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Florida FWC Commission Approves Sale of Largemouth Bass as Food Product

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Photo via Gabriel Vanslette/Wikimedia Commons via license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Move over, crappie! America’s most popular game fish is about to be hitting a table near you…

If you live in Florida, that is.

In early March, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) Committee voted to authorize the sale and product of largemouth bass as a food source in the Sunshine State.

The decision has been met with mixed reactions across the fishing community over the past two weeks, but there are a few things to keep in mind about the decision.

According to the official FWC website report, the meeting approved the rules for the following:

  • Permits the “culture and sale of Florida largemouth bass as a food fish”
  • “Incorporate FWC’s Genetic Authentication Standards for Florida largemouth bass into rule by reference.”
  • “Prohibit the importation into or transportation within the state of any live bass species, except permitted Florida largemouth bass that meet FWC’s largemouth bass Genetic Authentication Standards.”
  • “Require any shipment of live bass in Florida to be accompanied with documentation required by FDACS and FWC.”

The approval of the rules comes after lengthy discussion during the 2021 legislative session. Four meetings were held that year and opened to the public. Feedback was also gathered from interested parties online. Members of the fishing community and industry stakeholders were able to voice their opinions and concerns about the proposal.

A complete breakdown of the presentation from the committee meeting, as well as agenda notes, can be found here.