The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been cracking down on the aquarium trade in recent months. You might recall that the FWC was at last year’s MACNA handing out warnings to both vendors and attendees of the event due to the sales of non-native fish, coral, and invertebrate species. This year, the FWC turns its attention to possibly limiting soft coral collection in local waters. The state would also like to extend its conservation authority into federal waters with federal cooperation if possible. The goal of all this is reef conservation of course, as officials aim to impose “reasonable limits” to help protect local waters from being over fished.
The FWC hasn’t put any legislation into action yet, as they plan on using hearings and public telephone conference calls to help steer the committee’s actions. The hearings are scheduled for Monday, May 2nd and the following day. The public conference call scheduled for May 5th. For more information on the hearings’ locations and how to participate in the public conference call, please visit Sun Sentinel.