Commercial fishing gets easier for Florida vets

Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be honoring Florida ’s heroes on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, by implementing changes to commercial licensing requirements. The changes will make it easier for Florida veterans and veterans with disabilities to enter the commercial fishing industry.

“We have a tremendous opportunity not only to give thanks to the men and women that served our nation so courageously, but also to provide them with more support so they can pursue careers in fishing here in Florida ,” said Governor Rick Scott. “This initiative will expand job opportunities for our veterans and get more folks involved in the commercial fishing industry, which is a win-win for Florida .”

The FWC adopted these changes at its September meeting and made a formal announcement of the changes in a media event on Nov. 9.

“I am excited to be extending this opportunity to the men and women who so bravely served our country,” said Commissioner Charles W. Roberts III. “Job creation and Florida ’s economy are priorities for everyone, including the FWC. Our hope is that more of Florida ’s veterans and veterans with disabilities, especially those who have recently returned from active duty, will be able to partake in the commercial seafood industry and benefit from this opportunity.”

The changes will modify income requirements for many of Florida veterans seeking a commercial restricted species endorsement, which allows commercial harvesters to fish for and sell species that are designated as restricted.

Spanish and king mackerel, flounder, shrimp, mahi mahi and several reef fish are among the list of species that require a restricted species endorsement.

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