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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. 379.26
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.