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Updated: 07/17/2014 08:00:01AM

Still protected

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By Josh Olive

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I’m noticing a trend. More and more anglers are taking photos of Goliath grouper dragged up on the sand or pulled into a boat. If you’re one of them, or if you’re planning to join that club, pay attention. I know you want your trophy photo, but if you’re smart you’ll stay on the right side of the law while you’re preserving that memory.

It seems that a lot of folks have forgotten that Goliaths are protected under Florida law. It’s illegal to harvest them, and that means more than simply not putting one in your cooler. Let’s start with what the law actually says: “No person shall harvest in or from state waters, nor possess while in or on the waters of the state, or land, any Nassau grouper or Goliath grouper.” Simple, right? Now, what exactly do the mean by harvest and land? Well, that’s in there, too: “Fish that are caught but immediately returned to the water free, alive and unharmed are not harvested. Land, when used in connection with the harvest of a fish, means the physical act of bringing the harvested fish ashore.”

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