The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued an executive order to temporarily suspend a restriction on the use of purse seines for the commercial harvest of baitfish in inshore waters of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

The FWC is taking this action to help relieve possible economic hardships on the commercial fishing industry that may occur from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The order states that the restriction on the use of purse seines landward of the COLREGS Demarcation Line (which is used on nautical charts to denote inland waters) in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties for the commercial harvest of baitfish is removed.

This order, which can be viewed online, takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 7 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on June 1, unless it is repealed sooner or extended by subsequent order.

Fishermen who use purse seines to harvest baitfish in the area affected by the order must comply with all FWC fishing and gear regulations, which are available online at; click on “Fishing - Saltwater.”

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