Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Public asked to share ideas for county property in Eastpoint

The County planning office will hold a public meeting next week to find out how the public would like to use newly purchased county property in Eastpoint.

The property is about a half acre across the street from the Eastpoint pavilion.

The County paid about 40 thousand dollars for the land and hopes to use it for additional parking for the boat ramp.

Because the purchase was grant funded, however, the county has to see if the public has any better ideas.

So if you do, plan to attend the meeting.


It is scheduled for Tuesday, April 29th at 5 PM at the Franklin county courthouse Annex.

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Apalachicola Bay Chamber Board Seeking Directors


Chamber logo
 The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce's new year begins at the end of June, and it is time to elect board members and officers for the 2014-2015 year. As per our bylaws, President Donna Duncan has named Brenda Ash, Ouida Tartt, Mike Koun, Bud Hayes and Kristin Anderson to the nominating committee and tasked them with developing a slate of candidates for our election onJune 4th.  If you would be interested in serving on the board or have questions about serving 
please email us by May 14th atinfo@apalachiocolabay.org or call 
(850) 653-9419. Our board meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 5:00 pm.


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Thurs, 4/24/14 SEAHAWK SCOOP



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Lanark Village to get new 4-way stops

There will be a few more 4 way stops in Lanark Village in the near future.

The County Commission has approved creating 4 way stops at the Intersection of Pine Street and Parker and at Pine Street and Hefernen Drive.

The action was taken at the request of the Lanark Village Association.

The county’s engineer evaluated the intersections and said they would be suitable for 4 way stops.


The speed limit on those roads is 15 miles per hour.


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Franklin County Sheriff's Department investigating local counterfeiting operations

The Franklin County Sheriff’s is investigating the increase of counterfeit money in circulation locally.

Sheriff’s Office Detectives have uncovered at least one counterfeit printing operation that has been active at several locations in Franklin County.

Detectives have seized printing equipment, software, ink and more than $1,400 in counterfeit bills.

Multiple arrests and charges are pending the conclusion of this investigation.


If you believe you have been a victim of counterfeiting, you could help in the investigation by calling the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 670-8500.

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Covenant Word to host Family Conference this weekend




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NOAA Hurricane Hunters Coming to Tallahassee on May 22nd





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2013 Florida Uniform Crime Report broken down by county



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Gulf snook to close in Gulf state, federal waters

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.)
April 23, 2014

Suggested Tweet: Snook season in Gulf closes May 1 @MyFWC: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/b2fa0e #fishing #Florida

Gulf snook to close in Gulf state, federal waters 
Snook will close to all harvest in Gulf state, federal and inland waters, including all of Monroe County and Everglades National Park, starting May 1. Seasonal harvest closures protect Florida’s valuable snook populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.
Snook is open to harvest in Atlantic state, federal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, through May 31, closing June 1.
Both the Atlantic and Gulf will reopen for recreational harvest Sept. 1.
Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether to take a snook home, even during the open season. Snook may be caught and released during the closed season. The FWC encourages anglers to handle their catch carefully to help the fish survive upon release. Proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”
Learn more about recreational fishing at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”


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Florida DEP permit activity for Apalachicola

logo.jpg
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BOB MARTINEZ CENTER
2600 BLAIRSTONE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-2400
RICK SCOTT
GOVERNOR

CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA
LT. GOVERNOR

HERSCHEL T. VINYARD JR.
SECRETARY


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Domestic Wastewater Type I Wastewater Treatment Plant Permit
Project Name: APALACHICOLA WWTP
Location id: FL0038857
Location name: Apalachicola WWTF
County: Franklin
Application number: FL0038857-016

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300


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Apalachicola National Forest prescribed burning today in Liberty County

Apalachicola National Forest prescribed burning today
in Liberty County

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The U.S. Forest Service is prescribed burning in the Apalachicola National Forest today.

The 420 acre prescribed burn will take place in Liberty County off Highway 379 and Forest Road 133 near Orange. The burn will improve wildlife habitat, eliminate vegetation build up and reduce the threat of wildfires.

People are reminded that the smoke they may see today and tomorrow in this vicinity is not coming from a wildfire. Motorists are cautioned to drive slowly with lights on while traveling in smoky areas. Drivers should be particularly cautious in areas where prescribed fires have taken place when it is foggy. Morning fog can mix with smoke and decrease visibility further. 

This is one of many prescribed burns the Apalachicola National Forest is doing during the 2014 prescribed burning season. Today’s burn is in burn unit 14 (see the Apalachicola’s planned burn map): http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5438893.pdf

Individuals who are sensitive to smoke may continue to monitor us at http://www.fs.usda.gov/news/apalachicola/news-events

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

QF-4 PHANTOM INCIDENT AT TYNDALL

NEWS RELEASE
Tyndall Air Force Base
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 501 Illinios Ave.#144, Tyndall AFB, FL 32403
Contact Public Affairs(850) 283-4500, FAX (850) 283-3225

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release No. 04-22-14/001
                                                                                                                                                                  (22 April 14)



QF-4  PHANTOM INCIDENT AT TYNDALL
     TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – An Air Force QF-4 Phantom departed the runway shortly after landing on Tyndall Air Force Base at 3:40 p.m. today following a routine training mission.
The aircraft is intact and poses no danger to the public, nor was Highway 98 closed at any time. The crew is currently under supervision of the 325th Medical Group. First responders are on scene.
Additional details will be provided as soon as they become available.
    

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2.1 million dollars approved to retrain oystermen

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has received about 2.1 million dollars to provide training and other re-employment services to approximately 94 Apalachicola Bay oystermen to help them prepare for careers in other industries.

The only workers eligible for the services are those who participated in the temporary jobs program provided in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012. 

The $2.1 million grant is a supplemental National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

It is separate from the funding previously received through FEMA's Public Assistance Program as well as the $6.3 million in projects that will be provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Part of the NOAA money will go toward retraining, but most will go toward Apalachicola Bay Habitat Improvement and Monitoring as well as facilities upgrades for seafood processors.


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Wed, 4/23/14 SEAHAWK SCOOP




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Today is Tax Freedom Day in Florida

Today is Tax Freedom Day in Florida.
That’s the day in which the average Floridian will have earned enough money to pay his or her federal, state, and local taxes.
Tax freedom Day Day 2014 comes three days later than it did last year, mostly due to increasing federal taxes. 

More than 70 percent of the average Floridian's tax burden is make up of Federal taxes, which are expected to increase by 9 percent in 2014.

Nationally, tax freedom day was on April 21st – but some states are still working toward it.

Residents of Connecticut and New Jersey will celebrate tax freedom day on May 9th and in New York it will be May 4th.

Residents of Louisiana celebrated their tax freedom day on March 30th, Mississippi’s was April 2nd.


Floridians will contribute $250 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments this year, and the average Floridian has to work 2 hours and 26 minutes of each 9-5 workday just to pay their tax obligations to the various levels of government.  


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FWC moves forward with Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is moving forward with a plan to create a Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System to help determine how many fishermen are targeting reef fish in the Gulf.
If approved, private recreational anglers fishing in Gulf state waters would be required to take part in the Reporting System to harvest or possess reef fish including red and vermilion snapper; gag, black and red grouper; gray triggerfish; greater and lesser amberjack; banded rudderfish; and almaco jack.
Anglers, captain and crew aboard for-hire vessels would not be required to partake in the data-collection system because they already have their own survey.
This would be a no-cost program, due to a five-year National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf restoration grant.
The Commission added a five-year sunset clause so that when the grant funding ends, the program would be evaluated and reconsidered.

The proposal will be brought back before the Commission at its June meeting in Fort Myers for a final public hearing.


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FWC to hold public workshops for input on managing bears in east Panhandle


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold six public workshops in April and May to discuss management of black bears in the eastern portion of the Florida Panhandle and how people can get involved in working with the FWC on local bear issues.

Under the FWC’s Florida Black Bear Management Plan, approved in 2012, seven bear management units (BMUs) will be established throughout the state.

The BMU approach will allow the FWC to manage bears based on the characteristics of bears, people and habitat in different parts of Florida. The first steps are being taken to create the East Panhandle BMU to manage the bear subpopulation in the Apalachicola National Forest and surrounding areas.

Workshops will offer the public a chance to provide input on local bear issues and allow interested individuals to sign up to be active members of the East Panhandle Bear Stakeholder Group. The meetings will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. local time at the following locations:
April 30 – Bristol, Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 10405 NW Theo Jacobs Lane
May 6 – Tallahassee, Woodville Community Center, 8000 Old Woodville Highway
May 8 – Panama City, Bay County Public Library, 898 West 11th St.
May 13 – Perry, Forest Capital Hall, 204 Forest Park Dr.
May 15 – Carrabelle, city of Carrabelle Auditorium, 1001 Gray Ave.
May 20 – Port St. Joe. Gulf Coast State College, Gulf/Franklin Campus, 3800 Garrison Ave.

“The FWC isexcited about getting the perspective of local residents and stakeholders on bear management in the east Panhandle of Florida,” said Dave Telesco, FWC Bear Management Program coordinator. “These workshops allow more interaction between participants and FWC staff than a regular meeting. We will be listening more than talking.”

The East Panhandle BMU includes Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. The West Panhandle BMU was put into action in fall 2013, and the Central BMU was initiated in March of this year.

Go to MyFWC.com/Bear and look for “Which BMU are you?” to find out more about black bears in the East Panhandle BMU.

“A guide to living in bear country” is also available at MyFWC.com/Bear by clicking on “Brochures and Other Materials,” and you can find more on bears and the bear management plan at MyFWC.com/Bear.

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FCSO investigating counterfeiting operation

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division initiated an investigation into the increase 

of counterfeit money in circulation locally. FCSO Detectives have uncovered at least one counterfeit 

printing operation that has been active at several locations in Franklin County. Detectives have seized 

printing equipment, software, ink and more than $1,400 in counterfeit bills. Multiple arrests and charges are 

pending the conclusion of this investigation. If you believe you have been a victim of counterfeiting, you 

are asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.


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Apalachicola National Forest prescribed burning today in Liberty County



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The U.S. Forest Service is prescribed burning in the Apalachicola National Forest today.

The 1,937 acre prescribed burn will take place in Liberty County south of Camel Lake Recreation Area near County Road 12 and Forest Road 105.  The burn will improve wildlife habitat, eliminate vegetation build up and reduce the threat of wildfires.

People are reminded that the smoke they may see today and tomorrow in this vicinity is not coming from a wildfire.  Motorists are cautioned to drive slowly with lights on while traveling in smoky areas. Drivers should be particularly cautious in areas where prescribed fires have taken place when it is foggy.  Morning fog can mix with smoke and decrease visibility further. 

This is one of many prescribed burns the Apalachicola National Forest is doing during the 2014 prescribed burning season.  Today’s burn is in burn unit 13 (see the Apalachicola’s planned burn map): http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5438893.pdf

Individuals who are sensitive to smoke may continue to monitor us at http://www.fs.usda.gov/news/apalachicola/news-events



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Florida DEP permit activity for Wakulla County

logo.jpg
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BOB MARTINEZ CENTER
2600 BLAIRSTONE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-2400
RICK SCOTT
GOVERNOR

CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA
LT. GOVERNOR

HERSCHEL T. VINYARD JR.
SECRETARY


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Domestic Wastewater Type III Wastewater Treatment Plant Permit
Project Name: RNEW 0.025 MGD WWTP 2 RIBS
Location id: FLA010241
Location name: River Plantation Estates WWTP
County: Wakulla
Application number: FLA010241-005

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Tues, 4/22/14 SEAHAWK SCOOP




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Wakulla county gets Highway Beautification grant

Driving into Panacea from Franklin County may soon be a prettier trip.

Wakulla County has received a nearly 100 thousand dollar Highway Beautification grant for a Landscape and Irrigation System Design and Installation near the Ochlocknee Bay Bridge on Highway 98.

This project will provide gateway landscaping in the right-of-ways at the intersection of Highway 98 and Surf Road, to include all four corners.

Some of the landscaping will include sabal palms, silver saw palms, sand cord grass, and mimosas.

The work should begin on May the 1st.

The new design will make the area more attractive for local business, residents, and tourist traveling the U.S. 98 corridor.


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Come see the beach up-close at Sea Oats Gallery




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FWC making it easier to target non-native Lionfish

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation are working on rules to stop the spread of lionfish in Florida waters.

Lionfish are a nonnative, invasive species that hurt Florida’s native saltwater fish and wildlife.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last week agreed to consider rules that will not only make it harder to bring lionfish into the state but also easier to target lionfish when you’re diving.
The rules would prohibit the importation of live lionfish and prohibit the development of aquaculture of lionfish.
The proposal would allow divers to target lionfish while diving with a rebreather, which allows divers to remain in the water for longer periods of time; and would allow participants in approved tournaments and other organized events to spear lionfish in areas where spearfishing is generally not allowed.
The state already has rules that waive the recreational license requirement for divers harvesting lionfish using certain gear.

Florida also excludes lionfish from commercial and recreational bag limits, allowing people to take as many of the invasive fish as they can.


The new proposals will get a final vote at the FWC meeting in June in Fort Myers.

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GOVERNOR SCOTT ANNOUNCES $2.1 MILLION GRANT FOR APALACHICOLA BAY ASSISTANCE

For Immediate Release April 21, 2014
(850) 717-9282

GOVERNOR SCOTT ANNOUNCES $2.1 MILLION GRANT FOR APALACHICOLA BAY ASSISTANCE
~Grant will fund training and other reemployment services to oystermen~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott announced the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) received a $2.1 million supplemental National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL) to provide training and other re-employment services to approximately 94 oystermen to prepare for careers in other industries. Workers eligible for these services must have participated in the temporary jobs component of this emergency grant, which was provided in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Debby in June 2012. 

Governor Scott said, “We will continue training workers and expanding the Apalachicola Bay economy with these funds. With this $2.1 million investment we will work to get this community back on its feet.  We’re working tirelessly to support the natural treasures families in the area rely on.”

This $2.1 million grant is separate from the funding previously received through FEMA's Public Assistance Program as well as the $6.3 million in projects Governor Scott announced in March that will be provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

U.S. Representative Steve Southerland said, “I appreciate Governor Scott’s continued leadership in helping ensure our oystermen get the disaster relief they so desperately need.  With the future of Apalachicola Bay hanging in the balance, these resources are welcomed news in our fight to rebuild the local economy.  While we may be a long way from restoring Apalachicola Bay’s oyster fishery, these additional funds help move us one step closer to the goal of restoring peace of mind for this proud, but struggling community.”

“Diversification is a key element of a strong economy. We are dedicated to strengthening the Apalachicola Bay area economy both through job training and restoration of the oyster industry,” said DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. “We look forward to continuing to work with this community to ensure a thriving Apalachicola Bay economy that supports multiple industries and jobs for Florida families.”

On March 25, Governor Scott announced the projects in the Apalachicola Bay area that he is recommending to receive $6.3 million in disaster assistance funding to help restore economic vitality, and provide relief to the oystermen and their families. These projects will help the affected communities recover from the devastation and move forward to have sustainable fisheries and fishing communities in the future.

The projects were focused on four areas and are subject to final approval from the NOAA. They are:
·         $4,569,767 for Apalachicola Bay Habitat Improvement.
·         $415,473 for Monitoring of the Wild Apalachicola Bay Oyster Population.
·         $563,233 for Vocational and Educational Training for Apalachicola Bay Oyster Industry Workers.
·         $768,060 for Apalachicola Bay Processor Facilities Upgrades.

The initial recommendations were developed as a cooperative interagency effort that included input from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and the Governor’s office. The final recommendations were made after consultation with the Seafood Management Assistance Resource & Recovery Team (SMARRT) in Apalachicola, the City of Apalachicola, the Franklin BOCC, and the local State and Congressional delegations.


Background:

On July 3, 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared several counties in the state of Florida as eligible for FEMA's Public Assistance Program as a result of Tropical Storm Debby. DEO initially received $2.9 million in NEG funding to support job training, workforce development, and economic recovery in the Apalachicola Bay area. Additional funding, up to the amount approved, will be made available as Florida demonstrates a continued need for assistance. National Emergency Grants are part of the Secretary of Labor's discretionary fund and are awarded based on a state's ability to meet specific guidelines.



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Ginger needs a home

Ginger is a 1-2 yr old Chiwienie.  She is affectionate and loves
attention but shouldn't go to a home with small children.  She doesn't
like restraint and a child's hug could be misconstrued and she could nip.
 She is heartworm negative, spayed and ready for her forever home.

Volunteers are desperately needed to socialize all of our dogs and cats.
We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our animals into
their home to be fostered for various needs. Anytime you can spare would
be greatly appreciated.

Call Karen at 670-8417 for more details or visit the Franklin County
Humane Society at 244 State Road 65 in Eastpoint.  You may logon to the
website at www.forgottenpets.org to see more of our adoptable pets.




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agenda and information for April 22nd Gulf County Commission meeting






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Come to Sopchoppy on Earth Day to learn more about sea level rise in our area




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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Florida DEP permit activity for Wakulla County

logo.jpg
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BOB MARTINEZ CENTER
2600 BLAIRSTONE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-2400
RICK SCOTT
GOVERNOR

CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA
LT. GOVERNOR

HERSCHEL T. VINYARD JR.
SECRETARY


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Project Name: REUSE
Location id: 325812
Location name: REUSE NUMUMBER
County: Wakulla
Application number: 325812-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District Branch ( Tallahassee ) permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-2984
Permit: Water - ERP Exemption Permit
Project Name: 55 ALLISON AVENUE DOCK EXEMPT
Location id: 195137
Location name: ALISON ROAD
County: Wakulla
Application number: 195137-002

For further information, please contact the Northwest District Branch ( Tallahassee ) permitting office in Tallahassee at (850) 245-2984


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Lionfish invasion: FWC moves forward with management changes

Lionfish invasion: FWC moves forward with management changes

The lionfish is an invasive species that threatens Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. With that in mind, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on April 16 moved forward with steps to combat the spread of invasive lionfish.
Changes proposed by FWC staff at today’s meeting near Tallahassee will be brought back before the Commission at its June meeting in Fort Myers for final approval. Changes include:
  • Prohibiting the importation of live lionfish;
  • Prohibiting the development of aquaculture of lionfish;
  • Allowing the harvest of lionfish when diving with a rebreather, a device that recycles air and allows divers to remain in the water for longer periods of time; and
  • Increasing opportunities that will allow participants in approved tournaments and other organized events to spear lionfish or other invasive species in areas where spearfishing is not allowed. This will be done through a permitting system.
Staff has been working with the Florida Legislature on a bill in support of the initiatives to prohibit the importation of live lionfish and the aquaculture of lionfish.
“By targeting the importation of lionfish to our state, we can limit the number of new lionfish that find their way into Florida waters and, at the same time, encourage further harvest to reduce the existing invasive population,” said State Rep. Holly Raschein, sponsor of the House bill. “These fish pose a significant threat to Florida’s ecosystem, and I am proud to stand in support of the proposed ban. Anything we can do to limit new lionfish introductions and further facilitate the development of a commercial market for this invasive species is a step in the right direction.”
Changes like these will make it easier for divers to remove lionfish from Florida waters and will help prevent additional introductions of lionfish into marine habitats.
Lionfish control efforts, from outreach and education to regulatory changes, have been a priority for FWC staff. In 2013, they hosted the first ever Lionfish Summit, which brought together various stakeholders from the public as well as management and research fields to discuss the issues and brainstorm solutions. The changes proposed at today’s meeting came from ideas that were discussed at the Lionfish Summit.
To learn more about these changes, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and “Commission Meetings.” To learn more about lionfish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lionfish.”

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