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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 379
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
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F.S. 379.2423
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.