Ban on entangling nets continues with unanimous FWC vote

Recall that I recently explained that a new attack on the net ban law that was passed overwhelmingly in 1994 by the Florida voters would take place at the FWC meeting in Dania earlier this month.


The commercial netter’s use of elaborate displays and arguments for the need for altering the mesh size to enable gill netting (which is a net that captures saltwater finfish by ensnaring or entangling them in the meshes of the nets by their gills) was skillfully and well presented.


Those arguments were challenged predominantly by the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) as well as other groups such as the Florida Guides Association and other entities, all of whom were fighting for the benefit of the recreational angler.


At the end of lengthy presentation the FWC Commissioners called for a vote – which resulted in an overwhelming 7-0 defeat against changing the constitutional amendment banning net fishing.


Hence the constitutional law stands as is and continues to convey that for the purpose of catching or taking any saltwater finfish, shellfish, or other marine animals in Florida waters, no gill nets or other entangling nets shall be used in any Florida waters.


In addition to the prohibitions set forth, no other type of net containing more that 500 square feet of mesh area shall be used in nearshore and inshore Florida waters.


Additionally no more than two such nets, which shall not be connected, shall be used from any vessel, and no person not on a vessel shall use more than one such net in nearshore and inshore Florida waters.


I wish to personally thank the Florida Wildlife Commissioners, CCA, the Florida Guides Association, and the many other supportive organizations that helped to uphold our constitutional amendment. 


It has been written – “The longer I live – the more beautiful life becomes.” So whether you charter, ride a head boat, run your own vessel, stay in the river, surf fish, or fish from shore or a bridge - there are fish to be caught. Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it is so much more important than that…….


Tight lines,

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Capt. Budd Neviaser's picture

Capt. Budd Neviaser
Capt. Budd Neviaser is a life-long resident of New Smyrna Beach who has fished the Intracoastal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean most of his life.

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