Florida may tighten reef life collection rules

by Owen James

Legislation is on the table in Florida that may further limit the collection of marine life from state waters:

The proposed draft rule would establish a vessel maximum limit for dwarf seahorses and emerald crabs, and establish a personal possession and a vessel possession limit for zooanthid polyps, corallimorph polyps, and scarlet hermit crabs.

The proposed rule would also decrease the vessel maximum limit on condylactis aneomones and add the snail Lithopoma tectum to the current star snail personal and vessel maximums. The proposal would also decrease the personal possession and vessel possession limits on angelfish and establish a personal possession and vessel possession limit for butterflyfish instead of the current vessel maximum.

Tools for the taking of corallimorph and zooanthid polyps will also be specified. Updates will also be made to existing harvest restriction wording to make it more consistent with the endorsement program.

Reef keeping (as opposed to fish-only aquariums) have exploded since Florida last looked at the issue, so it’s understandable they’re reconsidering catch limits and the like.

We just hope that Florida state legislators are also being as tough when it comes to seaside property development and agricultural run-off, which are far bigger dangers to most marine life.

Sensible collection rules can only be a good thing – few aquarium keepers would like to see the reef destroyed so they can have a prettier fish tank. A few species are at risk from collection for aquariums (such as the ridiculous trade in wild-caught Banggai Cardinals, which can be captive-bred anyway) but in general reef keeping comes well down the bottom of the list of dangers to wild reefs.

Indeed, aquarium collection can be part of the solution, as is now being seen with the cardinal tetra harvest in the Amazon.

Read the Ultimate Secrets To Saltwater Fish And Invertebrates.

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