NOTE: The IGFA released the following statement in response to President Obama signing of the Billfish Conservation Act: Today, President Obama signed the the Billfish Conservation Act into law, effectively …
Keep Florida’s Net Ban!
Follow the Will of the Voters – Keep the Net Limitation
On May 15, the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee heard yet another legal challenge to the Net Limitation placed into the State Constitution in 1994 by 72% of Florida’s voters. Following years of unsuccessful lawsuits, commercial fishermen again seek to overturn the limitation—this time as to the mesh size of the nets they are allowed to use in state waters. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was tasked with writing the rules to implement the constitutional change and that rule has withstood many challenges, and hopefully it will withstand this latest attempt. The Florida Wildlife Federation supports the Attorney General’s Office and the FWC in their efforts to defend the will of the people. The FWC is upholding the law, the constitution, and the conservation of coastal fisheries. The Net Limitation Amendment was originally proposed because Florida’s inshore gamefish and forage fish were rapidly declining due to the commercial fishing gear used in coastal waters. Following the restrictions, and twenty years without the outlawed nets, our coastal waters are now rebuilding an abundance of redfish, sea trout, and other popular game species, as well as smaller forage fish, and that helps the entire ecosystem. It also helps the state’s economy. Florida is advertised as the Fishing Capital of the World and the present net limitation ensures that it stays that way. We hope the court agrees.
The Florida Wildlife Federation is a nonprofit, conservation organization established in 1936. The Federation works for the sound management of our fish and wildlife resources and responsible outdoor recreation. For more information about the initiatives of the Florida Wildlife Federation, visit www.fwfonline.org.