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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. 379.247
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) 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) 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.
(6) 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.
(7) 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.
(8) 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; s. 6, ch. 2014-136.
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.