Florida Newsroom

Letter to FWC: Skyway Fishing Pier

FWC Commissioners
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399

Dear Chairman Barreto and Commissioners,

On behalf of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA Florida), I would like to thank you for your dedication to conservation and management of Florida’s marine resources. CCA Florida would like to take this opportunity to submit comments regarding the Skyway fishing pier and pelican entanglements.

On January 18, FWC staff held a meeting in Apollo beach to discuss ways to reduce pelican interactions with fisherman that use the Skyway fishing pier. I traveled down and represented CCA during the meeting. There were a handful of fisherman and fishing groups in the room as well as a number of bird groups. We met for 3 hours and came up with a number of ways to reduce pelican entanglements. I have presented the information to my board and spoke to the other fisherman at the meeting and I would like to offer a few regulation changes that we believe would help reduce the entanglements. First, we would like for education to play a major role, and explore the possibility of a Skyway fishing permit. Second, the information given to the public shows that the probability of pelican entanglement is highest from December through February, during this three-month period, we believe you should prohibit the use of multi hook gear. Next, limiting anglers to the use of no more than two rod and reels and making sure that the rod and reels are within reach of the angler. The use of deterrents, such as ropes or buckets hanging from the bottom of the pier should be utilized, so the pelicans don’t fly underneath the pier.

Implementing the rules above should have an impact on the reduction of entanglements to the birds. We believe that closures are a measure of last resort and other reduction measures should be explored first. A two-year sunset clause should follow these new rules so that a reevaluation can take place. I thank you and the Commission for the opportunity to express our thoughts on this issue.


Trip Aukeman

CCA Director of Advocacy

back to florida news