exceed 5 square miles. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 290.0065, limiting the total number of enterprise zones designated and the number of enterprise zones within a population category, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development may designate an enterprise zone in eight of the identified communities. The governing body having jurisdiction over such area shall create an enterprise zone development agency pursuant to s. 290.0056 and submit a strategic plan pursuant to s. 290.0057. Enterprise zones designated pursuant to this section shall be effective January 1, 1997. Any enterprise zone designated under this paragraph having an effective date on or before January 1, 2005, shall continue to exist until December 31, 2005, but shall cease to exist on December 31, 2005. Any enterprise zone redesignated on or after January 1, 2006, must do so in accordance with the Florida Enterprise Zone Act.

(b)  Notwithstanding any provisions of this section to the contrary, communities in coastal counties with a county population greater than 20,000, which can demonstrate that the community has historically been a fishing community and has therefore had a direct adverse impact from the adoption of the constitutional amendment limiting the use of nets, shall also be eligible to apply for designation of an area as an enterprise zone. The community must comply with the requirements of s. 290.0055, except s. 290.0055(3). Such communities shall apply to the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development by August 15, 1996. The office may designate one enterprise zone under this paragraph, which shall be effective January 1, 1997, and which shall be in addition to the eight zones authorized under paragraph (a). Any enterprise zone designated under this paragraph having an effective date on or before January 1, 2005, shall continue to exist until December 31, 2005, but shall cease to exist on that date. Any enterprise zone redesignated on or after January 1, 2006, must do so in accordance with the Florida Enterprise Zone Act. The governing body having jurisdiction over such area shall create an enterprise zone development agency pursuant to s. 290.0056 and submit a strategic plan pursuant to s. 290.0057.

(3)  For the purpose of nominating and designating areas pursuant to subsection (2), the requirements set out in s. 290.0058(2) shall not apply.

(4)  Notwithstanding the time limitations contained in chapters 212 and 220, a business eligible to receive tax credits under this section from January 1, 1997, to June 1, 1998, must submit an application for the tax credits by December 1, 1998. All other requirements of the enterprise zone program apply to such a business.

History.--s. 6, ch. 95-414; s. 140, ch. 96-320; s. 3, ch. 98-220; s. 26, ch. 2001-201; s. 28, ch. 2005-287.

370.31  Commercial production of sturgeon.--

(1)  INTENT.--The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need to encourage the continuation and advancement of work being done on aquaculture sturgeon production in keeping with the state's legislative public policy regarding aquaculture provided in chapter 597. It also finds that it is in the state's economic interest to promote the commercial production and stock enhancement of sturgeon. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to hereby create a Sturgeon Production Working Group.

(2)  CREATION.--The Sturgeon Production Working Group is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and shall be composed of seven members as follows:

(a)  The head of the sturgeon research program or designee from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Such member shall be appointed by the University of Florida's Vice President for Agricultural Affairs.

(b)  One representative from the Department of Environmental Protection to be appointed by the Secretary of Environmental Protection.

(c)  One representative from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be appointed by the executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

(d)  One representative from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

(e)  Two representatives from the aquaculture industry to be appointed by the Aquaculture Review Council.

(f)  One representative from a private nonprofit organization involved in sturgeon production work, to be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

(3)  MEETINGS; PROCEDURES; RECORDS.--The working group shall meet at least twice a year and elect, by a quorum, a chair and vice chair.

(a)  The chair of the working group shall preside at all meetings and shall call a meeting as often as necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(b)  The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of each meeting, which includes the names of the members present at each meeting and the actions taken. The records shall be public records pursuant to chapter 119.

(c)  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the group members. Members of the group shall not receive compensation, but shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses, including attendance at meetings, as allowed public officers and employees pursuant to s. 112.061.

(4)  PURPOSE AND RESPONSIBILITIES.--The purpose of the Sturgeon Production Working Group is to coordinate the implementation of a state sturgeon production management plan to promote the commercial production and stock enhancement of sturgeon in Florida. In carrying out this purpose, the working group shall:

(a)  Establish a state sturgeon production management plan to inform public or private interested parties of how to aquaculturally produce sturgeon for commercial purposes and for stock enhancement. The sturgeon production management plan shall:

1.  Provide the regulatory policies for the commercial production of sturgeon meat and roe, including a strategy for obtaining the required permits, licenses, authorizations, or certificates.

2.  Provide the management practices for culturing sturgeon and ensure that aquacultural development does not impede the recovery and conservation of wild sturgeon populations.

3.  Establish priorities for research needed to support the commercial production of sturgeon and the recovery of native stocks in the state.

(b)  Support management strategies to permit the commercial production of native and nonnative sturgeon, including the distribution of captive-bred Gulf sturgeon to approved certified aquaculture facilities.

(c)  Support the development of a cooperative sturgeon conservation program to coordinate conservation, habitat, and resource management programs for native sturgeon, including an evaluation of how stock enhancement can facilitate the conservation and recovery of native sturgeon populations.

(d)  Seek federal cooperation to implement the sturgeon production management plan, including federal designation of captive-bred sturgeon as distinct population segments to distinguish cultivated stocks from wild native populations.

(e)  Develop enforcement guidelines to ensure continued protection of wild native sturgeon populations.

(f)  In furtherance of the purposes and responsibilities of the Sturgeon Production Working Group, the state shall:

1.  Establish a program to coordinate conservation and aquaculture activities for native sturgeon.

2.  Develop a conservation plan for native sturgeon.

3.  Initiate the process to petition for delisting captive-bred shortnose sturgeon.

4.  Initiate the process to petition for delisting captive-bred Gulf sturgeon.

(g)  Establish a sturgeon broodstock committee composed of fishery scientists, fish farmers, and agency representatives to manage the taking of wild sturgeon for brood fish and spawning.

(h)  Establish the Cooperative Broodstock Development and Husbandry Board composed of fishery scientists, fish farmers, and agency representatives to establish standards and criteria for the management and maintenance of captive-reared sturgeon, to collect biological data, and to administer the Cooperative Broodstock Development and Husbandry Program.

History.--s. 1, ch. 96-313; s. 6, ch. 99-390; s. 12, ch. 2002-295.

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