FL: Commission votes to increase commercial fishing opportunities

Some of Florida’s commercial fishermen will soon have more
fishing opportunities, thanks to changes made by the Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its Wednesday, Feb.
8, Commission meeting. Management changes will be made to the king
mackerel harvest in southern Florida and the oyster harvest in
Apalachicola Bay.

Commercial king mackerel fishers harvesting from waters off Monroe
County will be able to land and sell their harvest in Collier
County from April 1 to July 1. The Commission took this action
because commercial fisherman can’t land their catch in Collier
County because the season usually closes before April.

When the waters off Collier County are closed, commercial fishermen
harvesting from Monroe County waters experience economic hardships
because they must travel farther distances to sell their fish. The
change will allow these fishermen to travel a shorter distance to
sell their catch.

The Commissioners also approved a measure that will allow the
harvest of oysters for seven days a week in Apalachicola Bay.
Previously, harvest was not allowed on Fridays and Saturdays from
June 1 through Aug. 31 and on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 1
through Nov. 15. The measure will go into effect June 1.

This increased harvesting opportunity comes in response to
management changes in 2010 by the Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services that require oyster harvesters to deliver
their oysters by a specified time of day during the warmer months
of the year. The seven-day work week will allow Apalachicola Bay
oyster harvesters the ability to make up for time lost in
harvesting because of the new earlier delivery times.

To learn more about these management changes, visit
MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings” and then
“Agenda.”

 

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