AR-News: (US FL) Netting Outlaws Beware

Animalara2003 at Animalara2003 at
Fri Mar 12 15:30:45 EST 2004 

Florida House approves felony status for flagrant net violations. 
A bill to make the use of gill nets or large seines felonies instead of 
misdemeanors was overwhelmingly approved Thursday by the Natural Resources 
Committee in the Florida House of Representatives. 
The legislation sponsored by State Rep. Andy Gardiner of Orlando was strongly 
endorsed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and 
organizations including the Coast Conservation Association Florida. 
“Rep. Gardiner deserves strong commendations from all anglers,” said Florida 
Sportsman Founder Karl Wickstrom. “Our readers and Fishing Forum members also 
have done an excellent job in backing this important change. The days when 
major outlaw netters are handed light fines must end if we’re going to realize 
the full potential of fishing opportunities.” 
As approved by the House committee, the bill would make it a felony to 
possess any gill net or other type of net over 2,000 square feet in state waters. A 
lesser provision regarding multiple misdemeanor counts was dropped. 
A companion bill is pending in the Florida Senate and anglers are urged to 
back similar approval there. 
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