Hurricane Irma hit the state of Florida hard. Now, the state is in recovery mode and that includes fishing recovery.
The state has eased regulations to help commercial fishermen get back to work. It also waived recreational fees for first responders as a way to offer thanks for their efforts.
Commercial Fishing Recovery
Gov. Rick Scott directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to make regulation changes to help commercial fishing recovery.
The changes include dropping some regulations and waiving fees to help commercial fishermen get back to work.
"Hurricane Irma affected nearly our entire state, and we are aggressively working to make sure that every family and industry has the ability to recover quickly," Scott says. "This week, I've travelled across the state to tour damage and hear directly from families and communities on what we can do to help.
"Florida's commercial fishing industry plays a large role in our economy, and I am proud the FWC can waive fees and reduce regulations so they can get back to work."
Some of the changes include extending the renewal period for licenses. Some licenses were set to expire Sept. 30. Lobster fishermen now have until Dec. 1 to get traps tagged, after replacing lost traps.
In addition, the assistance allows fishermen to work together to get lost traps back to their owners.
Scott also announced that the FWC has waived fishing license fees for first responders until June 30, 2018. The move is to thank them for their efforts during Hurricane Irma.
"Before and after Hurricane Irma, Florida's brave law enforcement officers and first responders have been tirelessly working around the clock to meet the needs of our families and communities," Scott says. "Even as their own families were evacuating or working to begin the recovery process, they've been putting their own lives on the line to keep our state safe.
"We owe these brave heroes a debt of gratitude, and I am proud to announce this license-free fishing opportunity as a gesture of appreciation and recognition for their service to our state."