Florida Ups Illegal Netting Penalties

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently signed House Bill 1313, increasing illegal netting violations. Effective July 1, the new law creates a "flagrant violation," which is defined as a net with a mesh area larger than 2,000 square feet or the use of a gill net, both third-degree felonies. For the first offense there is a $5,000 penalty and a suspension of all saltwater licenses for 12 months. For second or subsequent violations, there is a $5,000 fee, a lifetime revocation of all saltwater licenses and the forfeiture of all equipment used in the violation.