68B-14.001         Purpose and Intent, Designation as Restricted Species
    68B-14.002         Definitions
    68B-14.0035         Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper,
    Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper
    68B-14.00355         Size Limits for Importation and Sale
    68B-14.0036         Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass,
    Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption
    68B-14.0038         Recreational Snapper Seasons
    68B-14.0039         Recreational Grouper Seasons
    68B-14.004         Recreational Amberjack Season
    68B-14.0045         Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag
    and Trip Limits
    68B-14.005         Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear: Allowable Gear,
    Incidental Bycatch, Violation
    68B-14.006         Other Prohibitions
    68B-14.001 Purpose and Intent, Designation as Restricted Species.
    (1) Purpose and intent.
    (a) The purpose of this chapter is to protect and replenish Florida’s reef fish resources by
    imposing minimum size limits, recreational bag limits, and restrictions on gear used to
    harvest the families, genera and species listed herein.
    (b) The prohibitions contained in this chapter are not intended to supersede or conflict with
    provisions of any federal management plan or regulations operative in Exclusive Economic
    Zone (EEZ) waters adjacent to Florida waters.
    (2) Designation as restricted species. The following species are hereby designated as
    restricted species pursuant to Section 379.101(32), F.S.:
    (a) Amberjacks – Genus Seriola:
    1. Almaco jack – Seriola rivoliana.
    2. Banded rudderfish – Seriola zonata.
    3. Greater amberjack – Seriola dumerili.
    4. Lesser amberjack – Seriola fasciata.
    (b) Groupers and Sea Basses – Family Serranidae:
    1. Bank sea bass – Centropristis ocyurus.
    2. Black grouper – Mycteroperca bonaci.
    3. Black sea bass – Centropristis striata.
    4. Coney – Epinephelus fulvus.
    5. Gag – Mycteroperca microlepis.
    6. Graysby – Epinephelus cruentatus.
    7. Misty grouper – Epinephelus mystacinus.
    8. Red grouper – Epinephelus morio.
    9. Red hind – Epinephelus guttatus.
    10. Rock hind – Epinephelus adscensionis.
    11. Rock sea bass – Centropristis philadelphica.
    12. Scamp – Mycteroperca phenax.
    13. Snowy grouper – Epinephelus niveatus.
    14. Speckled hind – Epinephelus drummondhayi.
    15. Tiger grouper – Mycteroperca tigris.
    16. Warsaw grouper – Epinephelus nigritus.
    17. Yellowedge grouper – Epinephelus flavolimbatus.
    18. Yellowfin grouper – Mycteroperca venenosa.
    19. Yellowmouth grouper – Mycteroperca interstitialis.
    (c) Snappers – Family Lutjanidae:
    1. Black snapper – Apsilus dentatus.
    2. Blackfin snapper – Lutjanus buccanella.
    3. Cubera snapper – Lutjanus cyanopterus.
    4. Dog snapper – Lutjanus jocu.
    5. Gray (mangrove) snapper – Lutjanus griseus.
    6. Lane snapper – Lutjanus synagris.
    7. Mahogany snapper – Lutjanus mahogoni.
    8. Mutton snapper – Lutjanus analis.
    9. Queen snapper – Etelis oculatus.
    10. Red snapper – Lutjanus campechanus.
    11. Schoolmaster – Lutjanus apodus.
    12. Silk snapper – Lutjanus vivanus.
    13. Vermilion snapper – Rhomboplites aurorubens.
    14. Wenchman – Pristipomoides aquilonaris.
    15. Yellowtail snapper – Ocyrus chrysurus.
    (d) Gray triggerfish – Balistes capriscus.
    (e) Hogfish – Lachnolaimus maximus.
    (f) Red porgy – Pagrus pagrus.
    (g) Golden tilefish – Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const., Chapter 83-134, Laws of Fla., as amended
    by Chapter 84-121, Laws of Fla. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const., Chapter 83-
    134, Laws of Fla., as amended by Chapter 84-121, Laws of Fla. History–New 7-29-85,
    Amended 12-11-86, 2-1-90, 12-31-92, 3-31-94, 12-31-98, Formerly 46-14.001, Amended 1-
    1-00, 1-1-03, 7-1-07.

    68B-14.002 Definitions.
    For purposes of this chapter, except where the context clearly requires otherwise:
    (1) “Atlantic Ocean” means that body of water south and east of the line beginning at the
    point where the Natural Resources Boundary Line intersects 83 deg. W. longitude (24 deg.
    29 min. N. latitude), thence north along 83 deg. W. longitude to where it intersects 24 deg.
    35 min. N. latitude (near the Dry Tortugas), thence eastward along that parallel through
    Rebecca Shoal and the Quicksand Shoal to 82 deg. 13 min. W. longitude, then following
    the Territorial Sea Boundary south and east to the point it intersects 24 deg. 33 min. N.
    latitude, thence eastward along that parallel to the point where it intersects Key West, then
    continuing along a line eastward to the terminus of U.S. Highway 1 to the point where it
    intersects the mainland at the east end of Florida Bay.
    (2) “Charter vessel” means a vessel operated by a captain licensed by the United States
    Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire.
    (3) “Fork length” means the length of a fish as measured from the tip of the snout to the
    rear center edge of the tail.
    (4) “Goliath grouper” means any fish of the species Epinephelus itajara, or any part thereof.
    (5) “Gulf of Mexico” means that body of water north and west of the line described in the
    definition of “Atlantic Ocean” contained in subsection (1) of this rule.
    (6) “Harvest” means the catching or taking of a fish by any means whatsoever, followed by a
    reduction of such fish to possession. Fish that are caught but immediately returned to the
    water free, alive and unharmed are not harvested. In addition, temporary possession of a
    fish for the purpose of measuring it to determine compliance with the minimum size
    requirements of this chapter shall not constitute harvesting such fish, provided that it is
    measured immediately after taking, and immediately returned to the water free, alive and
    unharmed if undersize.
    (7) “Harvest for commercial purposes” means the taking or harvesting of fish for purposes
    of sale or with intent to sell or in excess of established bag limits.
    (8) “Headboat” means a vessel that holds a valid Certificate of Inspection issued from the
    U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire when it carries a passenger who pays a fee
    or when there are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew.
    (9) “Land,” when used in connection with the harvest of a fish, means the physical act of
    bringing the harvested fish ashore.
    (10) “Nassau grouper” means any fish of the species Epinephelus striatus, or any part
    thereof.
    (11) “Person” means any natural person, firm, entity or corporation.
    (12) “Recreational harvester” means any person, other than a person harvesting for
    commercial purposes, who harvests fish in or from the waters of the State of Florida.
    (13) “Spearing” means the catching or taking of a fish by bow hunting, gigging,
    spearfishing, or by any device used to capture a fish by piercing the body. Spearing does
    not include the catching or taking of a fish by a hook with hook and line gear or by snagging
    (snatch hooking).
    (14) “Total length” means the straight line distance from the most forward point of the head
    with the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed,
    while the fish is lying on its side.
    (15) “Trip” means a fishing trip of whatever duration which begins with departure of the
    fishing vessel from a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp and which terminates with return
    to a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 7-29-85, Amended 12-11-86, 2-1-90, 12-31-92, 3-1-94, 1-1-98, 12-31-
    98, Formerly 46-14.002, Amended 1-1-00, 1-1-03, 7-1-06.

    68B-14.0035 Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper,
    Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper.
    No person shall land, possess, unnecessarily destroy, purchase, exchange, sell or offer for
    sale any of the following species harvested in or from state waters, of a length less than set
    forth as follows:
    (1) Amberjacks (measured in terms of fork length).
    (a) Banded rudderfish no less than 14 inches, no greater than 22 inches.
    (b)1. Greater amberjack harvested recreationally from the Atlantic Ocean 28 inches.
    2. Greater amberjack harvested recreationally from the Gulf of Mexico 30 inches.
    3. Greater amberjack harvested commercially 36 inches.
    (c) Lesser amberjack no less than 14 inches, no greater than 22 inches.
    (2)(a) Black sea bass harvested in the Gulf of Mexico or commercially harvested in the
    Atlantic Ocean 10 inches total length.
    (b) Black sea bass harvested recreationally in the Atlantic Ocean, 11 inches total length in
    2007, and 12 inches total length beginning January 1, 2008.
    (3) Gray triggerfish (measured in terms of fork length).
    (a) Gray triggerfish harvested in the Atlantic Ocean 12 inches.
    (b) Gray triggerfish harvested in the Gulf of Mexico 14 inches.
    (4) Grouper (measured in terms of total length).
    (a)1. Black grouper harvested recreationally from the Atlantic Ocean and all waters of
    Monroe County 24 inches.
    2. Black grouper harvested recreationally from the Gulf of Mexico except from all waters of
    Monroe County 22 inches.
    (b) Black grouper harvested commercially 24 inches.
    (c)1. Gag harvested recreationally from the Atlantic Ocean and all waters of Monroe County
    24 inches.
    2. Gag harvested recreationally from the Gulf of Mexico except from all waters of Monroe
    County 22 inches.
    (d)1. Gag harvested commercially from the Atlantic Ocean and all waters of Monroe County
    24 inches.
    2. Gag harvested commercially from the Gulf of Mexico except from all waters of Monroe
    County 22 inches.
    (e)1. Red grouper harvested recreationally statewide and commercially from the Atlantic
    Ocean 20 inches.
    2. Red grouper harvested commercially from the Gulf of Mexico 18 inches.
    (f)1. Scamp harvested from the Atlantic Ocean and all waters of Monroe County 20 inches.
    2. Scamp harvested from the Gulf of Mexico except from all waters of Monroe County 16
    inches.
    (g) Yellowfin grouper 20 inches.
    (h) Yellowmouth grouper 20 inches.
    (5) Hogfish 12 inches fork length.
    (6) Red porgy harvested in waters of the Atlantic Ocean 14 inches total length.
    (7) Snapper (measured in terms of total length).
    (a) Blackfin snapper 12 inches.
    (b) Cubera snapper 12 inches.
    (c) Dog snapper 12 inches.
    (d)1. Gray (mangrove) snapper harvested recreationally 10 inches.
    2. Gray (mangrove) snapper harvested commercially 12 inches.
    (e) Lane snapper 8 inches.
    (f) Mahogany snapper 12 inches.
    (g) Mutton snapper 16 inches.
    (h) Queen snapper 12 inches.
    (i) Red snapper harvested from the Atlantic Ocean 20 inches.
    (j)1. Red snapper harvested recreationally from the Gulf of Mexico 16 inches.
    2. Red snapper harvested commercially from the Gulf of Mexico 13 inches.
    (k) Silk snapper 12 inches.
    (l) Schoolmaster snapper 10 inches.
    (m) Vermilion snapper harvested in the Gulf of Mexico 10 inches.
    (n) Vermilion snapper harvested from the Atlantic Ocean 12 inches.
    (o) Yellowtail snapper 12 inches.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 12-31-98, Amended 3-1-99, Formerly 46-14.0035, Amended 1-1-00, 1-
    1-01, 1-1-01,  1-1-03, 9-16-05, 7-1-06, 7-1-07, 4-1-08, 1-6-09, 8-27-09, 3-23-12.

    68B-14.00355 Size Limits for Importation and Sale.
    (1) No person shall possess for purposes of sale, purchase, sell, or exchange any of the
    following species of a length less than set forth as follows:
    (a) Black sea bass 10 inches total length.
    (b) Greater amberjack 36 inches fork length.
    (c) Gray triggerfish 12 inches fork length.
    (d) Grouper (measured in terms of total length).
    1. Black grouper 24 inches.
    2. Gag 22 inches.
    3. Red grouper 18 inches.
    4. Scamp 16 inches.
    5. Yellowfin grouper 20 inches.
    (e) Hogfish 12 inches fork length.
    (f) Snapper (measured in terms of total length).
    1. Cubera snapper 12 inches.
    2. Dog snapper 12 inches.
    3. Gray (mangrove) snapper 12 inches.
    4. Lane snapper 8 inches.
    5. Mahogany snapper 12 inches.
    6. Mutton snapper 16 inches.
    7. Red snapper 13 inches.
    8. Schoolmaster snapper 10 inches.
    9. Vermilion snapper 10 inches.
    10. Yellowtail snapper 12 inches.
    (2) Minimum size limits do not apply to the possession, purchase, sale, or exchange of the
    following species that have been imported from another state or foreign country: banded
    rudderfish, lesser amberjack, yellowmouth grouper, blackfin snapper, queen snapper, silk
    snapper, or red porgy.
    (3) The possession, purchase, sale, or exchange of any Nassau grouper or goliath grouper
    is prohibited.
    (4) A person may possess any species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C., that
    have been imported into Florida from another state or foreign country, provided that those
    species comply with the provisions specified in subsections (1) and (2) of this section, and
    the purchaser possesses a receipt(s), bill(s) of sale, or bill(s) of lading to show that the fish
    were harvested and purchased in another state or foreign country and are entering the
    state in interstate or international commerce. Such documentation shall accompany the
    fish through retail or restaurant sale. Failure to maintain such documentation or to promptly
    produce same at the request of any duly authorized law enforcement officer shall constitute
    violation of this rule.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 1-1-03, Amended 9-16-05, 7-1-06, 7-1-07, 4-1-08, 8-27-09, 3-23-12.

    68B-14.0036 Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red
    Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption.
    (1) Snapper.
    (a) Aggregate bag limit. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester
    shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on state waters, more than a
    total of 10 snapper per day, in any combination of species.
    (b) Gray (mangrove) snapper. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational
    harvester shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on state waters,
    more than 5 gray (mangrove) snapper per day. Such bag and possession limit shall be
    counted for purposes of the aggregate snapper bag and possession limit prescribed in
    paragraph (a).
    (c) Red snapper. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester shall
    harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, nor possess while in or on state
    waters of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 2 red snapper per day, nor shall a recreational
    harvester harvest in or from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, nor possess while in or on
    state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, more than 2 red snapper per day. On any vessel licensed
    to carry customers wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of
    taking or attempting to take marine fish in the Gulf of Mexico, the applicable bag and
    possession limit specified in this rule shall not extend to the operator of such vessel or any
    person employed as a crewman of such vessel. Such bag and possession limit shall be
    counted for purposes of the aggregate snapper bag and possession limit prescribed in
    paragraph (a).
    (d) Vermilion snapper. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester
    shall harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, nor possess while in or on state
    waters of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 5 vermilion snapper per day (consistent with the
    Federal Standard established in 50 C.F.R. § 622.39(d)(1)(v)). On any vessel licensed to
    carry customers wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking
    or attempting to take marine fish in the Atlantic Ocean, the applicable bag and possession
    limit specified in this rule shall not extend to the operator of such vessel or any person
    employed as a crew member of such vessel (consistent with the Federal Standard
    established in 50 C.F.R. § 622.39(d)(1)(v)). No recreational harvester shall harvest in or
    from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, nor possess while in or on state waters of the Gulf
    of Mexico, more than 10 vermilion snapper per day. Such bag and possession shall not be
    counted for purposes of the aggregate snapper bag and possession limits prescribed in
    paragraph (a).
    (e) Gulf lane snapper. Lane snapper harvested in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico shall
    not be subject to nor counted for purposes of determining compliance with the bag and
    possession limits established in paragraph (a).
    (f) Cubera snapper.
    1. Cubera snapper of a total length less than thirty inches (30'') shall be included in the
    aggregate snapper bag and possession limit established in paragraph (a), and the
    exception provided in subsection (8).
    2. No recreational harvester shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or
    on state waters, more than 2 cubera snapper 30 inches in total length or larger per day,
    and no more than 2 such cubera snapper shall be possessed aboard any vessel in or on
    state waters at any time. Such larger cubera snapper shall not be included in the aggregate
    snapper bag and possession limit prescribed in paragraph (a).
    (2) Grouper.
    (a) Aggregate bag limit. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester
    shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on state waters, more than a
    total of 4 grouper per day in the Gulf of Mexico excluding waters of Monroe County in any
    combination of species, or more than a total of 3 grouper per day in the Atlantic Ocean and
    all waters of Monroe County, in any combination of species. On any vessel licensed to carry
    customers wherein a fee is paid, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of taking or
    attempting to take marine fish in the Atlantic Ocean and all waters of Monroe County, the
    applicable grouper bag and possession limit specified in this rule shall not extend to the
    operator of such vessel or any person employed as a crew person of such vessel.
    (b) Gag and black grouper.
    1. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, in all state waters of the Atlantic Ocean and all
    state waters of Monroe County, within the aggregate bag and possession limit established
    in paragraph (a), no more than 1 fish may be a gag or a black grouper. No recreational
    harvester may harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean or in or from state
    waters of Monroe County, nor possess while in or on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or in
    or on state waters of Monroe County, more than 1 such fish.
    2. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except
    in all waters of Monroe County, within the aggregate bag and possession limit established
    in paragraph (a), no more than 2 fish may be gag grouper. No recreational harvester may
    harvest in or from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, nor possess while in or on the waters
    of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, more than 2 gag grouper.
    (c) Gag, red and black grouper.  In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters
    of Monroe County, the daily bag and possession limit for captains and crew on for-hire
    vessels is zero.
    (d) Speckled hind and Warsaw grouper. No recreational harvester shall harvest in or from
    state waters, nor possess while in or on state waters, more than one speckled hind or
    more than one Warsaw grouper per day, and no more than one of each species shall be
    possessed aboard any vessel in or on state waters, at any time. Such fish shall be counted
    for purposes of the aggregate grouper bag and possession limit prescribed in paragraph
    (a).
    (e) Snowy grouper. No recreational harvester shall harvest in or from state waters of the
    Atlantic Ocean, nor possess while in or on state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, more than
    one snowy grouper per day. Such fish shall be counted for purposes of the aggregate
    grouper bag and possession limit prescribed in paragraph (a).
    (f) Nassau grouper and goliath grouper. No person shall harvest in or from state waters,
    nor possess while in or on the waters of the state, or land, any Nassau grouper or goliath
    grouper. The purchase, sale, or exchange of any Nassau grouper or goliath grouper is
    prohibited.
    (3) Hogfish. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester shall
    harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on state waters, more than 5
    hogfish per day.
    (4) Black sea bass. Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, no recreational harvester
    shall harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, nor possess while in or on state
    waters of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 15 black sea bass per day.
    (5) Red porgy. No recreational harvester shall harvest from state waters of the Atlantic
    Ocean more than 3 red porgy per day, nor possess more than 3 such fish while in, on, or
    above state waters of the Atlantic Ocean or on any dock, pier, bridge, beach, or any fishing
    site adjacent to such waters.
    (6) Amberjacks. Except as allowed for those persons harvesting for commercial purposes
    pursuant to Rule 68B-14.0045, F.A.C.:
    (a) Greater amberjack. No person shall harvest from state waters, more than 1 greater
    amberjack per day, nor possess more than 1 such fish while in, on, or above the waters of
    the state or on any dock, pier, bridge, beach, or any fishing site adjacent to such waters.
    (b) Banded rudderfish and lesser amberjack. No person shall harvest from state waters,
    more than an aggregate bag limit of 5 banded rudderfish and lesser amberjack per day
    either individually or in combination, nor possess more than 5 such fish while in, on, or
    above the waters of the state or on any dock, pier, bridge, beach or any fishing site adjacent
    to such waters.
    (7) Tilefish. No recreational harvester shall harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic
    Ocean nor possess in or on the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean more than one golden
    tilefish per person per day. Such fish shall be counted for purposes of the aggregate
    grouper bag and possession limit prescribed in paragraph (2)(a).
    (8) Exception.
    (a) Any person harvesting pursuant to the bag limits of this rule, with the exclusion of red
    porgy harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, who has fished for more than one day, may
    possess double the bag limit once such person has landed the fish, departed the fishing
    site and is no longer within 100 yards of any state waters, docks, fishing piers, or other
    fishing sites.
    (b) Any person harvesting pursuant to the bag limits of this rule, with the exclusion of red
    porgy harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, who has fished aboard a charter vessel or
    headboat on a trip that spans more than 24 hours may possess and land double the bag
    limit if the vessel has a sleeping berth for each passenger aboard the vessel and each
    such passenger possess a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel that verifies the length of
    the trip.
    (9) Wholesale/retail purchase exemption. Except as provided in paragraph (2)(c), the
    possession limits of this rule do not apply to any licensed seafood dealer, or to any fish
    purchased from a licensed wholesale or retail seafood dealer. The burden shall be upon
    the person claiming the benefit of this exemption to show, by receipts, bills of sale, or other
    appropriate documentation, that such fish were purchased from a licensed wholesale or
    retail seafood dealer. Failure to maintain such receipts, bills of sale, or other appropriate
    documentation shall constitute a violation of this rule.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 12-31-98, Amended 3-1-99, Formerly 46-14.0036, Amended 10-22-99,
    1-1-00, 3-6-00, 3-1-01, 1-1-03, 1-3-05, 9-16-05, 1-1-06, 7-1-06, 7-1-07, 4-1-08, 1-6-09, 8-27-
    09, 10-16-09, 1-19-10, 12-30-11, 7-1-12.

    68B-14.0038 Recreational Snapper Seasons.
    (1) Recreational Red Snapper Season. In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the season
    for the recreational harvest and possession of red snapper shall be from June 1 through
    July 10, each year (consistent with the Federal Standard established in vol. 77 of the Fed.
    Reg. page 31734). Except for persons harvesting red snapper for commercial purposes
    pursuant to Rule 68B-14.0045, F.A.C., from July 11 through May 31, no person shall harvest
    in or from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, nor possess while in or on state waters of the
    Gulf of Mexico, any red snapper.
    (2) Recreational Vermilion Snapper Season.  In all state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the
    season for the recreational harvest and possession of vermilion snapper shall be from
    April 1 through October 31, each year (consistent with the Federal Standard established in
    50 C.F.R. § 622.35(k)). Except for persons harvesting vermilion snapper for commercial
    purposes pursuant to Rule 68B-14.0045, F.A.C., from November 1 through March 31, no
    person shall harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, nor possess while in or
    on state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, any vermilion snapper.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 10-20-98, Formerly 46-14.0038, Amended 12-30-99, 3-12-09, 8-7-09,
    10-16-09, 6-4-10, 10-8-10, 7-22-11, 7-6-12.

    68B-14.0039 Recreational Grouper Seasons.
    (1) In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, the closed
    season for the recreational harvest and possession of red grouper, black grouper, yellowfin
    grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind or scamp shall be from February 1
    through March 31, each year.
    (2) In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, the
    season for the recreational harvest and possession of gag grouper shall be from July 1
    through October 31 each year (consistent with the Federal Standard established in vol. 77
    of the Fed. Reg. page 6988). Except for persons harvesting gag grouper for commercial
    purposes pursuant to Rule 68B-14.0045, F.A.C., from November 1 through June 30, no
    person shall harvest in or from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of
    Monroe County, nor possess while in or on state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all
    waters of Monroe County, any gag grouper.
    (3) In all state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including all waters of Monroe County, the
    closed season for the recreational harvest and possession of gag grouper, black grouper,
    red grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind, scamp, coney,
    graysby, and tiger grouper shall be from January 1 through April 30 each year.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 1-6-09, Amended 8-27-09, 1-19-10, 6-17-11, 3-23-12.

    68B-14.004 Recreational Amberjack Season.
    In all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico the recreational harvest and possession of greater
    amberjack shall be prohibited June 1 through July 31, each year.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 6-17-11.

    68B-14.0045 Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag and
    Trip Limits.
    (1) Licenses.
    (a) Each person harvesting any of the species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C.,
    for commercial purposes in state waters shall possess a valid saltwater products license
    with a restricted species endorsement and:
    1. If fishing in state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, either a valid transferable commercial
    permit or a trip-limited commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper pursuant to
    50 C.F.R. § 622.18 issued to and possessed aboard the vessel.
    2. If fishing in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, a valid commercial reef fish permit
    pursuant to 50 C.F.R. §622.4 (a)(2)(v) issued to and possessed aboard the vessel, except
    as provided in subparagraph 3.
    3. For a person aboard a vessel, for which a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has
    been issued, to fish for, possess, or land red snapper, red grouper, gag grouper, black
    grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, red hind, rock hind, yellowmouth grouper, yellowedge
    grouper, snowy grouper, misty grouper, goldface tilefish, blackline tilefish, anchor tilefish,
    blueline tilefish, and golden tilefish regardless where harvested or possessed, a Gulf IFQ
    vessel account, as defined in 50 C.F.R. § 622.4(a)(2)(ix), for the applicable species must
    be established as defined in 50 C.F.R. § 622.16(c)(1)(i) or 622.20(c)(1)(i) issued to and
    possessed aboard the vessel.
    (b) The requirement of a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish in subsection (1)
    shall not apply to the harvest of bank sea bass, black sea bass, rock sea bass, or red
    porgy for commercial purposes in the Gulf of Mexico.
    (c) Each person harvesting any of the species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C.,
    for commercial purposes in the Atlantic Ocean who is required to possess either or both of
    the federal permits listed in paragraph (a) is subject to any federal vessel possession
    limits that apply in the adjacent EEZ and shall not possess in or on state waters of the
    Atlantic Ocean more fish or pounds than specified in the federal regulations.
    (d) No person harvesting for commercial purposes pursuant to this subsection shall sell or
    attempt to sell any of the indicated species, or any part of the indicated species, without
    possessing and presenting to the purchaser the state and federal licenses and permits
    specified in paragraph (a). No wholesale dealer, as defined in Section 379.362(1), F.S.,
    shall purchase any of these species, or any part thereof, without confirming that the seller
    thereof possesses the state and federal licenses and permits specified in this rule.
    (2) Season Closures.
    (a)1. Except as provided in subparagraph 2., persons harvesting any of the species listed
    in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C., for commercial purposes shall have a season that
    begins on January 1 and continues through December 31 each year.
    2. Persons harvesting black sea bass in the Atlantic Ocean for commercial purposes shall
    have a season that begins June 1 each year and continues through May 31 of the following
    year.
    (b) If at any time adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters are closed to
    commercial harvest of any of the species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C.,
    corresponding state waters shall also be closed to commercial harvest of the species
    affected by the federal closure, beginning from the date of such closure until federal waters
    are reopened to the commercial harvest of such species.
    (c) During the period of any closure pursuant to paragraph (b), the harvest, possession, or
    landing in quantities greater than the bag limits specified in Rule 68B-14.0036, F.A.C., and
    the purchase, sale or exchange, of any species to which the closure applies, is prohibited.
    (d) The closure specified in paragraph (b), and the prohibitions specified in paragraph (c),
    shall not apply when the species to which the closure applies is legally harvested outside
    the waters of the closed area. Any person possessing such species during the time period
    of a closure shall establish the chain of possession from the initial transaction after
    harvest, by appropriate receipt(s), bill(s) of sale, or bill(s) of lading, to show that such
    species originated from a point outside the closed area. Failure to maintain such
    documentation or to promptly produce same at the request of any duly authorized law
    enforcement officer shall constitute a violation of this subsection.
    (e) During the months of January, February, March, and April each year, the harvest,
    possession, or landing for commercial purposes, and the purchase, sale, or exchange, of
    gag grouper, black grouper, red grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind,
    red hind, scamp, coney, graysby, and tiger grouper harvested from state waters of the
    Atlantic Ocean and from all state waters of Monroe County, is prohibited.
    (f) During the months of March, April and May of each year, the harvest and possession in
    quantities greater than the recreational bag limits specified in Rule 68B-14.0036, F.A.C.,
    and the purchase, sale and exchange of any species of amberjack harvested from state
    waters, is prohibited.
    (g) Beginning January 1 and continuing through April 30 each year, no person harvesting
    for commercial purposes shall harvest in or from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, nor
    possess while in or on state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, any red porgy; provided, however,
    a person harvesting other species for commercial purposes during this closure may
    harvest and possess three red porgy. During this closed season, the purchase, sale, or
    exchange of any red porgy harvested from state waters of the Atlantic Ocean is prohibited.
    (h) During the period beginning September 20 and continuing through October 4 of each
    year, no black sea bass trap as defined in Rule 68B-4.020, F.A.C., and in paragraph 68B-
    14.005(1)(b), F.A.C., shall be placed in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico seaward of three
    nautical miles from shore.
    (3) Bag and Trip Limits.
    (a) Snapper.
    1. Cubera snapper. No person harvesting for commercial purposes shall harvest in or from
    state waters more than 2 cubera snapper 30 inches in total length or larger per day and no
    more than 2 such cubera snapper shall be possessed aboard any vessel in or on state
    waters, at any time.
    2. Mutton snapper. During May and June of each year, no person harvesting for commercial
    purposes shall possess more than 10 mutton snapper per day or 10 mutton snapper per
    trip, whichever is more restrictive.
    3. Red snapper. No person harvesting for commercial purposes shall harvest in or from
    state waters of the Atlantic Ocean, more than 2 red snapper per day. No person harvesting
    for commercial purposes shall harvest in or from state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, more
    than 2 red snapper per day.
    (b) Grouper.
    1. Nassau grouper and Goliath grouper. No person harvesting for commercial purposes
    shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on the waters of the state, or
    land, any Nassau grouper, or goliath grouper. The purchase, sale, or exchange of any
    Nassau grouper or goliath grouper is prohibited.
    2. Speckled hind and Warsaw grouper. No person shall harvest in or from state waters any
    speckled hind or Warsaw grouper for commercial purposes and the purchase, sale, or
    exchange of such fish is prohibited.
    (c) Amberjack. Except during the three-month closed season specified in paragraph (2)(f),
    no more than 1,000 pounds of greater amberjack harvested in or from state waters of the
    Atlantic Ocean shall be possessed aboard any vessel or landed from such a vessel per
    day.
    (d) Red Porgy. Except during the closed season specified in paragraph (2)(g), no more
    than 50 pounds of red porgy shall be possessed aboard any vessel in or on state waters of
    the Atlantic Ocean, or landed from such a vessel, per day.
    (e) No person harvesting for commercial purposes shall, on the same trip, harvest or
    possess reef fish species pursuant to the recreational bag limit specified in Rule 68B-
    14.0036, F.A.C.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 2-1-90, Amended 12-31-92, 10-18-93, 3-1-94, 6-15-95, 1-1-96, 11-27-
    96, 12-31-98, 3-1-99, Formerly 46-14.0045, Amended 1-1-00, 3-6-00, 1-1-01, 3-1-01, 6-1-
    01, 1-1-03, 7-15-04, 5-20-05, 9-16-05, 3-10-06, 7-1-07, 4-1-08, 8-27-09, 1-19-10, 1-12-11.

    68B-14.005 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear: Allowable Gear,
    Incidental Bycatch, Violation.
    (1) Allowable gear. Except as provided in subsection (2), the following shall be the only
    gear types and methods allowed for the harvest in or from state waters of any of the
    species specified in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C.:
    (a) Hook and line gear.
    (b) A black sea bass trap, which shall only be used north of Latitude 27° North. Each such
    trap shall comply with the following specifications:
    1. The outer dimensions do not exceed 2 feet in height, 2 feet in width, and 2 feet in depth
    or a volume of 8 cubic feet, and the throat or entrance does not exceed 5 inches in height
    and 2 inches in width at its narrowest point.
    2. A biodegradable panel shall be part of each trap used to take black sea bass. A black
    sea bass trap shall be considered to have a “biodegradable panel” or a “degradable panel”
    if one of the following methods is used in construction of the trap:
    a. The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap at one end by a single loop of untreated
    jute twine. The trap lid must be secured so that when the jute degrades, the lid will no
    longer be securely closed.
    b. The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap at one end with a corrodible loop
    composed of non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner. The trap lid must be
    secured so that when the loop degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed.
    c. The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap at one end by an untreated pine dowel
    no larger than 2 inches in length by 3/8 inch in diameter. The trap lid must be secured so
    that when the dowel degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed.
    d. The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in
    either dimension than 6 inches in height by 3 inches in width. This opening must be laced,
    sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine knotted only at
    each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar. When the jute
    degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed.
    e. The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in
    either dimension than 6 inches in height by 3 inches in width. This opening must be
    obstructed with an untreated pine slat or slats no thicker than 3/8 inch. When the slat
    degrades, the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed. “Untreated
    pine” means raw pine wood that has not been treated with any preservative or pine wood
    that has been pressure treated with no more than 0.40 pounds of chromated copper
    arsenate (CCA) compounds per cubic foot of wood.
    f. The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in
    either dimension than 6 inches in height by 3 inches in width. The opening may either be
    laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or
    thinner or be obstructed with a panel of ferrous single-dipped galvanized wire mesh made
    of 24 gauge or thinner wire. When the wire or wire mesh degrades, the opening in the
    sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed.
    g. The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in
    either dimension than 6 inches in height by 3 inches in width. The opening may be
    obstructed with a rectangular panel made of any material, fastened to the trap at each of the
    four corners of the rectangle by rings made of non-coated 24 gauge or thinner wire or
    single strands of untreated jute twine. When the corner fasteners degrade, the panel will
    fall away and the opening in the sidewall of the trap will no longer be obstructed.
    3. Escape vents. All black sea bass traps shall have an unobstructed escape vent opening
    on at least two opposite vertical sides, excluding top and bottom, that complies with one of
    the following minimum sizes:
    a. A rectangular vent, 1.125 inches (2.9 cm) by 5.75 inches (14.6 cm).
    b. A circular vent, 2 inches (5.1 cm) in diameter.
    c. A square vent with sides of 1.75 inches (4.4 cm) measured inside the square.
    4. Trap marking requirements.
    a. Each black sea bass trap used for harvesting black sea bass shall have the trap owner’s
    saltwater products license number permanently attached. Each buoy attached to such trap
    shall have the letter “B” and the owner’s saltwater products license number affixed to it in
    legible figures at least 1.5 inches high.
    b. A buoy or time-release buoy shall be attached to each black sea bass trap or at each end
    of a weighted trap trotline. The buoy shall be constructed of styrofoam, cork, molded
    polyvinyl chloride, or molded polystyrene, be of sufficient strength and buoyancy to float, and
    be either white in color or the same color as the owner’s blue crab or stone crab buoy
    colors. Buoys shall be either spherical in shape with a diameter no smaller than 6 inches
    or some other shape so long as it is no shorter than 10 inches in the longest dimension
    and the width at some point exceeds 5 inches. No more than 5 feet of any buoy line
    attached to a buoy used to mark a black sea bass trap or attached to a trotline shall float on
    the surface of the water.
    5. Each black sea bass trap used in state waters shall have a back panel (the side of the
    trap opposite the entrance) with mesh that is at least 2 inches between sides of the
    meshes, based on centerline measurements between opposite, parallel wires or netting
    strands.
    6. Black sea bass traps used in state waters shall be removed from the water once the
    commercial quota is met and the season is closed.
    (c) Spearing. This provision shall not be construed to allow the use of any powerhead,
    bangstick, or handheld device employing an explosive charge for the harvest in state
    waters of any snapper or grouper listed in Rule 68B-14.001, F.A.C.
    (2) Incidental bycatch. No person shall harvest in or from state waters any of the species
    specified in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C., by or with the use of any gear other than
    those types of gear specified in subsection (1); provided, however, that such fish harvested
    as an incidental bycatch of other species lawfully harvested with other types of gear shall
    not be deemed to be unlawfully harvested in violation of this section, if:
    (a) The quantity of such fish so harvested does not exceed the bag and possession limits
    established in Rule 68B-14.0036, F.A.C.; and
    (b) The harvesting of such fish would not violate any other provision of applicable law.
    (3) Required gear in the Gulf reef fish fishery. Beginning June 1, 2008, for a person on
    board a vessel harvesting any of the species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C., the
    vessel must possess on board and such person must use the gear specified in
    paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).
    (a) Non-stainless steel circle hooks. Non-stainless steel circle hooks are required to be
    used on hook and line gear when fishing with natural baits. “Circle hook” means a fishing
    hook designed and manufactured so that the point is not offset and is turned
    perpendicularly back to the shank to form a general circular or oval shape.
    (b) Dehooking devices. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used to
    remove hooks embedded in Gulf reef fish with minimum damage. The dehooking device
    must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb shielded without re-
    engaging during the removal process. The dehooking device must be blunt, and all edges
    rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range of hook sizes and
    styles used in the Gulf reef fish fishery.
    (c) Venting tool. At least one venting tool is required and must be used to deflate the
    swimbladders of Gulf reef fish to release the fish with minimum damage. This tool must be
    a sharpened, hollow instrument, such as a hypodermic syringe with the plunger removed,
    or a 16-gauge needle fixed to a hollow wooden dowel. A tool such as a knife or an ice-pick
    may not be used. The venting tool must be inserted into the fish at a 45-degree angle
    approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.54 to 5.08 centimeters) from the base of the pectoral fin. The
    tool must be inserted just deep enough to release the gases, so that the fish may be
    released with minimum damage.
    (4) Required gear in the Atlantic Ocean reef fish fishery. For a person on board a vessel
    harvesting any of the species listed in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.C., the vessel must
    possess on board and such person must use the gear specified in paragraphs (a).
    (a) Dehooking devices. At least one dehooking device is required and must be used as
    needed to remove hooks embedded in Atlantic reef fish with minimum damage. The
    dehooking device must be constructed to allow the hook to be secured and the barb
    shielded without re-engaging during the removal process. The dehooking device must be
    blunt, and all edges rounded. The device must be of a size appropriate to secure the range
    of hook sizes and styles used in the Atlantic reef fish fishery.
    (5) Violation. Possession of any of the species specified in subsection 68B-14.001(2), F.A.
    C., beyond the bycatch allowance in paragraph (2)(a), aboard a vessel fishing in state
    waters, while also in possession of unauthorized gear, constitutes a violation of
    subsections (1) and (2).

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 12-11-86, Amended 2-1-90, 3-1-94, 10-4-95, 7-15-96, 1-1-98, 12-31-
    98, 6-1-99, Formerly 46-14.005, Amended 1-1-03, 3-1-05, 7-17-05, 7-1-07, 3-12-08, 4-1-08,
    1-19-10.

    68B-14.006 Other Prohibitions.
    (1) Possession of any fish in excess of any applicable bag limit or smaller than any
    minimum size limit established by this chapter by any person aboard a vessel fishing in
    state waters constitutes a violation of this chapter.
    (2) No person shall possess, transport, buy, sell, exchange or offer to buy, sell or exchange
    any fish harvested in violation of this chapter.
    (3) The prohibitions of this chapter apply as well to any and all persons operating a vessel
    in state waters, who shall be deemed to have violated any prohibition which has been
    violated by another person aboard such vessel.
    (4) All fish harvested from Florida or adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
    waters pursuant to the requirements of this chapter shall be landed in a whole condition.
    The possession, while in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a
    bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty, of such
    fish that have been deheaded, sliced, divided, filleted, ground, skinned, scaled or deboned
    is prohibited. Mere evisceration or “gutting” of fish, or mere removal of gills from fish, before
    landing is not prohibited. Preparation of fish for immediate consumption on board the
    vessel from which the fish were caught is not prohibited.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla.
    Const. History–New 12-11-86, Amended 2-1-90, 7-15-96, 12-31-98, Formerly 46-14.006.




    Source:
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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