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View Full Version : Etiquette on Florida keys live souvenir coral


reefer1970
01/12/2017, 04:34 PM
Going to the keys to snorkel or snuba and would expect them to tell us to look but don't touch. Is there anyplace that's ok to pluck a frag of anything to bring home to say you dove for it? Do people do this or is it a big no no or even illegal to fly home with?


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AWD
01/12/2017, 10:32 PM
Illegal. There are some things that can be collected with the proper license. TSA can see some things such as soft tissue and they may likely check it. I only know because I've been through it and I just had a small bottle of sand.


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Ron Reefman
01/13/2017, 04:27 AM
There is a lot of info in this thread about the snorkeling in the Keys.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2511350

Rules for collecting corals in the Keys is pretty easy. You need a Florida saltwater fishing license before you can take anything. All stony corals, both sps and lps, as well as all sea fans are 100% illegal anywhere in the state. Soft corals like ricordia, zoas and palys are limited to 5 polyps per person per day. Gorgonians are limited to 6 or 8 (I don't remember) colonies per person per day. Protected marine sanctuaries and state parks allow no collecting of live corals.

Get caught by FWC with anything illegal and you face huge fines and/or jail time. I've lost count of how many times FWC has stopped me to check. I've been pulled over by a FWC boat, visited while in the water by FWC on a jet ski and checked at the boat ramp as we came ashore. Don't risk it!

I think if you are up front with TSA and have the coral in a small container they will let you take it onboard. I have brought live corals home from MACNA meetings before. TSA wants to see it, but they are OK with it as the coral inside is alive so the fluid is unlikely to be used as an explosive chemical! Now I may have just been lucky with the TSA agents I've dealt with. Also, others flying home from MACNA may have set a precedent for the folks who work for TSA, i.e. they had seen others with live corals flying home before I got there.

AWD
01/27/2017, 09:27 PM
There is a lot of info in this thread about the snorkeling in the Keys.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2511350

Rules for collecting corals in the Keys is pretty easy. You need a Florida saltwater fishing license before you can take anything. All stony corals, both sps and lps, as well as all sea fans are 100% illegal anywhere in the state. Soft corals like ricordia, zoas and palys are limited to 5 polyps per person per day. Gorgonians are limited to 6 or 8 (I don't remember) colonies per person per day. Protected marine sanctuaries and state parks allow no collecting of live corals.

Get caught by FWC with anything illegal and you face huge fines and/or jail time. I've lost count of how many times FWC has stopped me to check. I've been pulled over by a FWC boat, visited while in the water by FWC on a jet ski and checked at the boat ramp as we came ashore. Don't risk it!

I think if you are up front with TSA and have the coral in a small container they will let you take it onboard. I have brought live corals home from MACNA meetings before. TSA wants to see it, but they are OK with it as the coral inside is alive so the fluid is unlikely to be used as an explosive chemical! Now I may have just been lucky with the TSA agents I've dealt with. Also, others flying home from MACNA may have set a precedent for the folks who work for TSA, i.e. they had seen others with live corals flying home before I got there.



3.5 ounces is the rule. If you had more then you got lucky. I know innocent people have brought stuff through accidentally but you never know when you will get stopped.


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SantaMonica
04/16/2017, 01:41 PM
Nice to see the rules being followed. So many documentaries show how there are rules but no following.

ackee
05/10/2017, 02:46 PM
Collecting 'live rock' is also strictly illegal.