Marine Life (Aquarium Species) Harvest Requirements in Florida
Licensing and Handling:
- License Required: Recreational saltwater fishing license is necessary for the harvest of marine life for aquarium purposes.
- Live Landing: Organisms must be landed and kept alive throughout the harvesting process.
- Live Well System: A continuously circulating live well, aeration, or oxygenation system adequate to maintain organisms in a healthy condition is required.
Gear and Bag Limits:
- Allowable Gear: Hand-held net, drop net, rod, barrier net, slurp gun. The use of quinaldine is prohibited. Some species may have additional gear limitations.
- Bag Limit: Maximum of 20 organisms per person per day, with only 5 of any one species allowed within the 20-organism limit.
- Possession Limit: 2-day possession limit applies, totaling 40 organisms, with no more than 10 of any one species.
Substrate and Closed Areas:
- Allowable Substrate: Certain species may have specific substrate requirements for harvest. Refer to the detailed species specifications table.
- Closed Areas: Be aware of closed areas such as Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, and Florida’s State Parks. Always check current regulations before collecting in these areas.
- Prohibition on Sale: Sale of recreationally caught marine life organisms is strictly prohibited.
- Federal Waters: Regulations are also applicable in federal waters adjacent to Florida.
- Lee or Manatee Counties: Additional rules apply to the collection of shells containing live organisms.
It is imperative for recreational harvesters to adhere to these requirements to ensure the sustainability and health of marine life populations. Prior to any harvest, consult the latest regulations at MyFWC.com or the appropriate local authority for the most accurate and up-to-date information, particularly for area-specific restrictions and species-specific gear limitations.