Environmental Policy News

Court Upholds Florida's Net Ban

The Supreme Court of Florida has denied a petition by the Wakulla Fishermen’s Association and upheld the state’s net ban amendment that was approved by 72% of voters in 1994. The ruling puts an end to the latest challenge brought by gillnetters who won a sympathetic circuit court ruling in 2013 that allowed them to briefly reintroduce destructive gill nets into Florida waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, with the support of CCA Florida, challenged that initial court ruling immediately and has worked tirelessly ever since to defend the net ban to the state’s highest court.

The 1994 net ban amendment has been credited with bringing about a dramatic improvement in bait and forage fish populations, along with a powerful recovery in red drum, speckled trout, snook and other species that provide the foundation for a billion-dollar recreational industry. Florida’s constitutional amendment has been the subject of constant legal challenges from disgruntled industrial harvesters seeking to undo all that has been achieved.

For more information, visit www.joincca.org/articles/712.

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