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1Note.—Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984,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