Catch-and-release agreed for Florida bonefish

March 1st, 2011| No Comments

Regular visitors to Fishipedia may remember the story we ran detailing proposals put forward by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to officially make bonefish a catch-and-release species in Florida.

Well, that day is drawing ever closer – at their recent meeting, members of the FWC decided to press ahead with the legislation. All that remains is the final approval, which should go ahead when the FWC meets again in April.

Currently, fishermen are allowed to harvest one bonefish per day – under the new rules, fishermen would be allowed to remove the fish from the water for as long as it takes to unhook them and take a picture before slipping them back.

Aaron Adams, Director of Operations for the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust was certainly happy with the news. “The designation of bonefish as a catch-and-release species puts Florida on par with destinations such as Belize and Puerto Rico,” he said.

The move also safeguards what people have come to recognize as a hugely valuable resource in Florida. One recent study carried out by the University of Miami put the value of a single Florida Keys bonefish at $3,500 each year, making it worth nearly $75,000 over its lifetime.

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