In June 2011, the Commission amended the rule for permit,
Florida pompano, and African pompano in order to provide increased protection for these important species. In the past, there were no regulations for these fish in federal waters adjacent to Florida. The recreational rule amendments primarily establish recreational regulations in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic.
Additionally, the Commission decided to create separate management strategies for each species. The combined bag limit for Florida pompano and permit was split into separate bag limits, and the size limits for each species were changed.
The rule amendments the Commission passed created two separate management areas in Florida for permit. The Special Permit Zone (SPZ) lies in south Florida, encompassing waters south of Cape Florida on the Atlantic coast and south of Cape Sable on the Gulf coast. The regulations for permit in the SPZ are more restrictive to protect spawning aggregations of permit as well as large permit that support the trophy fishery in the Keys. The remainder of Florida (north of Cape Florida and Cape Sable) makes up the other permit management area.
Overall the new regulations for permit, Florida pompano, and African pompano should greatly increase the protection for these three fish in Florida waters and ensure that future generations can enjoy them.