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Florida Legislation


The following is my input on the legislative issues in Florida concerning
native Fishes...I hope to get a chance to further address the Florida
Senate on this matter in the Fall.....Man this NFC thing is happening  :)

Senator Laurent,

As  per your request here's some ideas for legislative change I put
together that I hope can help our native fishes  .

1. Invoke a simple small mil rate tax for all non native
ornamental animals sold in Florida at the wholesale level.
The funds would be funneled directly to non game species
research and preservation projects managed by the existing
Freshwater Fish and Game folks.

2. A simple recreational collectors stamp or tag similar to
a fishing license. With an attractive fish on the tag /stamp
many folks would purchase them just for the tag. The tag
would allow the bearer to daily collect 12 shiners, 12
darters ,12 killies or 6 undersized sunfish or bass by
dipnet for home aquarium use with a max. of 36 fish of all
types per day. This law would allow the school child-college
student -professor- home aquarist the chance to learn about
their local fishes in a practical  manner via their personal

3. Make it clearer in the fisheries regulations that exotics
have no regulation and can be taken any time any number.
Exceptions being Peacock Cichlid/Bass and perhaps Oscars. It
is important that we let residents know the aquarium
released exotics have no value, and no place in Florida
waters. In effect we should encourage a once caught , never
returned policy on these exotic species. A sentence or two
in the regulation book would be sufficient.

4. Put a per fish fine on releasing any non Florida Native
aquatic species into the wild. This Law will seldom be used
, but if you have a perpetual abuser who is trying to
establish a species for personal gain we have some serious
financial / legal recourse against them. I'd say 100 bucks a
specimen ought to do it . This will hinder folks intent upon
establishing XYZ fish so they can sell/collect it later. It
also will make the fish farms think a bit more about their
protections they have in place. All proceeds should go into
a non game species fund.

Thank you for considering my input in Florida's fisheries
regulations. I am aware that there are many needs that must
be balanced before legislation is passed. These sample
legislation's are just that samples of what I think would
make for good law. I am sure they are far from perfect but
they do give us a starting point for further discussion on
this very important issue. I place myself at your service on
this important matter . Contact me at your convenience to
further discuss this exciting agenda !

Robert Rice
President and Founder
Native Fish Conservancy inc.