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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Section 370.14, Florida Statutes 2005

1370.14  Crawfish; regulation.--

(1)  It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain the crawfish industry for the economy of the state and to conserve the stocks supplying this industry. The provisions of this act regulating the taking of saltwater crawfish are for the purposes of ensuring and maintaining the highest possible production of saltwater crawfish.

(2)(a)1.  Each person taking or attempting to take crawfish with a trap in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes shall obtain and exhibit a crawfish trap number, as required by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The annual fee for a crawfish trap number is $125. This trap number may be issued by the commission upon the receipt of application by the person when accompanied by the payment of the fee. The design of the applications and of the trap number shall be determined by the commission. Any trap or device used in taking or attempting to take crawfish, other than a trap with the trap number, shall be seized and destroyed by the commission. The proceeds of the fees imposed by this paragraph shall be deposited and used as provided in paragraph (b). The commission may adopt rules to carry out the intent of this section.

2.  Each person taking or attempting to take crawfish in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes by any method, other than with a trap having a crawfish trap number issued by the commission, must pay an annual fee of $100.

(b)  Twenty-five dollars of the $125 fee for a crawfish trap number required under subparagraph (a)1. must be used only for trap retrieval as provided in s. 370.143 The remainder of the fees collected pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be deposited as follows:

1.  Fifty percent of the fees collected shall be deposited in the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund for use in enforcing the provisions of paragraph (a) through aerial and other surveillance and trap retrieval.

2.  Fifty percent of the fees collected shall be deposited as provided in s. 370.142(5).

(3)  The crawfish license must be on board the boat, and both the license and the harvested crawfish shall be subject to inspection at all times. Only one license shall be issued for each boat. The crawfish license number must be prominently displayed above the topmost portion of the boat so as to be easily and readily identified.

(4)  It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person willfully to molest any crawfish traps, lines, or buoys belonging to another without permission of the licenseholder.

(5)  Any crawfish licenseholder, upon selling licensed crawfish traps, shall furnish the commission notice of such sale of all or part of his or her interest within 15 days thereof. Any holder of said license shall also notify the commission within 15 days if his or her address no longer conforms to the address appearing on the license and shall, as a part of such notification, furnish the commission with his or her new address.

(6)(a)  By a special permit granted by the commission, a Florida-licensed seafood dealer may lawfully import, process, and package saltwater crawfish or uncooked tails of the species Panulirus argus during the closed season. However, crawfish landed under special permit shall not be sold in the state.

(b)  The licensed seafood dealer importing any such crawfish under the permit shall, 12 hours prior to the time the seagoing vessel or airplane delivering such imported crawfish enters the state, notify the commission as to the seagoing vessel's name or the airplane's registration number and its captain, location, and point of destination.

(c)  At the time the crawfish cargo is delivered to the permitholder's place of business, the crawfish cargo shall be weighed and shall be available for inspection by the commission. A signed receipt of such quantity in pounds shall be forwarded to the commission within 48 hours after shipment weigh-in completion. If requested by the commission, the weigh-in process will be delayed up to 4 hours to allow for a commission representative to be present during the process.

(d)  Within 48 hours after shipment weigh-in completion, the permitholder shall submit to the commission, on forms provided by the commission, a sworn report of the quantity in pounds of the saltwater crawfish received, which report shall include the location of said crawfish and a sworn statement that said crawfish were taken at least 50 miles from Florida's shoreline. The landing of crawfish or crawfish tails from which the eggs, swimmerettes, or pleopods have been removed; the falsification of information as to area from which crawfish were obtained; or the failure to file the report called for in this section shall be grounds to revoke the permit.

(e)  Each permitholder shall keep throughout the period of the closed season copies of the bill of sale or invoices covering each transaction involving crawfish imported under this permit. Such invoices and bills shall be kept available at all times for inspection by the commission.

(7)(a)  A Florida-licensed seafood dealer may obtain a special permit to import, process, and package uncooked tails of saltwater crawfish upon the payment of the sum of $100 to the commission.

(b)  A special permit must be obtained by any airplane or seagoing vessel other than a common carrier used to transport saltwater crawfish or crawfish tails for purchase by licensed seafood dealers for purposes as provided herein upon the payment of $50.

(c)  All special permits issued under this subsection are nontransferable.

(8)  No common carrier or employee of said carrier may carry, knowingly receive for carriage, or permit the carriage of any crawfish of the species Panulirus argus, regardless of where taken, during the closed season, except of the species Panulirus argus lawfully imported from a foreign country for reshipment outside of the territorial limits of the state under United States Customs bond or in accordance with paragraph (7)(a).

History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29896, 1955; s. 1, ch. 65-53; s. 1, ch. 65-251; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-228; s. 1, ch. 70-140; s. 1, ch. 70-162; s. 1, ch. 70-369; ss. 292, 293, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 72-76; s. 1, ch. 72-250; s. 1, ch. 73-45; s. 1, ch. 73-211; s. 2, ch. 74-220; s. 1, ch. 76-107; s. 110, ch. 77-104; ss. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ch. 77-142; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 11, ch. 86-240; s. 3, ch. 87-116; s. 3, ch. 87-120; s. 1, ch. 88-369; ss. 5, 12, ch. 89-98; s. 4, ch. 89-270; s. 10, ch. 90-243; s. 3, ch. 90-310; s. 2, ch. 91-154; s. 228, ch. 94-356; s. 91, ch. 95-143; s. 993, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 95-414; s. 9, ch. 96-300; s. 32, ch. 96-321; s. 40, ch. 97-160; s. 22, ch. 97-164; s. 20, ch. 98-227; s. 155, ch. 99-13; s. 107, ch. 99-245; ss. 38, 42, ch. 2000-197; s. 7, ch. 2000-212; s. 42, ch. 2000-362; s. 40, ch. 2000-364; s. 38, ch. 2002-46; s. 1, ch. 2004-72.

1Note.--Section 8, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121, and by s. 1, ch. 85-163, repealed the then-existing section, effective July 1, 1986, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1986, it would remain in force until such rules were effective. Section 9, ch. 83-134, provided that, prior to the adoption of rules amending, readopting, or repealing those provisions set forth in s. 8, the Marine Fisheries Commission would hold a public hearing thereon, and no such amendment, readoption, or repeal would be acted upon until it had been determined, based upon appropriate findings of fact, that such action would not adversely affect the resource. The Marine Fisheries Commission was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission by s. 3, ch. 99-245.