The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved several Saltwater Fishing Rule changes beginning January 1, 2020. To stay up to date on all Florida Fishing regulations go to https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/. Some major changes for the Florida Keys are listed below.
Blackfin tuna and shortfin mako changes effective Jan. 1, 2020
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, several saltwater fishing regulation changes will take effect including new rules on blackfin tuna and shortfin mako.
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the recreational limit for blackfin tuna will be two fish per person or 10 fish per vessel, whichever is greater, in state and federal waters off Florida.
Learn more at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Billfish, Tuna and Highly Migratory Species.”
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the minimum size limit for recreational harvest of shortfin mako will increase from 54 to 83 inches fork length in Florida state waters.
Shortfin mako is overfished and undergoing overfishing, and these measures are a part of ongoing international efforts to help rebuild the resource for a sustainable fishery in the future.
Learn more about shark regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Sharks.”
Recreational blue crab trap registration required starting Jan. 1, 2020
Starting Jan. 1, 2020, recreational harvesters age 16 and older who fish with blue crab traps will need to complete an online, no-cost recreational blue crab trap registration before placing their traps in the water. A similar requirement has been in effect for recreational stone crab traps since Oct. 15.
This no-cost registration will allow the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to collect needed important information about this recreational fishery for future stock assessments and management decisions.
To register, visit GoOutdoorsFlorida.com (the FWC licensing system) and add the Recreational Blue Crab Trap Registration to your account. All recreational harvesters who are age 16 or older and fish with blue crab traps, including those harvesters that are otherwise exempt from needing a saltwater fishing license, are required to complete this no-cost online trap registration.
Upon completion, each person will receive a series of five unique trap registration numbers, one for each of the five traps the person may fish under the recreational blue crab fishing regulations. Each trap placed in the water must be marked with one of these registration numbers along with the owner’s full name and address. Registration numbers for blue crab traps will begin with the letter “B.” This information must be legible and must be permanently attached to each trap.
When marking traps, it is important to use materials that will withstand being submerged in salt water. For example, engraved metal or plastic pet tags and laminated cards are much better options than a piece of plastic that has been marked with permanent ink or paint.