ESPN SWFL Reel Talk

Saturdays 7am - 10am

lobster on the ocean floor in its natural habitat with gorgonians in background

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has filed an Executive Order to waive the commercial spiny lobster trap tag requirements for the 2022-2023 license year.

This waiver is in response to the significant losses suffered by Florida commercial spiny lobster fishermen as the direct result of Hurricane Ian. In order to assist these commercial fishermen in their return to business, all spiny lobster traps in or on Florida waters are not required to have a current-year trap tag for the remainder of the 2022-2023 commercial spiny lobster season.

“Hurricane Ian impacted a major portion of the Florida fishing community, and we will be with them every step of the way as they rebuild stronger than before,” explained FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “As we work with our partners and stakeholders to identify the needs of commercial fishermen impacted by this powerful storm, we will continue to use all available resources to support them.”

“Getting Florida’s commercial fishing industry the assistance they need to recover from this disaster is a top priority for the FWC,” stated FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood. “This waiver is just one step of many we are taking to provide relief to those fishermen affected by Hurricane Ian.”

“The impacts of Hurricane Ian will be felt for years to come. The FWC is working diligently to assist the commercial fishing industry to get back to work while assuring the conservation of our resources,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. “Waiving these requirements will help them get their traps back in the water quickly, ultimately contributing to the economy in areas of the state that are most in need.”

Visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Commercial Regulations” and “Lobster, Spiny” for more information on commercial spiny lobster regulations. You can also download the Fish Rules App at Instagram.com/FishRulesApp or Facebook.com/FishRulesApp for updated regulations.

Tune in to Reel Talk, Saturday mornings on ESPNSWFL.

Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.