April 23, 2014
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The Florida Statutes

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 379
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 379
CHAPTER 379
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(ss. 379.101-379.237)
PART II
MARINE LIFE
(ss. 379.2401-379.26)
PART III
FRESHWATER AQUATIC LIFE
(ss. 379.28-379.295)
PART IV
WILD ANIMAL LIFE
(ss. 379.3001-379.305)
PART V
LAW ENFORCEMENT
(ss. 379.33-379.343)
PART VI
LICENSES FOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
(ss. 379.35-379.359)
PART VII
NONRECREATIONAL LICENSES
(ss. 379.361-379.377)
PART VIII
PENALTIES
(ss. 379.401-379.504)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
379.101 Definitions.
379.102 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
379.1025 Powers, duties, and authority of commission; rules, regulations, and orders.
379.10255 Headquarters of commission.
379.103 Duties of executive director.
379.104 Right to hunt and fish.
379.105 Harassment of hunters, trappers, or fishers.
379.106 Administration of commission grant programs.
379.201 Administrative Trust Fund.
379.202 Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
379.203 Dedicated License Trust Fund.
379.204 Federal Grants Trust Fund.
379.205 Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund.
379.206 Grants and Donations Trust Fund.
379.207 Lifetime Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.
379.208 Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund; purposes.
379.209 Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund.
379.211 State Game Trust Fund.
379.212 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Program.
379.2201 Deposit of license fees; allocation of federal funds.
379.2202 Expenditure of funds.
379.2203 Disposition of fines, penalties, and forfeitures.
379.2211 Florida waterfowl permit revenues.
379.2212 Florida wild turkey permit revenues.
379.2213 Management area permit revenues.
379.2222 Acquisition of state game lands.
379.2223 Control and management of state game lands.
379.2224 Preserves, refuges, etc., not tax-exempt.
379.2225 Everglades recreational sites; definitions.
379.223 Citizen support organizations; use of state property; audit.
379.224 Memorandum of agreement relating to Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
379.2251 Agreements with Federal Government for the preservation of saltwater fisheries; authority of commission.
379.2252 Compacts and agreements; generally.
379.2253 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.
379.2254 Gulf States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.
379.2255 Wildlife Violator Compact Act.
379.2256 Compact licensing and enforcement authority; administrative review.
379.2257 Cooperative agreements with U. S. Forest Service; penalty.
379.2258 Assent to provisions of Act of Congress of September 2, 1937.
379.2259 Assent to federal acts.
379.226 Florida Territorial Waters Act; alien-owned commercial fishing vessels; prohibited acts; enforcement.
379.2271 Harmful-Algal-Bloom Task Force.
379.2272 Harmful-algal-bloom program; implementation; goals; funding.
379.2281 Jim Woodruff Dam; reciprocity agreements.
379.2282 St. Marys River; reciprocity agreements.
379.2291 Endangered and Threatened Species Act.
379.2292 Endangered and Threatened Species Reward Program.
379.2293 Airport activities within the scope of a federally approved wildlife hazard management plan or a federal or state permit or other authorization for depredation or harassment.
379.23 Federal conservation of fish and wildlife; limited jurisdiction.
379.231 Regulation of nonnative animals.
379.232 Water bottoms.
379.233 Release of balloons.
379.2341 Publications by the commission.
379.2342 Private publication agreements; advertising; costs of production.
379.2351 Land-based commercial and recreational fishing activities; legislative findings and purpose; definitions; legal protection; local ordinances; prohibited activity.
379.2352 State employment; priority consideration for qualified displaced employees of the saltwater fishing industry.
379.2353 Enterprise zone designation; communities adversely impacted by net limitations.
379.236 Retention, destruction, and reproduction of commission records.
379.237 Courts of equity may enjoin.
379.101 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) “Commercial harvester” means any person, firm, or corporation that takes, harvests, or attempts to take or harvest saltwater products for sale or with intent to sell; that is operating under or is required to operate under a license or permit or authorization issued pursuant to this chapter; that is using gear that is prohibited for use in the harvest of recreational amounts of any saltwater product being taken or harvested; or that is harvesting any saltwater product in an amount that is at least two times the recreational bag limit for the saltwater product being taken or harvested.
(6) “Commission” shall mean the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(7) “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.
(8) “Coon oysters” are oysters found growing in bunches along the shore between high-water mark and low-water mark.
(9) “Department” shall mean the Department of Environmental Protection.
(10) “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.
(11) “Exhibit” means to present or display upon request.
(12) “Finfish” means any member of the classes Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, or Osteichthyes.
(13) “Fish and game” means all fresh and saltwater fish, shellfish, crustacea, sponges, wild birds, and wild animals.
(14) “Fish management area” means a pond, lake, or other water within a county, or within several counties, designated to improve fishing for public use, and established and specifically circumscribed for authorized management by the commission and the board of county commissioners of the county in which such waters lie, under agreement between the commission and an owner with approval by the board of county commissioners or under agreement with the board of county commissioners for use of public waters in the county in which such waters lie.
(15) “Fish pond” means a body of water that does not occur naturally and that has been constructed and is maintained primarily for the purpose of fishing.
(16) “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.
(17) “Fresh water,” except where otherwise provided by law, means all lakes, rivers, canals, and other waterways of Florida, to such point or points where the fresh and salt waters commingle to such an extent as to become unpalatable and unfit for human consumption because of the saline content, or to such point or points as may be fixed by order of the commission by and with the consent of the board of county commissioners of the county or counties to be affected by such order. The Steinhatchee River shall be considered fresh water from its source to mouth.
(18) “Freshwater fish” means all classes of pisces that are native to fresh water.
(19) “Fur-bearing animals” means muskrat, mink, raccoon, otter, civet cat, skunk, red and gray fox, and opossum.
(20) “Game” means deer, bear, squirrel, rabbits, and, where designated by commission rules, wild hogs, ducks, geese, rails, coots, gallinules, snipe, woodcock, wild turkeys, grouse, pheasants, quail, and doves.
(21) “Guide” shall include any person engaged in the business of guiding hunters or hunting parties, fishers or fishing parties, for compensation.
(22) “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.
(23) “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.
(24) 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.
(25) “Nongame” means all species and populations of native wild vertebrates and invertebrates in the state that are not defined as game.
(26) “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.”
(27) “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.
(28) “Private hunting preserve” includes any area set aside by a private individual or concern on which artificially propagated game or birds are taken.
(29) “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.
(30) “Resident” or “resident of Florida” means:
(a) For purposes of part VII of this chapter, with the exception of ss. 379.363, 379.3635, 379.364, 379.3711, 379.3712, 379.372, 379.373, 379.374, 379.3751, 379.3752, 379.3761, 379.3762, and 379.377, and for purposes of s. 379.355, 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.
(b) For purposes of part VI of this chapter, with the exception of s. 379.355, and for purposes of ss. 379.363, 379.3635, 379.364, 379.3711, 379.3712, 379.372, 379.373, 379.374, 379.3751, 379.3752, 379.3761, 379.3762, and 379.377, any person who has continually resided in the state for 6 months or any member of the United States Armed Forces who is stationed in the state.
(31) “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.”
(32) “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. 379.361 if the law or rule prohibits the sale of the species.
(33) “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.
(34) “Saltwater fish” means:
(a) Any saltwater species of finfish of the classes Agnatha, Chondrichthyes, or Osteichthyes and marine invertebrates of the classes Gastropoda, Bivalvia, or Crustacea, or of the phylum Echinodermata, but does not include nonliving shells or echinoderms; and
(b) All classes of pisces, shellfish, sponges, and crustacea native to salt water.
(35) “Saltwater license privileges,” except where otherwise provided by law, means any license, endorsement, certificate, or permit issued pursuant to this chapter.
(36) “Saltwater products” means any species of saltwater fish, marine plant, or echinoderm, except shells, and salted, cured, canned, or smoked seafood.
(37) “Shellfish” shall include oysters, clams, and whelks.
(38) “Take” means taking, attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, molesting, capturing, or killing any wildlife or freshwater or saltwater fish, or their nests or eggs, by any means, whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such wildlife or freshwater or saltwater fish or their nests or eggs.
(39) “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; s. 1, ch. 2006-304; s. 3, ch. 2008-247; s. 8, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 370.01.
379.102 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, for staggered terms of 5 years.
(2) Members so appointed shall annually select one of their members as chair. Such chair may be removed at any time for sufficient cause, by the affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the commission. In case the said office of chair becomes vacant by removal or otherwise, the same may be filled for the unexpired term at any time by the commission from its members.
(3) Commission members shall receive no compensation for their services as such, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
History.s. 2, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17016, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(2); s. 1, ch. 26766, 1951; s. 19, ch. 63-400; s. 105, ch. 71-355; s. 1, ch. 78-125; s. 567, ch. 95-148; s. 113, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.01.
379.1025 Powers, duties, and authority of commission; rules, regulations, and orders.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may exercise the powers, duties, and authority granted by s. 9, Art. IV of the Constitution of Florida, and as otherwise authorized by the Legislature by the adoption of rules, regulations, and orders in accordance with chapter 120.
History.ss. 4, 5, ch. 21945, 1943; s. 7, ch. 69-216; ss. 10, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 103, ch. 73-333; s. 16, ch. 78-95; s. 17, ch. 2000-197; s. 5, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.82; s. 372.021.
379.10255 Headquarters of commission.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is located at the state capital, and, when suitable adequate office space cannot be provided in the State Capitol Building, or other buildings owned by the state, the commission may rent or lease suitable office space in Tallahassee. Said commission may also rent or lease suitable and adequate space in other cities and towns of the state for branch or division offices and headquarters and storerooms for equipment and supplies, as the business of the commission may require or necessitate, payment for said rented or leased premises to be made from the State Game Trust Fund.
History.s. 2, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17016, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(2); s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 119, ch. 99-245; s. 6, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.03.
379.103 Duties of executive director.The executive director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall:
(1) Keep full and correct minutes of the proceedings of said commission at its meetings, which minutes shall be open for public inspection.
(2) Purchase such supplies and employ such help and assistants as may be reasonably necessary in the performance of the executive director’s duties.
(3) Have full authority to represent the commission in its dealings with other state departments, county commissioners, and the federal government.
(4) Appoint, fix salaries of, and at pleasure remove, subject to the approval of the commission, assistants and other employees who shall have such powers and duties as may be assigned to them by the commission or executive director.
(5) Have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed by the commission in pursuance of its duties under s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
History.ss. 2, 3, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17016, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(2), 1977(3); s. 3, ch. 26766, 1951; s. 7, ch. 69-216; s. 569, ch. 95-148; s. 18, ch. 2000-197; s. 38, ch. 2002-46; s. 7, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.05.
379.104 Right to hunt and fish.The Legislature recognizes that hunting, fishing, and the taking of game are a valued part of the cultural heritage of Florida and should be forever preserved for Floridians. The Legislature further recognizes that these activities play an important part in the state’s economy and in the conservation, preservation, and management of the state’s natural areas and resources. Therefore, the Legislature intends that the citizens of Florida have a right to hunt, fish, and take game, subject to the regulations and restrictions prescribed by general law and by s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
History.s. 8, ch. 2002-46; s. 8, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.002.
379.105 Harassment of hunters, trappers, or fishers.
(1) A person may not intentionally, within a publicly or privately owned wildlife management or fish management area or on any state-owned water body:
(a) Interfere with or attempt to prevent the lawful taking of fish, game, or nongame animals by another.
(b) Attempt to disturb fish, game, or nongame animals or attempt to affect their behavior with the intent to prevent their lawful taking by another.
(2) Any person who violates this section commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
History.s. 2, ch. 90-170; s. 27, ch. 2006-304; s. 9, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.705.
379.106 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; s. 10, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.023.
379.201 Administrative Trust Fund.
(1) The Administrative Trust Fund is created within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The fund is established for use as a depository for funds to be used for management activities that are commissionwide in nature and funded by indirect cost earnings or assessments against trust funds. Moneys to be credited to the trust fund include indirect cost reimbursements from grantors, administrative assessments against trust funds, interest earnings, and other appropriate administrative fees.
History.s. 1, ch. 2005-18; s. 2, ch. 2008-21; s. 11, ch. 2008-247; s. 13, ch. 2010-4.
Note.Former s. 372.101.
379.202 Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(1) There is created a Conservation and Recreation Lands Program Trust Fund within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The purpose of the trust fund is to provide for the management of conservation and recreation lands by the commission. Funds may be appropriated to the trust fund from the Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund in the Department of Environmental Protection, as created by s. 259.032(2), or from such other sources as the Legislature may determine.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 2000-288; s. 2, ch. 2001-34; s. 16, ch. 2005-3; s. 12, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.127.
379.203 Dedicated License Trust Fund.
(1) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Dedicated License Trust Fund. The fund shall be credited with moneys collected pursuant to s. 379.354 for 5-year licenses and permits and replacement 5-year licenses.
(2)(a) One-fifth of the total proceeds from the sale of 5-year hunting and freshwater fishing licenses, permits, and replacement licenses, and all interest derived therefrom, shall be appropriated annually to the State Game Trust Fund.
(b) One-fifth of the total proceeds from the sale of 5-year saltwater fishing licenses, permits, and replacement licenses, and all interest derived therefrom, shall be appropriated annually to the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.
(3) The fund shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 215.20.
History.s. 2, ch. 91-78; s. 126, ch. 99-245; s. 10, ch. 2002-46; s. 13, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.106.
379.204 Federal Grants Trust Fund.
(1) The Federal Grants Trust Fund is created within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The fund is established for use as a depository for funds to be used for allowable grant activities funded by restricted program revenues. Moneys to be credited to the trust fund shall consist of grants and funding from the Federal Government, interest earnings, and cash advances from other trust funds.
History.s. 1, ch. 2005-19; s. 2, ch. 2008-22; s. 14, ch. 2008-247; s. 14, ch. 2010-4.
Note.Former s. 372.102.
379.205 Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund.
(1) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund to be used exclusively for the purposes of this section.
(2) Money from the fund shall be spent only for the following purposes:
(a) To manage and protect existing Florida panther populations by increasing panther food sources where food is a limiting factor, determining conflicts between public use and panther survival, maintaining sufficient genetic variability in existing populations, and undertaking management and enforcement activities that protect panther habitat.
(b) To educate the public concerning the value of the panther and the necessity for panther management.
(c) To reestablish Florida panthers into areas of suitable habitat, where feasible, by assessing the necessity of a captive breeding program for purposes of reintroduction of the panthers into the suitable habitat; selecting potential sites for reintroduction and investigating associated human sociological aspects; and assessing the potential for panther habitat acquisition.
(d) To promote and market the Florida panther license plate authorized under s. 320.08058.
(3) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to receive donations for deposit into the Florida Panther Research and Management Trust Fund.
History.ss. 2, 4, ch. 83-173; s. 26, ch. 97-153; s. 1, ch. 97-259; s. 3, ch. 98-333; s. 16, ch. 99-4; s. 149, ch. 99-245; s. 5, ch. 2005-158; s. 18, ch. 2007-223; s. 15, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.672.
379.206 Grants and Donations Trust Fund.
(1) The Grants and Donations Trust Fund is created within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The fund is established for use as a depository for funds to be used for allowable grant and donor agreement activities funded by restricted contractual revenue. Moneys to be credited to the trust fund shall consist of grants and donations from private and public nonfederal sources, interest earnings, and cash advances from other trust funds.
History.s. 1, ch. 2005-20; s. 2, ch. 2008-23; s. 16, ch. 2008-247; s. 15, ch. 2010-4.
Note.Former s. 372.103.
379.207 Lifetime Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.
(1) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Lifetime Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund to be used for the purpose of supporting fish and wildlife conservation programs of the state in accordance with this section.
(2) The principal of the fund shall be derived from the following:
(a) Proceeds of any gifts, grants, and contributions to the state which are specifically designated for inclusion in the fund.
(b) Proceeds from the sale of lifetime licenses issued in accordance with s. 379.354.
(3) The fund is declared to constitute a special trust derived from a contractual relationship between the state and the members of the public whose investments contribute to the fund. In recognition of such special trust, the following limitations and restrictions are placed on expenditures from the funds:
(a) No expenditure or disbursement shall be made from the principal of the fund.
(b) The interest income received and accruing from the investments of proceeds from the sale of lifetime freshwater fishing licenses and lifetime hunting licenses shall be spent in furtherance of the commission’s management, protection, and conservation of wild animal life and freshwater aquatic life as set forth in s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution and this chapter and as otherwise authorized by the Legislature.
(c) The interest income received and accruing from the investments of proceeds from the sale of lifetime saltwater fishing licenses shall be expended for marine law enforcement, marine research, and marine fishery enhancement.
(d) No expenditures or disbursements from the interest income derived from the sale of lifetime licenses shall be made for any purpose until the respective holders of such licenses attain the age of 16 years. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as administrator of the fund shall determine actuarially on an annual basis the amounts of interest income within the fund which may be disbursed pursuant to this paragraph. The director shall cause deposits of proceeds from the sale of lifetime licenses to be identifiable by the ages of the license recipients.
(e) Any limitations or restrictions specified by the donors on the uses of the interest income derived from gifts, grants, and voluntary contributions shall be respected but shall not be binding.
(f) The fund shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 215.20.
(4) In the event of a future dissolution or reorganization of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, any state agency which succeeds the commission or assumes its constitutional or statutory responsibilities shall, through its agency head acting ex officio, assume the trusteeship of the fund and shall be bound by all the limitations and restrictions placed by this section on expenditures from the fund. No repeal or modification of this chapter or s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution shall alter the fundamental purposes to which the fund may be applied. No dissolution or reorganization of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall invalidate any lifetime license issued in accordance with this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 91-78; s. 125, ch. 99-245; s. 9, ch. 2002-46; s. 17, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.105.
379.208 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.
(j) Funding for the stone crab trap reduction program under s. 379.365, the blue crab effort management program under s. 379.366, the spiny lobster trap certificate program under s. 379.3671, and the trap retrieval program under s. 379.2424.
(2) The Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund shall receive the proceeds from:
(a) All license fees collected pursuant to ss. 379.361 and 379.362.
(b) All funds collected from the registration of vessels and other fees pursuant to s. 328.72.
(c) All fees collected under ss. 379.2424, 379.355, 379.357, 379.365, 379.366, and 379.3671.
(d) All fines and penalties under ss. 379.365, 379.366, 379.3671, and 379.407.
(e) Other revenues as provided by law.
(3) Funds provided to the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund from taxes distributed under s. 201.15 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. The 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; s. 5, ch. 2007-223; s. 10, ch. 2008-114; s. 18, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.0603.
379.209 Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund.
(1) The Legislature recognizes the value of maintaining ecologically healthy and stable populations of a wide diversity of fish and wildlife species and recognizes the need for monitoring, research, management, and public awareness of all wildlife species in order to guarantee that self-sustaining populations be conserved. The Legislature further recognizes that research and management for game species traditionally have been supported by licenses and fees collected by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for consumptive uses of wildlife and that no such support mechanism is available for species not commonly pursued for sport or profit. It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds provided herein be spent to identify and meet the needs of nongame wildlife as a first priority with the ultimate goal of establishing an integrated approach to the management and conservation of all native fish, wildlife, and plants.
(2)(a) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. The fund shall be credited with moneys collected pursuant to ss. 319.32(3) and 320.02(8). Additional funds may be provided from legislative appropriations and by donations from interested individuals and organizations. The commission shall designate an identifiable unit to administer the trust fund.
(b) Proceeds from the trust fund shall be used for the following purposes:
1. Documentation of population trends of nongame wildlife and assessment of wildlife habitat, in coordination with the database of Florida natural areas inventory.
2. Establishment of effective conservation, management, and regulatory programs for nongame wildlife of the state.
3. Public education programs.
(3) The commission may enter into cooperative agreements or memoranda of understanding with related agencies to coordinate nongame programs.
History.s. 1, ch. 83-173; s. 1, ch. 84-194; s. 184, ch. 99-245; s. 21, ch. 2000-197; s. 19, ch. 2008-247; s. 52, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.991.
379.211 State Game Trust Fund.The funds resulting from the operation of the commission and from the administration of the laws and regulations pertaining to birds, game, fur-bearing animals, freshwater fish, reptiles, and amphibians, together with any other funds specifically provided for such purposes shall constitute the State Game Trust Fund and shall be used by the commission as it shall deem fit in carrying out the provisions hereof and for no other purposes, except that annual use fees deposited into the trust fund from the sale of the Largemouth Bass license plate may be expended for the purposes provided under s. 320.08058(17). The commission may not obligate itself beyond the current resources of the State Game Trust Fund unless specifically so authorized by the Legislature.
History.s. 13, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17016, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(3); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 14, ch. 2007-223; s. 78, ch. 2008-4; s. 20, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.09.
379.212 Fish and Wildlife Habitat Program.
(1)(a) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Program for the purpose of acquiring, assisting other agencies or local governments in acquiring, or managing lands important to the conservation of fish and wildlife.
(b) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or its designee shall manage such lands for the primary purpose of maintaining and enhancing their habitat value for fish and wildlife. Other uses may be allowed that are not contrary to this purpose.
(c) Where acquisition pursuant to this section will result in state ownership of land, title shall be vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund as required in chapter 253. Land acquisition pursuant to this section shall be voluntary, negotiated acquisition and, where title is to be vested in the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, is subject to the acquisition procedures of s. 253.025.
(d) Acquisition costs shall include purchase prices and costs and fees associated with title work, surveys, and appraisals required to complete an acquisition.
(2) Moneys which may be deposited into the Land Acquisition Trust Fund for the purposes of this section may include, but not be limited to, donations, grants, development-of-regional-impact wildlife mitigation contributions, or legislative appropriations. Preservation 2000 acquisition moneys and Conservation and Recreation Lands management moneys shall not be deposited into this fund.
History.s. 20, ch. 90-136; s. 10, ch. 90-217; s. 2, ch. 90-227; s. 20, ch. 94-240; s. 17, ch. 94-265; s. 124, ch. 99-245; s. 21, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.074.
379.2201 Deposit of license fees; allocation of federal funds.
(1) Except as provided in ss. 379.203 and 379.207, all saltwater license and permit fees collected pursuant to s. 379.354 shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund, to be used as follows:
(a) Not more than 7.5 percent of the total fees collected shall be used for administration of the licensing program and for information and education.
(b) Not less than 30 percent of the total fees collected shall be used for law enforcement.
(c) Not less than 32.5 percent of the total fees collected shall be used for marine research and management.
(d) Not less than 30 percent of the total fees collected, for fishery enhancement, including, but not limited to, fishery statistics development, artificial reefs, and fish hatcheries.
(2) The proceeds from recreational saltwater fishing license fees paid by fishers shall only be appropriated to the commission.
(3) Funds available from the Wallop-Breaux Aquatic Resources Trust Fund shall be distributed by the commission between freshwater fisheries management and research and marine fisheries management and research in proportion to the numbers of resident fresh and saltwater anglers as determined by the most current data on license sales. Unless otherwise provided by federal law, the commission, at a minimum, shall provide the following:
(a) Not less than 5 percent or more than 10 percent of the funds allocated to the commission shall be expended for an aquatic resources education program; and
(b) Not less than 10 percent of the funds allocated to the commission shall be expended for acquisition, development, renovation, or improvement of boating facilities.
History.s. 7, ch. 89-270; s. 6, ch. 90-243; s. 13, ch. 91-78; s. 212, ch. 94-356; s. 985, ch. 95-148; s. 5, ch. 96-300; s. 25, ch. 96-321; s. 4, ch. 98-203; s. 42, ch. 99-245; s. 17, ch. 2002-46; s. 10, ch. 2004-264; s. 1, ch. 2007-337; s. 22, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.0608; s. 372.5701.
379.2202 Expenditure of funds.Any moneys available pursuant to s. 379.2201(1)(c) may be expended by the commission within Florida through grants and contracts for research with research institutions including but not limited to: Florida Sea Grant; Florida Marine Resources Council; Harbour Branch Oceanographic Institute; Technological Research and Development Authority; Fish and Wildlife Research Institute of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Mote Marine Laboratory; Marine Resources Development Foundation; Florida Institute of Oceanography; Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; and Smithsonian Marine Station at Ft. Pierce.
History.s. 10, ch. 89-270; s. 213, ch. 94-356; s. 26, ch. 96-321; s. 240, ch. 99-245; s. 18, ch. 2002-46; s. 11, ch. 2004-264; s. 23, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.0609; s. 372.5702.
379.2203 Disposition of fines, penalties, and forfeitures.
(1) All moneys collected from fines, penalties, proceeds from unclaimed bonds, or forfeitures of bail of persons convicted under this chapter shall be deposited in the fine and forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01 where such convictions are had, except for the disposition of moneys as provided in subsection (2).
(2) All moneys collected from fines, penalties, or forfeitures of bail of persons convicted of violations of rules, regulations, or orders of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission concerning endangered or threatened species or of violation of s. 379.3014, s. 379.409, or s. 379.4115 shall be remitted by the clerk of the court to the Department of Revenue to be deposited in the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund.
History.s. 12, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(12); s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 70-370; s. 3, ch. 79-217; s. 2, ch. 81-191; s. 19, ch. 94-265; s. 156, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2000-153; s. 15, ch. 2001-122; s. 66, ch. 2004-265; s. 54, ch. 2005-236; s. 24, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.72.
1379.2211 Florida waterfowl permit revenues.
(1) The commission shall expend the revenues generated from the sale of the Florida waterfowl permit as provided in s. 379.354(8)(a) or that pro rata portion of any license that includes waterfowl hunting privileges, as provided in s. 379.354(4)(h), (i), and (j) and (9)(a)3. as follows: A maximum of 5 percent of the gross revenues shall be expended for administrative costs; a maximum of 25 percent of the gross revenues shall be expended for waterfowl research approved by the commission; and a maximum of 70 percent of the gross revenues shall be expended for projects approved by the commission, in consultation with the Waterfowl Advisory Council, for the purpose of protecting and propagating migratory waterfowl and for the development, restoration, maintenance, and preservation of wetlands within the state.
(2) The intent of this section is to expand waterfowl research and management and increase waterfowl populations in the state without detracting from other programs. The commission shall prepare and make available on its Internet website an annual report documenting the use of funds generated under this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-285; s. 224, ch. 81-259; s. 6, ch. 85-235; s. 9, ch. 85-324; s. 1, ch. 86-158; s. 6, ch. 91-78; s. 60, ch. 95-143; s. 4, ch. 96-265; s. 15, ch. 96-300; s. 6, ch. 2001-62; s. 21, ch. 2002-46; s. 2, ch. 2005-45; s. 25, ch. 2008-247; s. 62, ch. 2009-86; s. 87, ch. 2010-102.
1Note.Repealed July 1, 2010, by s. 62, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.5712.
1379.2212 Florida wild turkey permit revenues.
(1) The commission shall expend the revenues generated from the sale of the turkey permit as provided for in s. 379.354(8)(b) or that pro rata portion of any license that includes turkey hunting privileges as provided for in s. 379.354(4)(h), (i), and (j) for research and management of wild turkeys.
(2) The intent of this section is to expand wild turkey research and management and to increase wild turkey populations in the state without detracting from other programs. The commission shall prepare and make available on its Internet website an annual report documenting the use of funds generated under this section.
History.s. 7, ch. 85-235; s. 7, ch. 91-78; s. 6, ch. 96-265; s. 16, ch. 96-300; s. 7, ch. 2001-62; s. 22, ch. 2002-46; s. 3, ch. 2005-45; s. 26, ch. 2008-247; s. 62, ch. 2009-86; s. 88, ch. 2010-102.
1Note.Repealed July 1, 2010, by s. 62, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.5715.
379.2213 Management area permit revenues.The commission shall expend the revenue generated from the sale of the management area permit as provided for in s. 379.354(8)(g) or that pro rata portion of any license that includes management area privileges as provided for in s. 379.354(4)(h), (i), and (j) for the lease, management, and protection of lands for public hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 25463, 1949; s. 1, ch. 59-390; s. 1, ch. 72-337; s. 103, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 76-67; s. 1, ch. 79-372; s. 2, ch. 80-180; s. 2, ch. 82-188; s. 8, ch. 85-235; s. 10, ch. 85-324; s. 2, ch. 86-158; s. 8, ch. 91-78; s. 7, ch. 96-265; s. 162, ch. 99-13; s. 24, ch. 2002-46; s. 4, ch. 2005-45; s. 19, ch. 2006-304; s. 23, ch. 2007-223; s. 27, ch. 2008-247; s. 54, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.573.
379.2222 Acquisition of state game lands.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with the approval of the Governor, may acquire, in the name of the state, lands and waters suitable for the protection and propagation of game, fish, nongame birds, or fur-bearing animals, or for hunting purposes, game farms, by purchase, lease, gift or otherwise to be known as state game lands. The said commission may erect such buildings and fences as may be deemed necessary to properly maintain and protect such lands, or for propagation of game, nongame birds, freshwater fish, or fur-bearing animals. The title of land acquired by purchase, lease, gift or otherwise, shall be approved by the Department of Legal Affairs. The deed to such lands shall be deposited as are deeds to other state lands. No property acquired under this section shall be exempt from state, county, or district taxation.
History.ss. 6, 67, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(6), 1977 (67); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 25, ch. 29615, 1955; ss. 11, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 127, ch. 99-245; s. 28, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.12.
379.2223 Control and management of state game lands.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to make, adopt, promulgate, amend, repeal, and enforce all reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the protection, control, operation, management, or development of lands or waters owned by, leased by, or otherwise assigned to, the commission for fish or wildlife management purposes, including but not being limited to the right of ingress and egress. Before any such rule or regulation is adopted, other than one relating to wild animal life, marine life, or freshwater aquatic life, the commission shall obtain the consent and agreement, in writing, of the owner, in the case of privately owned lands or waters, or the owner or primary custodian, in the case of public lands or waters.
(2) Any person violating or otherwise failing to comply with any rule or regulation so adopted commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-40; s. 306, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 90-39; s. 128, ch. 99-245; s. 20, ch. 2000-197; s. 29, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.121.
379.2224 Preserves, refuges, etc., not tax-exempt.No property acquired by purchase, lease, gift, contract to purchase or lease, or otherwise, under the provisions of this chapter, as state game lands, or any private lands used as game refuges, shooting grounds, privileges, hatcheries or breeding grounds for fish, game, birds or fur-bearing animals, except state-owned lands being used for the protection of game, fish or fur-bearing animals under the provisions of this chapter, shall be exempt from state, county or district taxation. Any contract, lease, gift or purchase of land for such purposes which attempts to exempt or partially exempt such property from taxation shall be null and void and of no effect.
History.s. 67, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(67); s. 30, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.19.
379.2225 Everglades recreational sites; definitions.
(1) PURPOSE.It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the development and management of recreational sites in the water conservation areas of the Florida Everglades when such development:
(a) Can be accomplished without endangering the water quality and quantity of supply and where environmental impact will be minimal.
(b) Is located on the exterior fringes of the Everglades to discourage extensive uncontrolled use of the interior regions.
(c) Is located where convenient access is possible for the millions of Floridians living in urban areas.
(d) Offers recreational potential for nature trails, bird study, picnic areas, boating, fishing, hunting, and target shooting.
(e) Is located where proper management and law enforcement can be provided.
(2) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(b) “Indian reservations” means lands as designated by chapter 285.
(c) “Development of recreational sites” means any improvements to existing facilities or sites and also such new selection and improvements as are needed for the various recreational activities as herein provided.
(3) RECREATIONAL SITES.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is directed to develop, manage, and enforce laws on certain recreational sites in the water conservation areas of the Everglades from funds to be appropriated by the Legislature.
(4) No recreational site will be developed on any Indian reservations as created by chapter 285 without first obtaining written approval for such development from the Indians of the particular reservation lands affected.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 73-249; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 4, ch. 78-323; s. 25, ch. 83-85; s. 27, ch. 83-218; s. 15, ch. 95-146; s. 22, ch. 99-5; s. 118, ch. 99-245; s. 31, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.025.
379.223 Citizen support organizations; use of state property; audit.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may authorize the establishment of citizen support organizations to provide assistance, funding, and promotional support for the programs of the commission. For purposes of this section, the term “citizen support organization” means an organization which:
(a) Is a corporation not for profit incorporated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Department of State.
(b) Is organized and operated to conduct programs and activities; raise funds; request and receive grants, gifts, and bequests of money; acquire, receive, hold, invest, and administer in its own name securities, funds, or real or personal property; and make expenditures for the benefit of the commission or an individual program unit of the commission; except that such organization may not receive funds from the commission or the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute by grant, gift, or contract unless specifically authorized by the Legislature.
(c) The commission has determined acts in a manner that is consistent with the goals of the commission and the best interests of the state.
(d) Is approved in writing by the commission to operate for the benefit of the commission. Such approval must be stated in a letter of agreement from the executive director of the commission.
(2)(a) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may permit a citizen support organization to use commission property, facilities, and personnel free of charge. A citizen support organization may use commission property, facilities, and personnel if such use is consistent with the approved purpose of that citizen support organization and if such use does not unreasonably interfere with the general public’s use of commission property, facilities, and personnel for established purposes.
(b) The commission may prescribe conditions upon the use by a citizen support organization of commission property, facilities, or personnel.
(c) The commission may not permit the use of any property, facilities, or personnel of the state by a citizen support organization that does not provide equal membership and employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or age.
(3) Each citizen support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The identity of a donor or prospective donor to a citizen support organization who desires to remain anonymous and all information identifying such donor or prospective donor are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-84; s. 111, ch. 90-360; s. 1, ch. 95-127; s. 172, ch. 96-406; s. 114, ch. 99-245; s. 107, ch. 2001-266; s. 7, ch. 2004-264; s. 32, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.0215.
379.224 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; s. 33, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.06091.
379.2251 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; s. 34, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.103.
379.2252 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; s. 35, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.18.
379.2253 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; s. 36, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.19.
379.2254 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; s. 37, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.20.
379.2255 Wildlife Violator Compact Act.The Wildlife Violator Compact is created and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining therein in the form substantially as follows:

ARTICLE I

Findings and Purpose

(1) The participating states find that:

(a) Wildlife resources are managed in trust by the respective states for the benefit of all residents and visitors.

(b) The protection of the wildlife resources of a state is materially affected by the degree of compliance with state statutes, laws, regulations, ordinances, and administrative rules relating to the management of such resources.

(c) The preservation, protection, management, and restoration of wildlife contributes immeasurably to the aesthetic, recreational, and economic aspects of such natural resources.

(d) Wildlife resources are valuable without regard to political boundaries; therefore, every person should be required to comply with wildlife preservation, protection, management, and restoration laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations of the participating states as a condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license to hunt, fish, trap, or possess wildlife.

(e) Violation of wildlife laws interferes with the management of wildlife resources and may endanger the safety of persons and property.

(f) The mobility of many wildlife law violators necessitates the maintenance of channels of communication among the various states.

(g) In most instances, a person who is cited for a wildlife violation in a state other than his or her home state is:

1. Required to post collateral or a bond to secure appearance for a trial at a later date;

2. Taken into custody until the collateral or bond is posted; or

3. Taken directly to court for an immediate appearance.

(h) The purpose of the enforcement practices set forth in paragraph (g) is to ensure compliance with the terms of a wildlife citation by the cited person who, if permitted to continue on his or her way after receiving the citation, could return to his or her home state and disregard his or her duty under the terms of the citation.

(i) In most instances, a person receiving a wildlife citation in his or her home state is permitted to accept the citation from the officer at the scene of the violation and immediately continue on his or her way after agreeing or being instructed to comply with the terms of the citation.

(j) The practices described in paragraph (g) cause unnecessary inconvenience and, at times, a hardship for the person who is unable at the time to post collateral, furnish a bond, stand trial, or pay a fine, and thus is compelled to remain in custody until some alternative arrangement is made.

(k) The enforcement practices described in paragraph (g) consume an undue amount of time of law enforcement agencies.

(2) It is the policy of the participating states to:

(a) Promote compliance with the statutes, laws, ordinances, regulations, and administrative rules relating to the management of wildlife resources in their respective states.

(b) Recognize a suspension of the wildlife license privileges of any person whose license privileges have been suspended by a participating state and treat such suspension as if it had occurred in each respective state.

(c) Allow a violator, except as provided in subsection (2) of Article III, to accept a wildlife citation and, without delay, proceed on his or her way, whether or not the violator is a resident of the state in which the citation was issued, if the violator’s home state is party to this compact.

(d) Report to the appropriate participating state, as provided in the compact manual, any conviction recorded against any person whose home state was not the issuing state.

(e) Allow the home state to recognize and treat convictions recorded against its residents, which convictions occurred in a participating state, as though they had occurred in the home state.

(f) Extend cooperation to its fullest extent among the participating states for enforcing compliance with the terms of a wildlife citation issued in one participating state to a resident of another participating state.

(g) Maximize the effective use of law enforcement personnel and information.

(h) Assist court systems in the efficient disposition of wildlife violations.

(3) The purpose of this compact is to:

(a) Provide a means through which participating states may join in a reciprocal program to effectuate the policies enumerated in subsection (2) in a uniform and orderly manner.

(b) Provide for the fair and impartial treatment of wildlife violators operating within participating states in recognition of the violator’s right to due process and the sovereign status of a participating state.

ARTICLE II

Definitions

As used in this compact, the term:

(1) “Citation” means any summons, complaint, summons and complaint, ticket, penalty assessment, or other official document issued to a person by a wildlife officer or other peace officer for a wildlife violation which contains an order requiring the person to respond.

(2) “Collateral” means any cash or other security deposited to secure an appearance for trial in connection with the issuance by a wildlife officer or other peace officer of a citation for a wildlife violation.

(3) “Compliance” with respect to a citation means the act of answering a citation through an appearance in a court or tribunal, or through the payment of fines, costs, and surcharges, if any.

(4) “Conviction” means a conviction that results in suspension or revocation of a license, including any court conviction, for any offense related to the preservation, protection, management, or restoration of wildlife which is prohibited by state statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule. The term also includes the forfeiture of any bail, bond, or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, the payment of a penalty assessment, a plea of nolo contendere, or the imposition of a deferred or suspended sentence by the court.

(5) “Court” means a court of law, including magistrate’s court and the justice of the peace court.

(6) “Home state” means the state of primary residence of a person.

(7) “Issuing state” means the participating state that issues a wildlife citation to the violator.

(8) “License” means any license, permit, or other public document that conveys to the person to whom it was issued the privilege of pursuing, possessing, or taking any wildlife regulated by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule of a participating state; any privilege to obtain such license, permit, or other public document; or any statutory exemption from the requirement to obtain such license, permit, or other public document. However, when applied to a license, permit, or privilege issued or granted by the State of Florida, only a license or permit issued under s. 379.354, or a privilege granted under s. 379.353, shall be considered a license.

(9) “Licensing authority” means the department or division within each participating state which is authorized by law to issue or approve licenses or permits to hunt, fish, trap, or possess wildlife.

(10) “Participating state” means any state that enacts legislation to become a member of this wildlife compact.

(11) “Personal recognizance” means an agreement by a person made at the time of issuance of the wildlife citation that such person will comply with the terms of the citation.

(12) “State” means any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Provinces of Canada, and other countries.

(13) “Suspension” means any revocation, denial, or withdrawal of any or all license privileges, including the privilege to apply for, purchase, or exercise the benefits conferred by any license.

(14) “Terms of the citation” means those conditions and options expressly stated upon the citation.

(15) “Wildlife” means all species of animals, including, but not limited to, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, and crustaceans, which are defined as “wildlife” and are protected or otherwise regulated by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule in a participating state. Species included in the definition of “wildlife” vary from state to state and the determination of whether a species is “wildlife” for the purposes of this compact shall be based on local law.

(16) “Wildlife law” means any statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule developed and enacted for the management of wildlife resources and the uses thereof.

(17) “Wildlife officer” means any individual authorized by a participating state to issue a citation for a wildlife violation.

(18) “Wildlife violation” means any cited violation of a statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule developed and enacted for the management of wildlife resources and the uses thereof.

ARTICLE III

Procedures for Issuing State

(1) When issuing a citation for a wildlife violation, a wildlife officer shall issue a citation to any person whose primary residence is in a participating state in the same manner as though the person were a resident of the issuing state and shall not require such person to post collateral to secure appearance, subject to the exceptions noted in subsection (2), if the officer receives the recognizance of such person that he will comply with the terms of the citation.

(2) Personal recognizance is acceptable if not prohibited by local law; by policy, procedure, or regulation of the issuing agency; or by the compact manual and if the violator provides adequate proof of identification to the wildlife officer.

(3) Upon conviction or failure of a person to comply with the terms of a wildlife citation, the appropriate official shall report the conviction or failure to comply to the licensing authority of the participating state in which the wildlife citation was issued. The report shall be made in accordance with procedures specified by the issuing state and must contain information as specified in the compact manual as minimum requirements for effective processing by the home state.

(4) Upon receipt of the report of conviction or noncompliance pursuant to subsection (3), the licensing authority of the issuing state shall transmit to the licensing authority of the home state of the violator the information in the form and content prescribed in the compact manual.

ARTICLE IV

Procedure for Home State

(1) Upon receipt of a report from the licensing authority of the issuing state reporting the failure of a violator to comply with the terms of a citation, the licensing authority of the home state shall notify the violator and shall initiate a suspension action in accordance with the home state’s suspension procedures and shall suspend the violator’s license privileges until satisfactory evidence of compliance with the terms of the wildlife citation has been furnished by the issuing state to the home state licensing authority. Due-process safeguards shall be accorded.

(2) Upon receipt of a report of conviction from the licensing authority of the issuing state, the licensing authority of the home state shall enter such conviction in its records and shall treat such conviction as though it occurred in the home state for purposes of the suspension of license privileges.

(3) The licensing authority of the home state shall maintain a record of actions taken and shall make reports to issuing states as provided in the compact manual.

ARTICLE V

Reciprocal Recognition of Suspension

(1) Each participating state may recognize the suspension of license privileges of any person by any other participating state as though the violation resulting in the suspension had occurred in that state and would have been the basis for suspension of license privileges in that state.

(2) Each participating state shall communicate suspension information to other participating states in the form and content contained in the compact manual.

ARTICLE VI

Applicability of Other Laws

Except as expressly required by provisions of this compact, this compact does not affect the right of any participating state to apply any of its laws relating to license privileges to any person or circumstance or to invalidate or prevent any agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a participating state and a nonparticipating state concerning the enforcement of wildlife laws.

ARTICLE VII

Compact Administrator Procedures

(1) For the purpose of administering the provisions of this compact and to serve as a governing body for the resolution of all matters relating to the operation of this compact, a board of compact administrators is established. The board shall be composed of one representative from each of the participating states to be known as the compact administrator. The compact administrator shall be appointed by the head of the licensing authority of each participating state and shall serve and be subject to removal in accordance with the laws of the state he or she represents. A compact administrator may provide for the discharge of his or her duties and the performance of his or her functions as a board member by an alternate. An alternate is not entitled to serve unless written notification of his or her identity has been given to the board.

(2) Each member of the board of compact administrators shall be entitled to one vote. No action of the board shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of the board’s votes are cast in favor thereof. Action by the board shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the participating states are represented.

(3) The board shall elect annually from its membership a chairman and vice chairman.

(4) The board shall adopt bylaws not inconsistent with the provisions of this compact or the laws of a participating state for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind its bylaws.

(5) The board may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations and grants of moneys, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States, or any governmental agency, and may receive, use, and dispose of the same.

(6) The board may contract with, or accept services or personnel from, any governmental or intergovernmental agency, individual, firm, corporation, or private nonprofit organization or institution.

(7) The board shall formulate all necessary procedures and develop uniform forms and documents for administering the provisions of this compact. All procedures and forms adopted pursuant to board action shall be contained in a compact manual.

ARTICLE VIII

Entry into Compact and Withdrawal

(1) This compact shall become effective at such time as it is adopted in substantially similar form by two or more states.

(2)

(a) Entry into the compact shall be made by resolution of ratification executed by the authorized officials of the applying state and submitted to the chairman of the board.

(b) The resolution shall substantially be in the form and content as provided in the compact manual and must include the following:

1. A citation of the authority from which the state is empowered to become a party to this compact;

2. An agreement of compliance with the terms and provisions of this compact; and

3. An agreement that compact entry is with all states participating in the compact and with all additional states legally becoming a party to the compact.

(c) The effective date of entry shall be specified by the applying state, but may not be less than 60 days after notice has been given by the chairman of the board of the compact administrators or by the secretariat of the board to each participating state that the resolution from the applying state has been received.

(3) A participating state may withdraw from participation in this compact by official written notice to each participating state, but withdrawal shall not become effective until 90 days after the notice of withdrawal is given. The notice must be directed to the compact administrator of each member state. The withdrawal of any state does not affect the validity of this compact as to the remaining participating states.

ARTICLE IX

Amendments to the Compact

(1) This compact may be amended from time to time. Amendments shall be presented in resolution form to the chairman of the board of compact administrators and shall be initiated by one or more participating states.

(2) Adoption of an amendment shall require endorsement by all participating states and shall become effective 30 days after the date of the last endorsement.

ARTICLE X

Construction and Severability

This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes stated herein. The provisions of this compact are severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating state or of the United States, or if the applicability thereof to any government, agency, individual, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact shall not be affected thereby. If this compact is held contrary to the constitution of any participating state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the participating state affected as to all severable matters.

ARTICLE XI

Title

This compact shall be known as the “Wildlife Violator Compact.”

History.s. 33, ch. 2006-304; s. 38, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.831.
379.2256 Compact licensing and enforcement authority; administrative review.
(1) LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY.For purposes of this act and the interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the licensing authority for the State of Florida and shall enforce the interstate Wildlife Violator Compact and shall do all things within the commission’s jurisdiction which are necessary to effectuate the purposes and the intent of the compact. The commission may execute a resolution of ratification to formalize the State of Florida’s entry into the compact. Upon adoption of the Wildlife Violator Compact, the commission may adopt rules to administer the provisions of the compact.
(2) ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.Any action committed or omitted by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission under or in the enforcement of the Wildlife Violator Compact created in s. 379.2255 is subject to review under chapter 120.
History.s. 34, ch. 2006-304; s. 39, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.8311.
379.2257 Cooperative agreements with U. S. Forest Service; penalty.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered:
(1) To enter into cooperative agreements with the United States Forest Service for the development of game, bird, fish, reptile, or fur-bearing animal management and demonstration projects on and in the Osceola National Forest in Columbia and Baker Counties, and in the Ocala National Forest in Marion, Lake, and Putnam Counties and in the Apalachicola National Forest in Liberty County. Provided, however, that no such cooperative agreements shall become effective in any county concerned until confirmed by the board of county commissioners of such county expressed through appropriate resolution.
(2) In cooperation with the United States Forest Service, to make, adopt, promulgate, amend, and repeal rules and regulations, consistent with law, for the further or better control of hunting, fishing, and control of wildlife in the above National Forests or parts thereof; to shorten seasons and reduce bag limits, or shorten or close seasons on any species of game, bird, fish, reptile, or fur-bearing animal within the limits prescribed by the Florida law, in the above enumerated National Forests or parts thereof, when it shall find after investigation that such action is necessary to assure the maintenance of an adequate supply of wildlife.
(3) To fix a charge not to exceed $5, for persons 18 years of age and over, and not to exceed $2 for persons under the age of 18 years, over and above the license fee for hunting now required by law. This additional fee is to apply only on areas covered by above cooperative agreements. The proceeds from this additional license fee shall be used in the development, propagation of wildlife, and protection of the areas covered by the cooperative agreements as the commission and the United States Forest Service may deem proper. Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the commission to change any penalty prescribed by law or to change the amount of general license fees or the general authority conferred by licenses prescribed by law.
(4) In addition to the requirements of chapter 120, notice of the making, adoption, and promulgation of the above rules and regulations shall be given by posting said notices, or copies of the rules and regulations, in the offices of the county judges and in the post offices within the area to be affected and within 10 miles thereof. In addition to the posting of said notices, as aforesaid, copies of said notices or of said rules and regulations shall also be published in newspapers published at the county seats of Baker, Columbia, Marion, Lake, Putnam, and Liberty Counties, or so many thereof as have newspapers, once not more than 35 nor less than 28 days and once not more than 21 nor less than 14 days prior to the opening of the state hunting season in said areas. Any person violating any rules or regulations promulgated by the commission to cover these areas under cooperative agreements between the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the United States Forest Service, none of which shall be in conflict with the laws of Florida, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 1-4, 7, 8, ch. 17939, 1937; CGL 1940 Supp. 1977(117), 8135(9-a); s. 1, ch. 23090, 1945; s. 315, ch. 71-136; s. 16, ch. 78-95; s. 158, ch. 99-245; s. 40, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.74.
379.2258 Assent to provisions of Act of Congress of September 2, 1937.
(1) The state hereby assents to the provisions of the Act of Congress entitled “An Act to provide that the United States shall aid the States in Wildlife Restoration Projects, and for other purposes,” approved September 2, 1937 (Pub. L. No. 415, 75th Congress), and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to perform such acts as may be necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative wildlife restoration projects, as defined in said Act of Congress, in compliance with said act and rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture thereunder.
(2) From and after the passage of this section it shall be unlawful to divert any funds accruing to the state from license fees paid by hunters for any purpose other than the administration of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the state.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 20223, 1941; s. 161, ch. 99-245; s. 41, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.77.
379.2259 Assent to federal acts.
(1) The state hereby assents to the provisions of the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act of August 9, 1950, as amended. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall perform such activities as are necessary to conduct wildlife and sportfish restoration projects, as defined in such Act of Congress and in compliance with the act and rules adopted thereunder by the United States Department of the Interior. Furthermore, the commission shall develop and implement programs to manage, protect, restore, and conserve marine mammals and the marine fishery and shall develop and implement similar programs for wild animal life and freshwater aquatic life.
(2) Revenues from fees paid by hunters and sport fishers may not be diverted to purposes other than the administration of fish and wildlife programs by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Administration of the state fish and wildlife programs includes only those functions of fish and wildlife management as are the responsibility of and under the authority of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(3) This section shall be construed in harmony with s. 379.2258.
History.s. 8, ch. 90-243; s. 247, ch. 94-356; s. 1004, ch. 95-148; s. 162, ch. 99-245; s. 42, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.7701.
379.226 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. 379.361, 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. 379.361, 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; s. 43, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.21.
379.2271 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; s. 44, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.06092.
379.2272 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; s. 45, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.06093.
379.2281 Jim Woodruff Dam; reciprocity agreements.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the state is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement of the reciprocity with the game and fish commissioners or the appropriate officials or departments of the State of Georgia and the State of Alabama relative to the taking of game and freshwater fish from the waters of the lake created by the Jim Woodruff Dam by permitting reciprocal license privileges.
History.s. 1, ch. 57-193; s. 175, ch. 99-245; s. 46, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.97.
379.2282 St. Marys River; reciprocity agreements.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the state is hereby authorized to enter into an agreement of reciprocity with the game and fish commissioner or the appropriate officials or departments of the State of Georgia relative to the taking of game and freshwater fish from the waters of the St. Marys River by permitting reciprocal agreement license privileges.
History.s. 1, ch. 61-523; s. 176, ch. 99-245; s. 47, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.971.
379.2291 Endangered and Threatened Species Act.
(1) SHORT TITLE.This section may be cited as the “Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Act.”
(2) DECLARATION OF POLICY.The Legislature recognizes that the State of Florida harbors a wide diversity of fish and wildlife and that it is the policy of this state to conserve and wisely manage these resources, with particular attention to those species defined by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, or the United States Department of Interior, or successor agencies, as being endangered or threatened. As Florida has more endangered and threatened species than any other continental state, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide for research and management to conserve and protect these species as a natural resource.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section:
(a) “Fish and wildlife” means any member of the animal kingdom, including, but not limited to, any mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, or other invertebrate.
(b) “Endangered species” means any species of fish and wildlife naturally occurring in Florida, whose prospects of survival are in jeopardy due to modification or loss of habitat; overutilization for commercial, sporting, scientific, or educational purposes; disease; predation; inadequacy of regulatory mechanisms; or other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.
(c) “Threatened species” means any species of fish and wildlife naturally occurring in Florida which may not be in immediate danger of extinction, but which exists in such small populations as to become endangered if it is subjected to increased stress as a result of further modification of its environment.
(4) INTERAGENCY COORDINATION.
(a) The commission shall be responsible for research and management of freshwater and upland species and for research and management of marine species.
(b) Recognizing that citizen awareness is a key element in the success of this plan, the commission and the Department of Education are encouraged to work together to develop a public education program with emphasis on, but not limited to, both public and private schools.
(c) The commission, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Community Affairs, or the Department of Transportation, may establish reduced speed zones along roads, streets, and highways to protect endangered species or threatened species.
(5) ANNUAL REPORT.The director of the commission shall, at least 30 days prior to each annual session of the Legislature, transmit to the Governor and Cabinet, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairs of the appropriate Senate and House committees, a revised and updated plan for management and conservation of endangered and threatened species, including criteria for research and management priorities; a description of the educational program; statewide policies pertaining to protection of endangered and threatened species; additional legislation which may be required; and the recommended level of funding for the following year, along with a progress report and budget request.
(6) MEASURABLE BIOLOGICAL GOALS.Measurable biological goals that define manatee recovery developed by the commission, working in conjunction with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, shall be used by the commission in its development of management plans or work plans. In addition to other criteria, these measurable biological goals shall be used by the commission when evaluating existing and proposed protection rules, and in determining progress in achieving manatee recovery. Not later than July 1, 2005, the commission shall develop rules to define how measurable biological goals will be used by the commission when evaluating the need for additional manatee protection rules.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 77-375; s. 4, ch. 78-323; s. 82, ch. 79-164; s. 26, ch. 83-85; s. 28, ch. 83-218; s. 1, ch. 90-170; s. 243, ch. 94-356; s. 1001, ch. 95-148; s. 47, ch. 99-245; s. 18, ch. 2000-331; s. 17, ch. 2002-264; s. 3, ch. 2004-343; s. 48, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.072.
379.2292 Endangered and Threatened Species Reward Program.
(1) There is established within the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Endangered and Threatened Species Reward Program, to be funded from the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. The commission may post rewards to persons responsible for providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons illegally killing or wounding or wrongfully possessing any of the endangered and threatened species listed on the official Florida list of such species maintained by the commission or the arrest and conviction of persons who violate s. 379.4115. Additional funds may be provided by donations from interested individuals and organizations. The reward program is to be administered by the commission. The commission shall establish a schedule of rewards.
(2) The commission may expend funds only for the following purposes:
(a) The payment of rewards to persons, other than law enforcement officers, commission personnel, and members of their immediate families, for information as specified in subsection (1); or
(b) The promotion of public recognition and awareness of the Endangered and Threatened Species Reward Program.
History.s. 2, ch. 79-217; s. 29, ch. 83-218; s. 18, ch. 94-265; s. 49, ch. 99-245; s. 49, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.073.
379.2293 Airport activities within the scope of a federally approved wildlife hazard management plan or a federal or state permit or other authorization for depredation or harassment.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that the ability of airports to manage wildlife hazards in a manner consistent with state and federal law is necessary to prevent jeopardy to human life or aircraft safety. It is the intent of the Legislature that actions taken by airports within the scope of authorizations to manage wildlife for such purposes not be subject to penalties, restrictions, liabilities, or sanctions and that such authorizations not be superseded by actions of other state or local agencies.
(2) An airport authority or other entity owning or operating an airport, as defined in s. 330.27(2), is not subject to any administrative or civil penalty, restriction, or other sanction with respect to any authorized action taken in a non-negligent manner for the purpose of protecting human life or aircraft safety from wildlife hazards.
(3)(a) For purposes of this section, an “authorized action taken for the purpose of protecting human life or aircraft safety from wildlife hazards” is an action authorized by or within the scope of any of the following:
1. The airport’s wildlife hazard management plan, as approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
2. A depredation permit issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
3. A standing order of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
4. Rule 68A-9.010(4) or rule 68A-27.002, Florida Administrative Code, or a permit authorizing the harassment of wildlife issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(b) The term “authorized action taken for the purpose of protecting human life or aircraft safety from wildlife hazards” does not include:
1. Dredging or filling of wetlands or other surface waters or alteration of a stormwater management system, unless authorized by and performed in compliance with a permit issued under part IV of chapter 373 or an emergency order under chapter 373. However, such a permit or emergency order is not required prior to the activity when the airport authority or other entity described in subsection (2) determines that an emergency condition exists which requires immediate action to protect human life and the airport authority or other entity described in subsection (2) obtains the appropriate permit under part IV of chapter 373 within 1 year after conducting the emergency action.
2. Trespass on lands or unauthorized interference with an easement not owned or leased by the airport authority or other entity referred to in subsection (2).
(4) If an authorized action taken for the purpose of protecting human life or aircraft safety from wildlife hazards as defined in subsection (3) conflicts or appears to conflict with a development permit, land development regulation, local comprehensive plan, or other environmental or land-use law, rule, restriction, or requirement, the authorization described in subsection (3) shall prevail.
(5) In addition to applying to the airport authority or other owner or operator of the airport, the immunities conferred by this section also apply to any officer, employee, contractor, or employee of a contractor of the airport authority or other owner or operator of the airport, or any member of the airport’s governing body, to the extent that the actions of the officer, employee, contractor, contractor’s employee, or member are authorized by or within the scope of one or more of the legal authorities described in subsection (3).
(6) Nothing in this section is intended to provide immunity from liability with respect to intentional or negligent torts, and nothing in this section is intended to affect the waiver of sovereign immunity under s. 768.28.
History.s. 2, ch. 2009-167.
379.23 Federal conservation of fish and wildlife; limited jurisdiction.
(1) Consent of the State of Florida is hereby given, to the United States for acquisition of lands, waters, or lands and waters or interests therein, for the purpose of managing, protecting and propagating fish and wildlife and for other conservation uses in the state, providing prior notice has been given by the Federal Government to the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the board of county commissioners of the county where the lands proposed for purchase are located, of such proposed action stating the specific use to be made of and the specific location and description of such lands desired by the Federal Government for any such conservation use, and that such plans for acquisition and use of said lands be approved by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the board of county commissioners of the county where the lands proposed for purchase are located; provided further that nothing herein contained shall be construed to give the consent of the State of Florida to the acquisition by the United States of lands, waters, or lands and waters, or interests therein, through exercise of the power of eminent domain; provided further that the provisions of this act shall not apply to lands owned by the several counties or by public corporations.
(2) The United States may exercise concurrent jurisdiction over lands so acquired and carry out the intent and purpose of the authority except that the existing laws of Florida relating to the Department of Environmental Protection or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall prevail relating to any area under their supervision.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 61-242; s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 25, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 248, ch. 94-356; s. 163, ch. 99-245; s. 50, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.771.
379.231 Regulation of nonnative animals.
(1) It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not native to Florida unless authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) A person in violation of this section commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.4015.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-145; s. 308, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 71-294; s. 2, ch. 80-129; s. 131, ch. 99-245; s. 23, ch. 2006-304; s. 51, ch. 2008-247; s. 1, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.265.
379.232 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; s. 52, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.03.
379.233 Release of balloons.
(1) The Legislature finds that the release into the atmosphere of large numbers of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases poses a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals.
(2) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to intentionally release, organize the release, or intentionally cause to be released within a 24-hour period 10 or more balloons inflated with a gas that is lighter than air except for:
(a) Balloons released by a person on behalf of a governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for scientific or meteorological purposes;
(b) Hot air balloons that are recovered after launching;
(c) Balloons released indoors; or
(d) Balloons that are either biodegradable or photodegradable, as determined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and which are closed by a hand-tied knot in the stem of the balloon without string, ribbon, or other attachments. In the event that any balloons are released pursuant to the exemption established in this paragraph, the party responsible for the release shall make available to any law enforcement officer evidence of the biodegradability or photodegradability of said balloons in the form of a certificate executed by the manufacturer. Failure to provide said evidence shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this act.
(3) Any person who violates subsection (2) is guilty of a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a fine of $250.
(4) Any person may petition the circuit court to enjoin the release of 10 or more balloons if that person is a citizen of the county in which the balloons are to be released.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-113; s. 186, ch. 99-245; s. 53, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.995.
379.2341 Publications by the 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.
History.s. 2, ch. 61-231; s. 220, ch. 81-259; s. 11, ch. 90-310; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 95, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2002-264; s. 54, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.021(7).
379.2342 Private publication agreements; advertising; costs of production.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may enter into agreements to secure the private publication of public information brochures, pamphlets, audiotapes, videotapes, and related materials for distribution without charge to the public and, in furtherance thereof, is authorized to:
(a) Enter into agreements with private vendors for the publication or production of such public information materials, whereby the costs of publication or production will be borne in whole or in part by the vendor or the vendor shall provide additional compensation in return for the right of the vendor to select, sell, and place advertising which publicizes products or services related to and harmonious with the subject matter of the publication.
(b) Retain the right, by agreement, to approve all elements of any advertising placed in such public information materials, including the form and content thereof.
(2)(a) Beginning January 1, 2005, the commission, with the advice and assistance of the Florida Wildlife Magazine Advisory Council, shall publish the Florida Wildlife Magazine. The magazine shall be published at least on a quarterly basis in hard-copy format and shall be available to the public by subscription and retail distribution. The primary focus of the magazine shall be to promote the heritage of hunting and fishing in Florida. The magazine shall also disseminate information regarding other outdoor recreational opportunities available to Floridians and visitors.
(b) In order to offset the cost of publication and distribution of the magazine, the commission, with the advice and assistance of the Florida Wildlife Magazine Advisory Council, is authorized to sell advertising for placement in the magazine. The commission shall have the right to approve all elements of any advertising placed in the magazine, including the form and content thereof. The magazine shall include a statement providing that the inclusion of advertising in the magazine does not constitute an endorsement by the state or the commission of the products or services so advertised. The commission may charge an annual magazine subscription fee of up to $25, a 2-year magazine subscription fee of up to $45, and a 3-year magazine subscription fee of up to $60. The commission may charge a retail per copy fee of up to $7. The provisions of chapter 287 do not apply to the sale of advertising for placement in the magazine. All revenues generated by the magazine shall be credited to the State Game Trust Fund.
(c) The Florida Wildlife Magazine Advisory Council is created within the commission to advise and make recommendations to the commission regarding development, publication, and sale of the Florida Wildlife Magazine. In order to accomplish this purpose, the council shall provide recommendations to the commission regarding:
1. The content of articles included in each edition of the magazine.
2. Advertising proposed for each edition of the magazine.
3. Strategies to improve distribution and circulation of the magazine.
4. Cost-reduction measures regarding publication of the magazine.
(d) The Florida Wildlife Magazine Advisory Council shall consist of seven members appointed by the commission, and initial appointments shall be made no later than August 1, 2004. When making initial appointments to the council and filling vacancies, the commission shall appoint members to represent the following interests: hunting; saltwater fishing; freshwater fishing; recreational boating; recreational use of off-road vehicles; hiking, biking, bird watching, or similar passive activities; general business interests; and magazine publishing.
(e) Two of the initial appointees shall serve 2-year terms, two of the initial appointees shall serve 3-year terms, and three of the initial appointees shall serve 4-year terms. Subsequent to the expiration of the initial terms, advisory council appointees shall serve 4-year terms.
(f) The members of the advisory council shall elect a chair annually.
(g) The council shall meet at least quarterly at the call of its chair, at the request of a majority of its membership, or at the request of the commission. A majority of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(h) The commission shall provide the council with clerical, expert, technical, or other services. All expenses of the council shall be paid from appropriations made by the Legislature to the commission. All vouchers shall be approved by the executive director before submission to the Chief Financial Officer for payment.
(i) Members of the council shall serve without compensation but shall receive per diem and reimbursement for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(j) Advisory council members may be reappointed. Advisory council members shall serve at the pleasure of the commission.
(3) Any public information materials produced pursuant to this section and containing advertising of any kind shall include a statement providing that the inclusion of advertising in such material does not constitute an endorsement by the state or commission of the products or services so advertised.
(4) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may enter into agreements with private vendors for vendor advertisement for the purpose of offsetting expenses relating to license issuance, and, in furtherance thereof, is authorized to:
(a) Retain the right, by agreement, to approve all elements of such advertising, including the form or content.
(b) Require that any advertising of any kind contracted pursuant to this section shall include a statement providing that the advertising does not constitute an endorsement by the state or commission of the products or services to be so advertised.
(5) The commission shall collect, edit, publish, and print pamphlets, papers, manuscripts, documents, books, monographs, and other materials relating to fish and wildlife conservation and may establish and impose a reasonable charge for such materials to cover costs of production and distribution in whole or part and may contract for the marketing, sale, and distribution of such publications and materials; except that no charge shall be imposed for materials designed to provide the public with essential information concerning fish and wildlife regulations and matters of public safety.
(6) The commission shall provide services and information designed to inform Floridians and visitors about Florida’s unique and diverse fish, game, and wildlife, and make it available by means of commonly used media. For the accomplishment of those purposes, the commission may make expenditures to:
(a) Encourage and cooperate with public and private organizations or groups to publicize to residents and visitors the diversity of fish, game, and wildlife, and related recreation opportunities of the state, including the establishment of and expenditure for a program of cooperative advertising or sponsorships, or partnerships with the public and private organizations and groups in accordance with rules adopted by the commission under chapter 120.
(b) Charge and collect a reasonable fee for researching or compiling information or other services which, in its judgment, should not be free to those requesting the information, research, handling, material, publication, or other services. Any amounts of money received by the commission from such sources shall be restored to the appropriations of the commission, and any unexpended funds shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund and made available to the commission for use in performing its duties, powers, and purposes.
(c) Charge and collect registration fees at conferences, seminars, and other meetings conducted in furtherance of the duties, powers, and purposes of the commission. Any funds collected under this paragraph which remain unexpended after the expenses of the conference, seminar, or meeting have been paid shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund and made available to the commission for use in performing its duties, powers, and purposes.
(d) Purchase and distribute promotional items to increase public awareness regarding boating safety and other programs that promote public safety or resource conservation.
(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of part I of chapter 287, the commission may adopt rules for the purpose of entering into contracts that are primarily for promotional and advertising services and promotional events which may include the authority to negotiate costs with offerors of such services and commodities who have been determined to be qualified on the basis of technical merit, creative ability, and professional competency.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-187; s. 1, ch. 96-265; s. 11, ch. 96-300; s. 2, ch. 97-217; s. 115, ch. 99-245; s. 2, ch. 2003-151; s. 8, ch. 2004-264; s. 55, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.0222.
379.2351 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; s. 56, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1103.
379.2352 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; s. 57, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.27.
379.2353 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; s. 58, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.28.
379.236 Retention, destruction, and reproduction of commission records.Records and documents of the commission created in compliance with and in the implementation of this chapter or former chapter 370, former chapter 371, or former chapter 372 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:
(1) Destroy, or otherwise dispose of, those records and documents in conformity with the approved retention schedules.
(2) 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.
(3) Furnish certified copies of such records for a fee of $1 which shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.
History.s. 2, ch. 61-231; s. 1, ch. 80-356; s. 86, ch. 91-221; s. 197, ch. 94-356; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 95, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2002-264; s. 59, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.021(9).
379.237 Courts of equity may enjoin.Courts of equity in this state have jurisdiction to enforce the conservation laws of this state by injunction.
History.s. 2, ch. 61-231; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 95, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2002-264; s. 60, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.021(10).
PART II
MARINE LIFE
379.2401 Marine fisheries; policy and standards.
379.2402 Marine information system.
379.2411 Saltwater fish; regulations.
379.2412 State preemption of power to regulate.
379.2413 Catching food fish for the purposes of making oil.
379.2421 Fishers and equipment; regulation.
379.2422 Illegal use of nets.
379.2423 Carriage of proscribed nets across Florida waters.
379.2424 Retrieval of spiny lobster, stone crab, blue crab, and black sea bass traps during closed season; commission authority.
379.2425 Spearfishing; definition; limitations; penalty.
379.2431 Marine animals; regulation.
379.2432 Manatee protection; intent; conduct of studies; initiatives and plans.
379.2433 Enhanced manatee protection study.
379.244 Crustacea, marine animals, fish; regulations; general provisions.
379.245 Spiny lobster reports by dealers during closed season required.
379.246 Tortugas shrimp beds; gifted and loan property.
379.247 Regulation of shrimp fishing; Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, Flagler, and St. Johns Counties.
379.248 Sponges; regulation.
379.249 Artificial reef program; grants and financial and technical assistance to local governments.
379.2495 Florida Ships-2-Reefs Program; matching grant requirements.
379.25 Sale of unlawfully landed product; jurisdiction.
379.2511 Lease of state-owned water bottoms for growing oysters and clams.
379.2512 Oyster bottom land grants made pursuant to ch. 3293.
379.2521 Rulemaking authority with respect to marine life.
379.2522 Oysters produced in and outside state; labeling; tracing; rules.
379.2523 Aquaculture definitions; marine aquaculture products, producers, and facilities.
379.2524 Commercial production of sturgeon.
379.2525 Noncultured shellfish harvesting.
379.26 Illegal importation or possession of nonindigenous marine plants and animals; rules and regulations.
379.2401 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.
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; s. 4, ch. 2007-223; s. 63, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.025.
379.2402 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; s. 64, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.0607.
379.2411 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. 379.361 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; s. 65, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.101.
379.2412 State preemption of power to regulate.The power to regulate the taking or possession of saltwater fish, as defined in s. 379.101, 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; s. 66, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.102.
1379.2413 Catching food fish for the purposes of making oil.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.
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; s. 67, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.11.
1379.2421 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) 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.
(6) USE OF POISONS, DRUGS, OR CHEMICALS.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.
(7) PENALTIES.A commercial harvester who violates this section shall be punished under s. 379.407. Any other person who violates this section commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
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; s. 6, ch. 2006-304; s. 68, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.08.
379.2422 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. 379.2523.
(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. 379.407(3).
(6) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is granted authority to adopt rules pursuant to s. 379.2401 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; s. 69, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.093.
379.2423 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. 379.407(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. 379.2422(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. 379.407(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; s. 70, ch. 2008-247.
1Note.Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.
Note.Former s. 370.092.
379.2424 Retrieval of spiny lobster, stone crab, blue crab, and black sea bass traps during closed season; commission authority.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to implement a trap retrieval program for retrieval of spiny lobster, stone crab, blue crab, and black sea bass 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.
History.s. 4, ch. 87-116; s. 4, ch. 87-120; s. 230, ch. 94-356; s. 246, ch. 99-245; s. 2, ch. 2004-72; s. 13, ch. 2007-223; s. 71, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.143(1).
1379.2425 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 Miami-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; s. 77, ch. 2008-4; s. 72, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.172.
379.2431 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 s. 161.053(4). If 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 may not restrict the timing of the project. If 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. 379.407(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. 379.407(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. 379.2291 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.
(d) Up to 10 percent of the annual use fee deposited in the Save the Manatee Trust Fund from the sale of the manatee license plate authorized in s. 320.08058 may be used to promote and market the license plate issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after June 30, 2007.
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; s. 7, ch. 2007-223; s. 73, ch. 2008-247; s. 192, ch. 2010-102.
Note.Former s. 370.12.
379.2432 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; s. 74, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1201.
1379.2433 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; s. 75, ch. 2008-247.
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, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, or 2009-2010 General Appropriations Acts.
Note.Former s. 370.1202.
379.244 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 native or nonnative 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; s. 76, ch. 2008-247; s. 9, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 370.10.
379.245 Spiny lobster reports by dealers during closed season required.
(1) Within 3 days after the commencement of the closed season for the taking of spiny lobster, each and every seafood dealer, either retail or wholesale, intending to possess whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster 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 whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, and spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, and spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster meat than is actually in the dealer’s possession or name is a major violation of this chapter, punishable as provided in s. 379.407(1), s. 379.414, or both. The commission shall seize the entire supply of unreported or falsely reported whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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. 379.337. Otherwise, the product shall be declared a nuisance and disposed of by the commission according to law.
(3) All dealers having reported stocks of spiny lobster may sell or offer to sell such stocks of spiny lobster; 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 spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster closed season, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $1,000.
(c) For a third violation within the same spiny lobster closed season, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of $2,500 and may seize said dealer’s entire stock of whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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. 379.337. 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 spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster meat available for inspection by the commission.
(5) Each wholesale and retail dealer in whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster meat shall keep throughout the period of the spiny lobster closed season copies of the bill of sale or invoice covering each transaction involving whole spiny lobster, spiny lobster tails, or spiny lobster 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; s. 11, ch. 2007-223; s. 77, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1405.
1379.246 Tortugas shrimp beds; gifted and loan property.
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
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; s. 78, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.151.
1379.247 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. 379.362(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; s. 79, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.153.
1379.248 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. 379.361.
(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; s. 80, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.17.
379.249 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.
(8) The Legislature finds that a statewide matching grant program to secure and place United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and United States Navy decommissioned vessels in state or federal waters seaward of the state as artificial reefs would be of great benefit to Floridians in promoting ecotourism associated with recreational diving and fishing in Florida. Therefore, the Legislature authorizes the planning and development of a statewide matching grant program as described in this subsection to be administered by the commission. The program will be implemented subject to appropriations. The objectives in establishing the program are to:
(a) Assist in reducing the pressures on natural coral reefs in state or federal waters seaward of the state and increase the opportunities for recreational diving and fishing.
(b) Provide a mechanism through which counties and municipalities that are permitted to place vessels in state or federal waters seaward of the state as artificial reefs can apply for and receive state matching grants for the placement of decommissioned MARAD and United States Navy vessels. Funds may be used for cleaning, preparing, towing, and sinking of such decommissioned vessels.
(c) Provide state funds that would be matched with local funds, federal funds, and funds from local businesses.
(d) Establish criteria to determine eligibility for such state matching funds.
(e) Assist counties and municipalities with the donation and transfer application for United States Navy and MARAD decommissioned vessels available for use as artificial reefs in accordance with MARAD application evaluation criteria.
(f) Develop a master plan for the purposes of maximizing the number and type of vessels to be placed in state or federal waters seaward of the state that provides for the location of vessels in the most geographically effective and beneficial manner.
(g) Establish and promote standards for the placement of MARAD and United States Navy decommissioned vessels in state or federal waters seaward of the state, consistent with current environmental standards and the mandate of s. 3516 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 and the 2006 publication, “National Guidance: Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs,” published jointly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Maritime Administration, which emphasized minimization of the release of harmful substances into the environment while decommissioned vessels are at anchorage and are undergoing disposal processes.
(h) Provide for and receive interagency comments from the agencies responsible for the permitting of artificial reefs and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, allowing for a review period consistent with MARAD and United States Navy application deadlines.
(i) Establish a United States military vessel component as a seventh theme for Florida’s Maritime Heritage Trail to promote Florida’s nature-based tourism and heritage tourism.
(j) Provide for title of decommissioned vessels to be transferred to the state.
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; s. 1, ch. 2008-100; s. 81, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.25.
379.2495 Florida Ships-2-Reefs Program; matching grant requirements.
(1) The commission is authorized to establish the Florida Ships-2-Reefs Program, a matching grant program, for the securing and placement of United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and United States Navy decommissioned vessels in state or federal waters seaward of the state to serve as artificial reefs and, pursuant thereto, to make expenditures and enter into contracts with local governments and nonprofit corporations for the purpose of securing and placing MARAD and United States Navy decommissioned vessels as artificial reefs in state or federal waters seaward of the state pursuant to s. 379.249(8) and performing the environmental preparation and cleaning requisite to the placement of a vessel as an artificial reef, which preparation and cleaning must meet the standards established in the 2006 publication, “National Guidance: Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs,” published jointly by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Maritime Administration. The commission shall have final approval of grants awarded through the program.
(2) Each grant awarded under the program shall be matched by nonstate funds. The limit for a state matching grant shall be 33 percent of the total cost for securing and placing the decommissioned vessel and performing the requisite environmental preparation and cleaning which meets the standards cited in subsection (1) prior to placement of the vessel.
(3) The commission may:
(a) Receive submissions of requests for matching funds and documentation relating to those requests;
(b) Approve requests for matching funds; and
(c) Allocate matching funds to local governments or nonprofit corporations.
(4) To demonstrate that a local government or nonprofit corporation meets the required criteria, the local government or nonprofit corporation must submit formal agreements, written pledges, memoranda of understanding, financing arrangements, or other documents demonstrating that nonstate matching funds are available for securing and placing the vessel prior to submission of an application. Matching grant funds shall be released only upon documentation that meets all the criteria established in rules adopted by the commission pursuant to subsection (5).
(5) The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to address procedures necessary to administer the matching grants provided in this section.
(6) No later than January 1, 2009, and each January 1 thereafter, the commission shall submit a report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing the expenditure of the funds appropriated to it for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2008-100; s. 40, ch. 2009-21.
379.25 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; s. 82, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.23.
379.2511 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. 379.2525; such leases shall be issued pursuant to the provisions of ss. 253.67-253.75.
History.s. 3, ch. 88-207; s. 83, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1601.
379.2512 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; s. 84, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.161.
1379.2521 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 rules adopted by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
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; s. 85, ch. 2008-247.
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. Material formerly in chapter 370 was transferred to chapter 379 by ch. 2008-247, and s. 370.027 was redesignated as s. 379.2521.
Note.Former s. 370.027.
379.2522 Oysters produced in and outside state; labeling; tracing; rules.
(1) No wholesale or retail dealer, as defined in s. 379.362(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; s. 86, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1603.
379.2523 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. 379.361. 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.
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; s. 87, ch. 2008-247; s. 89, ch. 2010-102.
Note.Former s. 370.26.
379.2524 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; s. 88, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.31.
1379.2525 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. 379.361 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; s. 89, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.16.
379.26 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 native 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 nonnative 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).
(6) Any person who violates this section commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
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; s. 7, ch. 2006-304; s. 90, ch. 2008-247; s. 10, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 370.081.
PART III
FRESHWATER AQUATIC LIFE
379.28 Imported fish.
379.29 Contaminating fresh waters.
379.295 Use of explosives and other substances prohibited.
379.28 Imported fish.
(1) No person shall import into the state or place in any of the fresh waters of the state any freshwater fish of any species without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The commission is authorized to issue or deny such a permit upon the completion of studies of the species made by it to determine any detrimental effect the species might have on the ecology of the state.
(2) A person who violates this section commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
History.s. 37, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(37); s. 1, ch. 71-294; s. 1, ch. 80-129; s. 52, ch. 91-224; s. 130, ch. 99-245; s. 22, ch. 2006-304; s. 92, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.26.
379.29 Contaminating fresh waters.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, firm or corporation to cause any dyestuff, coal tar, oil, sawdust, poison, or deleterious substances to be thrown, run, or drained into any of the fresh running waters of this state in quantities sufficient to injure, stupefy, or kill fish which may inhabit the same at or below the point where any such substances are discharged, or caused to flow or be thrown into such waters; provided, that it shall not be a violation of this section for any person, firm, or corporation engaged in any mining industry to cause any water handled or used in any branch of such industry to be discharged on the surface of land where such industry or branch thereof is being carried on under such precautionary measures as shall be approved by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 for the first offense, and for the second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 22009, 1943; s. 317, ch. 71-136; s. 164, ch. 99-245; s. 61, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.85.
379.295 Use of explosives and other substances prohibited.No person may throw or place, or cause to be thrown or placed, any dynamite, lyddite, gunpowder, cannon cracker, acids, filtration discharge, debris from mines, Indian berries, sawdust, green walnuts, walnut leaves, creosote, oil, or other explosives or deleterious substance or force into the fresh waters of this state whereby fish therein are or may be injured. Nothing in this section may be construed as preventing the release of water slightly discolored by mining operations or water escaping from such operations as the result of providential causes.
History.s. 29, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(29).
Note.Former s. 372.75.
PART IV
WILD ANIMAL LIFE
379.3001 No net loss of hunting lands.
379.3002 J. W. Corbett and Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Areas.
379.3003 Required clothing for persons hunting deer.
379.3004 Voluntary Authorized Hunter Identification Program.
379.3011 Alligator trapping program; definitions.
379.3012 Alligator management and trapping program implementation; commission authority.
379.3013 Alligator study requirements.
379.3014 Unlawful sale, possession, or transporting of alligators or alligator skins.
379.3015 Prima facie evidence of intent to violate laws protecting alligators.
379.3016 Unlawful to sell alligator products; penalty.
379.3017 Word “alligator” or “gator” not to be used in certain sales.
379.302 Private game preserves and farms; regulations; penalties.
379.303 Classification of wildlife; seizure of captive wildlife.
379.304 Exhibition or sale of wildlife.
379.305 Rules and regulations; penalties.
379.3001 No net loss of hunting lands.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(b) “Commission-managed lands” means those lands owned by the commission, those lands owned by the state over which the commission holds management authority, or those privately owned lands that are leased or managed by the commission.
(c) “Hunting” means the lawful pursuit, trapping, shooting, capture, collection, or killing of wildlife or the lawful attempt to pursue, trap, shoot, capture, collect, or kill wildlife.
(2) Commission-managed lands shall be open to access and use for hunting except as limited by the commission for reasons of public safety, fish or wildlife management, or homeland security or as otherwise limited by law.
(3) The commission, in exercising its authority under the State Constitution and statutes, shall exercise its authority, consistent with subsection (2), in a manner that supports, promotes, and enhances hunting opportunities to the extent authorized by state law.
(4) Commission land management decisions and actions, including decisions made by private owners to close hunting land managed by the commission, shall not result in any net loss of habitat land acreage available for hunting opportunities on commission-managed lands that exists on the effective date of this act. The commission shall expeditiously find replacement acreage for hunting to compensate for closures of any existing hunting land. Replacement lands shall, to the greatest extent possible, be located within the same administrative region of the commission and shall be consistent with the hunting discipline that the commission allowed on the closed land.
(5) Any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall assist and coordinate and cooperate with the commission to allow hunting on such lands if such lands are determined by the commission to be suitable for hunting. To ensure no net loss of land acreage available for hunting, state agencies and water management districts shall cooperate with the commission to open new, additional hunting lands to replace lost hunting acreage. However, lands officially designated as units within the state park system may not be considered for replacement hunting lands and may only be opened for hunting when necessary as a wildlife control or management tool as determined by the Division of Recreation and Parks in the Department of Environmental Protection.
(6) By October 1 of each year, the executive director of the commission shall submit to the Legislature a written report describing:
(a) The acreage managed by the commission that was closed to hunting during the previous fiscal year and the reasons for the closures.
(b) The acreage managed by the commission that was opened to hunting to compensate for closures of existing land pursuant to subsection (4).
(7) By October 1 of each year, any state agency or water management district that owns or manages lands shall submit a written report to the commission and the Legislature that includes:
(a) A list of properties that were open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(b) A list of properties that were not open for hunting during the previous fiscal year.
(c) The acreage for each property and the county where each property is located, except for right-of-way lands and parcels under 50 acres.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-98; s. 94, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.0025.
379.3002 J. W. Corbett and Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Areas.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of this state is neither authorized nor empowered to do the following as to the J. W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in Palm Beach County or the Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area without the approval of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund that such action is in the best interest of orderly and economical development of said area, viz.:
(a) To trade, barter, lease, or exchange lands therein for lands of greater acreage contiguous to said wildlife management areas.
(b) To grant easements for construction and maintenance of roads, railroads, canals, ditches, dikes, and utilities, including but not limited to telephone, telegraph, oil, gas, electric power, water, and sewers.
(c) To convey or release all rights in and to the phosphate, minerals, metals, and petroleum that is or may be in, on or under any lands traded, bartered, leased, or exchanged pursuant to paragraph (a).
(2) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund and the State Board of Education and all and every board, state department or state agency of the state having any title, right and interest in or to the land including oil and mineral rights in the lands to be traded, bartered, leased or exchanged within the J. W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area in Palm Beach County, is authorized and empowered to convey this interest of whatsoever nature to the record owner.
(3) Moneys received from the sale of lands within either wildlife management area, less reasonable expenses incident to the sale, shall be used by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to acquire acreage contiguous to the wildlife management area or lands of equal wildlife value. The sale shall be made directly to the state, notwithstanding the procedures of s. 270.08 to the contrary.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 31410, 1956; ss. 27, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-60; s. 1, ch. 75-304; s. 159, ch. 99-13; s. 117, ch. 99-245; s. 95, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.023.
379.3003 Required clothing for persons hunting deer.It is a Level One violation under s. 379.401 for any person to hunt deer, or for any person to accompany another person hunting deer, during the open season for the taking of deer on public lands unless each person shall wear a total of at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment. Such clothing shall be worn above the waistline and may include a head covering. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person hunting deer with a bow and arrow during seasons restricted to hunting with a bow and arrow.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-136; s. 1, ch. 87-53; s. 28, ch. 2006-304; s. 96, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.988.
379.3004 Voluntary Authorized Hunter Identification Program.
(1) There is created the “Voluntary Authorized Hunter Identification Program” to assist landowners and law enforcement officials in better controlling trespass and illegal or unauthorized hunting. Landowners wishing to participate in the program shall:
(a) Annually notify the sheriff’s office in the county in which the land is situated and the respective area supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by letter of their desire to participate in the program, and provide a description of their property which they wish to have in the program by township, range, section, partial section, or other geographical description.
(b) Provide a means of identifying authorized hunters as provided in subsection (2).
(2) Any person hunting on private land enrolled in the Voluntary Authorized Hunter Identification Program shall have readily available on the land at all times when hunting on the property written authorization from the owner or his or her authorized representative to be on the land for the purpose of hunting. The written authorization shall be presented on demand to any law enforcement officer, the owner, or the authorized agent of the owner.
(a) For purposes of this section, the term “hunting” means to be engaged in or reasonably equipped to engage in the pursuit or taking by any means of any animal described in s. 379.101(19) or (20), and the term “written authorization” means a card, letter, or other written instrument which shall include, but need not be limited to, the name of the person or entity owning the property, the name and signature of the person granting the authorization, a description by township, range, section, partial section, or other geographical description of the land to which the authorization applies, and a statement of the time period during which the authorization is valid.
(b) Failure by any person hunting on private land enrolled in the program to present written authorization to hunt on said land to any law enforcement officer or the owner or representative thereof within 7 days of demand shall be prima facie evidence of violation of s. 810.09(2)(c), punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, such evidence may be contradicted or rebutted by other evidence.
History.s. 2, ch. 97-201; s. 155, ch. 99-245; s. 30, ch. 2002-46; s. 97, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.7016.
379.3011 Alligator trapping program; definitions.Unless otherwise provided by a specific section or the context otherwise requires, as used in ss. 379.3011, 379.3012, 379.3751, and 379.3752, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Alligator” means a member of the species of alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) but does not mean its eggs.
(2) “Alligator hatchling” means a juvenile alligator as more specifically defined by commission rule.
(3) “Process” or “processing” means the skinning, butchering, or possession of alligators.
History.s. 2, ch. 87-199; s. 98, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.6671.
379.3012 Alligator management and trapping program implementation; commission authority.
(1) In any alligator management and trapping program that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall establish, the commission shall have the authority to adopt all rules necessary for full and complete implementation of such alligator management and trapping program, and, in order to ensure its lawful, safe, and efficient operation in accordance therewith, may:
(a) Regulate the marketing and sale of alligators, their hides, eggs, meat, and byproducts, including the development and maintenance of a state-sanctioned sale.
(b) Regulate the handling and processing of alligators, their eggs, hides, meat, and byproducts, for the lawful, safe, and sanitary handling and processing of same.
(c) Regulate commercial alligator farming facilities and operations for the captive propagation and rearing of alligators and their eggs.
(d) Provide hide-grading services by two or more individuals pursuant to state-sanctioned sales if rules are first promulgated by the commission governing:
1. All grading-related services to be provided pursuant to this section;
2. Criteria for qualifications of persons to serve as hide-graders for grading services to be provided pursuant to this section; and
3. The certification process by which hide-graders providing services pursuant to this section will be certified.
(e) Provide sales-related services by contract pursuant to state-sanctioned sales if rules governing such services are first promulgated by the commission.
(2) All contractors of the commission for the grading, marketing, and sale of alligators and their hides, eggs, meat, and byproducts shall not engage in any act constituting a conflict of interest under part III of chapter 112.
(3) The powers and duties of the commission hereunder shall not be construed so as to supersede the regulatory authority or lawful responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Department of Health, or any local governmental entity regarding the processing or handling of food products, but shall be deemed supplemental thereto.
History.s. 3, ch. 87-199; s. 17, ch. 98-333; s. 66, ch. 99-8; s. 148, ch. 99-245; s. 7, ch. 99-397; s. 99, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.6672.
379.3013 Alligator study requirements.The commission shall conduct studies of all areas of the state which it intends to open to alligator collection permits. The study shall include individual wet areas, lakes, and rivers, or reasonable numbers of wet areas, lakes, and rivers that may be logically grouped. The studies shall determine the safe yield of alligators for which collection permits may be issued. The studies shall be based upon the best biological information that indicates the number of alligators which can be removed from the system without long-term adverse impacts on population levels.
History.s. 6, ch. 87-199; s. 100, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.6678.
379.3014 Unlawful sale, possession, or transporting of alligators or alligator skins.Whenever the sale, possession, or transporting of alligators or alligator skins is prohibited by any law of this state, or by the rules, regulations, or orders of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adopted pursuant to s. 9, Art. IV of the State Constitution, the sale, possession, or transporting of alligators or alligator skins is a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-160; s. 7, ch. 69-216; s. 311, ch. 71-136; s. 30, ch. 83-216; s. 143, ch. 99-245; s. 25, ch. 2006-304; s. 101, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.662.
379.3015 Prima facie evidence of intent to violate laws protecting alligators.Except as otherwise provided by rule of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the purpose of the limited collection of alligators in designated areas, the display or use of a light in a place where alligators might be known to inhabit in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of alligators, together with the possession of firearms, spear guns, gigs, and harpoons customarily used for the taking of alligators, during the period between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to violate the provisions of law regarding the protection of alligators.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-2; s. 1, ch. 87-199; s. 145, ch. 99-245; s. 102, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.664.
379.3016 Unlawful to sell alligator products; penalty.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to sell any alligator product manufactured in the form of a stuffed baby alligator or other baby crocodilia.
(2) No person shall sell any alligator product manufactured from a species which has been declared to be endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(3) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-3; s. 313, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-299; s. 107, ch. 71-355; s. 1, ch. 81-191; s. 1, ch. 85-188; s. 7, ch. 87-199; s. 54, ch. 91-224; s. 146, ch. 99-245; s. 103, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.6645.
379.3017 Word “alligator” or “gator” not to be used in certain sales.It is unlawful for any person to use the word “gator” or “alligator” in connection with the sale of any product derived or made from the skins of other crocodilia or in connection with the sale of other crocodilia. Any person violating this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor.
History.s. 1, ch. 69-312; s. 104, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.665.
379.302 Private game preserves and farms; regulations; penalties.
(1) Any person owning land in this state may establish, maintain, and operate within the boundaries thereof, a private preserve and farm, not exceeding an area of 640 acres, for the protection, preservation, propagation, rearing, and production of game birds and animals for private and commercial purposes, provided that no two game preserves shall join each other or be connected.
(2) All private game preserves or farms established under the provisions of this section shall be fenced in such manner that domestic game thereon may not escape and wild game on surrounding lands may not enter and shall be subject at any time to inspection by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or its conservation officers. Such private preserve or farm shall be equipped and operated in such manner as to provide sufficient food and humane treatment for the game kept thereon. Game reared or produced on private game preserves and farms shall be considered domestic game and private property and may be sold or disposed of as such and shall be the subject of larceny. Live game may be purchased, sold, shipped, and transported for propagation and restocking purposes only at any time. Such game may be sold for food purposes only during the open season provided by law for such game. All game killed must be killed on the premises of such private game preserve or farm and must be killed by means other than shooting, except during the open season. All domestic game sold for food purposes must be marked or tagged in a manner prescribed by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; and the owner or operator of such private game preserve or farm shall report to the said commission, on blanks to be furnished by it, each sale or shipment of domestic game, such reports showing the quantity and kind of game shipped or sold and to whom sold. Such report shall be made not later than 5 days following such sale or shipment. Game reared or produced as aforesaid may be served as such by hotels, restaurants, or other public eating places during the open season provided by law on such particular species of game, under such regulations as the commission may prescribe.
(3) It is unlawful for any common carrier to knowingly transport or receive for transportation any domestic game unless the package or container containing such shipment has attached thereto a permit for such shipment and such package or container shall be marked on the outside showing quantity and kind of game enclosed.
(4) Any person violating this section for the first offense commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and for a second or subsequent offense commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person convicted of violating this section shall forfeit to the commission any license issued under s. 379.3711; and no further license shall be issued to such person for a period of 1 year following such conviction.
History.s. 70-A, ch. 13644, 1929; ss. 1-9, ch. 14515, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1901(5)-(15), 1977(71); s. 307, ch. 71-136; s. 223, ch. 81-259; s. 129, ch. 99-245; s. 11, ch. 2002-46; s. 4, ch. 2003-151; s. 105, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.16.
379.303 Classification of wildlife; seizure of captive wildlife.
(1) The commission shall promulgate rules defining Class I, Class II, and Class III types of wildlife. The commission shall also establish rules and requirements necessary to ensure that permits are granted only to persons qualified to possess and care properly for wildlife and that permitted wildlife possessed as personal pets will be maintained in sanitary surroundings and appropriate neighborhoods.
(2) In instances where wildlife is seized or taken into custody by the commission, said owner or possessor of such wildlife shall be responsible for payment of all expenses relative to the capture, transport, boarding, veterinary care, or other costs associated with or incurred due to seizure or custody of wildlife. Such expenses shall be paid by said owner or possessor upon any conviction or finding of guilt of a criminal or noncriminal violation, regardless of adjudication or plea entered, of any provision of chapter 828 or this chapter, or rule of the commission or if such violation is disposed of under s. 921.187. Failure to pay such expense may be grounds for revocation or denial of permits to such individual to possess wildlife.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-309; s. 6, ch. 98-333; s. 34, ch. 2002-46; s. 106, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.922(3), (4).
379.304 Exhibition or sale of wildlife.
(1) Permits issued pursuant to s. 379.3761 and places where wildlife is kept or held in captivity shall be subject to inspection by officers of the commission at all times. The commission shall have the power to release or confiscate any specimens of any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles, whether native to the state or not, when it is found that conditions under which they are being confined are unsanitary, or unsafe to the public in any manner, or that the species of wildlife are being maltreated, mistreated, or neglected or kept in any manner contrary to the provisions of chapter 828, any such permit to the contrary notwithstanding. Before any such wildlife is confiscated or released under the authority of this section, the owner thereof shall have been advised in writing of the existence of such unsatisfactory conditions; the owner shall have been given 30 days in which to correct such conditions; the owner shall have failed to correct such conditions; the owner shall have had an opportunity for a proceeding pursuant to chapter 120; and the commission shall have ordered such confiscation or release after careful consideration of all evidence in the particular case in question. The final order of the commission shall constitute final agency action.
(2) In instances where wildlife is seized or taken into custody by the commission, said owner or possessor of such wildlife shall be responsible for payment of all expenses relative to the capture, transport, boarding, veterinary care, or other costs associated with or incurred due to seizure or custody of wildlife. Such expenses shall be paid by said owner or possessor upon any conviction or finding of guilt of a criminal or noncriminal violation, regardless of adjudication or plea entered, of any provision of chapter 828 or this chapter, or rule of the commission or if such violation is disposed of under s. 921.187. Failure to pay such expense may be grounds for revocation or denial of permits to such individual to possess wildlife.
(3) Any animal on exhibit of a type capable of contracting or transmitting rabies shall be immunized against rabies.
(4) The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.
(5) A violation of this section is punishable as provided by s. 379.4015.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-290; s. 16, ch. 78-95; s. 32, ch. 83-218; s. 8, ch. 91-134; s. 5, ch. 98-333; s. 173, ch. 99-245; s. 33, ch. 2002-46; s. 9, ch. 2003-151; s. 107, ch. 2008-247; s. 33, ch. 2009-86; s. 11, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.921(4)-(6), (9), (10).
379.305 Rules and regulations; penalties.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may prescribe such other rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to prevent the escape of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern, either in connection of construction of such cages or otherwise to carry out the intent of ss. 379.372-379.374.
(2) A person who knowingly releases a nonnative venomous reptile or reptile of concern to the wild or who through gross negligence allows a nonnative venomous reptile or reptile of concern to escape commits a Level Three violation, punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.
History.s. 6, ch. 28263, 1953; s. 172, ch. 99-245; s. 6, ch. 2007-239; s. 108, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.92.
PART V
LAW ENFORCEMENT
379.33 Enforcement of commission rules; penalties for violation of rule.
379.3311 Police powers of commission and its agents.
379.3312 Powers of arrest by agents of Department of Environmental Protection or Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
379.3313 Powers of commission law enforcement officers.
379.332 Prosecutions; state attorney to represent state.
379.333 Arrest by officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; recognizance; cash bond; citation.
379.334 Search and seizure authorized and limited.
379.335 Issuance of warrant for search of private dwelling.
379.336 Venue for proceedings against citizens and residents charged with violations outside state boundaries.
379.337 Confiscation, seizure, and forfeiture of property and products.
379.338 Confiscation and disposition of illegally taken wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish.
379.3381 Photographic evidence of illegally taken wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish.
379.339 Seizure of illegal hunting devices; disposition; notice; forfeiture.
379.3395 Seizure of illegal transportation devices; disposition; appraisal; forfeiture.
379.341 Disposition of illegal fishing devices; exercise of police power.
379.342 Applicability of ss. 379.339, 379.3395, 379.404, and 379.406.
379.343 Rewards.
379.33 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. Except as provided under s. 379.401, any person who violates or otherwise fails to comply with any rule adopted by the commission shall be punished pursuant to s. 379.407(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; s. 3, ch. 2006-304; s. 113, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.028.
379.3311 Police powers of commission and its agents.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the executive director and the executive director’s assistants designated by her or him, and each wildlife officer are constituted peace officers with the power to make arrests for violations of the laws of this state when committed in the presence of the officer or when committed on lands under the supervision and management of the commission. The general laws applicable to arrests by peace officers of this state shall also be applicable to said director, assistants, and wildlife officers. Such persons 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 shall not constitute a trespass.
(2) Such officers shall have power and authority to enforce throughout the state all laws relating to game, nongame birds, fish, and fur-bearing animals and all rules and regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission relating to wild animal life, marine life, and freshwater aquatic life, and in connection with said laws, rules, and regulations, in the enforcement thereof and in the performance of their duties thereunder, to:
(a) Go upon all premises, posted or otherwise;
(b) Execute warrants and search warrants for the violation of said laws;
(c) Serve subpoenas issued for the examination, investigation, and trial of all offenses against said laws;
(d) Carry firearms or other weapons, concealed or otherwise, in the performance of their duties;
(e) Arrest upon probable cause without warrant any person found in the act of violating any of the provisions of said laws or, in pursuit immediately following such violations, to examine any person, boat, conveyance, vehicle, game bag, game coat, or other receptacle for wild animal life, marine life, or freshwater aquatic life, or any camp, tent, cabin, or roster, in the presence of any person stopping at or belonging to such camp, tent, cabin, or roster, when said officer has reason to believe, and has exhibited her or his authority and stated to the suspected person in charge the officer’s reason for believing, that any of the aforesaid laws have been violated at such camp;
(f) Secure and execute search warrants and in pursuance thereof to enter any building, enclosure, or car and to break open, when found necessary, any apartment, chest, locker, box, trunk, crate, basket, bag, package, or container and examine the contents thereof;
(g) Seize and take possession of all wild animal life, marine life, or freshwater aquatic life taken or in possession or under control of, or shipped or about to be shipped by, any person at any time in any manner contrary to said laws.
(3) It is unlawful for any person to resist an arrest authorized by this section or in any manner to interfere, either by abetting, assisting such resistance, or otherwise interfering with said executive director, assistants, or wildlife officers while engaged in the performance of the duties imposed upon them by law or regulation of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(4) 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 after the final disposition of the action, certify the disposition to the commission.
History.s. 3, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17016, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(3); s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 1, ch. 70-404; s. 571, ch. 95-148; s. 122, ch. 99-245; s. 19, ch. 2000-197; s. 3, ch. 2003-151; s. 114, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.07.
379.3312 Powers of arrest by agents of Department of Environmental Protection or Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.Any certified law enforcement officer of the Department of Environmental Protection or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, upon receiving information, relayed to her or him from any law enforcement officer stationed on the ground, on the water, or in the air, that a driver, operator, or occupant of any vehicle, boat, or airboat has violated any section of chapter 327, chapter 328, or this chapter, or s. 597.010 or s. 597.020, may arrest the driver, operator, or occupant for violation of said laws when reasonable and proper identification of the vehicle, boat, or airboat and reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the driver, operator, or occupant has committed or is committing any such offense have been communicated to the arresting officer by the other officer stationed on the ground, on the water, or in the air.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-396; s. 1, ch. 79-217; s. 242, ch. 94-356; s. 1000, ch. 95-148; s. 123, ch. 99-245; s. 14, ch. 2000-364; s. 115, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.071.
379.3313 Powers of commission law enforcement officers.
(1) 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.
(2) 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 subsection (1), 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.
History.s. 2, ch. 61-231; s. 1, ch. 70-378; s. 1, ch. 75-180; s. 31, ch. 79-65; s. 30, ch. 84-258; s. 1, ch. 86-132; s. 86, ch. 91-221; s. 197, ch. 94-356; s. 980, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 95, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2002-264; s. 116, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.021(8).
379.332 Prosecutions; state attorney to represent state.
(1) The prosecuting officers of the several courts of criminal jurisdiction of this state shall investigate and prosecute all violations of the laws relating to game, freshwater fish, nongame birds, and fur-bearing animals which may be brought to their attention by the commission or its conservation officers, or which may otherwise come to their knowledge.
(2) The state attorney shall represent the state in any forfeiture proceeding under this chapter. The Department of Legal Affairs shall represent the state in all appeals from judgments of forfeiture to the Supreme Court. The state may appeal any judgment denying forfeiture in whole or in part that may be otherwise adverse to the state.
History.s. 11, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(11); s. 152, ch. 99-245; s. 8, ch. 2002-264; s. 117, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.70.
379.333 Arrest by officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; recognizance; cash bond; citation.
(1) In all cases of arrest by officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection, the person arrested shall be delivered forthwith by said officer to the sheriff of the county, or shall obtain from such person arrested a recognizance or, if deemed necessary, a cash bond or other sufficient security conditioned for her or his appearance before the proper tribunal of such county to answer the charge for which the person has been arrested.
(2) All officers of the commission and the department are hereby directed to deliver all bonds accepted and approved by them to the sheriff of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
(3) Any person so arrested and released on her or his own recognizance by an officer and who shall fail to appear or respond to the proper citation to appear, shall, in addition to the charge relating to wildlife or freshwater fish, be charged with that offense of failing to respond to such citation and, upon conviction, be punished as for a misdemeanor. A written warning to this effect shall be given at the time of arrest of such person.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-229; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 246, ch. 94-356; s. 1003, ch. 95-148; s. 153, ch. 99-245; s. 118, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.701.
379.334 Search and seizure authorized and limited.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its conservation officers shall have authority when they have reasonable and probable cause to believe that the provisions of this chapter have been violated, to board any vessel, boat, or vehicle or to enter any fishhouse or warehouse or other building, exclusive of residence, in which game, hides, fur-bearing animals, fish, or fish nets are kept and to search for and seize any such game, hides, fur-bearing animals, fish, or fish nets had or held therein in violation of law. Provided, however, that no search without warrant shall be made under any of the provisions of this chapter, unless the officer making such search has such information from a reliable source as would lead a prudent and cautious person to believe that some provision of this chapter is being violated.
History.s. 30, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(30); s. 584, ch. 95-148; s. 159, ch. 99-245; s. 119, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.76.
379.335 Issuance of warrant for search of private dwelling.
(1) A search warrant may be issued on application by a commissioned officer of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to search any private dwelling occupied as such when it is being used for the unlawful sale or purchase of wildlife or freshwater fish being unlawfully kept therein. The term “private dwelling” shall be construed to include the room or rooms used and occupied, not transiently but solely as a residence, in an apartment house, hotel, boardinghouse, or lodginghouse. No warrant for the search of any private dwelling shall be issued except upon probable cause supported by sworn affidavit of some creditable witness that she or he has reason to believe that the said conditions exist, which affidavit shall set forth the facts on which such reason for belief is based.
(2) This section shall not be construed as being in conflict with, but is supplemental to, chapter 933.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-383; s. 585, ch. 95-148; s. 160, ch. 99-245; s. 120, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.761.
379.336 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; s. 121, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.22.
379.337 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.
(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. Such deposit into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund shall constitute confiscation.
(d) For purposes of confiscation under this subsection, the term “saltwater products” has the meaning set out in s. 379.101(36), 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; s. 4, ch. 2006-304; s. 122, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.061.
379.338 Confiscation and disposition of illegally taken wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish.
(1) All wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish seized under the authority of this chapter, any other chapter, or rules of the commission shall, upon conviction of the offender or sooner in accordance with a court order if the court so orders, be forfeited to the investigating law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency may elect to retain the wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish for the agency’s official use; transfer it to another unit of state or local government for official use; donate it to a charitable organization; sell it at a public sale pursuant to s. 705.103; or destroy the wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish if none of the other options is practicable or if the wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish is unwholesome or otherwise not of appreciable value. All illegally possessed live wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish that are properly documented as evidence as provided in s. 379.3381 may be returned to the habitat unharmed. Any unclaimed wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish shall be retained by the investigating law enforcement agency and disposed of in accordance with this subsection.
(2) All furs or hides or fur-bearing animals seized under the authority of this chapter shall, upon conviction of the offender, be forfeited and sent to the commission, which shall sell the same. If any such hides or furs are seized and the offender is unknown, the court shall order such hides or furs sent to the commission, which shall sell such hides and furs.
(3) Except as otherwise provided by law, the proceeds of any such sale under this section shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund or the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund.
(4) Any state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency that enforces or assists the commission in enforcing this chapter, which enforcement results in a forfeiture of property as provided in this section, is entitled to receive all or a share of any property based upon its participation in the enforcement.
History.s. 66, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(66); s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 225, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 98-391; s. 157, ch. 99-245; s. 123, ch. 2008-247; s. 34, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.73.
379.3381 Photographic evidence of illegally taken wildlife, freshwater fish, and saltwater fish.In any prosecution for a violation of this chapter, any other chapter, or rules of the commission, a photograph of illegally taken wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish may be deemed competent evidence of such property and may be admissible in the prosecution to the same extent as if such wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish were introduced as evidence. Such photograph shall bear a written description of the wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish alleged to have been illegally taken, the name of the violator, the location where the alleged illegal taking occurred, the name of the investigating law enforcement officer, the date the photograph was taken, and the name of the photographer. Such writing shall be made under oath by the investigating law enforcement officer, and the photograph shall be identified by the signature of the photographer.
History.s. 35, ch. 2009-86.
379.339 Seizure of illegal hunting devices; disposition; notice; forfeiture.In order to protect the state’s wildlife resources, any vehicle, vessel, animal, gun, light, or other hunting device used or attempted to be used in connection with, as an instrumentality of, or in aiding and abetting in the commission of an offense prohibited by s. 379.404 is subject to seizure and forfeiture. The provisions of chapter 932 do not apply to any seizure or forfeiture under this section. For purposes of this section, a conviction is any disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
(1)(a) Upon a first conviction of the 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 violation of s. 379.404. Upon such finding, the court may order the property forfeited to the commission.
(b) Upon a second or subsequent conviction of a person in whose possession the property was found for a violation of s. 379.404, the court shall order the forfeiture to the commission of any property used in connection with that violation.
(2) The requirement for a conviction before forfeiture establishes, to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt, that the property was used in connection with that violation. 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.
(3) 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.
(4)(a) For a first conviction of an offense under s. 379.404, property seized by the commission 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 offense.
(b) Upon a second or subsequent conviction for an offense under s. 379.404, 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 offense which resulted in seizure of the lawful property.
(c) 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.
(5) All amounts received from the sale or other disposition of the property shall be paid into the State Game Trust Fund. If the property is not sold or converted, it shall be delivered to the executive director of the commission.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-340; s. 3, ch. 98-391; s. 180, ch. 99-245; s. 9, ch. 2002-264; s. 124, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.0100; s. 372.9901.
379.3395 Seizure of illegal transportation devices; disposition; appraisal; forfeiture.
(1) Any vehicle, vessel, or other transportation device used in the commission of the offense prohibited by s. 379.406, except a vehicle, vessel, or other transportation device duly registered as a common carrier and operated in lawful transaction of business as such carrier, shall be seized by the arresting officer, who shall promptly make return of the seizure and deliver the property to the director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The return shall describe the property seized and recite in detail the facts and circumstances under which it was seized, together with the reason that the property was subject to seizure. The return shall also contain the names of all persons known to the officer to be interested in the property.
(2) The commission, upon receipt of the property, shall promptly fix its value and make return thereof to the clerk of the circuit court of the county wherein the article was seized; after which, on proper showing of ownership of the property by someone other than the person arrested, the property shall be returned by the court to the said owner.
(3) Upon conviction of the violator, the property, if owned by the person convicted, shall be forfeited to the state under the procedure set forth in ss. 379.337 and 379.362, when not inconsistent with this section. All amounts received from the sale or other disposition of the property shall be paid into the State Game Trust Fund. If the property is not sold or converted, it shall be delivered to the director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
History.s. 2, ch. 70-380; s. 4, ch. 98-391; s. 182, ch. 99-245; s. 12, ch. 2002-264; s. 125, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.9904.
379.341 Disposition of illegal fishing devices; exercise of police power.
(1) In all cases of arrest and conviction for use of illegal nets or traps or fishing devices, as provided in this chapter, such illegal net, trap, or fishing device is declared to be a nuisance and shall be seized and carried before the court having jurisdiction of such offense and said court shall order such illegal trap, net, or fishing device forfeited to the commission immediately after trial and conviction of the person in whose possession they were found. When any illegal net, trap, or fishing device is found in the fresh waters of the state, and the owner of same shall not be known to the officer finding the same, such officer shall immediately procure from the county court judge an order forfeiting said illegal net, trap, or fishing device to the commission. The commission may destroy such illegal net, trap, or fishing device, if in its judgment said net, trap, or fishing device is not of value in the work of the department.
(2) When any nets, traps, or fishing devices are found being used illegally as provided in this chapter, the same shall be seized and forfeited to the commission as provided in this chapter.
(3) This section is necessary for the more efficient and proper enforcement of the statutes and laws of this state prohibiting the illegal use of nets, traps, or fishing devices and is a lawful exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the public welfare, health, and safety of the people of the state. All the provisions of this section shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes.
History.s. 25, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(25); s. 1, ch. 59-81; s. 103, ch. 73-333; s. 133, ch. 99-245; s. 10, ch. 2002-264; s. 126, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.31; s. 372.99021.
379.342 Applicability of ss. 379.339, 379.3395, 379.404, and 379.406.The provisions of ss. 379.339, 379.3395, 379.404, and 379.406 relating to seizure and forfeiture of animals or of vehicles, vessels, or other transportation devices do not vitiate any valid lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage on such animals or vehicles, vessels, or other transportation devices if such lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage is properly of public record at the time of the seizure.
History.s. 3, ch. 70-380; s. 145, ch. 79-400; s. 13, ch. 2002-264; s. 127, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.9905.
379.343 Rewards.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to offer rewards in amounts of up to $500 to any person furnishing information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person who has inflicted or attempted to inflict bodily injury upon any wildlife officer engaged in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
History.s. 2, ch. 57-415; s. 1, ch. 59-352; s. 318, ch. 71-136; s. 5, ch. 91-134; s. 170, ch. 99-245; s. 5, ch. 2007-239; s. 128, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.911; s. 372.0715.
PART VI
LICENSES FOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
379.35 Review of fees for licenses and permits; review of exemptions.
379.3501 Expiration of licenses and permits.
379.3502 License and permit not transferable.
379.3503 False statement in application for license or permit.
379.3504 Entering false information on licenses or permits.
379.3511 Appointment of subagents for the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and permits.
379.3512 Competitive bidding for certain sale of licenses and permits and the issuance of authorization numbers.
379.352 Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization numbers to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, and marine life; issuance; costs; reporting.
379.353 Recreational licenses and permits; exemptions from fees and requirements.
379.354 Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization numbers; fees established.
379.355 Special recreational spiny lobster license.
379.356 Fish pond license.
379.357 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission license program for tarpon; fees; penalties.
379.3581 Hunter safety course; requirements; penalty.
379.3582 Hunter safety course for juveniles.
379.359 License application provision for voluntary contribution to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
379.35 Review of fees for licenses and permits; review of exemptions.The fees for licenses and permits established under this chapter, and exemptions thereto, shall be reviewed by the Legislature during its regular session every 5 years beginning in 2000.
History.s. 15, ch. 99-353; s. 130, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.5711.
379.3501 Expiration of licenses and permits.Each license or permit issued under this part must be dated when issued. Each license or permit issued under this part remains valid for 12 months after the date of issuance, except for a lifetime license issued pursuant to s. 379.354 which is valid from the date of issuance until the death of the individual to whom the license is issued unless otherwise revoked in accordance with s. 379.401 or s. 379.404, or a 5-year license issued pursuant to s. 379.354 which is valid for 5 consecutive years from the date of purchase unless otherwise revoked in accordance with s. 379.401 or s. 379.404, or a license issued pursuant to s. 379.354(5)(a), (b), (c), (d), or (g) or (8)(f), (g)2., or (h)1., which is valid for the period specified on the license. A resident lifetime license or a resident 5-year license that has been purchased by a resident of this state and who subsequently resides in another state shall be honored for activities authorized by that license.
History.s. 1, ch. 23148, 1945; s. 26, ch. 29615, 1955; s. 1, ch. 65-536; s. 2, ch. 78-163; s. 5, ch. 85-235; s. 8, ch. 86-158; s. 46, ch. 89-175; s. 13, ch. 90-243; s. 3, ch. 91-58; s. 5, ch. 91-78; s. 59, ch. 95-143; s. 3, ch. 96-265; s. 14, ch. 96-300; s. 20, ch. 2002-46; s. 17, ch. 2006-304; s. 20, ch. 2007-223; s. 131, ch. 2008-247; s. 55, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.571.
379.3502 License and permit not transferable.A person may not alter or change in any manner, or loan or transfer to another, unless otherwise provided, any license or permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, nor may any other person, other than the person to whom it is issued, use the same.
History.s. 17, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(17); s. 12, ch. 85-235; s. 20, ch. 96-300; s. 132, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.59.
379.3503 False statement in application for license or permit.Any person who swears or affirms to any false statement in any application for license or permit provided by this chapter, is guilty of violating this chapter, and shall be subject to the penalty provided in s. 379.401, and any false statement contained in any application for such license or permit renders the license or permit void.
History.s. 16, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(16); s. 10, ch. 85-235; s. 6, ch. 91-134; s. 18, ch. 96-300; s. 133, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.58.
379.3504 Entering false information on licenses or permits.Whoever knowingly and willfully enters false information on, or allows or causes false information to be entered on or shown upon any license or permit issued under the provisions of this chapter in order to avoid prosecution or to assist another to avoid prosecution, or for any other wrongful purpose shall be punished as provided in s. 379.401.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-159; s. 11, ch. 85-235; s. 7, ch. 91-134; s. 19, ch. 96-300; s. 134, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.581.
379.3511 Appointment of subagents for the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and permits.
(1) Subagents shall serve at the pleasure of the commission. The commission may establish, by rule, procedures for the selection and appointment of subagents. The following are requirements for subagents so appointed:
(a) The commission may require each subagent to post an appropriate bond as determined by the commission, using an insurance company acceptable to the commission. In lieu of the bond, the commission may purchase blanket bonds covering all or selected subagents or may allow a subagent to post other security as required by the commission.
(b) A subagent may sell licenses and permits as authorized by the commission at specific locations within the county and in states as will best serve the public interest and convenience in obtaining licenses and permits. The commission may prohibit subagents from selling certain licenses or permits.
(c) It is unlawful for any person to handle licenses or permits for a fee or compensation of any kind unless he or she has been appointed as a subagent.
(d) Any person who willfully violates any of the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(e) A subagent may charge and receive as his or her compensation 50 cents for each license or permit sold. This charge is in addition to the sum required by law to be collected for the sale and issuance of each license or permit. This charge does not apply to the shoreline fishing license; however, for each shoreline fishing license issued, the subagent may retain 50 cents from other license proceeds otherwise due the commission.
(f) A subagent shall submit payment for and report the sale of licenses and permits to the commission as prescribed by the commission.
(2) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or any other law enforcement agency may carry out any investigation necessary to secure information required to carry out and enforce this section.
(3) All social security numbers that are provided pursuant to ss. 379.352 and 379.354 and are contained in records of any subagent appointed under this section are confidential as provided in those sections.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ch. 59-494; s. 1, ch. 65-509; s. 310, ch. 71-136; s. 106, ch. 71-355; s. 103, ch. 73-333; s. 1, ch. 80-369; s. 3, ch. 82-188; s. 31, ch. 83-218; s. 9, ch. 85-235; s. 14, ch. 90-243; s. 578, ch. 95-148; s. 17, ch. 96-300; s. 17, ch. 98-397; s. 138, ch. 99-245; s. 38, ch. 2000-362; ss. 25, 26, ch. 2002-46; s. 135, ch. 2008-247; s. 1, ch. 2010-146.
Note.Former s. 372.574.
379.3512 Competitive bidding for certain sale of licenses and permits and the issuance of authorization numbers.The commission is authorized to establish the following, using competitive bidding procedures:
(1) A process and a vendor fee for the sale of licenses and permits, and the issuance of authorization numbers, over the telephone.
(2) A process and a vendor fee for the electronic sale of licenses and permits and for the electronic issuance of authorization numbers.
History.s. 12, ch. 2002-46; s. 136, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.551.
379.352 Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization numbers to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, and marine life; issuance; costs; reporting.
(1) This section applies to all recreational licenses and permits and to any authorization numbers issued by the commission for the use of such recreational licenses or permits.
(2) The commission shall establish forms for the issuance of recreational licenses and permits.
(3) The commission shall issue a license, permit, or authorization number to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, or marine life when an applicant provides proof that she or he is entitled to such license, permit, or authorization number. Each applicant for a recreational license, permit, or authorization number shall provide her or his social security number on the application form. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement shall be limited to the purposes of administration of the Title IV-D program for child support enforcement, use by the commission, and as otherwise provided by law.
(4) Licenses and permits to take wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life, or marine life may be sold by the commission, by any tax collector in the state, or by any subagent authorized under s. 379.3511.
(5) In addition to any license or permit fee, the sum of $1.50 shall be charged for each license or management area permit, except for replacement licenses, to cover the cost of issuing such license or permit. This charge does not apply to the shoreline fishing license; however, for each shoreline fishing license issued, the tax collector may retain 50 cents from other license proceeds otherwise due the commission.
(6)(a) The fee established pursuant to subsection (5) shall be distributed as follows:
1. For each hunting license and freshwater fishing license sold by a tax collector, including the combination freshwater fishing and hunting license, the sportsman’s license, and the gold sportsman’s license, a tax collector may retain $1.00.
2. For each management area permit sold by a tax collector, a tax collector may retain $1.00.
3. For each saltwater fishing tag and saltwater fishing license sold by a tax collector, including the combination saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing license and the combination saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, and hunting license, a tax collector may retain $1.50.
4. For licenses and management area permits sold by subagents, a tax collector may retain 50 cents for each license sold in the tax collector’s county.
5. Any and all remaining fees shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund and shall be used to support an automated license system and administration of the license program.
(b) Tax collectors shall remit license and permit revenue to the commission weekly.
(7)(a) The sum of $10 shall be charged for each replacement lifetime license and $2 for all other replacement licenses and permits. A tax collector may retain $1.00 for each replacement license.
(b) Fees collected from the issuance of replacement licenses shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund.
(8) At each location where hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses or permits are sold, voter registration applications shall be displayed and made available to the public. Subagents shall ask each person who applies for a hunting, fishing, or trapping license or permit if he or she would like a voter registration application and may provide such application to the license or permit applicant but shall not assist such persons with voter registration applications or collect complete or incomplete voter registration applications.
(9) Except as provided in subsections (8) and (12), each person who applies for a hunting, fishing, or trapping license or permit shall be asked if he or she would like the appropriate supervisor of elections to provide a voter registration application to the applicant at a later date. If at the time a license is purchased the applicant indicates that he or she would like to receive a voter registration application, the commission shall, within 7 days, make the request available to the appropriate supervisor of elections or voter registration agency so that an application may be sent to the applicant. Supervisors of elections shall mail an application to each person requesting such application within 5 business days after receipt of the request.
(10) The commission may satisfy the requirements of subsection (9) by providing access to an Internet site with the voter registration information included thereon.
(11) When acting in its official capacity pursuant to this section, neither the commission nor a subagent is deemed a third-party registration organization, as defined in s. 97.021, or a voter registration agency, as defined in s. 97.021, and is not authorized to solicit, accept, or collect voter registration applications or provide voter registration services.
(12) Each person who applies for a hunting, fishing, or trapping license or permit on the Internet shall be provided a link to the Department of State’s online uniform statewide voter registration application.
(13) The commission, any tax collector in this state, or any subagent authorized to sell licenses and permits under s. 379.3511 may request and collect donations when selling a recreational license or permit authorized under s. 379.354. All donations collected under this subsection shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund to be used solely for the purpose of enhancing youth hunting and youth freshwater and saltwater fishing programs. By January 1, the commission shall provide a complete and detailed annual report on the status of its youth programs and activities performed under this subsection to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(14) The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 18, ch. 72-404; s. 2, ch. 85-235; s. 6, ch. 86-158; s. 2, ch. 87-261; s. 44, ch. 89-175; s. 11, ch. 90-243; s. 1, ch. 91-58; s. 3, ch. 91-78; s. 16, ch. 93-268; s. 574, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 96-300; s. 15, ch. 98-397; s. 160, ch. 99-13; s. 36, ch. 2000-362; ss. 13, 14, ch. 2002-46; s. 54, ch. 2003-399; s. 17, ch. 2005-3; ss. 2, 3, ch. 2006-95; s. 15, ch. 2007-223; s. 137, ch. 2008-247; s. 2, ch. 2010-146; s. 31, ch. 2010-167.
Note.Former s. 372.561.
379.353 Recreational licenses and permits; exemptions from fees and requirements.
(1) Hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing licenses and permits shall be issued without fee to any resident who is certified or determined:
(a) To be totally and permanently disabled for purposes of workers’ compensation under chapter 440 as verified by an order of a judge of compensation claims or written confirmation by the carrier providing workers’ compensation benefits, or 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 under the provisions of s. 295.17, upon proof of same. Any license issued under this paragraph after January 1, 1997, expires after 5 years and must be reissued, upon request, every 5 years thereafter.
(b) To be disabled by the United States Social Security Administration, upon proof of same. Any license issued under this paragraph after October 1, 1999, expires after 2 years and must be reissued, upon proof of certification of disability, every 2 years thereafter.

A disability license issued after July 1, 1997, and before July 1, 2000, retains the rights vested thereunder until the license has expired.

(2) A hunting, freshwater fishing, or saltwater fishing license or permit is not required for:
(a) Any child under 16 years of age, except as otherwise provided in this part.
(b) Any person hunting or freshwater fishing on her or his homestead property, or on the homestead property of the person’s spouse or minor child; or any minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead property of her or his parent.
(c) Any resident who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and not stationed in this state, when home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.
(d) Any resident fishing for recreational purposes only, within her or his county of residence with live or natural bait, using poles or lines not equipped with a fishing line retrieval mechanism. This exemption does not apply to residents fishing in a legally established fish management area.
(e) Any person freshwater fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or less that is located entirely within the private property of the fish pond owner.
(f) Any person freshwater fishing in a fish pond that is licensed in accordance with s. 379.356.
(g) Any person fishing who has been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Department of Children and Family Services, provided the department furnishes proof thereof.
(h) Any resident saltwater fishing from land or from a structure fixed to the land who has been determined eligible by the Department of Children and Family Services for the food assistance program, temporary cash assistance, or the Medicaid programs. A benefit issuance or program identification card issued by the Department of Children and Family Services or the Florida Medicaid program of the Agency for Health Care Administration shall serve as proof of program eligibility. The client must have in his or her possession the ID card and positive proof of identification when fishing.
(i) Any person saltwater fishing from a vessel licensed pursuant to s. 379.354(7).
(j) Any person saltwater fishing from a vessel the operator of which is licensed pursuant to s. 379.354(7).
(k) Any person saltwater fishing who holds a valid saltwater products license issued under s. 379.361(2).
(l) Any person saltwater fishing for recreational purposes from a pier licensed under s. 379.354.
(m) Any resident fishing for mullet in fresh water who has a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.
(n) Any resident 65 years of age or older who has in her or his possession proof of age and residency. A no-cost license under this paragraph may be obtained from any tax collector’s office upon proof of age and residency and must be in the possession of the resident during hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing activities.
(o) Any employee of the commission who takes freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game as part of employment with the commission, or any other person authorized by commission permit to take freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game for scientific or educational purposes.
(p) Any resident recreationally freshwater fishing who holds a valid commercial fishing license issued under s. 379.363(1)(a).
History.s. 15, ch. 2002-46; s. 14, ch. 2006-304; s. 16, ch. 2007-223; s. 138, ch. 2008-247; s. 41, ch. 2009-21; s. 3, ch. 2009-65; s. 7, ch. 2010-209.
Note.Former s. 372.562.
379.354 Recreational licenses, permits, and authorization numbers; fees established.
(1) LICENSE, PERMIT, OR AUTHORIZATION NUMBER REQUIRED.
(a) Except as provided in s. 379.353, no person shall take game, freshwater or saltwater fish, or fur-bearing animals within this state without having first obtained a license, permit, or authorization number and paid the fees set forth in this chapter. Such license, permit, or authorization number shall authorize the person to whom it is issued to take game, freshwater or saltwater fish, or fur-bearing animals, and participate in outdoor recreational activities in accordance with the laws of the state and rules of the commission.
(b) In 2013 and every 5 years thereafter, license and permit fees established in subsections (4) and (5) shall be adjusted by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers since the fees were last adjusted, unless otherwise provided by general law. By February 1 of each year in which an adjustment is scheduled to occur, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives detailing how the increase in license and permit fees will be used within the agency. The license and permit fee increases shall take effect July 1 of each adjustment year.
(2) NONTRANSFERABILITY; INFORMATION AND DOCUMENTATION.
(a) Licenses, permits, and authorization numbers issued under this part are not transferable. Each license and permit must bear on its face in indelible ink the name of the person to whom it is issued and other information as deemed necessary by the commission. Licenses issued to the owner, operator, or custodian of a vessel that directly or indirectly collects fees for taking or attempting to take or possess saltwater fish for noncommercial purposes must include the vessel registration number or federal documentation number.
(b) The lifetime licenses and 5-year licenses authorized in this section shall be embossed with the name, date of birth, date of issuance, and other pertinent information as deemed necessary by the commission. A certified copy of the applicant’s birth certificate shall accompany each application for a lifetime license for a resident 12 years of age or younger.
(c) A positive form of identification is required when using a free license, a lifetime license, a 5-year license, or an authorization number issued under this chapter, or when otherwise required by a license or permit.
(3) PERSONAL POSSESSION REQUIRED.Each license, permit, or authorization number must be in the personal possession of the person to whom it is issued while such person is taking, attempting to take, or possessing game, freshwater or saltwater fish, or fur-bearing animals. Any person taking, attempting to take, or possessing game, freshwater or saltwater fish, or fur-bearing animals who fails to produce a license, permit, or authorization number at the request of a commission law enforcement officer commits a violation of the law.
(4) RESIDENT HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES.The licenses and fees for residents participating in hunting and fishing activities in this state are as follows:
(a) Annual freshwater fishing license, $15.50.
(b) Annual saltwater fishing license, $15.50.
(c) Annual hunting license to take game, $15.50.
(d) Annual combination hunting and freshwater fishing license, $31.
(e) Annual combination freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing license, $31.
(f) Annual combination hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing license, $46.50.
(g) Annual license to take fur-bearing animals, $25. However, a resident with a valid hunting license or a no-cost license who is taking fur-bearing animals for noncommercial purposes using guns or dogs only, and not traps or other devices, is not required to purchase this license. Also, a resident 65 years of age or older is not required to purchase this license.
(h) Annual sportsman’s license, $79, except that an annual sportsman’s license for a resident 64 years of age or older is $12. A sportsman’s license authorizes the person to whom it is issued to take game and freshwater fish, subject to the state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, including rules of the commission, in effect at the time of the taking. Other authorized activities include activities authorized by a management area permit, a muzzle-loading gun season permit, a crossbow season permit, a turkey permit, a Florida waterfowl permit, a deer permit, and an archery season permit.
(i) Annual gold sportsman’s license, $98.50. The gold sportsman’s license authorizes the person to whom it is issued to take freshwater fish, saltwater fish, and game, subject to the state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, including rules of the commission, in effect at the time of taking. Other authorized activities include activities authorized by a management area permit, a muzzle-loading gun season permit, a crossbow season permit, a turkey permit, a Florida waterfowl permit, a deer permit, an archery season permit, a snook permit, and a spiny lobster permit.
(j) Annual military gold sportsman’s license, $18.50. The gold sportsman’s license authorizes the person to whom it is issued to take freshwater fish, saltwater fish, and game, subject to the state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, including rules of the commission, in effect at the time of taking. Other authorized activities include activities authorized by a management area permit, a muzzle-loading gun season permit, a crossbow season permit, a turkey permit, a Florida waterfowl permit, a deer permit, an archery season permit, a snook permit, and a spiny lobster permit. Any resident who is an active or retired member of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Armed Forces Reserve, the National Guard, the United States Coast Guard, or the United States Coast Guard Reserve is eligible to purchase the military gold sportsman’s license upon submission of a current military identification card.
1(k) An annual resident shoreline fishing license shall be issued without a fee to allow any resident to saltwater fish from land or from a structure fixed to the land. This license is not required for any resident issued any other license identified in this section which allows the taking of saltwater fish.
(5) NONRESIDENT HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES.The licenses and fees for nonresidents participating in hunting and fishing activities in the state are as follows:
(a) Freshwater fishing license to take freshwater fish for 3 consecutive days, $15.50.
(b) Freshwater fishing license to take freshwater fish for 7 consecutive days, $28.50.
(c) Saltwater fishing license to take saltwater fish for 3 consecutive days, $15.50.
(d) Saltwater fishing license to take saltwater fish for 7 consecutive days, $28.50.
(e) Annual freshwater fishing license, $45.50.
(f) Annual saltwater fishing license, $45.50.
(g) Hunting license to take game for 10 consecutive days, $45.
(h) Annual hunting license to take game, $150.
(i) Annual license to take fur-bearing animals, $25. However, a nonresident with a valid Florida hunting license who is taking fur-bearing animals for noncommercial purposes using guns or dogs only, and not traps or other devices, is not required to purchase this license.
(6) PIER LICENSE.A pier license for any pier fixed to land for the purpose of taking or attempting to take saltwater fish is $500 per year. The pier license may be purchased at the option of the owner, operator, or custodian of such pier and must be available for inspection at all times.
(7) VESSEL LICENSES.
(a) No person may operate any vessel wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking, attempting to take, or possessing any saltwater fish for noncommercial purposes unless she or he has obtained a license for each vessel for that purpose, and has paid the license fee pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c) for such vessel.
(b) A license for any person who operates any vessel licensed to carry more than 10 customers, wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take saltwater fish, is $800 per year. The license must be kept aboard the vessel at all times.
(c)1. A license for any person who operates any vessel licensed to carry no more than 10 customers, or for any person licensed to operate any vessel carrying 6 or fewer customers, wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take saltwater fish, is $400 per year.
2. A license for any person licensed to operate any vessel carrying 6 or fewer customers but who operates a vessel carrying 4 or fewer customers, wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take saltwater fish, is $200 per year. The license must be kept aboard the vessel at all times.
3. A person who operates a vessel required to be licensed pursuant to paragraph (b) or this paragraph may obtain a license in her or his own name, and such license shall be transferable and apply to any vessel operated by the purchaser, provided that the purchaser has paid the appropriate license fee.
(d) A license for a recreational vessel not for hire and for which no fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, by guests for the purpose of taking or attempting to take saltwater fish noncommercially is $2,000 per year. The license may be purchased at the option of the vessel owner and must be kept aboard the vessel at all times. A log of species taken and the date the species were taken shall be maintained and a copy of the log filed with the commission at the time of renewal of the license.
(e) The owner, operator, or custodian of a vessel the operator of which has been licensed pursuant to paragraph (a) must maintain and report such statistical data as required by, and in a manner set forth in, the rules of the commission.
(8) SPECIFIED HUNTING, FISHING, AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY PERMITS.In order to ensure that the cultural heritage of hunting and sport fishing as recognized in s. 379.104 is passed on to future Floridians, the commission shall use up to 10 percent of the proceeds from the hunting and sport fishing permits issued pursuant to this subsection to promote hunting and sport fishing activities with an emphasis on youth participation. In addition to any license required under this chapter, the following permits and fees for specified hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses and activities are required:
(a) An annual Florida waterfowl permit for a resident or nonresident to take wild ducks or geese within the state or its coastal waters is $5. Revenue generated from the sale of waterfowl permits or that pro rata portion of any license that includes waterfowl hunting privileges provided for in this paragraph shall be used for conservation, research, and management of waterfowl; for the development, restoration, maintenance, and preservation of wetlands within the state; or to promote the cultural heritage of hunting.
(b)1. An annual Florida turkey permit for a resident to take wild turkeys within the state is $10. Revenue generated from the sale of resident wild turkey permits or that pro rata portion of any license that includes turkey hunting privileges provided for in this subparagraph shall be used for the conservation, research, and management of wild turkeys or to promote the cultural heritage of hunting.
2. An annual Florida turkey permit for a nonresident to take wild turkeys within the state is $125. Revenue generated from the sale of nonresident wild turkey permits or that pro rata portion of any license that includes turkey hunting privileges provided for in this subparagraph shall be used for the conservation, research, and management of wild turkeys or to promote the cultural heritage of hunting.
(c) An annual snook permit for a resident or nonresident to take or possess any snook from any waters of the state is $10. Revenue generated from the sale of snook permits shall be used exclusively for programs to benefit the snook population.
(d) An annual spiny lobster permit for a resident or nonresident to take or possess any spiny lobster for recreational purposes from any waters of the state is $5. Revenue generated from the sale of spiny lobster permits shall be used exclusively for programs to benefit the spiny lobster population.
(e) A $5 fee is imposed for each of the following permits:
1. An annual archery season permit for a resident or nonresident to hunt within the state during any archery season authorized by the commission.
2. An annual crossbow season permit for a resident or nonresident to hunt within the state during any crossbow season authorized by the commission.
3. An annual muzzle-loading gun season permit for a resident or nonresident to hunt within the state during any muzzle-loading gun season authorized by the commission.
(f) A special use permit for a resident or nonresident to participate in limited entry hunting or fishing activities as authorized by commission rule shall not exceed $150 per day or $300 per week. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, there are no exclusions, exceptions, or exemptions from this permit fee. In addition to the permit fee, the commission may charge each special use permit applicant a nonrefundable application fee not to exceed $10.
(g)1. A management area permit for a resident or nonresident to hunt on, fish on, or otherwise use for outdoor recreational purposes land owned, leased, or managed by the commission, or by the state for the use and benefit of the commission, shall not exceed $30 per year.
2. Permit fees for short-term use of land that is owned, leased, or managed by the commission may be established by rule of the commission for activities on such lands. Such permits may be in lieu of, or in addition to, the annual management area permit authorized in subparagraphs 1. and 4.
3. Other than for hunting or fishing, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply on any lands not owned by the commission, unless the commission has obtained the written consent of the owner or primary custodian of such lands.
4. A management area permit for a resident or nonresident to hike, camp, or otherwise engage in other outdoor recreational activities, except hunting or fishing, on management area lands shall not exceed $5 per day or $30 per year.
(h)1. A recreational user permit is required to hunt on, fish on, or otherwise use for outdoor recreational purposes land leased by the commission from private nongovernmental owners. The fee for a recreational user permit shall be based upon the economic compensation desired by the landowner, game population levels, desired hunter density, and administrative costs. The permit fee shall be set by commission rule on a per-acre basis. The recreational user permit fee, less administrative costs of up to $30 per permit, shall be remitted to the landowner as provided in the lease agreement for each area.
2. One minor dependent under 16 years of age may hunt under the supervision of the permittee and is exempt from the recreational user permit requirements. The spouse and dependent children of a permittee are exempt from the recreational user permit requirements when engaged in outdoor recreational activities other than hunting and when accompanied by a permittee. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no other exclusions, exceptions, or exemptions from the recreational user permit fee are authorized.
(i) An annual deer permit for a resident or nonresident to take deer within the state during any season authorized by the commission is $5. Revenue generated from the sale of deer permits shall be used for the conservation, research, and management of white-tailed deer or to promote the cultural heritage of hunting.

The commission shall prepare an annual report documenting the use of funds generated pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) and shall submit the report to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate no later than September 1 of each year.

(9) RESIDENT 5-YEAR HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES.
(a) Five-year licenses are available for residents only, as follows:
1. A 5-year freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license is $77.50 for each type of license and authorizes the person to whom the license is issued to take or attempt to take or possess freshwater fish or saltwater fish consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of taking.
2. A 5-year hunting license is $77.50 and authorizes the person to whom it is issued to take or attempt to take or possess game consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of taking.
3. The commission is authorized to sell the hunting, fishing, and recreational activity permits authorized in subsection (8) for a 5-year period to match the purchase of 5-year fishing and hunting licenses. The fee for each permit issued under this paragraph shall be five times the annual cost established in subsection (8).
(b) Proceeds from the sale of all 5-year licenses and permits shall be deposited into the Dedicated License Trust Fund, to be distributed in accordance with the provisions of s. 379.203.
(10) RESIDENT LIFETIME FRESHWATER OR SALTWATER FISHING LICENSES.
(a) Lifetime freshwater fishing licenses or saltwater fishing licenses are available for residents only, as follows, for:
1. Persons 4 years of age or younger, for a fee of $125.
2. Persons 5 years of age or older, but under 13 years of age, for a fee of $225.
3. Persons 13 years of age or older, for a fee of $300.
(b) The following activities are authorized by the purchase of a lifetime freshwater fishing license:
1. Taking, or attempting to take or possess, freshwater fish consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of the taking.
2. All activities authorized by a management area permit, excluding hunting.
(c) The following activities are authorized by the purchase of a lifetime saltwater fishing license:
1. Taking, or attempting to take or possess, saltwater fish consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of the taking.
2. All activities authorized by a snook permit and a spiny lobster permit.
3. All activities for which an additional license, permit, or fee is required to take or attempt to take or possess saltwater fish, which additional license, permit, or fee was imposed subsequent to the date of the purchase of the lifetime saltwater fishing license.
(11) RESIDENT LIFETIME HUNTING LICENSES.
(a) Lifetime hunting licenses are available to residents only, as follows, for:
1. Persons 4 years of age or younger, for a fee of $200.
2. Persons 5 years of age or older, but under 13 years of age, for a fee of $350.
3. Persons 13 years of age or older, for a fee of $500.
(b) The following activities are authorized by the purchase of a lifetime hunting license:
1. Taking, or attempting to take or possess, game consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of the taking.
2. All activities authorized by a muzzle-loading gun season permit, a crossbow season permit, a turkey permit, an archery season permit, a Florida waterfowl permit, a deer permit, and a management area permit, excluding fishing.
(12) RESIDENT LIFETIME SPORTSMAN’S LICENSES.
(a) Lifetime sportsman’s licenses are available to residents only, as follows, for:
1. Persons 4 years of age or younger, for a fee of $400.
2. Persons 5 years of age or older, but under 13 years of age, for a fee of $700.
3. Persons 13 years of age or older, for a fee of $1,000.
(b) The following activities are authorized by the purchase of a lifetime sportsman’s license:
1. Taking, or attempting to take or possess, freshwater and saltwater fish, and game, consistent with the state and federal laws and regulations and rules of the commission in effect at the time of taking.
2. All activities authorized by a management area permit, a muzzle-loading gun season permit, a crossbow season permit, a turkey permit, an archery season permit, a Florida waterfowl permit, a deer permit, a snook permit, and a spiny lobster permit.
(13) PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF LIFETIME LICENSES.The proceeds from the sale of all lifetime licenses authorized in this section shall be deposited into the Lifetime Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, to be distributed as provided in s. 379.207.
(14) RECIPROCAL FEE AGREEMENTS.The commission is authorized to reduce the fees for licenses and permits under this section for residents of those states with which the commission has entered into reciprocal agreements with respect to such fees.
(15) FREE FISHING DAYS.The commission may designate by rule no more than 2 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in each year as free freshwater fishing days and no more than 2 consecutive or nonconsecutive days in each year as free saltwater fishing days. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any person may take freshwater fish for noncommercial purposes on a free freshwater fishing day and may take saltwater fish for noncommercial purposes on a free saltwater fishing day, without obtaining or possessing a license or permit or paying a license or permit fee as prescribed in this section. A person who takes freshwater or saltwater fish on a free fishing day must comply with all laws, rules, and regulations governing the holders of a fishing license or permit and all other conditions and limitations regulating the taking of freshwater or saltwater fish as are imposed by law or rule.
(16) PROHIBITED LICENSES OR PERMITS.A person may not make, forge, counterfeit, or reproduce a license or permit required under this section, except for those persons authorized by the commission to make or reproduce such a license or permit. A person may not knowingly possess a forgery, counterfeit, or unauthorized reproduction of such a license or permit. A person who violates this subsection commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.
(17) SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSES.A person may not take game, freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or fur-bearing animals within this state if a license issued to such person as required under this section or a privilege granted to such person under s. 379.353 is suspended or revoked. A person who violates this subsection commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
History.ss. 15, 19-21, ch. 13644, 1929; s. 1, ch. 17015, 1935; s. 1, ch. 17018, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(15); s. 1, ch. 19509, 1939; s. 1, ch. 20886, 1941; s. 1, ch. 23087, 1945; s. 1, ch. 26943, 1951; s. 1, ch. 26944, 1951; s. 1, ch. 29672, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-185; s. 2, ch. 59-73; s. 1, ch. 61-366; s. 1, ch. 61-392; s. 2, ch. 63-30; s. 1, ch. 65-373; s. 1, ch. 69-40; s. 1, ch. 70-26; s. 1, ch. 71-142; s. 103, ch. 73-333; s. 1, ch. 76-67; ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-156; ss. 1, 2, ch. 77-405; s. 1, ch. 78-6; s. 1, ch. 78-163; ss. 1, 2, ch. 79-107; s. 83, ch. 79-164; s. 143, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 80-180; s. 1, ch. 81-240; s. 1, ch. 82-188; s. 7, ch. 83-71; s. 30, ch. 83-218; s. 3, ch. 85-235; s. 8, ch. 85-324; s. 7, ch. 86-158; ss. 1, 3, ch. 87-261; s. 16, ch. 87-356; s. 1, ch. 87-540; s. 45, ch. 89-175; s. 11, ch. 89-270; s. 12, ch. 90-243; s. 2, ch. 91-58; s. 4, ch. 91-78; s. 17, ch. 93-268; s. 245, ch. 94-356; s. 1002, ch. 95-148; s. 2, ch. 96-265; s. 13, ch. 96-300; s. 3, ch. 97-217; s. 2, ch. 98-333; s. 14, ch. 98-336; s. 16, ch. 98-397; s. 65, ch. 99-8; s. 161, ch. 99-13; s. 134, ch. 99-245; s. 21, ch. 99-292; s. 14, ch. 99-353; s. 37, ch. 2000-362; s. 8, ch. 2001-272; s. 16, ch. 2002-46; s. 5, ch. 2003-151; s. 1, ch. 2005-45; s. 15, ch. 2006-304; s. 17, ch. 2007-223; s. 5, ch. 2008-106; s. 139, ch. 2008-247; s. 4, ch. 2009-65; s. 36, ch. 2009-86; s. 3, ch. 2010-146.
1Note.Section 51, ch. 2009-86, provides that “[b]eginning in the 2009-2010 fiscal year and continuing each fiscal year thereafter, the sum of $185,000 is appropriated from the State Game Trust Fund to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the costs associated with the shoreline fishing license exemption pursuant to s. 379.354(4)(k), Florida Statutes.” The amendment to s. 379.354 by s. 36, ch. 2009-86, did not, in its final form, create s. 379.354(4)(k) relating to a license exemption for shoreline fishing. However, s. 4, ch. 2009-65, did create s. 379.354(4)(k) and does contain language that may relate to this subject.
Note.Former s. 372.57.
379.355 Special recreational spiny lobster license.There is created a special recreational spiny lobster license, to be issued to qualified persons as provided by this section for the recreational harvest of spiny lobster beginning August 5, 1994.
(1) The special recreational spiny lobster license shall be available to any individual spiny lobster trap number holder who also possesses a saltwater products license during the 1993-1994 license year. A person issued a special recreational spiny lobster license may not also possess a trap number.
(2) The special recreational spiny lobster license is required in order to harvest spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster license must also possess the recreational spiny lobster permit required by s. 379.354(8)(d).
(4) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall issue special recreational spiny lobster 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. 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.
(5) 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 spiny lobster fishery.
(b) Twenty percent for administration of this section.
(c) Forty-five percent to be used for enforcement of this section.
(6) Any person who violates this section commits a Level One violation under s. 379.401.
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; s. 5, ch. 2006-304; s. 55, ch. 2007-5; s. 140, ch. 2008-247.
1Note.Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.
Note.Former s. 370.063.
379.356 Fish pond license.The owner of a fish pond of more than 20 acres which is located entirely within her or his property may obtain a license from the commission for such pond at a fee of $3 per surface acre, and no fishing license shall be required of any person fishing in such licensed pond.
History.s. 4, ch. 85-235; s. 575, ch. 95-148; s. 141, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.5705.
379.357 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission license program for tarpon; fees; penalties.
(1) The commission shall establish a license program for the purpose of issuing tags to individuals desiring to harvest tarpon (megalops atlantica) from the waters of the state. The tags shall be nontransferable, except that the commission may allow for a limited number of tags to be purchased by professional fishing guides for transfer to individuals, and issued by the commission in order of receipt of a properly completed application for a nonrefundable fee of $50 per tag. The commission and any tax collector may sell the tags and collect the fees therefor. Tarpon tags are valid from July 1 through June 30. Before August 15 of each year, each tax collector shall submit to the commission all unissued tags for the previous fiscal year along with a written audit report, on forms prescribed or approved by the commission, as to the numbers of the unissued tags. To defray the cost of issuing any tag, the issuing tax collector shall collect and retain as his or her costs, in addition to the tag fee collected, the amount allowed under s. 379.352(6) for the issuance of licenses.
(2) Proceeds from the sale of tarpon tags shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used to gather information directly applicable to tarpon management.
(3) No individual shall take, kill, or possess any fish of the species megalops atlantica, commonly known as tarpon, unless such individual has purchased a tarpon tag and securely attached it through the lower jaw of the fish. Said individual shall within 5 days after the landing of the fish submit a form to the commission which indicates the length, weight, and physical condition of the tarpon when caught; the date and location of where the fish was caught; and any other pertinent information which may be required by the commission. The commission may refuse to issue new tags to individuals or guides who fail to provide the required information.
(4) Any individual including a taxidermist who possesses a tarpon which does not have a tag securely attached as required by this section commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401. Provided, however, a taxidermist may remove the tag during the process of mounting a tarpon. The removed tag shall remain with the fish during any subsequent storage or shipment.
(5) Purchase of a tarpon tag shall not accord the purchaser any right to harvest or possess tarpon in contravention of rules adopted by the commission. No individual 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.
(6) The commission shall prescribe and provide suitable forms and tags necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(7) The provisions of this section shall not apply to anyone who immediately returns a tarpon uninjured to the water at the place where the fish was caught.
History.s. 1, ch. 88-170; s. 215, ch. 94-356; s. 986, ch. 95-148; s. 7, ch. 96-300; s. 28, ch. 96-321; s. 4, ch. 98-227; s. 100, ch. 99-245; s. 19, ch. 2002-46; s. 16, ch. 2006-304; s. 142, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.062; s. 372.5704.
379.3581 Hunter safety course; requirements; penalty.
(1) This section may be cited as the Senator Joe Carlucci Hunter Safety Act.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person born on or after June 1, 1975, may not be issued a license to take wild animal life with the use of a firearm, gun, bow, or crossbow in this state without having first successfully completed a hunter safety course as provided in this section, and without having in his or her personal possession a hunter safety certification card, as provided in this section.
(b) A person born on or after June 1, 1975, who has not successfully completed a hunter safety course may apply to the commission for a special authorization to hunt under supervision. The special authorization for supervised hunting shall be designated on any license or permit required under this chapter for a person to take game or fur-bearing animals and shall be valid for not more than 1 year. A special authorization for supervised hunting may not be issued more than once to the person applying for such authorization. A person issued a license with a special authorization to hunt under supervision must hunt under the supervision of, and in the presence of, a person 21 years or age or older who is licensed to hunt pursuant to s. 379.354 or who is exempt from licensing requirements or eligible for a free license pursuant to s. 379.353.
(3) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall institute and coordinate a statewide hunter safety course that must be offered in every county and consist of not more than 16 hours of instruction including, but not limited to, instruction in the competent and safe handling of firearms, conservation, and hunting ethics.
(4) The commission shall issue a permanent hunter safety certification card to each person who successfully completes the hunter safety course. The commission shall maintain records of hunter safety certification cards issued and shall establish procedures for replacing lost or destroyed cards.
(5) A hunter safety certification card issued by a wildlife agency of another state, or any Canadian province, which shows that the holder of the card has successfully completed a hunter safety course approved by the commission is an acceptable substitute for the hunter safety certification card issued by the commission.
(6) All persons subject to the requirements of subsection (2) must have in their personal possession proof of compliance with this section, while taking or attempting to take wildlife with the use of a firearm, gun, bow, or crossbow, and must, unless the requirement to complete a hunter safety course is deferred pursuant to this section, display a valid hunter safety certification card in order to purchase a Florida hunting license. After the issuance of such a license, the license itself shall serve as proof of compliance with this section. A holder of a lifetime license whose license does not indicate on the face of the license that a hunter safety course has been completed must have in his or her personal possession a hunter safety certification card, as provided by this section, while attempting to take wild animal life with the use of a firearm, gun, bow, or crossbow.
(7) The hunter safety requirements of this section do not apply to persons for whom licenses are not required under s. 379.353(2).
(8) A person who violates this section commits a Level One violation under s. 379.401.
History.s. 1, ch. 89-274; s. 4, ch. 91-58; s. 15, ch. 91-78; s. 53, ch. 91-224; s. 577, ch. 95-148; s. 1, ch. 96-193; s. 136, ch. 99-245; s. 23, ch. 2002-46; s. 17, ch. 2004-335; s. 18, ch. 2006-304; s. 143, ch. 2008-247; s. 5, ch. 2009-65; s. 53, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.5717.
379.3582 Hunter safety course for juveniles.The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall develop a hunter safety course for juveniles who are at least 5 years of age but less than 16 years of age. The course must include, but is not limited to, instruction in the competent and safe handling of firearms, conservation, and hunting ethics. The course must be appropriate for the ages of the students. The course is voluntary and must be offered in each county in the state at least annually. The course is in addition to, and not in lieu of, the hunter safety course prescribed in s. 379.3581.
History.s. 2, ch. 96-193; s. 137, ch. 99-245; s. 144, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.5718.
379.359 License application provision for voluntary contribution to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.The application for any license for recreational activities issued under this part must include a check-off provision that permits the applicant for licensure to make a voluntary contribution of $2. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shall retain 90 cents from each contribution to cover administrative costs. The remainder shall be distributed quarterly by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., located in Palmetto. Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., shall use the contributions to breed, raise, and train guide dogs for the blind, specifically for the “Paws for Patriots” program, including in-residence training for veterans who are provided guide dogs by Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-224.
PART VII
NONRECREATIONAL LICENSES
379.361 Licenses.
379.362 Wholesale and retail saltwater products dealers; regulation.
379.363 Freshwater fish dealer’s license.
379.3635 Haul seine and trawl permits; Lake Okeechobee; fees.
379.364 License required for fur and hide dealers.
379.365 Stone crab; regulation.
379.366 Blue crab; regulation.
379.367 Spiny lobster; regulation.
379.3671 Spiny lobster trap certificate program.
379.368 Fees for the retrieval of spiny lobster, stone crab, blue crab, and black sea bass traps during closed season.
379.369 Fees for shrimp fishing in Tampa Bay.
379.3711 License fee for private game preserves and farms.
379.3712 Private hunting preserve license fees; exception.
379.372 Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles; license required.
379.373 License fee; renewal, revocation.
379.374 Bond required, amount.
379.3751 Taking and possession of alligators; trapping licenses; fees.
379.3752 Required tagging of alligators and hides; fees; revenues.
379.3761 Exhibition or sale of wildlife; fees; classifications.
379.3762 Personal possession of wildlife.
379.377 Tag fees for sale of Lake Okeechobee game fish.
379.361 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. 379.362(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. 379.362(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. 379.2524, 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. 379.2524, 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 native 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 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. 379.2411 and this section; aquaculture permit consolidation procedures in s. 379.2523(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 commission rules, 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 part 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 part. The commission is authorized to accept payment by credit card for fees, fines, and civil penalties levied pursuant to this part.
(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; s. 146, ch. 2008-247; s. 12, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 370.06.
379.362 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. 379.361(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. 379.361(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 $400.
(b) A resident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $550.
(c) A nonresident wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $600.
(d) A nonresident wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,100.
(e) An alien wholesale county dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,100.
(f) An alien wholesale state dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $1,600.
(g) A resident retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $75; 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 $75 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $25 for each other place of business.
(h) A nonresident 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 $40 for each other place of business.
(i) An alien retail dealer is required to pay an annual license tax of $300; 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 $300 for such place of business, and shall pay an annual license tax of $65 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) OYSTER MANAGEMENT AND RESTORATION PROGRAMS.The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall use or distribute funds paid into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Inspection Trust Fund pursuant to s. 201.15, less reasonable costs of administration, to fund the following oyster management and restoration programs in Apalachicola Bay and other oyster harvest areas in the state:
(a) The relaying and transplanting of live oysters.
(b) Shell planting to construct or rehabilitate oyster bars.
(c) Education programs for licensed oyster harvesters on oyster biology, aquaculture, boating and water safety, sanitation, resource conservation, small business management, and other relevant subjects.
(d) 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. 379.407.
(6) RECORDS TO BE KEPT ON SALTWATER PRODUCTS.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. 379.2253(3) and 379.2254(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.
(7) PURCHASE OF SALTWATER PRODUCTS AT TEMPORARY LOCATION.Wholesale dealers purchasing saltwater products pursuant to s. 379.361(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; s. 3, ch. 2006-185; s. 3, ch. 2008-107; s. 11, ch. 2008-114; s. 147, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.07.
379.363 Freshwater fish dealer’s license.
(1) No person shall engage in the business of taking for sale or selling any frogs or freshwater fish, including live bait, of any species or size, or importing any exotic or nonnative fish, until such person has obtained a license and paid the fee therefor as set forth herein. The license issued shall be in the possession of the person to whom issued while such person is engaging in the business of taking for sale or selling freshwater fish or frogs, is not transferable, shall bear on its face in indelible ink the name of the person to whom it is issued, and shall be affixed to a license identification card issued by the commission. Such license is not valid unless it bears the name of the person to whom it is issued and is so affixed. The failure of such person to exhibit such license to the commission or any of its wildlife officers when such person is found engaging in such business is a violation of law. The license fees and activities permitted under particular licenses are as follows:
(a) The fee for a resident commercial fishing license, which permits a resident to take freshwater fish or frogs by any lawful method prescribed by the commission and to sell such fish or frogs, shall be $25. The license provided for in this paragraph shall also allow noncommercial fishing as provided by law and commission rules, and the license in s. 379.354(4)(a) shall not be required.
(b) The fee for a resident freshwater fish dealer’s license, which permits a resident to import, export, or sell freshwater fish or frogs, including live bait, shall be $40.
(c) The fee for a nonresident commercial fishing license, which permits a nonresident to take freshwater fish or frogs as provided in paragraph (a), shall be $100.
(d) The fee for a nonresident retail fish dealer’s license, which permits a nonresident to sell freshwater fish or frogs to a consumer, shall be $100.
(e) The fee for a nonresident wholesale fish dealer’s license, which permits a nonresident to sell freshwater fish or frogs within the state, and to buy freshwater fish or frogs for resale, shall be $500.
(f) The fee for a nonresident wholesale fish buyer’s license, which permits a nonresident who does not sell freshwater fish or frogs in Florida to buy freshwater fish or frogs from resident fish dealers for resale outside the state, shall be $50.
(g) Any individual or business issued an aquaculture certificate, pursuant to s. 597.004, shall be exempt from the requirements of this part with respect to aquaculture products authorized under such certificate.
(h) There is levied, in addition to any other license fee thereon, an annual gear license fee of $50 upon each person fishing with trawl seines used in the fresh waters of the state.
(i) There is levied, in addition to any other license fee thereon, an annual gear license fee of $100 upon each person fishing with haul seines used in the fresh waters of the state.
(2) Each boat engaged in commercial fishing shall have at least one licensed commercial fisher on board.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any resident freshwater fish dealer, or any nonresident wholesale or nonresident retail fish dealer, or any nonresident wholesale fish buyer to buy freshwater fish or frogs from any unlicensed person.
History.s. 31, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(31); s. 2, ch. 61-119; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-189; s. 14, ch. 85-235; s. 12, ch. 85-324; ss. 4, 5, ch. 86-158; s. 2, ch. 90-92; s. 580, ch. 95-148; s. 15, ch. 96-247; s. 16, ch. 98-333; s. 8, ch. 99-390; s. 27, ch. 2002-46; s. 148, ch. 2008-247; s. 13, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.65.
379.3635 Haul seine and trawl permits; Lake Okeechobee; fees.
(1) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to issue permits for each haul seine or trawl used in Lake Okeechobee.
(2) The commission may charge an annual fee for the issuance of such permits which shall not exceed:
(a) For a resident trawl permit, $50.
(b) For a resident haul seine permit, $100.
(c) For a nonresident or alien trawl or haul seine permit, $500.
History.s. 1, ch. 76-182; s. 139, ch. 99-245; s. 149, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.651.
379.364 License required for fur and hide dealers.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to engage in the business of a dealer or buyer in alligator skins or green or dried furs in the state or purchase such skins within the state until such person has been licensed as herein provided.
(2) Any resident dealer or buyer who solicits business through the mails, or by advertising, or who travels to buy or employs or has other agents or buyers, shall be deemed a resident state dealer and must pay a license fee of $100 per annum.
(3) A nonresident dealer or buyer must pay a license fee of $500 per annum.
(4) All dealers and buyers shall forward to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission each 2 weeks during open season a report showing number and kind of hides bought and name of trapper from whom bought and the trapper’s license number, or if trapper is exempt from license under any of the provisions of this chapter, such report shall show the nature of such exemption. A common carrier may not knowingly ship or transport or receive for transportation any hides or furs unless such shipments have marked thereon name of shipper and the number of her or his fur-animal license or fur dealer’s license.
History.s. 61, ch. 13644, 1929; CGL 1936 Supp. 1977(61); s. 581, ch. 95-148; s. 141, ch. 99-245; s. 39, ch. 2000-362; s. 150, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.66.
379.365 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. 379.2424.
(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 plus the cost of shipping. In the event of a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane or major storm, that causes massive trap losses within an area declared by the Governor to be a disaster emergency area, the commission may temporarily defer or waive replacement tag fees.
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.
(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. A rule establishing an amount of equitable rent shall become effective only after approval by the Legislature.
(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. Up to 50 percent of the revenues generated under this section may be used for operation and administration of the stone crab trap limitation program. All remaining revenues so generated must 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) It is unlawful to violate commission rules regulating stone crab trap certificates and trap tags. No person may use an expired tag or a stone crab trap tag not issued by the commission or possess or use a stone crab trap in or on state waters or adjacent federal waters without having a trap tag required by the commission firmly attached thereto.
1. In addition to any other penalties provided in s. 379.407, for any commercial harvester who violates this paragraph, the following administrative penalties apply.
a. For a first violation, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $1,000.
b. 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.
c. 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.
d. 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. 379.407.
2. Any other person who violates the provisions of this paragraph commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.

Any commercial harvester 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 commercial harvester to remove the contents of another harvester’s stone crab 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.
1. Any commercial harvester convicted of theft of or from a trap pursuant to this subsection or s. 379.402 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 379.407 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all saltwater fishing privileges, including saltwater products licenses, stone crab or incidental take endorsements, and all trap certificates allotted to such commercial harvester by the commission. In such cases, trap certificates and endorsements are nontransferable.
2. In addition, any commercial harvester 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 spiny lobster certificates.
3. Any other person who violates the provisions of this paragraph commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
(c)1. It is unlawful to violate commission rules that prohibit any of the following:
a. The willful molestation of any stone crab trap, line, or buoy that is the property of any licenseholder, without the permission of that licenseholder.
b. 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.
c. The making, altering, forging, counterfeiting, or reproducing of stone crab trap tags.
d. Possession of forged, counterfeit, or imitation stone crab trap tags.
e. Engaging in the commercial harvest of stone crabs during the time either of the endorsements is under suspension or revocation.
2. Any commercial harvester who violates this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
3. Any other person who violates this paragraph commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.

In addition, any commercial harvester 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 commercial harvester 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. 379.2523, 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; s. 22, ch. 2006-26; s. 10, ch. 2006-304; s. 8, ch. 2007-223; s. 9, ch. 2008-5; s. 151, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.13.
1379.366 Blue crab; regulation.
(1) No commercial harvester 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 commercial harvester holds a valid saltwater products license and restricted species endorsement issued under s. 379.361 and a blue crab endorsement issued under this section. Each trap shall have the harvester’s blue crab endorsement number permanently affixed to it. Each buoy attached to such a trap shall also have the harvester’s blue crab endorsement number permanently attached to the buoy. The blue crab endorsement number shall be affixed in legible figures at least 2 inches 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. This subsection shall not apply to an individual fishing with no more than five traps.
(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 issued under s. 379.361 and a blue crab endorsement issued under this section.
(a) 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.
(b) A commercial harvester who holds a saltwater products license and a blue crab endorsement that is issued to the commercial harvester’s vessel registration number and who replaces an existing vessel with a new vessel may transfer the existing blue crab endorsement to the saltwater products license of the new vessel.
(3)(a) Endorsement fees.
1. The fee for a hard-shell blue crab endorsement for the taking of hard-shell blue crabs, as authorized by rule of the commission, is $125, $25 of which must be used solely for the trap retrieval program authorized under s. 379.2424 and in commission rules.
2. The fee for a soft-shell blue crab endorsement for the taking of soft-shell blue crabs, as authorized by rule of the commission, is $250, $25 of which must be used solely for the trap retrieval program authorized under s. 379.2424 and in commission rules.
3. The fee for a nontransferable hard-shell blue crab endorsement for the taking of hard-shell blue crabs, as authorized by rule of the commission, is $125, $25 of which must be used solely for the trap retrieval program authorized under s. 379.2424 and in commission rules.
4. The fee for an incidental take blue crab endorsement for the taking of blue crabs as bycatch in shrimp trawls and stone crab traps is $25, as authorized in commission rules.
(b) Trap tag fees.The annual fee for each trap tag issued by the commission under the requirements of the blue crab effort management program established by rule of the commission is 50 cents per tag. The fee for replacement tags for lost or damaged tags is 50 cents per tag plus the cost of shipping. In the event of a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane or major storm, that causes massive trap losses within an area declared by the Governor to be a disaster emergency area, the commission may temporarily defer or waive replacement tag fees.
(c) Equitable rent.The commission may establish by rule an amount of equitable rent 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 tag fees, replacement trap tag fees, trap retrieval fees, and the continued economic viability of the commercial blue crab industry. A rule establishing an amount of equitable rent shall become effective only upon approval by act of the Legislature.
(d) Disposition of moneys generated from fees and administrative penalties.Moneys generated from the sale of blue crab endorsements, trap tags, and replacement trap tags or from the assessment of administrative penalties by the commission under this section shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund. Up to 50 percent of the moneys generated from the sale of endorsements and trap tags and the assessment of administrative penalties may be used for the operation and administration of the blue crab effort management program. The remaining moneys generated from the sale of endorsements and trap tags and the assessment of administrative penalties may be used for trap retrieval; management of the blue crab fishery; and public education activities, research, and enforcement activities in support of the blue crab effort management program.
(e) Waiver of fees.For the 2007-2008 license year, the commission shall waive all fees under this subsection for all persons who qualify by September 30, 2007, to participate in the blue crab effort management program established by commission rule.
(4)(a) Untagged trap penalties.—By July 1, 2008, the commission shall adopt by rule the administrative penalties authorized by this subsection. In addition to any other penalties provided in s. 379.407 for any blue crab endorsement holder who violates commission rules requiring the placement of trap tags for traps used for the directed harvest of blue crabs, the following administrative penalties apply:
1. For a first violation, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $1,000.
2. For a second violation that occurs within 24 months after any previous such violation, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $2,000, and the blue crab endorsement holder’s blue crab fishing privileges may be suspended for 12 calendar months.
3. For a third violation that occurs within 36 months after any two previous such violations, the commission shall assess an administrative penalty of up to $5,000, and the blue crab endorsement holder’s blue crab fishing privileges may be suspended for 24 calendar months.
4. A fourth violation that occurs within 48 months after 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. 379.407.

Any blue crab endorsement holder 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.

(b) Trap theft; prohibitions and penalties.It is unlawful for any person to remove or take possession of the contents of another harvester’s blue crab trap without the express written consent of the trap owner, which must be available for immediate inspection. Unauthorized possession of another harvester’s blue crab trap gear or removal of trap contents constitutes theft.
1. Any commercial harvester receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of theft of or from a trap as prohibited by this paragraph shall, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 379.407 and this section, permanently lose all saltwater fishing privileges, including any saltwater products licenses, blue crab endorsements, and blue crab trap tags allotted to him or her by the commission. In such cases, endorsements are nontransferable.
2. In addition, any commercial harvester receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for violating this paragraph shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000. Immediately upon receipt of 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 for such a violation, the commercial harvester committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any blue crab endorsements.
3. A commercial harvester who violates this paragraph shall be punished under s. 379.407. Any other person who violates this paragraph commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
(c) Criminal activities prohibited.
1. It is unlawful for any commercial harvester or any other person to:
a. Willfully molest any blue crab trap, line, or buoy that is the property of any licenseholder without the permission of that licenseholder.
b. Barter, trade, lease, or sell a blue crab trap tag or conspire or aid in such barter, trade, lease, or sale unless duly authorized by commission rules.
c. Supply, agree to supply, aid in supplying, or give away a blue crab trap tag unless duly authorized by commission rules.
d. Make, alter, forge, counterfeit, or reproduce a blue crab trap tag.
e. Possess an altered, forged, counterfeit, or imitation blue crab trap tag.
f. Possess a number of original trap tags or replacement trap tags, the sum of which exceeds by 1 percent the number of traps allowed by commission rules.
g. Engage in the commercial harvest of blue crabs while the blue crab endorsements of the licenseholder are under suspension or revocation.
2. Immediately upon receiving a citation involving a violation of this paragraph and until adjudicated for such a violation, a commercial harvester is prohibited from transferring any blue crab endorsement.
3. A commercial harvester convicted of violating this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000, and is immediately prohibited from transferring any blue crab endorsement. All blue crab endorsements issued to a commercial harvester convicted of violating this paragraph may be suspended for up to 24 calendar months.
4. Any other person convicted of violating this paragraph commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.
(d) Endorsement transfers; fraudulent reports; penalties.For a commercial harvester convicted of fraudulently reporting the actual value of transferred blue crab endorsements, the commission may automatically suspend or permanently revoke the seller’s or the purchaser’s blue crab endorsements. If the endorsement is permanently revoked, the commission shall also permanently deactivate the endorsement holder’s blue crab trap tag accounts.
(e) Prohibitions during endorsement suspension and revocation.During any period of suspension or after revocation of a blue crab endorsement holder’s endorsements, he or she shall, within 15 days after notice provided by the commission, remove from the water all traps subject to that endorsement. Failure to do so shall extend the period of suspension for an additional 6 calendar months.
(5) For purposes of this section, a conviction is any disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
(6) A blue crab endorsement may not be renewed until all fees and administrative penalties imposed under this section are paid.
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; s. 11, ch. 2006-304; s. 9, ch. 2007-223; s. 152, ch. 2008-247; s. 63, ch. 2009-86.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.135.
1379.367 Spiny lobster; regulation.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain the spiny lobster industry for the economy of the state and to conserve the stocks supplying this industry. The provisions of this act regulating the taking of spiny lobster are for the purposes of ensuring and maintaining the highest possible production of spiny lobster.
(2)(a)1. Each commercial harvester taking or attempting to take spiny lobster with a trap in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes shall obtain and exhibit a spiny lobster endorsement number, as required by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The annual fee for a spiny lobster endorsement is $125. This endorsement may be issued by the commission upon the receipt of application by the commercial harvester when accompanied by the payment of the fee. The design of the applications and of the trap tag shall be determined by the commission. Any trap or device used in taking or attempting to take spiny lobster, other than a trap with the endorsement 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 commercial harvester taking or attempting to take spiny lobster in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes by any method, other than with a trap having a spiny lobster endorsement number issued by the commission, must pay an annual fee of $100.
(b) Twenty-five dollars of the $125 fee for a spiny lobster endorsement required under subparagraph (a)1. must be used only for trap retrieval as provided in s. 379.2424. The remainder of the fees collected under 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. 379.3671(5).
(3) The spiny lobster endorsement must be on board the boat, and both the endorsement and the harvested spiny lobster shall be subject to inspection at all times. Only one endorsement shall be issued for each boat. The spiny lobster endorsement number must be prominently displayed above the topmost portion of the boat so as to be easily and readily identified.
(4)(a) It is unlawful for any person willfully to molest any spiny lobster traps, lines, or buoys belonging to another without permission of the licenseholder.
(b) A commercial harvester who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any other person who violates this subsection commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.
(5) Any spiny lobster licenseholder, upon selling licensed spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster or uncooked tails of the species Panulirus argus during the closed season. However, spiny lobster landed under special permit shall not be sold in the state.
(b) The licensed seafood dealer importing any such spiny lobster under the permit shall, 12 hours prior to the time the seagoing vessel or airplane delivering such imported spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster cargo is delivered to the permitholder’s place of business, the spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster received, which report shall include the location of said spiny lobster and a sworn statement that said spiny lobster were taken at least 50 miles from Florida’s shoreline. The landing of spiny lobster or spiny lobster tails from which the eggs, swimmerettes, or pleopods have been removed; the falsification of information as to area from which spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster or spiny lobster 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 spiny lobster 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; s. 12, ch. 2006-304; s. 10, ch. 2007-223; s. 153, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.14.
379.3671 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. 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 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. A rule establishing an amount of equitable rent shall become effective only after approval by the Legislature. 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. All 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. It is unlawful for any person to lease spiny 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 spiny lobster endorsement number required by s. 379.367(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. In the event of a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane or major storm, that causes massive trap losses within an area declared by the Governor to be a disaster emergency area, the commission may temporarily defer or waive replacement tag fees.
(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 by commission rule.
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 spiny lobster 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.
a. A commercial harvester who violates this subparagraph shall be punished under ss. 379.367 and 379.407. Any commercial harvester 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. 379.402 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in ss. 379.367 and 379.407 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all his or her saltwater fishing privileges, including his or her saltwater products license, spiny lobster endorsement, and all trap certificates allotted to him or her through this program. In such cases, trap certificates and endorsements are nontransferable.
b. Any commercial harvester 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. 379.367 and 379.407, shall lose all saltwater fishing privileges for a period of 24 calendar months.
c. In addition, any commercial harvester charged with violating this subparagraph and receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for violating this subparagraph or s. 379.402 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 commercial harvester committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any spiny lobster trap certificates and endorsements.

4. In addition to any other penalties provided in s. 379.407, a commercial harvester who violates the provisions of this section or commission rules relating to spiny lobster traps 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 administrative penalty of up to $1,000. For all other first violations, the commission shall assess an additional administrative 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 administrative penalty of up to $2,000 and the spiny lobster endorsement issued under s. 379.367(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 administrative penalty of up to $5,000 and may suspend the spiny lobster endorsement issued under s. 379.367(2) or (6) for a period of up to 24 months or may revoke the spiny lobster endorsement and, if revoking the spiny lobster endorsement, may also proceed against the licenseholder’s saltwater products license in accordance with the provisions of s. 379.407(2)(h).
d. Any person assessed an additional administrative penalty pursuant to this section shall within 30 calendar days after notification:
(I) Pay the administrative penalty to the commission; or
(II) Request an administrative hearing pursuant to the provisions of ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
e. The commission shall suspend the spiny lobster endorsement issued under s. 379.367(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 commercial harvester who violates the provisions of subparagraph 5., or any commercial harvester who engages in the commercial harvest, trapping, or possession of spiny lobster without a spiny lobster endorsement as required by s. 379.367(2) or (6) or during any period while such spiny lobster endorsement 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 commercial harvester who violates the provisions of sub-subparagraph 5.c.
c. In addition to any penalty imposed pursuant to sub-subparagraph a., any commercial harvester receiving any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal for a violation of subparagraph 5. shall be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000, and the spiny lobster endorsement under which the violation was committed may be suspended for up to 24 calendar months. Immediately upon issuance of a citation involving a violation of subparagraph 5. and until adjudication of such a violation, and after receipt of any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal for such a violation, the commercial harvester holding the spiny lobster endorsement listed on the citation is prohibited from transferring any spiny lobster trap certificates.
d. Any other person who violates the provisions of subparagraph 5. commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.
7. Prior to the 2010-2011 license year, 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. Beginning with the 2010-2011 license year, any certificate for which the annual certificate fee is not paid for a period of 2 consecutive 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 administrative 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.
10. Except as otherwise provided, any person who violates this paragraph commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
(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, Miami-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; s. 23, ch. 2006-26; s. 13, ch. 2006-304; s. 12, ch. 2007-223; s. 76, ch. 2008-4; s. 10, ch. 2008-5; s. 154, ch. 2008-247; s. 37, ch. 2009-86.
1Note.Transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.
Note.Former s. 370.142.
379.368 Fees for the retrieval of spiny lobster, stone crab, blue crab, and black sea bass traps during closed season.
(1) Pursuant to s. 379.2424, the commission shall assess trap owners, and collect, a retrieval fee of $10 per trap retrieved. However, for each person holding a spiny lobster endorsement, a stone crab endorsement, or a blue 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.
(2) Payment of all assessed retrieval fees shall be required prior to renewal of the trap owner’s saltwater products license. Retrieval fees assessed under this program shall stand in lieu of other penalties imposed for such trap violations.
(3) In the event of a major natural disaster, such as a hurricane or major storm, that causes massive trap losses within an area declared by the Governor to be a disaster emergency area, the commission shall waive trap retrieval fees.
History.s. 4, ch. 87-116; s. 4, ch. 87-120; s. 34, ch. 96-321; s. 246, ch. 99-245; s. 42, ch. 2000-364; s. 2, ch. 2004-72; s. 13, ch. 2007-223; s. 155, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.143(2)-(4).
379.369 Fees for shrimp fishing in Tampa Bay.Each application for a permit to shrimp fish in the waters of Tampa Bay 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.
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; s. 156, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1535.
379.3711 License fee for private game preserves and farms.The license fee for establishing, maintaining, and operating a private preserve and farm pursuant to s. 379.302 is $50 per year. The fee is payable to the commission and shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund.
History.s. 157, ch. 2008-247.
379.3712 Private hunting preserve license fees; exception.
(1) Any person who operates a private hunting preserve commercially or otherwise shall be required to pay a license fee of $70 for each such preserve; provided, however, that during the open season established for wild game of any species a private individual may take artificially propagated game of such species up to the bag limit prescribed for the particular species without being required to pay the license fee required by this section; provided further that if any such individual shall charge a fee for taking such game she or he shall be required to pay the license fee required by this section and to comply with the rules of the commission relative to the operation of private hunting preserves.
(2) A commercial hunting preserve license, which shall exempt patrons of licensed preserves from the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354(4)(c), (d), (f), (h), (i) and (j); (5)(g) and (h); (8)(a), (b), and (e); (9)(a)2.; (11); and (12) while hunting on the licensed preserve property, shall be $500. Such commercial hunting preserve license shall be available only to those private hunting preserves licensed pursuant to this section which are operated exclusively for commercial purposes, which are open to the public, and for which a uniform fee is charged to patrons for hunting privileges.
History.s. 3, ch. 59-73; s. 47, ch. 89-175; s. 5, ch. 91-58; s. 10, ch. 91-78; s. 582, ch. 95-148; s. 163, ch. 99-13; s. 142, ch. 99-245; s. 28, ch. 2002-46; s. 6, ch. 2003-151; s. 5, ch. 2005-45; s. 24, ch. 2006-304; s. 21, ch. 2007-223; s. 158, ch. 2008-247; s. 56, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.661.
379.372 Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles; license required.
(1)(a) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any poisonous or venomous reptile or reptile of concern without first having obtained a special permit or license therefor from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as provided in this section.
(b) By December 31, 2007, the commission shall establish a list of reptiles of concern, including venomous, nonvenomous, native, nonnative, or other reptiles, which require additional regulation for capture, possession, transportation, or exhibition due to their nature, habits, status, or potential to negatively impact humans, the environment, or ecology.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person, party, firm, association, or corporation, whether licensed hereunder or not, to capture, keep, possess, or exhibit any venomous reptile or reptile of concern in any manner not approved as safe, secure, and proper by the commission. Venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern held in captivity are subject to inspection by the commission. The commission shall determine whether the reptiles are securely, safely, and properly penned. In the event that the reptiles are not safely penned, the commission shall report the situation in writing to the person, party, firm, association, or corporation owning the reptiles. Failure of the person, party, firm, association, or corporation to correct the situation within 30 days after such written notice shall be grounds for revocation of the license or permit of the person, party, firm, association, or corporation.
(d) Venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern shall be transported in a safe, secure, and proper manner. The commission shall establish by rule the requirements for the transportation of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
(2)(a) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall keep, possess, import into the state, sell, barter, trade, or breed the following species for personal use or for sale for personal use:
1. Burmese or Indian python (Python molurus).
2. Reticulated python (Python reticulatus).
3. Northern African python (Python sebae).
4. Southern African python (Python natalensis).
5. Amethystine or scrub python (Morelia amethystinus).
6. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus).
7. Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus).
8. Any other reptile designated as a conditional or prohibited species by the commission.
(b) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1) to legally possess a species listed in paragraph (a), that person, party, firm, association, or corporation may possess such reptile for the remainder of the life of the reptile.
(c) If a person, party, firm, association, or corporation holds a permit issued before July 1, 2010, under subsection (1) to legally possess a reptile listed in paragraph (a), and the reptile remains alive following the death or dissolution of the licensee, the reptile may be legally transferred to another entity holding a permit authorizing possession of the reptile for the remainder of the life of the reptile.
(d) If the commission designates a species of reptile as a conditional or prohibited species after July 1, 2010, the commission may authorize the personal possession of that newly designated species by those licensed to possess that species of reptile before the effective date of the species’ designation by the commission as a conditional or prohibited species. The personal possession of such reptile is not a violation of paragraph (a) if the personal possession was authorized by the commission.
(e) This subsection does not apply to traveling wildlife exhibitors that are licensed or registered under the United States Animal Welfare Act or to zoological facilities that are licensed or exempted by the commission from the licensure requirement.
History.s. 1, ch. 28263, 1953; s. 165, ch. 99-245; s. 1, ch. 2007-239; s. 159, ch. 2008-247; s. 2, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.86.
379.373 License fee; renewal, revocation.
(1)(a) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered to issue a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles, upon payment of an annual fee of $100 and upon assurance that all of the provisions of ss. 379.305 and 379.372-379.374 and such other reasonable rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe will be fully complied with in all respects.
(b) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized and empowered to issue a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of reptiles of concern upon payment of an annual fee not to exceed $100 and upon assurance that all of the provisions of ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 and such other reasonable rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe will be fully complied with in all respects. The annual fee for issuance or renewal of a license or permit under this paragraph for reptiles of concern is initially set at $100. However, the commission may reduce that annual fee by rule if the commission determines that there is general compliance with ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 and that such compliance allows for a reduction in fees to cover the costs of administering and enforcing the reptiles of concern program. The commission may issue a license or permit to an applicant who holds a current and valid license or permit for venomous reptiles under paragraph (a) and meets all requirements for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of reptiles of concern, but shall not require payment of an additional annual fee.
(2) Such permits or licenses may be revoked by the commission upon violation of any of the provisions of ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374 or upon violation of any of the rules and regulations prescribed by the commission relating to the capturing, keeping, possessing, and exhibiting of any venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern. Such permits or licenses shall be for an annual period to be prescribed by the commission and shall be renewable upon the payment of said fee and shall be subject to the same conditions, limitations, and restrictions as set forth in this section. All moneys received pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund to be used to implement, administer, enforce, and educate the public regarding ss. 379.305, 379.372, 379.373, and 379.374.
History.s. 2, ch. 28263, 1953; s. 166, ch. 99-245; s. 8, ch. 2003-151; s. 2, ch. 2007-239; s. 160, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.87.
379.374 Bond required, amount.
(1) No person, party, firm, or corporation shall exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission fee any venomous reptile without having first posted a good and sufficient bond in writing in the penal sum of $10,000 payable to the commission, conditioned that such exhibitor will indemnify and save harmless all persons from injury or damage from such venomous reptiles so exhibited and shall fully comply with all laws of the state and all rules and regulations of the commission governing the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles; provided, however, that the aggregate liability of the surety for all such injuries or damages shall, in no event, exceed the penal sum of the bond. The surety for the bond must be a surety company authorized to do business under the laws of the state or in lieu of such a surety, cash in the sum of $10,000 may be posted with the commission to ensure compliance with the conditions of the bond.
(2) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall possess or exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission fee, any Class I wildlife, as defined in s. 379.303 and commission rule, without having first guaranteed financial responsibility, in the sum of $10,000, for any liability which may be incurred in the possession or exhibition to the public of Class I wildlife. The commission shall adopt, by rule, the methods of payment that satisfy the financial responsibility, which may include cash, the establishment of a trust fund, an irrevocable letter of credit, casualty insurance, a corporate guarantee, or any combination thereof, in the sum of $10,000 which shall be posted with the commission. In lieu of the $10,000 financial responsibility guarantee required in this subsection, the person, party, firm, association, or corporation has the option to maintain comprehensive general liability insurance, with minimum limits of $2 million per occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate, as shall protect the person, party, firm, association, or corporation from claims for damage for personal injury, including accidental death, as well as claims for property damage which may arise. Proof of such insurance shall be submitted to the commission.
History.s. 3, ch. 28263, 1953; s. 588, ch. 95-148; s. 167, ch. 99-245; s. 3, ch. 2007-239; s. 161, ch. 2008-247; s. 3, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.88.
379.3751 Taking and possession of alligators; trapping licenses; fees.
(1)(a) No person shall take or possess any alligator or the eggs thereof without having first obtained from the commission a trapping license and paid the fee provided in this section. Such license shall be dated when issued and remain valid for 12 months after the date of issuance and shall authorize the person to whom it is issued to take or possess alligators and their eggs, and to sell, possess, and process alligators and their hides and meat, in accordance with law and commission rules. Such license shall not be transferable and shall not be valid unless it bears on its face in indelible ink the name of the person to whom it is issued. Such license shall be in the personal possession of the licensee while such person is taking alligators or their eggs or is selling, possessing, or processing alligators or their eggs, hides, or meat. The failure of the licensee to exhibit such license to the commission or its wildlife officers, when such person is found taking alligators or their eggs or is found selling, possessing, or processing alligators or their eggs, hides, or meat, shall be a violation of law.
(b) In order to assure the optimal utilization of the estimated available alligator resource and to ensure adequate control of the alligator management and harvest program, the commission may by rule limit the number of participants engaged in the taking of alligators or their eggs from the wild.
(c) No person who has been convicted of any violation of s. 379.3015 or s. 379.409 or the rules of the commission relating to the illegal taking of crocodilian species shall be eligible for issuance of a license for a period of 5 years subsequent to such conviction. In the event such violation involves the unauthorized taking of an endangered crocodilian species, no license shall be issued for 10 years subsequent to the conviction.
(2) The license and issuance fee, and the activity authorized thereby, shall be as follows:
(a) The annual fee for issuance of a resident alligator trapping license, which permits a resident of the state to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such alligator trapping license or otherwise legally acquired, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $250.
(b) The annual fee for issuance of a nonresident alligator trapping license, which permits a person other than a resident of the state to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such alligator trapping license, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $1,000.
(c) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator trapping agent’s license, which permits a person to act as an agent of any person who has been issued a resident or nonresident alligator trapping license as provided in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) and to take alligators occurring in the wild other than alligator hatchlings, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such agency relationship, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $50.
(d) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator farming license, which permits a person to operate a facility for captive propagation of alligators, to possess alligators for captive propagation, to take alligator hatchlings and alligator eggs occurring in the wild, to rear such alligators, alligator hatchlings, and alligator eggs in captivity, to process alligators taken or possessed under authority of such alligator farming license or otherwise legally acquired, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $250.
(e) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator farming agent’s license, which permits a person to act as an agent of any person who has been issued an alligator farming license as provided in paragraph (d) and to take alligator hatchlings and alligator eggs occurring in the wild, to possess and process alligators taken under authority of such agency relationship, and to possess, process, and sell their hides and meat, shall be $50.
(f) The annual fee for issuance of an alligator processor’s license, which permits a person to buy and process alligators lawfully taken by alligator trapping licenseholders and taken or possessed by alligator farming licenseholders and to sell alligator meat, hides, and other parts, shall be $250.
(3) For the purpose of this section, “process” shall mean the possession and skinning or butchering of an alligator by someone other than the holder of the alligator trapping license, alligator trapping agent’s license, alligator farming license, or alligator farming agent’s license who has authorized the taking and possession of such alligator.
(4) No person shall take any alligator egg occurring in the wild or possess any such egg unless such person has obtained, or is a licensed agent of another person who has obtained, an alligator egg collection permit. The alligator egg collection permit shall be required in addition to the alligator farming license provided in paragraph (2)(d). The commission is authorized to assess a fee for issuance of the alligator egg collection permit of up to $5 per egg authorized to be taken or possessed pursuant to such permit. Irrespective of whether a fee is assessed, $1 per egg collected and retained, excluding eggs collected on private wetland management areas, shall be transferred from the alligator management program to the General Inspection Trust Fund, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose of providing marketing and education services with respect to alligator products produced in this state, notwithstanding other provisions in this chapter.
(5) The commission shall adopt criteria by rule to establish appropriate qualifications for alligator collectors who may receive permits pursuant to this section.
History.s. 4, ch. 87-199; s. 18, ch. 98-333; s. 15, ch. 2000-364; s. 7, ch. 2003-151; s. 162, ch. 2008-247; s. 38, ch. 2009-86.
Note.Former s. 372.6673.
379.3752 Required tagging of alligators and hides; fees; revenues.The tags provided in this section shall be required in addition to any license required under s. 379.3751.
(1) No person shall take any alligator occurring in the wild or possess any such alligator unless such alligator is subsequently tagged in the manner required by commission rule. For the tag required for an alligator hatchling, the commission is authorized to assess a fee of not more than $15 for each alligator hatchling tag issued. The commission shall expend one-third of the revenue generated from the issuance of the alligator hatchling tag for alligator husbandry research.
(2) The commission may require that an alligator hide validation tag (CITES tag) be affixed to the hide of any alligator taken from the wild and that such hide be possessed, purchased, sold, offered for sale, or transported in accordance with commission rule. The commission is authorized to assess a fee of up to $30 for each alligator hide validation tag issued. Irrespective of whether a fee is assessed, $5 per validated hide, excluding those validated from public hunt programs and alligator farms, shall be transferred from the alligator management program to the General Inspection Trust Fund, to be administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the purpose of providing marketing and education services with respect to alligator products produced in this state, notwithstanding other provisions in this chapter.
(3) The number of tags available for alligators taken pursuant to a collection permit shall be limited to the number of tags determined by the commission to equal the safe yield of alligators as determined pursuant to s. 379.3013.
History.s. 5, ch. 87-199; s. 19, ch. 98-333; s. 16, ch. 2000-364; s. 163, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.6674.
379.3761 Exhibition or sale of wildlife; fees; classifications.
(1) In order to provide humane treatment and sanitary surroundings for wild animals kept in captivity, no person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall have, or be in possession of, in captivity for the purpose of public display with or without charge or for public sale any wildlife, specifically birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, whether native to Florida or not, without having first secured a permit from the commission authorizing such person, party, firm, association, or corporation to have in its possession in captivity the species and number of wildlife specified within such permit; however, this section does not apply to any wildlife not protected by law and the rules of the commission. No person, party, firm, association, or corporation may sell any wild animal life designated by commission rule as a conditional or prohibited species, Class I or Class II wildlife, reptile of concern, or venomous reptile in this state, including a sale with delivery made in this state, regardless of the origin of the sale or the location of the initial transaction, unless authorized by the commission.
(2) The fees to be paid for the issuance of permits required by subsection (1) shall be as follows:
(a) For not more than 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $150 per annum.
(b) For over 25 Class I or Class II individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $250 per annum.
(c) For any number of Class III individual specimens in the aggregate of all species, the sum of $50 per annum.

The fees prescribed by this subsection shall be submitted to the commission with the application for permit required by subsection (1) and shall be deposited in the State Game Trust Fund.

(3) An applicant for a permit shall be required to include in her or his application a statement showing the place, number, and species of wildlife to be held in captivity by the applicant and shall be required upon request by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to show when, where, and in what manner she or he came into possession of any wildlife acquired subsequent to the effective date of this act. The source of acquisition of such wildlife shall not be divulged by the commission except in connection with a violation of this section or a regulation of the commission in which information as to source of wildlife is required as evidence in the prosecution of such violation.
(4) The provisions of this section relative to licensing for exhibition do not apply to any municipal, county, state, or other publicly owned wildlife exhibit or any traveling zoo, circus, or exhibit licensed under chapter 205.
(5) This section shall not apply to the possession, control, care, and maintenance of ostriches, emus, rheas, and bison domesticated and confined for commercial farming purposes, except those kept and maintained on hunting preserves or game farms or primarily for exhibition purposes in zoos, carnivals, circuses, and other such establishments where such species are kept primarily for display to the public.
(6) A person who violates this section is punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.
History.s. 1, ch. 67-290; s. 84, ch. 79-164; s. 2, ch. 93-223; s. 590, ch. 95-148; s. 173, ch. 99-245; s. 33, ch. 2002-46; s. 9, ch. 2003-151; s. 2, ch. 2005-210; s. 164, ch. 2008-247; s. 39, ch. 2009-86; s. 4, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.921(1)-(3), (7), (8).
379.3762 Personal possession of wildlife.
(1) It is unlawful for any person or persons to possess any wildlife as defined in this act, whether native to Florida or not, until she or he has obtained a permit as provided by this section from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The classifications of types of wildlife and fees to be paid for permits for the personal possession of wildlife shall be as follows:
(a) Class IWildlife which, because of its nature, habits, or status, shall not be possessed as a personal pet.
(b) Class IIWildlife considered to present a real or potential threat to human safety, the sum of $140 per annum.
(c) Class IIIAll other wildlife not included in Class I or Class II, for which a no-cost permit must be obtained from the commission.
(3) Any person, firm, corporation, or association exhibiting or selling wildlife and being duly permitted as provided by s. 379.304 shall be exempt from the fee requirement to receive a permit under this section.
(4) This section shall not apply to the possession, control, care, and maintenance of ostriches, emus, rheas, and bison domesticated and confined for commercial farming purposes, except those kept and maintained on hunting preserves or game farms or primarily for exhibition purposes in zoos, carnivals, circuses, and other such establishments where such species are kept primarily for display to the public.
(5) A person who violates this section is punishable as provided in s. 379.4015.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-309; s. 9, ch. 91-134; s. 3, ch. 93-223; s. 591, ch. 95-148; s. 174, ch. 99-245; s. 34, ch. 2002-46; s. 10, ch. 2003-151; s. 3, ch. 2005-210; s. 165, ch. 2008-247; s. 40, ch. 2009-86; s. 14, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.922(1), (2), (5)-(7).
379.377 Tag fees for sale of Lake Okeechobee game fish.The commission is authorized to assess a fee of not more than 5 cents per tag, payable at the time of delivery of the tag, for the purpose of allowing the sale of game fish taken commercially from Lake Okeechobee, as may be allowed by the commission.
History.s. 1, ch. 76-216; s. 140, ch. 99-245; s. 166, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.653.
PART VIII
PENALTIES
379.401 Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits.
379.4015 Nonnative and captive wildlife penalties.
379.402 Definition; possession of certain licensed traps prohibited; penalties; exceptions; consent.
379.403 Illegal killing, taking, possessing, or selling wildlife or game; fines; disposition of fines.
379.404 Illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey; evidence; penalty.
379.405 Illegal molestation of or theft from freshwater fishing gear.
379.406 Illegal possession or transportation of freshwater game fish in commercial quantities; penalty.
379.407 Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions.
379.408 Forfeiture or denial of licenses and permits.
379.409 Illegal killing, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or eggs; confiscation of equipment.
379.411 Killing or wounding of any species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern; criminal penalties.
379.4115 Florida or wild panther; killing prohibited; penalty.
379.413 Bonefish; penalties.
379.414 Additional penalties for saltwater products dealers violating records requirements.
379.501 Aquatic weeds and plants; prohibitions; violations; penalties; intent.
379.502 Enforcement; procedure; remedies.
379.503 Civil action.
379.504 Civil liability; joint and several liability.
379.401 Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits.
(1)(a) LEVEL ONE VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level One violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing of reports or other documents required to be filed by persons who hold recreational licenses and permits issued by the commission.
2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to quota hunt permits, daily use permits, hunting zone assignments, camping, alcoholic beverages, vehicles, and check stations within wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.
3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to daily use permits, alcoholic beverages, swimming, possession of firearms, operation of vehicles, and watercraft speed within fish management areas managed by the commission.
4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to vessel size or specifying motor restrictions on specified water bodies.
5. Section 379.355, providing for special recreational spiny lobster licenses.
6. Section 379.354(1)-(15), providing for recreational licenses to hunt, fish, and trap.
7. Section 379.3581, providing hunter safety course requirements.
8. Section 379.3003, prohibiting deer hunting unless required clothing is worn.
(b) A person who commits a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited to appear before the county court.
(c)1. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $50 plus the cost of the license or permit, unless subparagraph 2. applies.
2. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $100 plus the cost of the license or permit if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.
(d)1. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $50 unless subparagraph 2. applies.
2. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $100 if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.
(e) A person cited for a Level One violation shall sign and accept a citation to appear before the county court. The issuing officer may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.
(f) A person cited for a Level One violation may pay the civil penalty by mail or in person within 30 days after receipt of the citation. If the civil penalty is paid, the person shall be deemed to have admitted committing the Level One violation and to have waived his or her right to a hearing before the county court. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for any subsequent violations.
(g) A person who refuses to accept a citation, who fails to pay the civil penalty for a Level One violation, or who fails to appear before a county court as required commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(h) A person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear before the county court shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on civil penalties provided under paragraphs (c) and (d). After a hearing, the county court shall determine if a Level One violation has been committed, and if so, may impose a civil penalty of not less than $50 for a first-time violation, and not more than $500 for subsequent violations. A person found guilty of committing a Level One violation may appeal that finding to the circuit court. The commission of a violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(i) A person cited for violating the requirements of s. 379.354 relating to personal possession of a license or permit may not be convicted if, prior to or at the time of a county court hearing, the person produces the required license or permit for verification by the hearing officer or the court clerk. The license or permit must have been valid at the time the person was cited. The clerk or hearing officer may assess a $10 fee for costs under this paragraph.
(2)(a) LEVEL TWO VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to seasons or time periods for the taking of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
2. Rules or orders of the commission establishing bag, possession, or size limits or restricting methods of taking wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
3. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting access or otherwise relating to access to wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.
4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the feeding of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
5. Rules or orders of the commission relating to landing requirements for freshwater fish or saltwater fish.
6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to restricted hunting areas, critical wildlife areas, or bird sanctuaries.
7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to tagging requirements for wildlife and fur-bearing animals.
8. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of dogs for the taking of wildlife.
9. Rules or orders of the commission which are not otherwise classified.
10. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the unlawful use of finfish traps.
11. All prohibitions in this chapter which are not otherwise classified.
12. Section 379.33, prohibiting the violation of or noncompliance with commission rules.
13. Section 379.407(6), prohibiting the sale, purchase, harvest, or attempted harvest of any saltwater product with intent to sell.
14. Section 379.2421, prohibiting the obstruction of waterways with net gear.
15. Section 379.413, prohibiting the unlawful taking of bonefish.
16. Section 379.365(2)(a) and (b), prohibiting the possession or use of stone crab traps without trap tags and theft of trap contents or gear.
17. Section 379.366(4)(b), prohibiting the theft of blue crab trap contents or trap gear.
18. Section 379.3671(2)(c), prohibiting the possession or use of spiny lobster traps without trap tags or certificates and theft of trap contents or trap gear.
19. Section 379.357, prohibiting the possession of tarpon without purchasing a tarpon tag.
20. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the feeding or enticement of alligators or crocodiles.
21. Section 379.105, prohibiting the intentional harassment of hunters, fishers, or trappers.
(b)1. A person who commits a Level Two violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 3. or subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 3 years after a previous conviction for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $250.
3. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 5 years after two previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 1 year. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under any exemption in s. 379.353.
4. A person who commits a Level Two violation within 10 years after three previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.
(3)(a) LEVEL THREE VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the sale of saltwater fish.
2. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the illegal importation or possession of exotic marine plants or animals.
3. Section 379.407(2), establishing major violations.
4. Section 379.407(4), prohibiting the possession of certain finfish in excess of recreational daily bag limits.
5. Section 379.28, prohibiting the importation of freshwater fish.
6. Section 379.354(17), prohibiting the taking of game, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish while a required license is suspended or revoked.
7. Section 379.3014, prohibiting the illegal sale or possession of alligators.
8. Section 379.404(1), (3), and (6), prohibiting the illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey.
9. Section 379.406, prohibiting the possession and transportation of commercial quantities of freshwater game fish.
(b)1. A person who commits a Level Three violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. A person who commits a Level Three violation within 10 years after a previous conviction for a Level Three or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for the remainder of the period for which the license or permit was issued up to 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.
3. A person who commits a violation of s. 379.354(17) shall receive a mandatory fine of $1,000. Any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 5-year period following the date of the violation.
(4)(a) LEVEL FOUR VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Section 379.365(2)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking of stone crabs.
2. Section 379.366(4)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking and harvesting of blue crabs.
3. Section 379.367(4), prohibiting the willful molestation of spiny lobster gear.
4. Section 379.3671(2)(c)5., prohibiting the unlawful reproduction, possession, sale, trade, or barter of spiny lobster trap tags or certificates.
5. Section 379.354(16), prohibiting the making, forging, counterfeiting, or reproduction of a recreational license or possession of same without authorization from the commission.
6. Section 379.404(5), prohibiting the sale of illegally-taken deer or wild turkey.
7. Section 379.405, prohibiting the molestation or theft of freshwater fishing gear.
8. Section 379.409, prohibiting the unlawful killing, injuring, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or their eggs.
(b) A person who commits a Level Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) VIOLATIONS OF CHAPTER.Except as provided in this chapter:
(a) A person who commits a violation of any provision of this chapter commits, for the first offense, a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) SUSPENSION OR FORFEITURE OF LICENSE.The court may order the suspension or forfeiture of any license or permit issued under this chapter to a person who is found guilty of committing a violation of this chapter.
(7) CONVICTION DEFINED.As used in this section, the term “conviction” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
History.s. 6, ch. 21945, 1943; s. 1, ch. 23750, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 9, ch. 26766, 1951; s. 7, ch. 69-216; s. 316, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 91-134; s. 586, ch. 95-148; s. 40, ch. 2000-362; s. 32, ch. 2002-46; s. 20, ch. 2006-304; s. 22, ch. 2007-223; s. 37, ch. 2008-111; s. 168, ch. 2008-247; s. 41, ch. 2009-86; s. 5, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.83.
379.4015 Nonnative and captive wildlife penalties.
(1) LEVEL ONE.Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:
(a) A person commits a Level One violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission requiring free permits or other authorizations to possess captive wildlife.
2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing of reports or other documents required of persons who are licensed to possess captive wildlife.
3. Rules or orders of the commission requiring permits to possess captive wildlife for which a fee is charged, when the person being charged was issued the permit and the permit has expired less than 1 year prior to the violation.
(b) Any person cited for committing any offense classified as a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable as provided in this section.
(c) Any person cited for committing a noncriminal infraction specified in paragraph (a) shall be cited to appear before the county court. The civil penalty for any noncriminal infraction is $50 if the person cited has not previously been found guilty of a Level One violation and $250 if the person cited has previously been found guilty of a Level One violation, except as otherwise provided in this subsection. Any person cited for failing to have a required permit or license shall pay an additional civil penalty in the amount of the license fee required.
(d) Any person cited for an infraction under this subsection may:
1. Post a bond, which shall be equal in amount to the applicable civil penalty; or
2. Sign and accept a citation indicating a promise to appear before the county court. The officer may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.
(e) Any person charged with a noncriminal infraction under this subsection may:
1. Pay the civil penalty, either by mail or in person, within 30 days after the date of receiving the citation; or
2. If the person has posted bond, forfeit bond by not appearing at the designated time and location.
(f) If the person cited follows either of the procedures in subparagraph (e)1. or subparagraph (e)2., he or she shall be deemed to have admitted the infraction and to have waived his or her right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction. Such admission shall not be used as evidence in any other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for any subsequent violations.
(g) Any person who willfully refuses to post bond or accept and sign a summons commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. Any person who fails to pay the civil penalty specified in this subsection within 30 days after being cited for a noncriminal infraction or to appear before the court pursuant to this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(h) Any person electing to appear before the county court or who is required to appear shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on the civil penalty specified in paragraph (c). The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction has been proven, the court may impose a civil penalty not less than those amounts in paragraph (c) and not to exceed $500.
(i) At a hearing under this chapter, the commission of a charged infraction must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(j) If a person is found by the hearing official to have committed an infraction, she or he may appeal that finding to the circuit court.
(2) LEVEL TWO.Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:
(a) A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Unless otherwise stated in subsection (1), rules or orders of the commission that require a person to pay a fee to obtain a permit to possess captive wildlife or that require the maintenance of records relating to captive wildlife.
2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to captive wildlife not specified in subsection (1) or subsection (3).
3. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an escape of wildlife other than Class I wildlife.
4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to wild animal life identified by commission rule as either conditional species or prohibited species.
5. Section 379.372, relating to capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting venomous reptiles, reptiles of concern, conditional reptiles, or prohibited reptiles.
6. Section 379.373, relating to requiring a license or permit for the capturing, keeping, possessing, or exhibiting of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
7. Section 379.374, relating to bonding requirements for public exhibits of venomous reptiles.
8. Section 379.305, relating to commission rules and regulations to prevent the escape of venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
9. Section 379.304, relating to exhibition or sale of wildlife.
10. Section 379.3761, relating to exhibition or sale of wildlife.
11. Section 379.3762, relating to personal possession of wildlife.
(b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation and who has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 3-year period of any previous conviction of a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 with a minimum mandatory fine of $250.
(d) Unless otherwise stated in this subsection, a person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 5-year period of any two previous convictions of Level Two or higher violations commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of all licenses issued under this chapter related to captive wildlife for 1 year.
(e) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Two violation within a 10-year period of any three previous convictions of Level Two or higher violations commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of all licenses issued under this chapter related to captive wildlife for 3 years.
(f) In addition to being subject to the penalties under paragraphs (b)-(e), a person who commits a Level Two violation that is a violation of s. 379.372 or rules or orders relating to wild animal life identified as conditional or prohibited shall receive a minimum mandatory fine of $100 and immediately surrender the wildlife for which the violation was issued unless such person lawfully obtains a permit for possession.
(3) LEVEL THREE.Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:
(a) A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission that require housing of wildlife in a safe manner when a violation results in an escape of Class I wildlife.
2. Rules or orders of the commission related to captive wildlife when the violation results in serious bodily injury to another person by captive wildlife that consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of gasoline or other chemical or gaseous substances on wildlife.
4. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the release of wildlife for which only conditional possession is allowed.
5. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting knowingly entering false information on an application for a license or permit when the license or permit is to possess wildlife in captivity.
6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the illegal importation and possession of nonnative marine plants and animals.
7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the importation, possession, or release of fish and wildlife for which possession is prohibited.
8. Section 379.231, relating to illegal importation or release of nonnative wildlife.
9. Section 379.305, relating to release or escape of nonnative venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern.
(b)1. A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Three violation and who has not been convicted of a Level Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Three violation within a 10-year period of any previous conviction of a Level Three or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and permanent revocation of all licenses or permits to possess captive wildlife issued under this chapter.
(4) LEVEL FOUR.Unless otherwise provided by law, the following classifications and penalties apply:
(a) A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she violates any Level Three provision after the permanent revocation of a license or permit.
(b) A person who commits any offense classified as a Level Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE.The court may order the suspension or revocation of any license or permit issued to a person to possess captive wildlife pursuant to this chapter if that person commits a criminal offense or a noncriminal infraction as specified under this section.
(6) CIVIL PENALTY.
(a) In addition to other applicable penalties, the commission may impose against any person, party, firm, association, or corporation convicted of a criminal violation of any provision of s. 379.231, s. 379.372, s. 379.3761, or s. 379.3762 a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each animal, unless otherwise authorized pursuant to subparagraphs 1.-5. For all related violations attributable to a specific violator, the total civil penalty may not exceed $10,000 for each assessment for each animal.
1. The history of noncompliance of the violator for any previous violation of this chapter or rules or orders of the commission shall be considered in determining the amount of the civil penalty.
2. The direct economic benefit gained by the violator from the violation may be added to the scheduled civil penalty.
3. The costs incurred by the commission related to the escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife for which the violation was issued shall be added to the civil penalty.
4. The civil penalty assessed for a violation may not exceed $5,000 for each animal unless:
a. The violator has a history of noncompliance;
b. The economic benefit of the violation exceeds $5,000; or
c. The costs incurred by the commission related to the escape, recovery, and care of the wildlife for which the violation was issued exceeds $5,000.
5. The civil penalty assessed pursuant to this subsection may be reduced by the commission for mitigating circumstances, including good faith efforts to comply before or after discovery of the violations by the commission.
(b) The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the State Game Trust Fund and shall be used for management, administration, auditing, and research purposes.
(7) CONVICTION DEFINED.For purposes of this section, the term “conviction” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
(8) COMMISSION LIMITATIONS.Nothing in this section shall limit the commission from suspending or revoking any license to possess wildlife in captivity by administrative action in accordance with chapter 120. For purposes of administrative action, a conviction of a criminal offense shall mean any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
(9) ANNUAL REPORT.By January 1 of each year, the commission shall submit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report listing each species identified by the commission as a conditional or prohibited species or a reptile of concern.
History.s. 21, ch. 2006-304; s. 7, ch. 2007-239; s. 169, ch. 2008-247; s. 42, ch. 2009-86; s. 6, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.935.
379.402 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; s. 170, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 370.1107.
379.403 Illegal killing, taking, possessing, or selling wildlife or game; fines; disposition of fines.In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates the criminal provisions of this chapter and rules adopted pursuant to this chapter by illegally killing, taking, possessing, or selling game or fur-bearing animals as defined in s. 379.101(19) or (20) in or out of season while violating chapter 810 shall pay a fine of $250 for each such violation, plus court costs and any restitution ordered by the court. All fines collected under this section shall be remitted by the clerk of the court to the Department of Revenue to be deposited into the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s State Game Trust Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 97-201; s. 154, ch. 99-245; s. 14, ch. 2001-122; s. 29, ch. 2002-46; s. 171, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.7015.
379.404 Illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey; evidence; penalty.
(1) Whoever takes or kills any deer or wild turkey, or possesses a freshly killed deer or wild turkey, during the closed season prescribed by law or by the rules and regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or whoever takes or attempts to take any deer or wild turkey by the use of gun and light in or out of closed season, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401 and shall forfeit any license or permit issued to her or him under the provisions of this chapter. No license shall be issued to such person for a period of 3 years following any such violation on the first offense. Any person guilty of a second or subsequent violation shall be permanently ineligible for issuance of a license or permit thereafter.
(2) The display or use of a light in a place where deer might be found and in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of deer, together with the possession of firearms or other weapons customarily used for the taking of deer, between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to violate the provisions of subsection (1). This subsection does not apply to an owner or her or his employee when patrolling or inspecting the land of the owner, provided the employee has satisfactory proof of employment on her or his person.
(3) Whoever takes or kills any doe deer; fawn or baby deer; or deer, whether male or female, which does not have one or more antlers at least 5 inches in length, except as provided by law or the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, during the open season prescribed by the rules of the commission, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401 and may be required to forfeit any license or permit issued to such person for a period of 3 years following any such violation on the first offense. Any person guilty of a second or subsequent violation shall be permanently ineligible for issuance of a license or permit thereafter.
(4) Any person who cultivates agricultural crops may apply to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for a permit to take or kill deer on land which that person is currently cultivating. When said person can show, to the satisfaction of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, that such taking or killing of deer is justified because of damage to the person’s crops caused by deer, the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may issue a limited permit to the applicant to take or kill deer without being in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (3).
(5) Whoever possesses for sale or sells deer or wild turkey taken in violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the commission commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401.
(6) Any person who enters upon private property and shines lights upon such property, without the express permission of the owner of the property and with the intent to take deer by utilizing such shining lights, commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
History.s. 1, ch. 65-340; s. 320, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 77-1; ss. 1, 2, ch. 77-311; s. 2, ch. 78-173; s. 144, ch. 79-400; s. 48, ch. 88-381; s. 56, ch. 91-224; s. 593, ch. 95-148; s. 179, ch. 99-245; s. 30, ch. 2006-304; s. 172, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.99.
379.405 Illegal molestation of or theft from freshwater fishing gear.
(1)(a) Any person, firm, or corporation that willfully molests any authorized and lawfully permitted freshwater fishing gear belonging to another without the express written consent of the owner commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401. Any written consent must be available for immediate inspection.
(b) Any person, firm, or corporation that willfully removes the contents of any authorized and lawfully permitted freshwater fishing gear belonging to another without the express written consent of the owner commits a Level Four violation under s. 379.401. Any written consent must be available for immediate inspection.

A person, firm, or corporation that receives a citation for a violation of this subsection is prohibited, immediately upon receipt of such citation and until adjudicated or convicted of a felony under this subsection, from transferring any endorsements.

(2) Any person, firm, or corporation convicted pursuant to subsection (1) of removing the contents of freshwater fishing gear without the express written consent of the owner shall permanently lose all of his or her freshwater and saltwater fishing privileges, including his or her recreational and commercial licenses and endorsements, and shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not more than $5,000. The endorsements of such person, firm, or corporation are not transferable.
(3) For purposes of this section, the term “freshwater fishing gear” means haul seines, slat baskets, wire traps, hoop nets, or pound nets, and includes the lines or buoys attached thereto.
History.s. 11, ch. 2002-264; s. 29, ch. 2006-304; s. 173, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.99022.
379.406 Illegal possession or transportation of freshwater game fish in commercial quantities; penalty.
(1) Whoever possesses, moves, or transports any black bass, bream, speckled perch, or other freshwater game fish in commercial quantities in violation of law or the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
(2) For the purposes of this section “commercial quantities” shall be deemed to be a quantity of freshwater game fish of 150 or more pounds, and the possession, movement, or transportation of freshwater game fish in excess of such weight shall constitute prima facie evidence of possession or transportation for commercial purposes.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-380; s. 321, ch. 71-136; s. 181, ch. 99-245; s. 31, ch. 2006-304; s. 174, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.9903.
379.407 Administration; rules, publications, records; penalties; injunctions.
(1) BASE PENALTIES.Unless otherwise provided by law, any person, firm, or corporation who violates 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 commercial harvester convicted of major violations as follows:
(a) For a violation involving more than 100 illegal blue crabs, spiny lobster, or stone crabs, an additional penalty of $10 for each illegal blue crab, spiny lobster, stone crab, or part thereof.
(b)1. 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.
2. For violations involving the taking of food shrimp in certain closed areas:
a. Any person with a saltwater products license issued by the commission who is convicted of taking food shrimp in Santa Rosa Sound in violation of commission rule designating a closed area shall have that license and the saltwater products license of the boat involved in the violation revoked and shall be ineligible to make application for such a license for a period of 2 years from the date of such conviction. If a person who does not have a saltwater products license is convicted hereunder, that person and the boat involved in the violation shall not be eligible for such a license for 5 years.
b. A third or subsequent violation by any person of the designated closure to food shrimping in Santa Rosa Sound 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.
c. A second or any subsequent violation by any person for taking food shrimp in a food shrimp production closed area in a portion of Monroe County designated by the commission is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
d. A third or any subsequent violation by the owner or master of any vessel engaged in food shrimp production in the Tortugas Shrimp Beds closed area designated by the commission within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
e. This subparagraph does not apply to persons shrimping for live bait shrimp in the designated closed area when such persons are shrimping with a live bait shrimping license issued by the commission.
3. The owner or master of any vessel not equipped with live shrimp bait tanks dragging shrimp nets in the Tortugas Shrimp Beds without a live bait shrimping license for this area is subject to the base penalties in subsection (1) for a first or second violation. A third or subsequent violation by any person under this subparagraph within a 3-year period is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(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 commercial harvester by the commission to take or harvest saltwater products, or any license issued pursuant to s. 379.361 or s. 379.362 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 spiny lobster, 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 spiny lobster; any single violation involving possession of more than 25 spiny lobster during the closed season or possession of more than 25 wrung spiny lobster tails or more than 25 egg-bearing or stripped spiny lobster; 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 spiny lobster 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).

The penalty provisions of this subsection apply to commercial harvesters and wholesale and retail dealers as defined in s. 379.362. Any other person who commits a major violation under this subsection commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401. 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.

(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.
(a) It is a major violation under this section 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.
(b) A commercial harvester who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided under paragraph (3)(b). Any other person who violates this subsection commits a Level Three violation under s. 379.401.
(5) SALTWATER PRODUCTS; UNLICENSED SELLERS; ILLEGALLY HARVESTED PRODUCTS.In addition to other penalties authorized in this chapter, any violation of s. 379.361 or s. 379.362, or rules of the commission implementing s. 379.361 or s. 379.362, 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 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 any unlicensed person, firm, or corporation who is required to be licensed under this chapter as a commercial harvester or a wholesale or retail dealer 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, firm, or corporation who sells or purchases any saltwater product without having purchased the licenses required by this chapter for such sale 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 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 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 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 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. 379.337.
(c) Any commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer 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 commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $2,500 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter 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 commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 180 days. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 379.337.
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 commercial harvester or wholesale or retail dealer shall be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional suspension of all license privileges under this chapter for a period not exceeding 24 months. All property involved in such offense shall be forfeited pursuant to s. 379.337.
(d) Any commercial harvester 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 commercial harvester 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 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 commercial harvester 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 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 commercial harvester shall also be assessed a civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter 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 commercial harvester shall also be assessed a mandatory civil penalty of $5,000 and all license privileges under this chapter shall be permanently revoked.

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

(7) 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.
(8) 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 commercial harvester 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 licensee or permitholder of record is not the commercial harvester receiving the citation and judicial disposition, the license or permit may be suspended or revoked only after the licensee 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. 277, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 87-116; s. 5, ch. 88-412; s. 481, ch. 94-356; s. 980, ch. 95-148; s. 9, ch. 95-414; s. 10, ch. 96-247; s. 22, ch. 96-321; s. 57, ch. 97-100; s. 11, ch. 98-203; s. 2, ch. 98-227; s. 2, ch. 98-390; s. 95, ch. 99-245; s. 10, 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. 2, ch. 2006-304; s. 175, ch. 2008-247; s. 42, ch. 2009-21.
Note.Former s. 370.021(1)-(6), (11), (12).
379.408 Forfeiture or denial of licenses and permits.Any person convicted as aforesaid shall forfeit to the state any license or permit that may have been issued to her or him under the provisions of this law, or other law of this state relating to game shall forthwith surrender the same to the court. If such violation occurs in the open season, relating to game, no license or permit shall be issued under the provisions of this law to such person at any time during the remainder of such open season, or if such violation occurs during the closed season no license shall be issued to such person for the open season on game next following.
History.s. 7, ch. 21945, 1943; s. 587, ch. 95-148; s. 176, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.84.
379.409 Illegal killing, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or eggs; confiscation of equipment.
(1) It is unlawful to intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture, or attempt to kill, injure, possess, or capture, an alligator or other crocodilian, or the eggs of an alligator or other crocodilian, unless authorized by the rules of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, in addition to such other punishment as may be provided by law. Any equipment, including but not limited to weapons, vehicles, boats, and lines, used by a person in the commission of a violation of any law, rule, regulation, or order relating to alligators or other crocodilia or the eggs of alligators or other crocodilia shall, upon conviction of such person, be confiscated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and disposed of according to rules and regulations of the commission. The arresting officer shall promptly make a return of the seizure, describing in detail the property seized and the facts and circumstances under which it was seized, including the names of all persons known to the officer who have an interest in the property.
(2) The commission shall promptly fix the value of the property and make return to the clerk of the circuit court of the county wherein same was seized. Upon proper showing that any such property is owned by, or titled in the name of, any innocent party, such property shall be promptly returned to such owner.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not vitiate any valid lien, retain title contract, or chattel mortgage on such property in effect as of the time of such seizure.
History.s. 1, ch. 70-1; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 312, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 91-134; s. 144, ch. 99-245; s. 177, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.663.
379.411 Killing or wounding of any species designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern; criminal penalties.It is unlawful for a person to intentionally kill or wound any fish or wildlife of a species designated by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as endangered, threatened, or of special concern, or to intentionally destroy the eggs or nest of any such fish or wildlife, except as provided for in the rules of the commission. Any person who violates this provision with regard to an endangered or threatened species is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 4, ch. 91-134; s. 244, ch. 94-356; s. 48, ch. 99-245; s. 178, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.0725.
379.4115 Florida or wild panther; killing prohibited; penalty.
(1) It is unlawful for a person to kill a member of the Florida “endangered species,” as defined in s. 379.2291(3), known as the Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi).
(2) It is unlawful for a person to kill any member of the species of panther (Felis concolor) occurring in the wild.
(3) A person convicted of unlawfully killing a Florida panther, or unlawfully killing any member of the species of panther occurring in the wild, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-173; s. 1, ch. 84-99; s. 179, ch. 2008-247.
Note.Former s. 372.671.
1379.413 Bonefish; penalties.A commercial harvester or wholesale or retail saltwater products dealer who violates commission rules pertaining to bonefish shall be punished under s. 379.407. Any other person who violates commission rules pertaining to bonefish commits a Level Two violation under s. 379.401.
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; s. 9, ch. 2006-304; s. 180, ch. 2008-247.
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.
Note.Former s. 370.1121.
379.414 Additional penalties for saltwater products dealers violating records requirements.
(1) The commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the renewal of the license of any saltwater products dealer for failure to make and keep records as required by s. 379.362, 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 other applicable penalties, or in lieu of, the commission may impose against any person, firm, or corporation who is determined to have violated any provision of s. 379.362 or any provisions of any commission rules adopted pursuant to s. 379.407, the following additional penalties:
(a) For the first violation, a civil penalty of up to $1,000;
(b) For a second violation committed within 24 months of any previous violation, a civil penalty of up to $2,500; and
(c) For a third or subsequent violation committed within 36 months of any previous two violations, a civil penalty of up to $5,000.
(2) The proceeds of all civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund and shall be used for administration, auditing, and law enforcement purposes.
History.s. 181, ch. 2008-247.
379.501 Aquatic weeds and plants; prohibitions; violations; penalties; intent.
(1) A person may not:
(a) Violate this section or any provision of s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 related to aquatic weeds and plants;
(b) Fail to obtain any permit required by s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 or by commission rule implementing s. 369.20 or s. 369.22, or violate or fail to comply with any rule, regulation, order, permit, or certification adopted or issued by the commission pursuant to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22; or
(c) Knowingly make any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22, or falsify, tamper with, or knowingly render inaccurate any monitoring device or method required to be maintained under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 or by any permit, rule, regulation, or order issued under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22.
(2) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) is liable to the state for any damage caused to the aquatic weeds or plants and for civil penalties as provided in s. 379.502.
(3) Any person who willfully commits a violation of paragraph (1)(a) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.
(4) Any person who commits a violation specified in paragraph (1)(a) due to reckless indifference or gross careless disregard commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) Any person who willfully commits a violation specified in paragraph (1)(b) or paragraph (1)(c) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature that the civil penalties and criminal fines imposed by a court be of such an amount as to ensure immediate and continued compliance with this section.
(7) Penalties assessed pursuant to ss. 379.501-379.504 are in addition to any penalties assessed by the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the Department of Environmental Protection, or a water management district pursuant to chapter 253, chapter 373, or chapter 403.
History.s. 43, ch. 2009-86.
379.502 Enforcement; procedure; remedies.The commission has the following judicial and administrative remedies available to it for violations of s. 379.501:
(1)(a) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to establish liability and to recover damages for any injury to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, caused by any violation of s. 379.501.
(b) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to impose and to recover a civil penalty for each violation in an amount of not more than $10,000 per offense. However, the court may receive evidence in mitigation. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (2)(c), the fact that the commission has failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, has failed to serve a notice of violation, or has failed to hold an administrative hearing before initiating a civil action is not a defense to, or grounds for dismissal of, the judicial remedies for damages and civil penalties.
(2)(a) The commission may institute an administrative proceeding to establish liability and to recover damages for any injury to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, caused by any violation of s. 379.501. The commission may order that the violator pay a specified sum as damages to the state. Judgment for the amount of damages determined by the commission may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof and may be enforced as any other judgment.
(b) If the commission has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, it may institute an administrative proceeding to order the prevention, abatement, or control of the conditions creating the violation or other appropriate corrective action. The commission shall proceed administratively in all cases in which the commission seeks administrative penalties that do not exceed $10,000 per assessment as calculated in accordance with subsections (3), (4), (5), and (6). The commission may not impose administrative penalties in excess of $10,000 in a notice of violation. The commission may not have more than one notice of violation seeking administrative penalties pending against the same party at the same time unless the violations occurred at a different site or the violations were discovered by the commission subsequent to the filing of a previous notice of violation.
(c) An administrative proceeding shall be instituted by the commission’s serving of a written notice of violation upon the alleged violator by certified mail. If the commission is unable to effect service by certified mail, the notice of violation may be hand delivered or personally served in accordance with chapter 48. The notice shall specify the provision of the law, rule, regulation, permit, certification, or order of the commission alleged to have been violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation thereof. An order for corrective action, penalty assessment, or damages may be included along with the notice. If the commission is seeking to impose an administrative penalty for any violation of s. 379.501 by issuing a notice of violation, any corrective action needed to correct the violation or damages caused by the violation must be pursued in the notice of violation or they are waived. However, an order does not become effective until after service and an administrative hearing, if requested within 20 days after service. Failure to request an administrative hearing within this period constitutes a waiver, unless the respondent files a written notice with the commission within this period opting out of the administrative process initiated by the commission. Any respondent choosing to opt out of the administrative process initiated by the commission must file a written notice with the commission, within 20 days after service of the notice of violation, opting out of the administrative process. A respondent’s decision to opt out of the administrative process does not preclude the commission from initiating a state court action seeking injunctive relief, damages, and the judicial imposition of civil penalties.
(d) If a person timely files a petition challenging a notice of violation, that person will thereafter be referred to as the respondent. The hearing requested by the respondent shall be held within 180 days after the commission has referred the initial petition to the Division of Administrative Hearings unless the parties agree to a later date. The commission has the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the respondent is responsible for the violation. An administrative penalty may not be imposed unless the commission satisfies that burden. Following the close of the hearing, the administrative law judge shall issue a final order on all matters, including the imposition of an administrative penalty. If the commission seeks to enforce that portion of a final order imposing administrative penalties pursuant to s. 120.69, the respondent may not assert as a defense the inappropriateness of the administrative remedy. The commission retains its final-order authority in all administrative actions that do not request the imposition of administrative penalties.
(e) After filing a petition requesting a formal hearing in response to a notice of violation, a respondent may request that a private mediator be appointed to mediate the dispute by contacting the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium within 10 days after receipt of the initial order from the administrative law judge. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall pay all of the costs of the mediator and for up to 8 hours of the mediator’s time per case at $150 per hour. Upon notice from the respondent, the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall provide the respondent with a panel of possible mediators from the area in which the hearing on the petition would be heard. The respondent shall select the mediator and notify the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium of the selection within 15 days after receipt of the proposed panel of mediators. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium shall provide all of the administrative support for the mediation process. The mediation must be completed at least 15 days before the final hearing date set by the administrative law judge.
(f) In any administrative proceeding brought by the commission, the prevailing party shall recover all costs as provided in ss. 57.041 and 57.071. The costs must be included in the final order. The respondent is the prevailing party when an order is entered awarding no penalties to the commission and the order has not been reversed on appeal or the time for seeking judicial review has expired. The respondent is entitled to an award of attorney’s fees if the administrative law judge determines that the notice of violation issued by the commission was not substantially justified as defined in s. 57.111(3)(e). An award of attorney’s fees as provided by this subsection may not exceed $15,000.
(g) This section does not prevent any other legal or administrative action in accordance with law. This subsection does not limit the commission’s authority set forth in this section and ss. 379.503 and 379.504 to judicially pursue injunctive relief. If the commission exercises its authority to judicially pursue injunctive relief, penalties in any amount up to the statutory maximum sought by the commission must be pursued as part of the state court action and not by initiating a separate administrative proceeding. The commission retains the authority to judicially pursue penalties in excess of $10,000 for violations not specifically included in the administrative penalty schedule, or for multiple or multiday violations alleged to exceed a total of $10,000. The commission also retains the authority provided in this section and ss. 379.503 and 379.504 to judicially pursue injunctive relief and damages, if a notice of violation seeking the imposition of administrative penalties has not been issued. The commission may enter into a settlement before or after initiating a notice of violation, and the settlement may include a penalty amount that is different from the administrative penalty schedule. Any case filed in state court because it is alleged to exceed a total of $10,000 in penalties may be settled in the court action for less than $10,000.
(h) The provisions of chapter 120 shall apply to any administrative action taken by the commission under this section or any delegated program pursuing administrative penalties in accordance with this section.
(3) Administrative penalties must be calculated according to the following schedule:
(a) For violations of s. 379.501(1)(a) or (b), $3,000.
(b) For failure to conduct required monitoring or testing in compliance with a permit, $2,000.
(c) For failure to prepare, submit, maintain, or use required reports or other required documentation, $500.
(d) For failure to comply with any other regulatory statute or rule requirement relating to the administration of the commission’s powers under s. 369.20 or s. 369.22 not otherwise identified in this section, $500.
(4) For each additional day during which a violation occurs, the administrative penalties in subsection (3) may be assessed per day, per violation.
(5) The history of noncompliance of the violator for any previous violation resulting in an executed consent order, but not including a consent order entered into without a finding of violation, or resulting in a final order or judgment on or after July 1, 2009, involving the imposition of $2,000 or more in penalties, shall be taken into consideration in the following manner:
(a) One previous such violation within 5 years prior to the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 25-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.
(b) Two previous such violations within 5 years prior to the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 50-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.
(c) Three or more previous such violations within 5 years before the filing of the notice of violation shall result in a 100-percent per day increase in the scheduled administrative penalty.
(6) The direct economic benefit gained by the violator from the violation shall be added to the scheduled administrative penalty. The total administrative penalty, including any economic benefit added to the scheduled administrative penalty, may not exceed $10,000.
(7) The administrative penalties assessed for any particular violation may not exceed $3,000 against any one violator unless the violator has a history of noncompliance, the economic benefit of the violation as described in subsection (6) exceeds $3,000, or there are multiday violations. The total administrative penalties may not exceed $10,000 per assessment for all violations attributable to a specific person in the notice of violation.
(8) The administrative law judge may receive evidence in mitigation. The penalties identified in subsection (3) may be reduced up to 50 percent by the administrative law judge for mitigating circumstances, including good faith efforts to comply prior to or after discovery of the violations by the commission. Upon an affirmative finding that the violation was caused by circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the respondent and could not have been prevented by the respondent’s due diligence, the administrative law judge may further reduce the penalty.
(9) Penalties collected under this section shall be deposited into the Invasive Plant Control Trust Fund to carry out the purposes set forth in ss. 369.20, 369.22, and 369.252. The Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium may use a portion of the fund to administer the mediation process provided in paragraph (2)(e) and to contract with private mediators for administrative penalty cases related to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22.
(10) The purpose of the administrative penalty schedule and process is to provide a more predictable and efficient manner for individuals and businesses to resolve relatively minor environmental disputes. Subsections (3) through (7) do not limit a state court in the assessment of damages. The administrative penalty schedule does not apply to the judicial imposition of civil penalties in state court as provided in this section.
History.s. 44, ch. 2009-86.
379.503 Civil action.
(1) The commission may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to seek injunctive relief to enforce compliance with ss. 379.501, 379.502, and 379.504 or any rule, regulation, permit, certification, or order adopted or issued by the commission pursuant to s. 369.20 or s. 369.22; to enjoin any violation specified in s. 379.501(1); and to seek injunctive relief to prevent irreparable injury to the waters and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, of the state and to protect human health, safety, and welfare caused or threatened by any violation of s. 379.501.
(2) All the judicial and administrative remedies to recover damages and penalties in this section and s. 379.502 are alternative and mutually exclusive.
History.s. 45, ch. 2009-86.
379.504 Civil liability; joint and several liability.
(1) A person who commits a violation specified in s. 379.501(1) is liable to the state for any damage caused to the waters or property of the state, including animal, plant, or aquatic life, and for reasonable costs and expenses of the state in restoring its waters and property, including animal, plant, and aquatic life, to their former condition, and furthermore is subject to the judicial imposition of a civil penalty for each offense in an amount of not more than $10,000 per offense. However, the court may receive evidence in mitigation. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs constitutes a separate offense. This section does not give the commission the right to bring an action on behalf of any private person.
(2) If two or more persons violate s. 379.501(1) so that the damage is indivisible, each violator shall be jointly and severally liable for the damage and for the reasonable cost and expenses of the state incurred in restoring the waters and property of the state, including the animal, plant, and aquatic life, to their former condition. However, if the damage is divisible and may be attributed to a particular violator or violators, each violator is liable only for that damage attributable to his or her violation.
(3) In assessing damages for fish killed, the value of the fish shall be determined in accordance with a table of values for individual categories of fish, which shall be adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to s. 403.141(3). The total number of fish killed may be estimated by standard practices used in estimating fish population.
History.s. 46, ch. 2009-86.
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