Florida’s 18-year-old gillnet ban has been upset by a rural circuit court judge and some netters have already been spreading their meshes in search of large mullet roe profits, although the return of entanglement gear is expected to be ended at any minute.
In a bewildering series of court moves, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is requesting the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee to reinstate a stay, or postponement, of Judge Jackie Fulford’s surprise order while the case is argued over weeks or months ahead.
The stay of the Fulford order would continue the ban of entanglement nets, which was adopted by the voters in 1995 and is credited with restoring countless fish populations.
The netters claim that the net ban is unfair and contradictory. “These are the same old arguments by the same people that have been rejected numerous times in past cases, “ said Florida Sportsman Publisher Karl Wickstrom, who had initiated the constitutional amendment banning gill nets and large seine nets. “The ban is simply a gear restriction that is now common across the country.”
The latest memo from the FWC regarding their discretion to not enforce the net limitation rules or regulations can be found, here.
Check out this recent story by Tarik Minor, a report for News4jax.com.
Also, you may sign a petition that votes to reinstate the net ban, by clicking here.