At its July meeting in Orlando, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) discussed several draft changes to the management of sheepshead, tripletail and cobia. The Commission did not take action on draft changes to sheepshead and tripletail in order to give staff time to gather more input from commercial and recreational stakeholders on potential changes. These two fisheries will be brought back as a draft proposal at a future Commission meeting.
Cobia draft changes were approved and will be brought back before the Commission at the September meeting for a final public hearing. These changes are based on species biology, input from stakeholders, and will promote the continued sustainable management of this fishery.
Draft rule changes for cobia to be brought back before the Commission in September for a final public hearing include:
- Creating a Gulf/Atlantic management boundary defining all state waters north of the Monroe-Collier county line as “Gulf state waters” for purposes of managing cobia.
- Increasing the minimum size limit in Gulf state waters from 33 to 38 inches fork length.
- Making the recreational and commercial bag limits in Gulf state waters the same by reducing the commercial trip limit from two to one fish per person.
- Reducing the recreational and commercial vessel limit in Gulf state waters from six to two per vessel per day.
To comment on these proposals, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments or email Marine@MyFWC.com.
For more information on these discussions or to view the presentations given at the Commission meeting, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings” then click on the link below “Next Meeting.”