The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its Sept. 3 meeting in Fort Lauderdale approved new recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda for waters off south Florida. The changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only, and will include a: Recreational and commercial daily bag limit of two fish per person and Recreational and commercial daily vessel limit of six fish per vessel.
These new limits will be effective Nov. 1, 2015. Stakeholders in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys have voiced concerns about declining barracuda numbers observed when fishing and diving. FWC staff gathered public input from concerned stakeholders at workshops conducted earlier this year.
The FWC is responding to these concerns by creating bag limits to prevent further declines and conserve barracuda in the region. The original proposal also included barracuda size limits, however the FWC wants to gather more input from stakeholders before creating additional limits. FWC staff will conduct another series of workshops in south Florida to gather more public input before considering any additional management measures.