Recreational Harvest of Marine Life (Aquarium) Species

MarineLifeCollage.jpgRequirements for Recreational Marine Life Harvest

† Some organisms have additional gear limitations.  See charts below for more details.

Additional rules apply to the collection of shells containing live organisms in Lee and Manatee counties.

Can I feed sharks and other fish?

Regulated Marine Life Species, Size Limits, and Other Restrictions:

Marine Life - Fish

SpeciesRemarksSize Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)
Angelfish (Family Pomacanthidae)  5 angelfish per person/per day Angelfish (Pomacanthus family) including hybrids: 1 1/2 -8" slot limit               
Angelfish (Holacanthus family) except rock beauty: 1 3/4 -8" slot limit               
Rock Beauty (Holacanthus tricolor): 2-5" slot limit
Butterflyfish (Family Chaetodontidae)   1-4" slot limit
Filefish/Triggerfish (Family Balistidae) Except Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), Ocean Triggerfish (Canthidermis sufflamen) and unicorn filefish  
Gobies (Family Gobiidae)   Maximum size limit: 2"
Hamlets/Seabasses (Family Serranidae) Except reef fish** and Longtail Bass (Hemanthias leptus)  
Jawfish (Family Opistognathidae)   Maximum size limit: 4"
Parrotfish (Family Scaridae)   Maximum size limit: 12"
Porkfish (Anisotremus virginicus)   Minimum size limit: 1 1/2"
Tangs and Surgeonfish (Family Acanthuridae)   Maximum size limit (fork length): 9"
Wrasse/ Hogfish/ Razorfish (Family Labridae) Except Hog Snapper (Lachnolaimus maximus) Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus): 2-8" slot limit
Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus): 3-8" slot limit

Other Marine Life Fish Include:

*Unless otherwise noted, combined bag limit of 20 marine life fish and invertebrates per person per day, only 5 of any one species allowed. A 2-day possession limit also applies (40 total organisms, only 10 of any one species).

**Such as groupers, snappers, seabass and amberjacks. Must abide by regulations for these species in Rule 68B-14 F.A.C. icon_external.png.

Marine Life - Invertebrates

Anemones (Orders Actiniaria, Zoanthidea, Corallimorpharia, and Ceriantharia)

Giant anemone (Condylactis gigantea) prohibited.

Corallimorphs and Zoanthids: No more than 5 single polyps of each may be landed per person per day, must be harvested with a flexible blade no wider than 2" such as a putty knife, razor blade, or paint scraper.

Conch, Queen (Strombus gigas) Harvest prohibited
Corals; Hard (Stony) (Order Scleractinia), Fire (Genus Millepora, Black (Order Antipatharia) Harvest prohibited
Corals, Soft (Subclass Octocorallia) No more than 6 octocoral colonies per person per day or 70,000 colonies annually; harvest of attached substrate within 1" of base is permitted; harvest closes in response to federal octocoral closures; Harvest of Venus Sea Fan (Gorgonia flabellum) and Common (Purple) Sea Fan (Gorgonia ventalina) prohibited. Areas closed to octocoral harvest in Atlantic federal waters off Florida: Atlantic federal waters north of Cape Canaveral, Stetson-Miami Terrace Coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and Pourtales Terrace CHAPC
Crab, Hermit (Families Diogenidae, Paguridae, Parapaguridae, and Pylochelidae) Except Land Hermit Crabs (Family Coenobitidae)
Crab, Horseshoe (Limulus polyphemus) Recreational harvest prohibited
Live Rock Recreational harvest prohibited (includes rock made by sabellarid tubeworms)
Octopods (Order Octopoda) Except Common Octopus (Octopodus vulgaris)
Siphonophores/Hydroids (Class Hydrozoa) Harvest of Fire Coral (Family Milleporidae) prohibited
Sponges (Class Demospongiae, Order Dictyoceratida) Except Sheepswool, Yellow, Grass, Glove, Finger, Wire, Reef, and Velvet Sponges; 5 sponges per harvester per day in any combination; harvest of substrate within 1" of base permitted north and west of the southernmost point of Egmont Key, no substrate allowed south of Egmont Key
Starfish (Order Asteroidea) Harvest of Bahama Starfish (Oreaster reticulatus) prohibited
Urchins (Class Echinoidea) Except Sand Dollars & Sea Biscuits (Order Clypeasteroidea); harvest of Longspine Urchin (Diadema antillarum) prohibited

Other Marine Life Invertebrates Include:

*Unless otherwise noted, combined bag limit of 20 marine life fish and invertebrates per person per day, only 5 of any one species allowed.   A 2-day possession limit also applies (40 total organisms, only 10 of any one species).


Marine Life - Plants

Algae, Coralline Red (Family Corallinaceae) One gallon of tropical ornamental marine plants per day in any combination; 2 gallon maximum possession limit
Caulerpa (Family Caulerpaceae)
Halimeda/Mermaid's Fan/Mermaid's Shaving Brush (Family Udoteaceae)

Recreational collection of up to 100 pounds or 2 organisms per person per day (whichever is greater) of unregulated species is permitted with a recreational saltwater fishing license.  To collect greater quantities of unregulated species, a saltwater products license is required.

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