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The Florida Senate

2007 Florida Statutes

Section 370.151, Florida Statutes 2007

1370.151  Tortugas shrimp beds; penalties.--

(1)  It is the intention of the Legislature that action should be taken to conserve the supply of shrimp in the large shrimp beds which lie in and around the coast of the Lower Keys of Florida and in the vicinity of the islands of Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys, hereinafter referred to as the "Tortugas Shrimp Bed," and which furnish more than 50 percent of the shrimp in waters adjacent to the coast of Florida. It is further the sense of this Legislature that the shrimp industry is a valuable industry to the economy of this state and deserves adequate protection.

(2)(a)  The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to take title in the name of the state to any vessel or vessels suitable for use in carrying out the inspection and patrol of the Tortugas Bed which may be offered as a gift to the state by any person, firm, corporation, or association in the shrimp industry for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section. In the event such title is taken to such vessel or vessels, the commission is authorized to operate and keep said vessel or vessels in proper repair.

(b)  The commission is further authorized to accept the temporary loan of any vessel or vessels, suitable for use in carrying out the provisions of this section, for periods not exceeding 1 year. However, the state shall not assume any liability to the owner or owners of said vessels for any damage done by said vessels to other vessels, persons, or property. In the operation of said loaned vessels, upkeep and repair shall consist only of minor repairs and routine maintenance. The owner or owners shall carry full marine insurance coverage on said loaned vessel or vessels for the duration of the period during which said vessels are operated by the state.

(3)  The owner or master of any vessel not equipped with live shrimp bait tanks dragging shrimp nets in the above-defined area without a live bait shrimping license for this area is guilty of a violation of this section. A third or any subsequent violation by any person under this subsection within a 3-year period shall be a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082 and 775.083

History.--ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ch. 57-358; s. 1, ch. 61-470; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 62, ch. 69-353; s. 1, ch. 70-163; s. 296, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 72-54; s. 1, ch. 74-1; s. 23, ch. 78-95; s. 32, ch. 79-65; s. 8, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; s. 1, ch. 85-163; ss. 13, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 13, ch. 86-240; s. 22, ch. 98-227; s. 248, ch. 99-245.

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.