Recreational Sea Shell Collecting Information

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The following is a summary of regulations regarding the recreational collection of sea shells in Florida.

Depending on whether or not the harvested sea shell contains a living organism, the type of organism it contains and where you will be collecting, the recreational collection of sea shells is permitted. A valid commercial saltwater products license is required in order sell shells containing live organisms.

License Requirement: A Florida recreational saltwater fishing license (resident or non-resident, whichever is applicable) is required in order to harvest a sea shell containing a living organism.

Closed and Restricted Areas: In Lee County, you may not harvest or possess any shells that contain a live organism except for oysters, hard clams, sunray venus clams and coquinas.

In Manatee County (including Skyway South), you may not harvest or possess more than two shells containing live organisms of any single species except for oysters, hard clams, sunray venus clams and coquinas.

Also, the harvest of certain species may be limited or prohibited in state or federal parks, national wildlife refuges, and portions of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Interested persons should contact those park areas for further information.

Prohibited Species: All harvest of the Bahama Starfish (Oreaster reticula tis) is prohibited. Possession of live Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) at any time is prohibited. It is not unlawful to possess queen conch shells in Florida as long as the shells do not contain any living queen conch at the time of collection, and so long as a living queen conch is not killed, mutilated, or removed from its shell prior to collection. Possession of conch meat or a queen conch shell having an off-center hole larger than 1/16 inch in diameter through its spire is prohibited.

Bag Limit: In counties other than Lee and Manatee, you are only permitted to keep an aggregate of 20 Marine Life species per person per day.

For unregulated species, more than 100 pounds or 2 fish per person per day (whichever is greater) is considered commercial quantities and requires a saltwater products license.

License Requirements - click here -

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