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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 379
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F.S. 379.367
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(4).
(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; s. 11, ch. 2020-144.
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.