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2005 Florida Statutes
Blue crab; regulation.
1370.135 Blue crab; regulation.--
(1) No person, firm, or corporation shall transport on the water, fish with or cause to be fished with, set, or place any trap designed for taking blue crabs unless such person, firm, or corporation is the holder of a valid saltwater products license issued pursuant to s. 370.06 and the trap has a current state number permanently attached to the buoy. The trap number shall be affixed in legible figures at least 1 inch high on each buoy used. The saltwater products license must be on board the boat, and both the license and the crabs shall be subject to inspection at all times. Only one trap number may be issued for each boat by the commission upon receipt of an application on forms prescribed by it. This subsection shall not apply to an individual fishing with no more than five traps. It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, for any person willfully to molest any traps, lines, or buoys, as defined herein, belonging to another without the express written consent of the trap owner. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of willful molestation of a trap, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 370.021, shall lose all saltwater fishing privileges for a period of 24 calendar months. It is unlawful for any person to remove the contents of or take possession of another harvester's trap without the express written consent of the trap owner available for immediate inspection. Unauthorized possession of another's trap gear or removal of trap contents constitutes theft. Any person receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal on a charge of theft of or from a trap pursuant to this section or s. 370.1107 shall, in addition to the penalties specified in s. 370.021 and the provisions of this section, permanently lose all his or her saltwater fishing privileges including his or her saltwater products license and blue crab endorsement. In such cases endorsements, landings history, and trap certificates are nontransferable. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for violating this subsection or s. 370.1107 shall also be assessed an administrative penalty of up to $5,000. Immediately upon receiving a citation for a violation involving theft of or from a trap and until adjudicated for such a violation, or receiving a judicial disposition other than dismissal or acquittal for such a violation, the person, firm, or corporation committing the violation is prohibited from transferring any blue crab endorsements, landings history, or trap certificates.
(2) No person shall harvest blue crabs with more than five traps, harvest blue crabs in commercial quantities, or sell blue crabs unless such person holds a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement and a blue crab endorsement (trap number) issued pursuant to this subsection.
(a) Effective June 1, 1998, and until July 1, 2002, no blue crab endorsement (trap number), except those endorsements that are active during the 1997-1998 fiscal year, shall be renewed or replaced.
(b) Effective January 1, 1999, and until July 1, 2002, a trap number holder, or members of his or her immediate family, must request renewal of the endorsement prior to September 30 of each year.
(c) If a person holding an active blue crab endorsement, or a member of that person's immediate family, does not request renewal of the endorsement before the applicable dates as specified in this subsection, the commission shall deactivate that endorsement.
(d) In the event of the death or disability of a person holding an active blue crab endorsement, the endorsement may be transferred by the person to a member of his or her immediate family or may be renewed by any person so designated by the executor of the person's estate.
(e) Persons who hold saltwater products licenses with blue crab endorsements issued to their boat registration numbers and who subsequently replace their existing vessels with new vessels shall be permitted to transfer the existing licenses to the new boat registration numbers.
History.--s. 1, ch. 73-26; s. 1, ch. 76-105; s. 2, ch. 77-142; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-143; s. 2, ch. 80-299; s. 6, ch. 83-134; s. 2, ch. 84-121; ss. 16, 17, ch. 85-234; s. 5, ch. 86-219; ss. 10, 19, ch. 86-240; s. 558, ch. 95-148; s. 11, ch. 95-414; s. 10, ch. 98-203; s. 19, ch. 98-227; s. 245, ch. 99-245; s. 6, ch. 2000-212; s. 39, ch. 2000-364; s. 11, ch. 2003-143.
1Note.--Section 6, ch. 83-134, as amended by s. 2, ch. 84-121; by s. 5, ch. 86-219; and by s. 19, ch. 86-240, repealed the then-existing section effective July 1, 1984, and further provided that if the Governor and Cabinet had not adopted appropriate rules by July 1, 1984, this section 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. 6, 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.