At their March meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rules allowing the production and sale of Florida largemouth bass as food.
Legislative changes made in the 2021 legislative session sanctioned the sale of Florida largemouth bass produced in aquaculture facilities for food. Staff worked with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to ensure the continued genetic conservation of Florida’s iconic freshwater fish.
Key points of the approved rules language include:
- Permit the cultivation and sale of Florida largemouth bass as food fish.
- Incorporate the FWC Genetic Authentication Standards for Florida Largemouth Bass into the rule by reference.
- Prohibit the importation or transportation into the state of any species of live bass, except licensed Florida largemouth bass that meet the FWC’s Largemouth Bass Genetic Authentication Standards .
- Require that any live sea bass shipment to Florida be accompanied by the documentation required by the FDACS and FWC.
“We appreciate the continued collaboration with the FDACS, and are confident in the established protocols in place to protect Florida’s iconic game,” Commissioner Gary Lester said.
The Florida largemouth bass is the state fish.