Here’s Florida Sportsman’s quick reference guide for contacting law enforcement and management agencies.
All State Waters
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Call: (850) 488-4676
Toll free: 888 404-3922
Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Federal Waters Gulf Coast
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Call: (813) 348-1630
Toll free: 888 833-1844
2203 N Lois Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33607
Federal South Atlantic
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Call: (848) 571-4366
Toll free: 866 723-6210
4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201
North Charleston, SC 29405
NOAA Fisheries Law Enforcement, Southeast
Call (727) 824-5344
263 13th Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Let’s All Help
Contact authorities immediately if you see violations. Visit the appropriate websites for department listings and further information. State waters extend 3 miles from shore on the Atlantic coast and 9 miles to the west. Federal waters extend to 200 miles.
Some area jurisdictions also have various functions involving the waters.
Guide to Florida State Officials
Here’s a comprehensive and handy guide for contacting our public officials:
Florida Sportsman readers are especially concerned with the workings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which basically manages all wild animals on land and in state waters, out three miles on the east coast and nine miles to the west.
The FWC is a constitutional body created by a voter-approved merger of the former Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission. Its seven members are appointed by the governor without required geographical factors although it has been a policy to afford representative weight to various parts of the state.
Unlike in the “old days,” the FWC is fundamentally independent of the state legislature concerning marine management. Local laws applied to individual counties have been phased out for the most part.
Overlapping in some ways is the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) which is a creature of the legislature and has jurisdiction over air and water quality as well as certain property uses. It is headed by a secretary appointed by the governor and is more directly influenced by the administration and legislators in office at the time.
Mission statements and a great deal of information about the agencies are available via the guide.
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