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CS/CS/SB 1318 — Shellfish Harvesting

by Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee; Agriculture Committee; and Senator Dean

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Agriculture Committee (AG)

The bill amends regulations for shellfish harvesting by:

  • Authorizing the harvesting of shellfish from a sovereign submerged land lease;
  • Authorizing individuals to use one dredge or mechanical harvesting device per lease at any one time;
  • Defining the terms “shellfish” and “dredge or mechanical harvesting device”;
  • Authorizing the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund to permit the harvest of shellfish using a dredge or mechanical harvesting device in a submerged lands lease under certain conditions;
  • Prohibiting the use of dredge or mechanical harvesting devices on public shellfish beds;
  • Providing that violations of shellfish harvesting statutes, rules, or lease conditions will result in revocation of the violator’s lease and denial of any future application to use sovereign submerged lands;
  • Shifting the responsibility for setting the amount of oysters, clams, and mussels to be obtained for relaying or transplanting from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC);
  • Repealing duplicative provisions that are contained in s. 379.2525, F.S., and
  • Repealing the requirement that the FWC set the noncultured shellfish harvesting seasons in Apalachicola Bay by rule, along with the related reporting requirements.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 116-0