We’ve been receiving some concerns lately regarding the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s June legislation for permit, pompano and African pompano. At issue: Folks were getting mighty concerned that our pompano were suddenly now susceptible to netting.
That's not surprising when glancing at this FWC link, which shows that commercial gear prior to Aug. 30, 2011 consisted of "hook and line," while gear after that date expanded to include "hook and line, cast net, and beach or haul seine."
Even a Facebook page called "Fwc Inseine in the Membrane" was brought to our attention — it alleged backdoor legislation that would bring nets back to Florida's inshore waters (a dreadful thought for those of us who remember the 80s).
We called FWC on this subject and were told by an official that the pre-Aug. 30 gear verbage for pompano on their website was “incorrect,” and that the typo would be fixed. Pompano have been pursued with all three forms of commercial gear for years, we were told.
The main thrust of the new legislation as it relates to pompano is that the commercial fishery has been expanded into federal waters. This sounds scary at first blush, but FWC officials tell us that previously, there were no rules whatsoever in federal waters, meaning unlimited numbers of fish could be taken with unlimited means of gear.
We’re not keen on netting of any kind for any species, but in this case, it appears the pompano scare may have been the result of a simple typo — of course, if there’s something we’re missing, please bring it to our attention.