Fishermen Rally Over Net Ban

TALLAHASSEE-- Dozens of angry fishermen rallied outside of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offices in Tallahassee Thursday.

They're renewing their opposition to a two decade old net ban.

Voters passed a constitutional amendment in 1994 that banned fishermen from using entangling nets.

It also bans non-entangling nets larger than 500 square feet near the shore and in bays.

The primary purpose of the net ban was to protect against the over fishing of mullet. But fishermen say the small mesh nets keeps them from catching other species.

"That won't catch anything but a juvenile baby fish. We need a larger mesh to catch fish that are marketable to catch the same size fish we can take to the market," fisherman Jimmy Forehand said.

A lower court threw out the ban last year. But the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is challenging that ruling in an appellate court.