FWC Approves Stone Crab Rule Amendments

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved two changes to its stone crab management rules during a public meeting in Dania Beach on Thursday.

One rule amendment continues the Stone Crab Advisory Board until July 1, 2011, to give it time to resolve ongoing issues in the fishery, including how to reduce the excessive number of trap certificates in the commercial stone crab fishery and remove and dispose of derelict stone crab traps. The board was created by an FWC rule in 2003 to advise the Commission about the operation of the stone crab trap limitation program and any problems in the fishery.

Another approved rule amendment allows the use of 16-gauge or thinner staples to secure stone crab trap tie-down lids or the panel on wire stone crab traps.  This is consistent with current rules for blue crab traps.

These rule amendments take effect on July 13.