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Biennial report
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075929/00007
 Material Information
Title: Biennial report
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida -- State Board of Conservation
Florida Geological Survey
Publisher: The Board
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Creation Date: 1949
Publication Date: 1936-1968
Frequency: biennial
regular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Natural resources -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Conservation of natural resources -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Saltwater fishing -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Florida State Board of Conservation.
Dates or Sequential Designation: 1936/38-1967/68.
Numbering Peculiarities: Vols. for 1936/38-1959/60 called 3rd-14th.
Numbering Peculiarities: 6th (1943/44) bound with the 6th Biennial report of the Florida Geological survey.
Numbering Peculiarities: Biennium ending Dec.31.
General Note: 13th (1957/58) has a subtitle "Salt water fishing."
General Note: Vols. for 1961/62-1963/64 include biennial reports of the individual divisions of the Board of Conservation.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001589422
oclc - 01410803
notis - AHL3395
System ID: UF00075929:00007
 Related Items
Preceded by: Biennial report to State Board of Conservation
Succeeded by: Biennial report - Florida Department of Natural Resources

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Main
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
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    Back Cover
        Page 62
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Full Text




1V id






V, e
1949-50

/ *
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BIENNIAL REPORT



STATE BOARD
OF
CONSERVATION


1949-50


GEORGE VATHIS
Supervisor


I _





-`26


/7 /?-c7Y

















Letter of Transmittal


Tallahassee, Florida
December 31, 1950

To His Excellency,
Fuller Warren,
Governor of the State of Florida,
Tallahassee, Florida.

Sir:

SHerewith is submitted the Ninth Biennial Report of the State
Board of Conservation covering the years 1949 and 1950. We feel
the department made considerable progress during the period;
however, we feel, and the report will show, that much remains to
S be done for Florida's salt water fisheries.

You will find this report has gone into considerable detail in
outlining the plans, problems and accomplishments of the Depart-
ment. We hope these facts and figures will provide a clearer under-
standing of the conditions and needs of our marine resources.

Respectfully submitted,





Supervisor.















GENERAL REVIEW



ACCORDING to the last federal census Florida is the third fastest
growing state in the union. Its population has increased 46 per-
cent in the past 10 years, and new faces still are moving in at the
rate of a thousand a day. Communities are growing into towns and
towns are growing into cities. Industries are mushrooming, busi-
nesses are expanding and resources are being explored and utilized
at an unprecedented rate. Such phenomenal growth must inevitably
be accompanied by growing pains. Pangs have long been felt in
the form of overcrowded schools, bulging thoroughfares, social
service problems, mounting cost of state and local government and
increased pressure on natural resources. All of this, naturally, has
had its effect on Florida's important salt water fisheries and their
administration. Today a record 9,000 commercial fishing boats are
plying our coastal waters; retail seafood establishments are multi-
plying at the rate of 200 a year; this year well over a million sports
fishermen will line our beaches and bridges and troop aboard our
charterboats to sample our fabled salt water fishing, and scores of
new resorts and businesses will spring up to take care of them.
The whole thing constitutes a tremendous business-a business
dependent entirely upon a productive salt water fishery. In turn,
the maintenance of a productive salt water fishery is dependent
largely upon the State Board of Conservation, its administrators
and the Florida Legislature. It is a tremendous responsibility and
a responsibility knotted with problems. Despite the fact Florida
is the fourth greatest, seafood producer in the nation its salt water
conservation budget is one of the smallest of the coastal states.
Until 1949 the state had never spent more than $140,000 a year
on salt water conservation. In 1949 the Legislature upped this sub-
stantially, allocating a total of $638,600 for general conservation,
oyster restoration and marine research. Subsequent budgetary cuts,
however, reduced this to a net appropriation of slightly over half
a million dollars for the biennium. Of this, some 63 percent went
for law enforcement, 13 percent for oyster restoration, eight per-
cent for fisheries research and the remainder for new equipment
and general administration.
The Conservation Department feels that it made a great deal of
progress in 1949 and 1950. For the first time a creditable research
program was put into effect. Law enforcement activities were ex-










ARREST AND CONVICTION REPORT
(1949)


County Total Arrests Acquittals Convictions Pending

B revard .............. 11 ......... ... 11 ......
Broward ............. 1 ............ 1
Dixie................ 3 ...... ..... 2
D uval................ 16 ........... 16 .....
Escambia........... .. 5 2 3 .........
Franklin ............. 36 11 25 .....
G ilchrist ............. 1 1 ............
G ulf ................. 2 2 ............
Hillsborough .......... 15 1 14 .....
L ee.................. 4 ....... ... 4 .....
M martin ............... 2 ............ 2 .....
Monroe............... 16 ..... ...... 14 2
O kaloosa ............. 1 1 ..... ....
Palm Beach.......... 2 ............ 2 .....
Pinellas .............. 11 1 10 .....
Putnam .............. 3 ........... 3 .....
St. Lucie............. 3 3 ...... ..... 3 .....
Taylor............... 13 1 12 .. ...
V olusia............... 3 ........... 3 .....
W akulla.............. 1 ............ 1 .....

149 20 127 2


panded and improved. An important and long-overdue plan for
restoring our oyster production was launched. A new system for
compiling catch records was worked out, and for the first time
some semblance of order and understanding was brought out of
Florida's jumbled collection of conservation laws.

OYSTER RESTORATION
Probably the most important accomplishment of the biennium
was the setting up of a long-range oyster restoration program.
Florida's oyster production has dropped sharply in the past 10
years; in many areas yields are off as much as 90 percent from
prewar peaks. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, the
1947 Legislature set up an Oyster Division of the State Board of
Conservation for proposed research and rehabilitation of oyster
beds over a two year period. However, the Division was never
formally activated until February, 1949. The following month the
state's first seafood laboratory was set up in Apalachicola, and pre-
liminary surveys began in Apalachicola Bay.










ARREST AND CONVICTION REPORT
(1950)


County

Brevard.............
Broward. ........ .
Citrus. ..............
Collier ..............
Charlotte ..........
Duval................
Escambia ...........
Franklin ............
Hillsborough ........ .
L ee ......... .....
L evy .................
M anatee .............
M artin ...............
M onroe. ......... .
Nassau ..............
Palm Beach..........
Pinellas ............
Sarasota..............
St. Johns .............
Volusia.... ....


Pending


3
3



2


3
7

1



1
4


To insure the continuance of the restoration program the 1949
legislature appropriated $100,000 to carry it over a two-year period.
During that time a staff of capable marine scientists have been
delving into the state's oyster problems to determine when and
how we can bring our beds back to their former productiveness.
Numerious studies of spat-fall, salinity, growth rates, pollution and
disease have been made. In addition to exploratory work, the
Oyster Division has also carried out extensive planting operations.
Most of the "planting" has been confined to the Apalachicola Bay
area, which has long been the state's richest oyster bottom and in
recent years the hardest hit. Dozens of near-barren beds have
been rehabilitated under our present program. Results are already
showing up in the form of increased yields.
The Conservation Department feels that if the present oyster
studies and restoration program can be continued for at least two
more years, the state will once again be near the top in oyster
production.


1








FISHERIES RESEARCH
For years Florida has suffered badly from lack of knowledge in
the field of salt water conservation. Very few of our regulations
could be based upon scientific facts, because there had been no
fact-finding studies. During the past biennium the State Board of
Conservation launched the first real scientific research program in
its history. In 1947-48 a bare one percent of a very meager budget
was devoted to marine research. During 1949-50 this was raised to
8.6 percent of a considerably larger budget.
Even now, however, Florida's fisheries investigation program is
seriously undeveloped. But the Department does feel it has made
some progress. Preliminary surveys have been made on mullet,
shrimp, shrimp bait, sailfish and other species. Some important facts
have been uncovered but most studies have been too small and
too brief to provide definite conclusions. These definite conclusions
we must have if we are to formulate a wise conservation policy-
and scientific research is the only means of getting them.
In the interest of economy the State Board of Conservation has
carried out its research program through the University of Miami
Marine Laboratory. By using the staff and facilities of the Lab-

Three conservation agents with 4,000 yards of illegal seine taken from
Haulover Canal on the upper East Coast.


*A






























Conservation agents with a load of illegal crawfish traps seized off the
coast of Broward County.
oratory the Department makes a substantial saving in salaries,
overhead and capital outlay. A similar laboratory is now being
developed at Florida State University. In the near future we hope
to utilize it under a like arrangement.
A more detailed resume of the accomplishments and future
plans in the fisheries research field is covered further in this report.
LAW ENFORCEMENT
Law enforcement is the cutting tool of any conservation effort.
No conservation law, no matter how good, can be effective unless
it can be properly enforced. For years the enforcement branch of
the State Board of Conservation has carried a terrific load on its
shoulders. Florida is a big state, with more coastline than any other
state in the union. Much of this coastline is wild, uncharted and
extremely hard to police. Yet at the beginning of 1949 the De-
partment boasted only 30 agents, most of them equipped with in-
ferior boats and some with no equipment other than their own
automobiles.
The enforcement branch still has no airplanes or communication
network, but we feel the past two years has seen a vast improve-
ment in its effectiveness. During the past biennium the Department
has added 16 conservation agents to the enforcement staff. They
have been supplied with 15 new boats, four boat trailers, five heavy








duty outboard motors and one jeep. For the first time the agents
have been supplied with an up-to-date compilation of Florida Con-
servation Statutes and a clear concise manual outlining enforcement
policies and procedures. The agents are still woefully underpaid,
with a monthly salary range of $150-$250. However, the depart-
ment has managed to raise the average pay to around $165 a
month-some $15 above the average two years ago.
This expansion and improvement, modest though it has been,
is reflected in arrest reports for 1949-50. During 1947-48 only 167
arrests were made throughout the state. During the past two years
there was a total of 300 arrests and 215 convictions. Arrests were
reported in 20 counties, and in some the conviction ratio ran well
over 90 percent.
Above is a detailed report of arrests and convictions for the
biennium by counties.











COMMERCIAL FISHERIES



OMMERCIAL fishing is one of Florida's oldest and most important
Industries. It contributes to the income of more than half of
Florida's 67 counties and represents a capital investment of well
over a hundred million dollars. It has been estimated that one out
of every 35 persons in the state derives either all or part of his
income from our salt water commercial fisheries. Every year for
the past decade Florida has seen an increase in the number of
fishing boats operating in her waters; wholesale and retail establish-
ments have multiplied with corresponding rapidity. Yet with all of
this expanded effort our seafood production continues to drop
steadily.
In 1947-48 the average yearly food fish yield was nearly 17,-
000,000 pounds below the 1941-46 average. During the same period
shellfish production showed a 55,000 gallon slump from the previous
five-year average. During the first half of the past biennium food
fish production barely held its own, but shellfish showed a slight
increase. Unfortunately, no complete picture is yet available for
1950. During the past year the Conservation Department, in co-
operation with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has inaugurated
A Tampa Bay bait dealer operating a pushnet for shrimp.







a new system of catch determination which we feel is far more
reliable than the old method. Formerly censuses were conducted
only once a year, and these were made by enforcement officers.
Under the new system, landings are tabulated each month by
trained statisticians. The result, we feel, will be more accurate
figures and a more reliable chart of trends.
Because of the new system, however, the complete 1950 census
will not be available until June 1, 1951. Therefore, we cannot, at
present, make a definite report on last year's seafood production.
But on the basis of figures already compiled we can make tentative
estimates. These estimates indicate that Florida's overall production
has again slipped downward. Though far from definite, preliminary


,'93,9 40 4/ 4* 43 44 45 46 247 48 49
u, ib r f t t t
$ Food Fisk '
S//o- rod uctiorT


o 90-

N 80-

70-9

60- 7939 o 19,49


This chart shows the trend of Florida's food fish production since 1939.
Note that production is off nearly 30 million pounds since 1943.

figures indicate that the food fish catch for 1950 may run as much
as 15,000,000 pounds under the 1949 total and perhaps 30,000,000
pounds under the annual average for the heavy-producing war
years. Final figures are almost sure to show a sharp drop in non-
food fish yields from 1949 to 1950. Because of the heavy oyster
restoration program in the Apalachicola Bay, shellfish production
for 1950 will probably be equal to or only slightly under the 1949
figure of 145,000 gallons. However, this is a far cry from the nearly
1,000,000 gallons Florida marketed a dozen years ago.









SEAFOOD PRODUCTION BY COUNTIES
(1949)


Food Non-Food Shell Crabs,
Counties Fish Fish Fish Shrimp, etc.

Bay................. 3,609,656 403,663 1,337 48,021
Brevard.............. 4,049,169 44,544 53 844,650
Broward ............. 1,322,250 ......... ..... ....... 2,000
Charlotte ............. 4,218,100 ............... ... ......... 78,943
Citrus................ 1,930,672 ............. 1,478 468
Clay................. 11,000 ...... ...........
Collier............... 8,696,068 3,746 4 84,369
Dade................ 2,256,452 1,000 6 992,581
Dixie................ 1,051,177 ............. 10,864 ...........
Duval................ 1,299,282 82,500 5,915 3,746,791
Escambia............. 4,718,886 11,260 1,836 78,479
Flagler............... 76,606 25 ............ 264
Franklin ............ .4,245,056 24,860,480 75,323 4,146,642
Gulf................. 801,374 75,000 6,569 80,800
IIernando............ 934,449 ......... ............ ...........
Hillsborough. ......... 3,854,898 .......... .. 27,909 104,128
Indian River.......... 1,250,572 321,729 275 556,000
Lee.................. 4,487,348 ............ 731 643,968
Levy................. 1,641,240 2,000 325 20,250
Manatee ............. 3,020,613 4,800 920 158,500
M artin ............... 1,088,720 3,550,342 .......................
Monroe .............. 771,969 ........... .......... 1,462,606
Nassau............... 566,536 20,716,512 272 3,362,317
Okaloosa. ............ 1,764,248 36,970 ............ 2,346
Palm Beach. : ...... 4,907,407 100 380 1,794,660
Pasco ................ 753,831 ............ ............ 3,933
Pinellas. ............. 6,106,732 65 2,367 20,552
Putnam .............. 3,465,162 331,000 ............ 357,998
St. Johns............. 356,137 20,000 ... ......... 1,956,774
St. Lucie............. 2,600,453 28,912 ............ 48,743
Santa Rosa ........... 18,804 ........... ............. 400
Sarasota.............. 1,787,367 5,851 2,752 1,425
Seminole............. 7,000 ...................................
Taylor ............... 1,124,283 ............ 175 1,500
Volusia............... 1,187,468 87,600 98 948,370
Wakulla ............. 1,831,487 138 5,525 81,000
W ashington ........... 12,625 ...................................

Totals ........... 81,825,097 *50,588,237 145,114 21,629,528


* Note: Decrease in non-food fish due to 75% less production of Menhaden in
Duval and Nassau Counties.







SHRIMP
The brightest spot in Florida's commercial fisheries during the
past biennium was the shrimp industry. Shrimp production has
been climbing steadily in Florida for the past decade. A record
16,973,000 pounds was taken in 1948. Yields slipped badly to
slightly over 10,000,000 pounds in 1949, but in 1950 it is estimated
that the total will run upward to 23,000,000 pounds.
This terrific increase is due almost entirely to the discovery of
fabulously rich shrimping grounds off Key West. The new bonanza
was discovered by S. Salvatore & Co., a St. Augustine firm, in
September, 1949. However, active commercial fishing did not begin
until January, 1950. Within a month after its discovery was an-
1Q39 40 4/ 42 43 44 45 46 47 8 49



15 -
1 Shrimp

,14. roductio r
13---
t> /I-
102-
/0
S9-.

1939 to 1949
6

Shrimp production is the brightest spot in Florida's commercial fisheries.
Chart doesn't show record 23 million pounds for 1950.
nounced the grounds were producing catches unheard of in Florida.
In February, 1950 the catch was calculated at 2,117,000 pounds.
During the year, the find yielded an estimated 12,000,000 pounds
of shrimp--more than the combined total of Florida's other
shrimping grounds.
The new grounds are about 70 miles long by 20 miles wide,
extending from a point 15 miles west of Key West to a little beyond
Dry Tortugas. Exploration in the past few months indicates the area
is gradually extending, with good catches reported as far north as
the area around Everglades City. Catches from the area are being








NUMBER OF LICENSES ISSUED FOR BIENNIUM

1949 1950
Wholesale Seafood ............ 697 Wholesale Seafood ........... 725
Retail Seafood ...............3773 Retail Seafood ..............3802
Non-Resident Fishing ......... 448 Non-Resident Fishing ......... 909
Commercial Boats ........... .7760 Commercial Boats ........... .6905
Pleasure Boats ...............1426 Pleasure Boats ...............1659
Shrimp Boats ................ 586 Shrimp Boats ................ 782
Sponge Boats ................ 69 Sponge Boats ................ 64
Snapper Boats ............... 18 Snapper Boats ............... 16
Menhaden Boats ............. 69 Menhaden Boats .............. 51
Oyster Boats ................. 130 Oyster Boats ................. 86
Purse Seine .................. 23 Purse Seine .................. 17
Non-Resident Boat Tax ....... 388 Non-Resident Boat Tax ........ 649
Excess Nets .................. 54 Excess Nets .................. 152


landed at Key West, Everglades City, Goodland Point, Naples,
Fort Myers, Punta Gorda and even Sarasota.
The strike has brought in shrimping fleets from North and South
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. In addition
many operators from North Florida grounds have moved in for a
share of the fabulous find. In the early months of the Key West
operation, grounds off Fernandina and St. Augustine were almost
entirely deserted.
The species of shrimp being caught on the new grounds is
Penaeus duorarum, Burkenroad. This is one of three species gen-
erally known as Brazilian or grooved shrimp. They are not "jumbo"
size but are definitely large, running 26 to 31 to the pound. In
some of the deeper waters, however, much bigger ones are being
discovered.
At first some difficulty in marketing the new species was ex-
perienced because of the darker color. However, the prejudice was
neither serious nor long-lasting. Tests indicate the coral shrimp
may actually keep for a longer time than the white ones. Taste tests
have also proved it is in no way inferior to other established
species.
The Key West shrimp are being caught on white coral mud, and
practically all fishing is done at night. Some catches have been
made in daytime, but night fishing is considerably more productive.
The Key West grounds are relatively free of trash fish, a feature
which allows the trawlers to make longer hauls without jamming
the nets with small, unmarketable fish. Most of the fishing is done
in 15 to 25 fathoms of water with the best catches reported in about
18 to 20 fathoms.
There is every indication this rich new fishery will prove per-
manent. The coral bottom stretching over the entire area will tend










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to keep it from being heavily tiawled, thus reducing undue fishing
pressure. Right now there is no indication that any new regulations
are needed to preserve the grounds. Later it may prove advisable
to impose closed seasons, particularly if a sharp reduction in average
size is noted.
The economic importance of the Key West discovery stresses
the need for new exploration by the State Board- of Conservation.
Charts show there appear to be suitable shrimp areas north of the
new ground. It is quite conceivable that many of these areas would
prove to be highly productive shrimp grounds. Because of the
danger to equipment and heavy expense, it is unlikely such ex-
ploration will be carried out by individual operators. As pressure
on the present area grows it will undoubtedly be necessary for the
State itself to inaugurate a further search for new fisheries.
FOOD FISH
In 1949, 37 of Florida's counties shared in the state's $25,000,000
salt water food fish crop. In some counties the share was insig-
nificant; in others it provided the bulk of the county's income. The
total catch for the year was 81,825,097 pounds, a million and a half
pounds over 1948 but 30,000,000 pounds under the peak year of
1943. As previously explained, no definite figures for 1950 are yet
available, but it is believed production will show a decided slump.
Of the 37 counties marketing food fish in 1949, Collier was first
with 8,696,068 pounds. Pinellas was second with 6,106,732 pounds

Fishermen drag-seining for mullet on the West Coast of Florida.


I~rrrura~,,
:
-~--









and Palm Beach third with 4,907,407 pounds. Other counties pro-
ducing over four million pounds of food fish were Brevard, Char-
lotte, Escambia, and Franklin.
As usual mullet made up nearly half of the state's total food fish
catch during the biennium. More than 34 million pounds of mullet
were taken in 1949. This was a little more than a million pounds
shy of the 1948 total, but nearly six million pounds ahead of 1947
production. Indications are the 1950 yield will be somewhat less
than the previous year.
Florida's next important food fish, the mackerel, showed an
increase during the first half of the past biennium. A total of
8,353,365 pounds were landed in 1949 compared to 7,547,123 in
1948 and 7,670,086 in 1947. Grouper also showed an increase of
nearly a million pounds in 1949 over the mean average during the
previous biennium. Two other important species, snapper and sea
trout, also showed a slight increase in yields. The principal de-
creases in 1949 production were reflected in the little-known and
less-marketable species.

NON-FOOD FISH
Florida's "trash" fish production, used primarily in fertilizer
manufacture, is subject to wide fluctuation. For example in 1943
the catch topped 200 million pounds, only to drop to 35 million
pounds the following year. By 1948 production was back up to
105,365,248 pounds, 95 percent of which was menhaden. However,
during the past biennium, yields tumbled once more. A 75 percent
decrease in the Nassau, Duval County menhaden fishery and the
closing of the east coast shark fishery caused 1949 production to
drop to slightly more than 50 million pounds; reliable figures indi-
cate the 1950 catch was under 23 million pounds. Whether this
sharp drop is due to curtailment of industry, or a decline in re-
sources is not clearly determined. It probably resulted from a
combination of the two.



NON-FOOD FISH PRODUCTION 1949
Number of
Species Reported Pounds
Reported
Menhaden or Porgies ....................................... 45,585,266
Sharks .................................................... 2,684,442
Trash Fish ................................................ 2,318,529
TOTAL NON-FOOD FISH ................................ 50,588,237









ANNUAL REPORT OF SPONGES SOLD THROUGH THE
TARPON SPRINGS SPONGE EXCHANGE, INC.
1949
Rock Island Sheep Wool
Bunches* Value Av. Per Bunch*
Large Wool ............... 740 $101,410.59 $137.00
X Med. Med & Sm Wool .... 487 40,527.19 83.00
Large Wool Rags ........... 1,812 136,363.30 75.00
X Med. Med & Sm Rags ..... 7,843 176,875.27 22.50
10,882 $455,176.35
Yellow and Grass
Yellow ..................... 1,244 $ 9,097.35 $ 7.30
Grass ...................... 899 6,530.70 7.25
2,143 $ 15,628.05
GRAND TOTAL
Rock Island Wool ............. 10,882 bunches $455,176.35
Yellow ....................... 1,244 9,097.35
Grass ........................ 899 6,530.70
13,025 $470,804.40

SPONGES SOLD IN AREA OF KEY WEST, FLORIDA
1949

Wool sponge 2,502 bunches $8.00 per bunch average........ $20,016.00
Yellow sponge 350 bunches $3.00 per bunch average........ 1,050.00
Grass sponge 150 bunches $1.25 per bunch average........ 187.50
Total ................. .................................. $21,253.50
1950
Wool sponge 2,740 bunches $10.00 per bunch average ........ $27,400.00
Yellow sponge 132 bunches $3.00 per bunch average........ 396.00
Grass sponge 75 bunches $1.00 per bunch average........ 75.00
Total .................................................... $27,871.00
This did not include sponges sold to tourists along the Keys, and to private
buyers who did not come to the dock to bid on them.

SPONGES
Florida's sponge industry is dying proof of the axiom "Conser-
vation Won't Wait!" From the mid-thirties until 1947, the state
marketed well over $1,000,000 worth of sponges each year. During
the war years wool sponge sales averaged over $2,000,000 per
annum. However, by 1948 it had become apparent that overfishing
and untreated diseases had all but ruined this valuable resource.
Despite heavily increased fishing pressure and good market prices
the state's total income from wool sponges dropped to $472,000.
The yield in pounds dropped to half what it had been two years
earlier.









SHELLFISH PRODUCTION 1949
Number of
Species Reported Gallons
Reported
O ysters ................................................... 123,650
Clams .................................................... 11,936
Scallops .................................................. 9,528
TOTAL SHELLFISH ...................................... 145,114

In 1949 revenue remained about the same, with the total market
price of all sponges running $502,057, including $21,253 worth
marketed in Key West. During the past year, however, the industry
suffered an almost complete collapse. At one time only five boats
were operating out of Tarpon Springs. Though no final figures are
in, the Tarpon Springs Exchange estimates a bare $140,000 worth of
sponges were sold there in 1950.

SHELLFISH
The state's overall shellfish production for the past biennium
shows a slight increase over the 1947-4S figures. The increase is
reflected partially in heavier oyster yields for 1949 and partially in
a sharp jump in scallop production during the report period. In
1949 Florida marketed 123,650 gallons of oysters as compared with
113,000 gallons in 1947 and 118,000 gallons in 1948. During the

One of the new patrol boats purchased by the State Board of Conservation.
This modern boat will make 30 m.p.h.









MISCELLANEOUS 1949

Number of
Species Reported Pounds
Reported
Blue Crabs ............................................... 7,687,372
C onchs ................................................... 39,834
Crayfish ...... ........................ .............. 3,581,043
Sea Turtles ............................................... 46,685
Shrim p ................................ ................... 10,192,641
Squid .................................................... 693
Stone Crabs ............................................... 65,413
Terrapin ............................ ..................... 15,847
TOTAL MISCELLANEOUS ................................ 21,629,528

same period scallop production rose to 11,936 gallons, almost the
amount produced in both previous years.
Though last year's figures are not complete, it is believed they
will show that shellfish production is holding its own.
MISCELLANEOUS SEAFOOD
The production of such miscellaneous seafoods as blue crabs,
conchs, crayfish, seaturtles, stone crabs and terrapins contributes
substantially to our commercial fisheries. With the exception of
terrapins and sea turtles the catch of all species was off during the
first half of the biennium as compared to 1948. Blue crabs dropped
from 8,446,935 pounds to 7,687,372 pounds. Crayfish were off some
300,000 pounds. Conchs were about half the 1948 figure and stone
crabs were 22,300 pounds less than the previous year.
However, 1948 was an unusually good production year for these
species. Generally speaking, 1949 yields were still far ahead of the
state's 10-year average from 1939 through 1949. There are indica-
tions that 1950 was also a good year by previous standards.











OYSTER DIVISION


UNDER the authority of the 1947 Legislature the Oyster Division
was organized in February, 1949, for the purpose of developing
the oyster industry and of improving the natural oyster beds of the
State. Appropriations were made for this purpose, but actual funds
available were reduced on account of insufficient general tax
revenue.
At one time several areas of the Florida coastline were much
greater producers of oysters than they are now. In the course of
time mainly due to lack of management and scientific control, but
also because of natural disasters, these once productive beds became
silted up, polluted, overcrowded with coon oysters, afflicted by
disease or for other reasons failed to produce their former yield.
At least one attempt in the past was made to re-establish these
oyster producing beds. This attempt was a lamentable failure, prin-
cipally because the available funds were spent without proper
scientific advice and direction. For this reason, the Legislature has
arranged for future oyster development to be carried out by an
Oyster Division of the Board of Conservation, staffed by competent
scientists. Dr. F. G. Walton Smith, an internationally known sci-
entist with experience in oyster fisheries in several countries, was
appointed director. Mr. Robert Ingle was appointed assistant di-
rector in charge of field work. Mr. Ingle had previously worked
on oysters for the State of Louisiana. He has received advanced
training in marine biology at the University of Miami Marine
Laboratory.
AIMS OF THE OYSTER DIVISION
The aim of the Oyster Division is to develop the Florida oyster
industry to the greatest possible production of the best quality
oysters. It is. well recognized that this production must be reached
by methods which will insure a stable yield and see that future
yields are not endangered by careless exploitation.
Before any development program can be put into effect it is
necessary to know as much as possible about the oysters them-
selves, their requirements for fast healthy growth, and the best
ways, the best times and the best places for improving the existing








oyster beds and for opening up new productive areas. In doing
this it is necessary to know a great deal about oyster growth rate,
breeding habits and food requirements, and natural enemies in the
locality. It is also necessary to know from first hand study the
nature of the bottom and how this can be improved. It is also of
importance to know the natural enemies of oysters and how to
control them. All these things have been studied for many years
in the oyster beds of northern Atlantic States and in many southern
states. In Florida, unfortunately, very little study has been carried
out in the past and a scientific survey of the Florida oyster, its
habits, its requirements, its enemies and its habitat has become an
essential first step toward developing the oyster beds themselves.

S193 40 41 2 43 4d 445 6 4 7 48 49
S 900. t f 4t t
80

OUster
Z; 700-


500-
S500-o\ Production_

I 4 7939 to 1949
Z 300-
| 200-
100-

Oyster production took a tremendous drop just before the war but is now
holding its own.
The second step has been to improve the oyster beds. This in-
cludes the improvement of silted bottoms by addition of clean shell
upon which the oysters can grow. In addition it has been found
that oysters grow better in some places, but breed better in others.
For this reason care must be taken to supply the seed for beds
where growth is fast. In the same way it is sometimes necessary
to thin out coon oyster beds where oysters grow too thickly, in
order to allow full growth to take place.
The third step in an efficient oyster development program is the
proper regulation and control of oyster industry. It is obviously a










waste of State funds to improve natural oyster beds, only to have
them again ruined by uncontrolled fishing.
The aim of the Oyster Division, to sum it up, is to develop the
maximum steady production of healthy oysters, with due regard
for conservation of future yields. The objectives which are sought
in order to achieve this aim are summarized as follows:

I. EXPLORATION
(a) The oysters
1. Field operations
2. Spot sampling and condition
8. Growth rate
4. Breeding
5. Life history, larvae and food in plankton
(b) Commercial operations
1. Methods of fishing
2. Catch statistics
3. Economic and sociological
4. Welfare of fishermen
(c) Environment
1. Biological. Growth rate, parasites, disease and relation of market
condition of oyster to its surrounding water conditions. Pollution.
2. Physical. Salinity, temperature, silting, tidal conditions, etc.
II. APPRAISAL AND DEVELOPMENT
(a) Improving oyster beds
1. Appraisal of old and new oyster beds. Chemical and physical.
Temperature, salinity, silting, tidal and other drifts and currents.
Biological. Growth rate, larvae dispersal, condition. Parasites
and disease.
2. Development of old and new oyster beds. Collection of shell.
Dumping shell on proved grounds. Experimental dumping on
new grounds. Methods for parasite control. Transplanting of
coon oysters. Seed collection and transplantation. Pollution con-
trol. Sanitation in oyster handling.
(b) Education
1. Advice to oyster growers
2. Encourage cultivation on leases
3. Discourage pollution, in cooperation with other agencies.
Sanitation.
4. Set up small scale model cultivation of oysters for demonstration.
5. Exhibits, demonstration and moving pictures for exhibition to
local Chambers of Commerce, schools, etc.
III. CONTROL
(a) Proper regulation
1. Minimum size
2. Closed seasons
3. Closed areas
(b) Changing conditions
1. Maintain the work of I and II in statistics, biological and
oceanographic studies
2. Revise regulations-in light-of previous paragraph
3. Emergency surveys for control of unusual situations



























-- ..




The Oyster Division moves three barge-loads of cleaned shell into Apala-
chicola Bay. The cleaned shell is used in rehabilitating old beds.

WORK ACCOMPLISHED 1949-1950
Since the work was not begun until February, 1949, most of the
work so far has been of a preliminary nature. Nevertheless, a great
deal has been accomplished and several areas are already greatly
improved.
Since the greater part of the Florida oyster industry is centered
in Apalachicola Bay the basic research was begun there. A modern
field laboratory, fully equipped with all apparatus needed for the
necessary chemical and microscopic studies was established the
first of March, 1949. As there were no technicians available in the
community, local high school students were given a short course in
laboratory procedure. The students adapted themselves so well that
a great many of the routine analyses were done by part-time student
help during the first 21 months of the laboratory's existence, at a
saving in cost to the State.
During March, 1949, a 34-foot shrimp trawler was purchased
and converted into the Oyster Division's floating laboratory, or
research vessel, the Spat I.
Two trucks were purchased during April and May, 1949. One


L








of these, of heavy duty construction, was obtained for the collection
of oyster shell from local shucking houses for use in planting oper-
ations. The other, a pick-up truck, was intended for rapid hauling
of light scientific gear used in making studies throughout the State.
In March, 1950, the Oyster Division and the Florida State Board
of Health, operating jointly, opened the State's first seafood lab-
oratory in Apalachicola. The purpose of the laboratory is to provide
a bacteriological check on the seafood producing waters of Apa-
lachicola Bay at all times. Also, close inspection of the seafood
houses is maintained as well as occasional analysis of the oysters
as they reach market. Thus, increased production through scien-
tific cultivation is protected by constant vigilance for purity.
In February, 1949, nine stations were established in various parts
of Apalachicola Bay. At each of these stations, visits were made
weekly and temperature and salinity of the water was recorded. In
addition, baskets, made of chicken wire and filled with bleached
oyster shells, were placed at each station and replaced weekly. The
baskets of shell which had been exposed each week were always
brought to the laboratory where the baby oysters that had settled
could be counted. As oyster larvae swim during the first two weeks
of their existence, after which they attach themselves, the wire
baskets of shell provide an easy method of measuring the time and
intensity of spawning.
At four stations, growth rate studies were carried on. Oysters of
all sizes were measured and marked, put in trays, and were checked
monthly for shell increment.
At several selected spots in the bay, in addition to those listed
above, salinity samples were run hourly for 24-hour periods, and
at several succeeding high and low tides, in order that frequent
variations in salinity might be better understood. The small and
shallow nature of most of Florida's estuaries indicated in advance
that rather rapid changes in salinity might be an important factor
in oyster culture.
Conditions favoring an increased oyster production in Florida
are several. An extremely heavy spat-fall was noted in all areas
harboring oysters and a reliable source of seed is therefore almost
always assured. In some areas spat-fall was so heavy that shell
planting operations would have to be carefully timed to avoid the
peaks rather than coincide with them as is the practice in northern
waters.
An exceptionally long breeding season has been found to exist.
Oysters spawn more or less continuously from the latter part of
March until the last week in October in Apalachicola Bay. The








greatest amount of spawning is not observed until the water tem-
perature has reached at least 26.5 degrees C., and possibly 28
degrees C. At any rate, the critical temperature for mass spawning
is higher than 25 degrees C., previously accepted as the highest
critical temperature for this function in oysters.
Poor quality of oysters was not found to be detrimental to the
production of spat. Coon oyster bars, presumably of no value com-
mercially (except as the source of seed), were found to be capable
of heavy spat-fall production. They should therefore be protected,
even from the taking of too many seed oysters.
The usual oyster parasites and commensals have been found to
be unusually few in Florida. A great variety of harmful snails do
exist however, and studies should be made on these with the aim
of control. Exploration should be made into the possibility of using
these snails as bait, fertilizer or other commercial products.
Growth is especially rapid. It was found that cultch or old shell
planted in the spring would become settled by spat which produced
marketable sized oysters by the latter part of the ensuing oyster
season. By comparison, northern oysters would require three to
four years to attain a similar size. The growth is also continuous
throughout the year, whereas in northern waters the growing season
extends only through the warmer season.
Conservation Department employees distribute "egg-crate collectors", a
special type of artificial cultch used in improving oyster beds. They are
made of cardboard, then dipped in cement mixture and allowed to harden.





























A marine research biologist measures an Apalachicola Bay oyster. This
prize specimen measured six inches.
A critical item in Florida's oyster culture is the purity of water.
Many areas of the State that previously were leading producers
are now producing little or nothing because of pollution. The pol-
lution is of two types, sewage and industrial. Studies have been
started to determine which times of the year sewage pollution is
absent. It is well-known that when the salinity of the water is
raised, harmful bacteria tend to decrease. By fishing only during
such periods in polluted areas it may be possible to harvest many
thousands of barrels of oysters that are now permanently con-
demned. This plan has been used in Apalachicola Bay with marked
success.
The other aspects of the pollution problems are apparently being
improved. In a recent report, the Florida State Board of Health
reported that paper mill pollution is being cleaned up in many
areas. The number of coastal municipalities that are installing ade-
quate sewage facilities continue to increase. This, in turn, adds to
the number of acres of cultivatable oyster bottoms.
The exploratory work clearly shows that nature has conferred
upon the Florida oyster potent advantages from the standpoint of
cultivation. If these advantages are fully exploited, Florida can
unquestionably produce many times the amount of oysters now
brought to market.








DEVELOPMENT
During the summer of 1949 there was an absence of suitable
material to be used as cultch in the planting operations. A "scrap
drive" was therefore made in order to accumulate as many tin
cans and pieces of junk metal as possible. Altogether, 52 army
pontoons loaded with this make-shift cultch were taken into the
Bay and unloaded. Most of these plantings were in the coves and
inlets of St. George's Island.
The shell which resulted from shucking operations in Franklin
and Gulf Counties was collected during the winter of 1949-50. This
shell was planted in selected locations, picked by scientific surveys.
As indicated on the map, most of the plantings were made in the
western part of the Bay.
In addition to 59,200 bushels of shell which were accumulated
from the shucking operations of the oyster houses and subsequently
dumped in the Bay, 28,800 bushels of steamed shell from the
packing plants of Bayou la Batre, Alabama, was purchased. The
latter shell was barged to Franklin County in June, 1950, and
planted directly.
In planting, labor was kept at a minimum by the use of pumps.
Three-inch streams of water, at high pressure, were played upon
the shell barges, driving the shell into the water.
During the spring of 1950, oysters of poor quality from inferior
growing areas were transplanted to good bedding grounds. A total
of 8,576 bushels were moved in this manner.
Numerous surveys on hydrographic conditions, condition of local
oyster growth and spat-fall were made in every locality of the west
coast of Florida known to harbor.oysters in any substantial amount.
Without exception all areas showed promise of greater production
under scientific cultivation. Regions especially strong in potential
are those in the vicinity of the following cities: Pensacola, Milton,
Fort Walton, Niceville, Valparaiso, West Bay, Lynn Haven, South-
port, Spring Creek, Panacea, St. Marks, Steinhatchee, Cedar Key,
Crystal River, Homosassa Springs, Tarpon Springs and St.
Petersburg.
In August, 1950, a second field laboratory was established at
Port Orange on the east coast. Mr. Charles E. Dawson, Jr., oyster
biologist, was placed in residence. He began studies on growth,
hydrographic conditions, and quality of oysters in all areas deemed
capable of a greater production. The findings of these studies will
be used to guide future planting operations on the east coast.









LEASES
Every encouragement has been given to those people who wish
to lease water bottoms for the private cultivation of oysters. In-
formation and advice has been supplied generously by the biolo-
gists of the Oyster Division. It is clear that private cultivation will
be the backbone of Florida's potentially great oyster industry, just
as it has been the mainstay of the industry in all the states having
a large production.
Acreage for cultivating oysters may be leased from the State at
fifty cents per acre per year. Rented bottom must not contain
natural bars, however, since these are maintained for general fish-


















At left, a research biologist marks an oyster for growth-rate study. (Right)
Wire-mesh shell collector used in studying the distribution of spat.

ing. Leases are held in perpetuity, and become legacies at the
death of the owner. Many thousands of acres of bottom, now
barren, could be made to produce a high grade, valuable product,
but only by careful cultivation.
Cultivation can be carried out in two different ways. First by
planting shell or other substrate during the spawning season a base
is provided for the attachment of young oysters. In approximately
one year these young are ready for harvesting.
The second method of cultivation involves the transplanting of
oysters from areas where growth is slow and quality is poor to
leased bottoms located in regions more favorable. The oysters that
are moved are known as seed.








"Coon" oyster bars are reefs that probably stay out of water some
of the time or for some other reason provide a poor place for
growth. These "coon" bars are good sources of seed oysters.
EDUCATION
Numerous talks have been given to fishermen's groups, service
clubs, chambers of commerce, and other civic organizations, in
order to explain the program and in order to obtain full cooperation
toward developing a greatly increased production and a stable
industry.
Several publications have already been issued. Educational Series
No. 5 issued by the State Board of Conservation describes the life
breeding, growth and enemies of the oyster. It also explains the
principles of oyster cultivation and gives a number of recipes for
cooking and serving oysters. A series of technical papers has also
been published by staff members of the Division. These include
findings of summer growth studies, spawning and planting studies
and salinity surveys.























































.. A TAIL-DANCING SAILFISH



32














































I_ --


.. TONGING FOR OYSTERS


Ua


-i~u~i
C~*~*u


1~


F------












MARINE FISHERIES RESEARCH



PiLORIDA ranks fourth among the States of the nation in fisheries
Production, with up to 250,000,000 pounds of fish landed each
year. Nevertheless it has been the most backward of all in the
saltwater fisheries research, a function necessary, first of all, to
establish a sound scientific basis for laws and regulations, and
secondly for the purpose of developing the marine industries to the
fullest extent consistent with proper conservation. Eight years ago,
however, the Marine Laboratory was established at the University
of Miami as a fisheries and oceanographic centre for the entire
southeastern area of North America. At first the work carried out
in Florida was independent of state support, although it has always
been closely integrated with the Board of Conservation. During
the past four years, however, the Laboratory has acted as the

Headquarters Building of the University of Miami Marine Laboratory,
which carries out much of the State marine research program. The labora-
tory is one of the most modern in the country.


Pi%.; --s--








official fisheries research agency for the State, under the direction
of the Supervisor of the Board of Conservation.
The work is still limited by very inadequate funds. Compared
to Texas, which spends approximately $100,000.00 per annum on
saltwater fisheries research, the State of Florida spent last year
$22,000.00, although Texas has a much lower fisheries production
than Florida. Similarly the State of California spends $197,000.00
each year on saltwater fisheries research, $37,000.00 of which is
spent on statistics alone. In spite of the financial limitations re-
ferred to, a considerable advance has been made in our knowledge
of the saltwater resources, with the assistance of funds provided
by independent sources during the past biennium.

FACILITIES
Facilities which are provided for the State research program
include the most extensive marine science library in the southern
part of the United States and a reference museum of Florida salt-
water fishes and invertebrates. The laboratory buildings consist of
a two-story structure with about 12,000 square feet of floor space,
together with an annex in a nearby building. A 104-foot vessel is
used as a floating laboratory. Twenty-nine-foot and 39-foot motor
vessels are provided for biological and oceanographical work at
sea. Recently a 39-foot fast runabout has been acquired and by
arrangement with the U. S. Government a 65-foot sea-going diesel
vessel has been obtained and is now being equipped for oceano-
graphic work. All types of nets, dredges and special oceanographic
equipment are provided, including sonic sounding devices, hydro-
phones for detecting fish noises, bathythermographs for tempera-
ture studies and deep sea bottom sampling gear. An X-ray machine
has been installed in the laboratory and is now available for
vertebral count studies of fish, an important aid in investigation
of the fish populations. The work of the Board of Conservation is
therefore facilitated by the most completely equipped laboratory
on the eastern seaboard south of Washington, D. C.
During the past biennium the consulting services available have
been augmented by visiting marine scientists from other parts of
the United States and From New Zealand, Cuba, Venezuela, Can-
ada, Great Britain, Greece, France, India and other countries.
THE RESEARCH PROGRAM
A carefully designed program of research has been drawn up
and is outlined below. Although circumstances have not permitted
the realization of more than a portion of this program it is con-








sidered important that the principal objectives should be kept well
under consideration in order to achieve the aims of conservation.
Conservation is essentially the control of resources in order to
obtain the maximum benefits from them for the community and
to insure that these benefits shall continue undamaged by careless
exploitation. The laws controlling such resources can only be wisely
formulated when based upon a sound scientific knowledge of the
habits, breeding, growth and distribution of the fish themselves
and also of the effects of the various fishing operations upon the
numbers of fish in the ocean.
Since economic conditions affect the intensity of fishing and
therefore the nature of the fishing and the fishing community and
since the benefits of sports fishing may sometimes outweigh those
of commercial fishing or vice versa the fact finding must not be

















(Left) A laboratory technician counts the number of oysters attached to a
shell. (Right) Scienists adjust a bathythemograph, an ultra-modern instru-
ment for studying sea-water temperatures.
limited to purely biological problems but must also consider socio-
logical and economic matters. In order that maximum benefits shall
be obtained from the natural resources of the ocean there must
also be continual exploration, both to locate new sources of supply
and also to develop new uses for hitherto valueless products.
The fisheries program naturally falls into three phases. The first
one, a survey phase, aims at collecting all available information
regarding the fishes themselves, the conditions of the ocean under
which they live, and the economic and sociological aspects of the
industry, as they at present exist. The second phase is a phase of









active exploration and development of the industry planned upon
the basis of facts obtained in the preliminary survey. It is followed
by a third phase of appraisal in which the facts obtained are care-
fully examined in order to provide the knowledge which is necessary
for setting up control regulations and for the enforcement of them,
which is the final phase.
It is obvious that the various phases overlap a great deal and
that the survey and exploratory phases will need to be continued
as new conditions arise. It also follows that after appraisal, new
problems for survey and exploration will appear. From time to
time, unusual conditions arise in the fisheries, such as the Red Tide,
or the effects of dredging and other human operations, which
necessitate immediate investigation. While these emergency studies
do not form part of the long term program they are of great im-
portance and must take precedence over other problems when
they arise.
The saltwater fisheries of Florida are at present valued at about
$40,000,000 per annum when first landed. If the value of the retail
fish trades and of the auxiliary trades connected with fisheries,
such as boat-building, marine supplies and fishing gear are con-
sidered, the value becomes vastly greater. The capital investment
must therefore be many hundreds of million dollars. This does not
include the saltwater sports fishery, which, in terms of charter
boat hire, sale of bait and tackle, highway travel and hotel patron-
age must be even greater than the food fishery. Great as this
industry is, one of the most valuable in Florida, it is potentially
capable of being increased considerably by means of modern sci-
entific development. Without scientific control and with the result-
ant unwise exploitation, it may be greatly reduced. The five-year
plan outlined below has been designed for the purpose of realizing
the future increased potentialities of Florida's saltwater fisheries
and of preventing unwise exploitation which would be harmful to
them.

I. SURVEY
An overall survey of the following with regard to existing conditions:
(a) The species fished. Mullet, Crawfish, Red Snapper, Sponge, Stone
Crab, Mackerel, Game Fish, etc.
Life histories.
Growth rate.
Breeding seasons and age at maturity.
Migration and races.
Natural enemies.
Food habits.
Relation to environment.
Evidence of decline in numbers.









(b) The environment.
Temperature.
Salinity.
Water currents.
Bottom conditions.
Food, plankton.
Nutrient salts.
Harmful conditions.
(c) The fishing gear.
Mesh size, etc., and effect upon size of fish caught.
Effect upon fish populations.
Efficiency in catch per man-day.
Effect upon game fish.
Effect upon natural vegetation.
Possibilities for improved efficiency.
Game fish problems.
(d) The catch.
Value of catch to community.
Capital investment and proportional returns.
Auxiliary trades.
Statistical analysis of catch indicating decline or improvement
in fishery and effect of fishing upon the fish stocks, both
game and commercial.
(e) Possible use of unexploited resources such as fish waste, scrap-fish,
etc. Chemical products of seaweed, beche-de-mer, etc.
(f) The industry, both angling and commercial.
Processing and transportation methods. Possibilities for improve-
ment.
Relative value of sports and commercial fishing.
Value of investment and return. Conditions favoring or harmful
to the industry.
Interstate and international problems of jurisdiction and control.
Special charter boat and angler problems.

II. EXPLORATION
This phase involves the active exploration in new fields of investigation
which are opened up by the previous survey of existing conditions. It
is an investigation of special problems in the objectives list in I. Of
special importance are:
(a) Biological and oceanographic studies of the fish and their environ-
ment. Effects of currents, etc.
(b) Exploration of new grounds for new fisheries indicated by the
survey in I(a) and I(b).
(c) Development of improved fishing gear. Also improved methods for
locating fish, echo sounding devices, illuminated nets, special nets
for rough bottom, electrical trap devices, etc.
(d) Specially detailed statistical study of certain limited areas of the
fishery as the results of I(d) indicate the necessity.
(e) Research into new methods of handling and processing.
(f) Special studies of emergency problems such as Red Tide and local
problems of game versus commercial fishing, etc.
(g) Special economic studies of industries threatened with destruction
such as sponge industry in view of competition from artificial sponge.









III. APPRAISAL PHASE
The appraisal of all facts established from the two phases of survey
and exploration would result in a perfect situation for obtaining the
greatest possible development of the fisheries consistent with good con-
servation. In practice the appraisal phase must be carried out long before
I and II are complete. II, in fact is never completed. The appraisal
should lead to the following conclusions:
(a) The quantity of fish, etc., available in the ocean.
(b) The most economical and efficient methods for catching the max-
imum catch.
(c) The safeguards necessary to protect the future yield such as gear
restrictions, closed areas, closed seasons, etc.
(d) Appraisal of existing regulations as to their suitability and desira-
bility in view of conservation aims and problems of enforcement,
economics and social conditions.
(e) The new fisheries and special products most likely to yield future
revenues to the community and therefore to be encouraged.
(f) Those aspects of the fishery which are wasteful and uneconomic.
Cases where game fishing should be considered of greater benefit
to the community than commercial fishing and vice versa.
IV. MANAGEMENT
It is not the province of the fishery scientist to draft laws and regulations.
His function is to make available in non-technical form the facts upon
which these regulations should be based. It is also his responsibility to
point out where existing regulations fall short of what is needed for
conservation and where they may be unnecessary or actually against the
best interests of conservation.
Function of administration.
(a) Reject unsuitable regulation.
(b) Set up desirable regulation.
(c) Enforce regulations.
SFunction of fishery scientist. In order to obtain full cooperation
of the industry in enforcement of the law the program must be
clearly understood and the basic facts upon which the regulations
should be based must be made known to industry and legislation
and administrative groups. Moreover, there is a definite responsibility
to provide this information and general information on scientific
conservation to the entire community.
(a) Preparation of exhibits, moving pictures and lectures for use
on a mobile exhibit to tour the State. Demonstrations to be
given to fishery organizations, chambers of commerce, angling
clubs, high schools, etc.
(b) Publication of non-technical bulletins explaining the nature
of the fisheries, in order that the facts upon which wise con-
servation rests, should be known. In a democratic community
the public must know the facts in order to exercise properly
the democratic responsibilities of government. The facts are
also provided for the development of new industries and for
the guidance of anglers and fishermen.
(c) Technical publications. The technical facts resulting from
investigations are of no use if buried in personal files. They
should be published for the guidance of the industry and
administration.
( i) Progress reports and interim reports. Mimeographed.
(ii) Final reports on completed work. Published.































A mobile laboratory truck is also used in the State research program. Here
an oceanographic chemist analyzes sea-water.

THE WORK OF 1949-1950
During the past two years a great amount of time has been con-
sumed by emergency problems such as inshore shrimp netting
control, pollution, etc., and with the small amount of funds available
the 5-year program has had to take second place. Nevertheless, a
great deal has, in fact, been accomplished. It is therefore more
convenient to report this work according to the species fished
rather than according to the phase of the program involved.
Personnel. At various times a total of 20 trained scientists
have worked upon different problems connected with the state
fisheries.
Finance. In addition to a State Board of Conservation ap-
propriation of about $22,000, a sum of approximately $60,000 has
been provided from other sources for work directly or indirectly
connected with the saltwater fisheries. Cooperating agencies include
the National Geographic Society, the U. S. Government, the Ket-
tering Foundation, Dade County Commission, City of Miami Beach,
and other private and public agencies. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife
Service has cooperated in the statistical program to a major degree.








Crawfish. Since the Biennial Report issued in January, 1949,
no further tagging has been carried out. The results have shown
no decline in the fishery but a strong indication of the capture of
undersized crawfish was apparent. Migration studies suggest that
temporarily depleted areas are repopulated from neighboring areas.
Investigations during the past two years, carried out partly under
a National Geographic research project, have been concerned with
the life history of the crawfish. Young stages, from the egg up to
that of the young adult have been kept alive in the laboratory and
have been described and measured. The young larva, as it emerges
from the egg, is a transparent leaf-like object which lives for a long



















(Left) Scientists tag crawfish in a study of their life history and migration
habits. (Right) Salfish being tagged and released off Palm Beach.

period drifting in the ocean. It has been found in samples taken
far out into the Atlantic. It is obvious that the young crawfish are
widely dispersed.
White or silver mullet. These have been studied at Marco,
Marathon, Everglades, and Naples. It has been shown that two
species are involved, not one as previously supposed. They are
Mugil curema, the white mullet and Mugil trichodon, the fantail
mullet which are not usually distinguished by the fisherman. It
has also been found that these species spawn at different times
and grow at different rates. The female mullet were all larger than
the males.








Striped or grey mullet. These fish have been tagged over
the entire Gulf coast of Florida and also in Biscayne Bay. Out of
well over 1,000 fish released, more than 250 have been returned.
The results show that, although a few mullet migrate large dis-
tances, such as from Biscayne Bay to the west coast, most of them
remain in a comparatively small area. This suggests that there are
a number of local populations, separate and distinct. By the use
of X-ray equipment, it is hoped to establish whether several local
races exist.
An additional tool for the investigation of mullet growth appears
to exist in the study of scales. It has been found possible to dis-
tinguish definite growth marks on the Florida mullet scale.
Results of the investigations show that the intensity of fishing
operations is very great, since over 25% of tagged fish have been
recovered in commercial catches. In some areas as much as 43%
of those tagged have been caught. The growth rate is fairly rapid
and it now appears that mullet are being caught as early as their
second year, although most of the catch consists of three-year-olds.
Females are generally larger than the males.
Investigations of the effects of different mesh sizes upon the
catch show that at some seasons the mullet may be slimmer than
at others so that, at different times, the same size mesh may catch
fish of different ages. Breeding appears to begin at a smaller size
in the northern parts of the Gulf of Mexico. The average size of
fish caught is smallest in the northern area and increases southward
along the west coast of Florida.

SHRIMP FISHERY
A survey of the Franklin County Shrimp fishery was carried out
during the early part of 1950 in order to investigate a reported
decline in the catch. It was found that the fishery has actually
fluctuated as much as 150% during the past ten years but is still
above the average for this period. An average catch of over one
million pounds per year has been landed in this county during
that period.
Observations showed a great waste was taking place due to the
practice of destroying large quantities of unmarketable small shrimp.
Various measures were recommended for controlling this and a
specific program was drawn up for the control and development
of the industry. Among other recommendations was the suggestion
that exploration be carried out to investigate the presence of
"brown shrimp" in offshore waters along the Florida Gulf coast.








Lack of funds prevented the active exploration of offshore
grounds at the time but, later in January the first commercial
catches of shrimp from new offshore grounds near Dry Tortugas
were made as a result of exploration by the St. Augustine company
of S. Salvador Sons. Nearly one million pounds were landed during
the first month's operation. The fishery increased in volume, until
during March alone nearly three million pounds were caught.
The shrimp caught in this new fishery are exclusively Penaeus
duorarum, also known as grooved, brown, Brazilian, spotted or
golden shrimp. Due to their habits they are not readily caught in
trawls except at night time.
At the request of the fishing communities of Ft. Myers and Ft.
Myers Beach the Board of Conservation authorized the participation
of fishery biologists in an exploratory mission financed locally. Two
vessels participated and made a total of 77 try net hauls in this
region. In about one-third of these shrimp (P. duorarum) were
caught, and in three places they were present in fair numbers. In
no part of the area tested was the bottom sufficiently free of sponges
and coral to allow commercial fishing to be carried on. The con-
A microphoto of the pasture grass of the ocean-plankton. Plankton is the
basic food of all sea-life.








clusions are that shrimp are present in sufficient quantity to act as
a reservoir for the Tortugas grounds but that the type of bottom
does not allow much fishing off Ft. Myers with the present methods
of operation. Use of the depth recorder was made during the ex-
ploration and it is concluded that certain changes in design are
necessary for this to be of maximum value in such operation. It is
also recommended that serious attention be paid to the develop-
ment of an entirely different type of gear and operation suitable
to the conditions of the bottom.
In cooperation with biologists from the other Gulf States and of
the Fish and Wildlife Service, regulations were suggested for the
shrimp fishery of the Gulf of Mexico. These recommendations were
submitted to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission at its
October meeting in behalf of the Board of Conservation. The reg-
ulations suggested two closed seasons for inside waters. In Florida
(and the other Gulf States except Texas) these would be from June
15 to August 31 and (for all the Gulf States) December 15 of one
year to March 31 of the following year. No closed season was
recommended for outside waters.
A revolutionary change was suggested in the abolition of size
limits on shrimp. It was considered that the closed season offered
a better control of size. When small shrimp are brought aboard in
the trawl it is obviously wasteful to discard them.
Night fishing for shrimp, now illegal in Florida and some other
states would be made legal if the regulations of the Commission
are adopted. This is considered necessary because of the nocturnal
habits of the grooved shrimp. No gear restrictions were suggested
and heading at sea would be permitted.
Bait-shrimp fishing regulations require examination in some
areas, according to the biologists' report.
Investigations of scrap fish from shrimp trawlers have been con-
tinued in two areas: Apalachicola Bay and the Tortugas grounds.
At Apalachicola observations of the kind and quantity of scrap
fish caught by the shrimp trawlers were continued both inshore
and offshore.
Observations of the shrimp trawl operations on the Tortugas
grounds include the quantity of scrap taken by the boats on various
parts of the grounds, the total quantity of scrap fish and shrimp
heads available for processing, the kinds and quantities of fish
caught and the feasibility of establishing a scrap processing industry
at Key West or elsewhere, and also the quantity of young market
fish and game fish taken in hauls.




























Marine biologists study sea-life aboard the laboratory vessel PHYSALIA.

OTHER INVESTIGATIONS AND SURVEYS
Complaints were received by the Supervisor regarding the effects
of commercial fishing upon game fishing in Biscavne Bav. A survey
was therefore undertaken. Landings of one of the largest fish
houses were tabulated in order to estimate the approximate total
amount of fish taken in the Bav. The estimates were based also
upon figures obtained in interviews with a large proportion of the
fishermen operating in the Bay. Landings have also been reported
from eleven other dealers, who have cooperated fully. Others have
been reluctant to permit examination of their books, but these are
in the minority. The species caught in greatest quantities in the
Bay are mullet, pompano and crawfish. Few mackerel are caught
inside, and most of these few are caught by hook and line, not
nets. Mullet constitute 80% of the catch. Fifty-one commercial
fishermen have been identified as fishing wholly or partly in Bis-
cayne Bay at various times of the year.
Chemical analyses of the water in the Bay as an index of pro-
ductivity have been carried out.
Sponge Industry. Extensive surveys were carried out during
the previous biennium, using chartered diving vessels. The net re-
sults indicated no further trace of the disease of 1940. It was also
established that the slow increase on the sponge beds following








this disease was due to overfishing and to the taking of undersized
sponges.
During the 1949-1950 period a survey was made in cooperation
with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to investigate a
reported new outbreak of the disease. No evidence of the original
disease was found. It is once more strongly urged that sponge
cultivation be introduced into the State, using the modern methods
developed in the Bahamas in recent years. This would serve to
provide a future supply of sponges independent of weather condi-
tions and the dwindling number of experienced divers. Only thus
can the sponge industry be stabilized.
Sailfish. Tags and pliers have been distributed in good time
for the main sailfish season. Only one of the tags released last year
has been recovered to date. It is hoped to get large numbers of
sailfish tagged this year in order to increase the chance of recovery.
Research on the life history work included length, stomach and
gonad observations.
Statistical forms have been collected from the few charter boat-
men who fished through the summer. New books of forms have
been mimeographed for distribution this coming season.
Here fisheries technicians study water samples during a pollution investi-
gation. Pollution has cut heavily into Florida's shellfish production.

1 .1a.ar;1aa-j








The Inshore Fisheries. Observations on the weakfish and
snook fishery and on the life histories of these fish have been
initiated. Details of spawning time and place, size at maturity, sex
ratios, food, length-weight relationships, fecundity, etc., are being
worked out. The importance of these species as commercial and
sport fish will be investigated in the future as time and funds allow.
Bait Shrimping. During March, 1949, a special study was
made of bait shrimping operations in Tampa Bay. The report indi-
cated that damage to the bottom and destruction of small fish has
been exaggerated and that the business is an important one both
to the community directly and because of its value to the sportsman.
It was recommended that shrimping for bait be legalized but that
it be kept strictly within bounds by proper gear restriction. It was
suggested that a closed season from April 14 to September 14 be
imposed to prevent undue pressure of shrimp fishing. It was pointed
out, however, that further study should be carried out when funds
are available.
Further studies on bait shrimp were carried out as a result of
complaints that bulkheading in the Hillsborough River was en-
dangering the bait business. Investigation showed that the condi-
tions in question were not likely to cause appreciable damage and
no action was recommended. It was again pointed out, however,
that a more thorough investigation was needed.
Red Tide. Investigations have been continued in an effort to
obtain a satisfactory technique for pure culture. Ultraviolet light,
aureomycin and other antibiotics have been used with varying
success. Hydrion concentration so far appears to be the most im-
portant factor regulating growth. This is a part-time project not
financed by the State.
Life Histories of Fish. Young stages of fish taken in plankton
surveys are being regularly studied for life history purposes. This
is a long term project of considerable importance. Productivity
studies are also being carried out both in inshore areas and in the
Gulf Stream in cooperation with the National Geographic Society,
the U. S. Navy and other agencies.
Oceanographic Investigations. Water current studies in con-
nection with the above have been carried out in collaboration with
the Cuban Navy and various other organizations. Results of these
studies, in combination with the plankton studies should eventually
lead to considerable fundamental information regarding the changes
which occur in the organic productivity of Florida waters, and
hence the yield of the fisheries.
















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Pollution Investigations. Causes of fish death at Tavernier,
Fernandina and at other places were investigated upon request.
Due to the limitations of funds for travel, however, the investiga-
tions were limited to preliminary surveys. In no case was anything
resembling Red Tide found. At Fernandina the pollution was
probably due to paper mill effluents, among others. In view of the
economic value of the mills to the community and the high cost of
diverting or consuming the waste material a compromise was sug-
gested involving the release of effluents only at certain stages of
the tide. Pulp mill and city sewage and menhaden refuse are con-
tinually present, but as a result of certain combinations of tide
and wind their effects may at irregular intervals be greatly in-
creased. The above conclusions are of a preliminary nature. A more
detailed investigation is called for.
STATISTICS
In order to fill a long existing need of the industry, a new system
of fishery statistics has been set up for the State of Florida. This
program greatly extends the value and accuracy of the yearly fish
census taken in the past. It will be handled as part of the program
of research on the marine fisheries of Florida. The U. S. Fish and
Wildlife Service is actively cooperating in the program and has
provided the services of trained statisticians to work with biologists.
The University of Miami Marine Laboratory provides the office
space and calculating machines.
Florida has collected yearly catch figures for each of the main
marine species. These figures have been incomplete and inaccurate
in the past and are therefore of little value to fishery biologists in
indicating declines in abundance or as guides to proper management
of the marine fisheries. Accurate figures are necessary for this pur-
pose, whereby the numbers of fish present each year in Florida
waters can be studied and each species kept under observation for
any decline in numbers. Without this information management of
the fishery is usually delayed until the fish are obviously disap-
pearing. By then it is often too late to help and the fishery may
become unprofitable, or even cease for several years until the num-
bers of fish increase. On the other hand, good statistics may some-
times indicate that supposed declines in a fishery are not really
existent, and harmful regulations which restrict fishing unneces-
sarily can be avoided.
The revised form is sent to all wholesale fish dealers in the State
and the dealers report the total landings of the different species
for each month. These reports are sent in each month. They are
then tabulated and sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service at Wash-
































A technician checks a fathom meter aboard the University of Miami's
floating laboratory.

ington, D. C. The landing figures are published for the State Board
of Conservation and a summary report sent to all dealers by the
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
All information obtained is seen only by authorized persons and
is treated with the strictest confidence. Ihe information is used for
research only and the published information does not reveal any
individual business practices. The landings are combined for various
districts and no one company's landings are shown separately.
The success of this new system depends on the cooperation of the
industry in sending in accurate returns promptly at the end of
each month. The benefit to the industry should amply repay the
effort necessary.
GULF AND CARIBBEAN FISHERIES INSTITUTE
Although the State does not contribute financially to this organ-
ization, the Board of Conservation has cooperated with it fully
since its inception in 1948. The annual sessions are devoted to dis-
cussions of fishery problems common to the entire area and they
are now considered one of the most important mediums for ex-








changing technical fisheries information in the United States. Con-
siderable effort has been put forth to encourage fishermen and
dealers to attend the meetings so that the problems of fishery re-
search and conservation may be discussed with them. Administrators
and fishery biologists from ten different countries and from all the
Gulf and South Atlantic States participate.
EDUCATIONAL
Numerous technical inquiries regarding the Florida fisheries have
been answered in behalf of the Board of Conservation and illus-
trated talks have been given to a number of fish and game clubs
and schools in different parts of the State. Several television dem-
onstrations have also been provided. Popular articles have been
written for the general public in the form of an Educational Series.
Quarterly reports on the progress of research have been regularly
submitted to the State Board of Conservation. In addition to these,
reports of completed surveys or of special projects have been sub-
mitted as requested. All such reports have been mimeographed
for distribution to interested persons.
A number of technical reports have also been published in the
national scientific journals.
Special reports on the fishing industry and on the fishes and
invertebrates involved have been written in everyday language in
order to provide the general public with the information it requires
for an intelligent understanding of conservation problems. These
have been issued as an Educational Series.

SUMMARY
A very wide field of investigation has been covered during the
past two years. This is shown by the considerable volume of reports
and scientific publications which have been issued. The number
of emergency problems which the biologists have been required to
investigate and the restricted funds have made it necessary in most
cases to carry out preliminary surveys only.
In spite of this a considerable part of some of the major objec-
tives has been encompassed and a rapidly growing knowledge of
the fundamental facts of the salt water resources of Florida has
been accumulated. This has served to guide the drafting of suitable
control measures for the fisheries and to encourage their future
development.











PROBLEMS AND NEEDS*



A PREVIOUSLY mentioned, the administration and regulation of
Florida's vast salt water fisheries constitute a tremendous re-
sponsibility and one chocked to the gills with problems. As Florida
has grown and pressure on our marine resources has increased, so
have grown our conservation headaches. The state's rapid expansion
hasn't actually created the problems; it has simply brought out in
glaring relief the same difficulties which have been in existence
for years.
Any state with Florida's geographical design is bound to present
a tidy bundle of conservation headaches. First it has 5,000 miles
of coastline, gashed by more than 70 tidal streams and fringed with
innumerable islands and capes. That creates a major enforcement
hurdle. Second it is a long state, extending roughly 900 miles from
Key West to Pensacola and boasting all the varied climatic con-
ditions expected in a 900 mile bracket. It is not unusual to find
a winter temperature variance of 40 degrees between northern and
southern extremities. Naturally this tends to complicate any sort
of uniform management program. On top of this Florida's popula-
tion, economy and social outlook varies as sharply as its geography
and climate. Though the differences are not as marked as they
once were, the aims and philosophies of North and South Florida
are still far from parallel. This makes any attempt at uniform regu-
lation a particularly knotty undertaking. A bitter conflict between
sports and commercial fishermen has created similar problems in
many sections.
Still we prefer to look upon these as details rather than problems
in themselves. The real problems confronting salt water conserva-
tion in Florida can be wrapped up in three explanatory phases:
(a) A shortage of funds; (b) A shortage of knowledge; and (c)
A surplus of laws! These are three problems that must be licked
before Florida can get on the path toward an earnest and effective
salt water conservation program. However, they cannot be solved
one at a time with any degree of success; it must be a three-front
effort, with a gain here and a gain there until we are safely past
all three.
*Condensed from a paper delivered at the 1950 Carribean Fisheries Institute by Con-
servation Supervisor George Vathis.








From an administrative standpoint our present statutory tangle
is particularly hard to unwind. At the present time Florida has a
total of 420 laws affecting salt water conservation. Of these 170
are general statutes or rules of the Board. The remainder-a stagger-
ing 250-are either local laws or general laws of local application.
When we consider that less than 20 species of marine life are
specifically regulated by law and that a maximum of 39 counties
are involved, it is easy to see the problem we face in interpretation
and enforcement. Until last year there was not even an existing
compilation of salt water laws; they were scattered at random
through volumes of Florida law, some dating back 40 years or
more. It was impossible for anything less than a trained legal mind
to ferret them out. The Attorney General's office was asked to give
a helping hand in bringing some sort of order out of the existing
chaos. Significantly it took the Statutory Revision Department
nearly a year to dig out and compile the mountain of legislation.
The result at least showed us where we stood, but, if anything,
it further complicated enforcement procedure. As the Attorney
General's office so aptly put it, "The laws of Florida relating to
salt water fish and shellfish have accumulated through the years
into a patchwork that defies the layman to discover just which laws
now apply in many counties."
So many local and general laws have been passed down through
the years that the result has been duplication, contradiction and

A few of the hundreds of charter boats contributing to the State's multi-
million dollar deep sea fishing industry.








sometimes a bewildering mixture of both. It is apparent that many
laws were passed without knowledge of existing legislation; some,
by implication, repealed portions of old laws but left confusing
fragments of their predecessors in full force and effect. The result
is that in some counties it is next to impossible to determine where
one law leaves off and the other begins.
Many of these acts were general laws of local application adopt-
ed via the so-called "population" system. The net effect is a local
law. However, in some cases, counties for which the regulation
was originally designed have grown out of the specified population
bracket and other counties have innocently grown into it.
Some local laws of particularly ancient vintage apply to specifi-
cally named counties which have since been carved up into two



A.-













(Left) A sports fishing crowd gathers at Sarasota City Pier to see what the
charter boats have brought in. (Right) This giant tarpon was one of the
prizes.
or more counties, thus raising a ticklish jurisdictional problem.
Other local laws are diametrically opposed to the provisions of
certain general laws. For instance, a minimum mesh size may be set
out on a statewide basis in a general act; then along comes a local
law providing that fishermen in Whositz County may employ mesh
a half-inch smaller. Other counties follow in its foot-steps and soon
what, on the books, is a statewide regulation becomes almost totally
nullified by a rash of local legislation.
Many other well-intended and potentially beneficial laws have
lost their effectiveness through loose construction or failure to cover
enough ground. We actually have prohibitionary statutes that are
so limited they fail even to provide for the seizure of evidence! In








one county it is illegal to set crawfish traps, but there is absolutely
no provision for the seizure, confiscation or disposition of the traps;
thus we are faced with the problem of catching the trapper red-
handed, then leaving his traps intact to go into court with a "my
word against yours" case. In other laws we are authorized to seize
illegal gear as evidence, but may confiscate it only upon conviction.
In cases of "runaways" or a bond estreature, where no conviction
goes on the record, we are nearly always left in a legal muddle.
This assortment of contradictory, outdated and overlapping stat-
utes leaves fishermen, conservation agents and even judges in a
perpetual state of confusion and makes effective enforcement a
virtual impossibility. Until the existing laws are weeded out, simpli-
fied and strengthened, the Conservation Department faces a well
nigh insurmountable administrative problem.
In the process of threshing out problem C, surplus of laws, we
are bound to land in the middle of problem B, shortage of knowl-
edge. This problem in our opinion is, more than anything else,
responsible for the bewildering surplus of laws besetting us. For
years the State Board of Conservation has been totally unable to
furnish the Legislature with the information and advice it wants
and needs. We couldn't even supply game and fish committees
with a simple compilation of existing laws. Worse than that, we
had absolutely no biological or technical data on which the law-
makers could base decisions. We could only offer guesswork or
off-the-cuff counsel. The one ingredient requested of us-reliable,
concrete information on the needs for a productive fishery-was
missing. The Florida Legislature has demonstrated it is willing
and anxious to enact good sound conservation laws. All it wants are
cold, proven facts on which to base them.
These facts we must have if we are going to maintain a pro-
ductive marine fishery. It is not unusual for a single big industrial
concern to spend over a million dollars a year on scientific research;
yet in all the years Florida has capitalized on its vast seafood and
sports fishing industry, it has spent less than $100,000 on marine
research! And until a very few years ago we hadn't spent a dime!
This sin of omission already has undoubtedly cost us what was once
a seven-figure sponge industry. Unless we get on the ball it will
undoubtedly cost much more.
Currently we are spending less than $25,000 a year on biological
research, and only in the past few months have we been able to
lay the ground work for a sound statistical program-certainly a
basic essential in the administration of any fishery. The department
has tried to keep production records, but the information on which
they are based is so obviously distorted it is impossible to give
them a great deal of credence. So, actually, we find ourselves in





























The size and variety of Florida's salt water fish draw sports fishermen from
all over the country. This catch was taken from the Gulf.
the dangerous position of not knowing where we are going. We
think we know our fisheries production is dwindling, but we don't
know how much or how fast. This information we must know, and
along with it the scientific data necessary to effectively doctor
whatever sicknesses may show up.
The problem we've labeled a "shortage of knowledge" isn't neces-
sarily confined to the field of marine biology. The citizens them-
selves are woefully uneducated in the problems of salt water con-
servation. A long-range comprehensive information and education
program has for years been an accepted essential in most conserva-
tion setups. Here in Florida our fresh water colleagues have had
such a program for nearly four years, but aside from a lecture here
and there and a few elementary educational pamphlets we have
done nothing. Why haven't we? That immediately brings us into
Problem A-shortage of funds. It is an accepted fact that no bureau
ever has quite enough money-in its own opinion. But if there was
ever a legitimate case of budgetary anemia, the Board of Con-
servation has it. Despite the fact that we are charged with con-
serving and protecting an industry which brings in an estimated
$500,000,000 annually, our total yearly operating budget has never
exceeded its present appropriation. That is all the money now
available to administer Florida's multi-million dollar salt water
fisheries program.








Though the bulk of the money goes for law enforcement, we are
still woefully weak in that department. A total of 39 agents and
7 supervisors are charged with patrolling 5,000 miles of coastal
and tidal waters. They do it without the aid of airplanes and with-
out radios; in some cases they do it with nothing more than a beat-
up boat and kicker. To do an adequate enforcement job, Florida
should have 50 per cent more men, well-trained, well-equipped,
well-paid and secure in their jobs. But all of that requires money,
a commodity we have very little of.
The same crimp in purse has held up our research program. This
year (1950) we are managing to spend an amazing $22,778 on
scientific investigation-roughly 25. percent of the amount spent
by our companion agency, the Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission. The facilities and manpower for this important work is
available both at the University of Miami Marine Laboratory and
a similar department at Florida State University, but the cold cash
simple isn't available.
That about sums up the basic problems in the administration of
Florida's fisheries. There are many knotty details, but the real
obstacles are interwoven in the three problems outlined, a surplus
of laws, a shortage of knowledge and a shortage of funds. When
those are remedied, our conservation program will be "over the
hump."











SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
GENERAL CONSERVATION
1949

Balance credited to State Conservation Fund in
Comptroller's Office as of December 31, 1948 ...$ 98,148.85
Received First of 1949 ......................... 44,855.66
Released Last of 1949 .......................... 99,000.00

$242,004.51
Transferred to General Revenue Fund ............ 35,010.09

$206,994.42
Refunds Received ............................. 1,487.87
$208,482.29
DISBURSEMENTS
Administrative and Office
Salaries ....................................$ 17,131.67
Traveling Expenses .......................... 1,852.49
Printing and Office Supplies .................. 3,955.46
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 1,369.05
Postage and Box Rent ........................... 1,377.58
Public Official Bond .............. .......... 35.00
Employees Insurance .............. ... .... 940.48
Office Rent ................................ 2,149.00
Office Furniture and Equipment .............. 3,297.24
Repairs to Office Furniture and Equipment ...... 87.00
Other Contractual Services ................... 339.75
Miscellaneous Items ......................... 255.16

$ 32,789.88
Field Division
Salaries ...................................$ 71,431.36
Traveling Expenses .......................... 48,278.97
Nine (9) Boats ............................... 26,267.71
Four (4) Boat Trailers ........................ 1,392.73
Five (5) Outboard Motors ..................... 916.30
Maintenance and Operation of Patrol Boats ..... 7,073.23
Insurance on Equipment ................... .. 1,980.45
Rental of Equipment ......................... 313.00
Printing and Office Supplies .................. 2,187.55
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 331.27
Refunds .................................. 20.00
P. O. Money Order Fees ...................... 20.93
Court Cost ............................... 60.35
Boat Tags ................................. 43.72
Miscellaneous Items ......................... 73.32

$160,390.89

$193,180.77
Balance Credited to State Board of Conservation
Fund in Comptroller's Office December 31, 1949 ............. 15,301.52

$208,482.29











SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
OYSTER DIVISION
1949

Released First half of year ......................$ 24,000.00
Released Second half of year .................... 20,625.10
Refund Received .............................. 25.15

$ 44,650.25
Refunded to General Revenue Fund .............. 8,587.04

$ 36,063.21
DISBURSEMENTS
Administrative and Office
Salaries ....................................$ 4,238.10
Traveling Expenses .......................... 1,891.24
Office Furniture and Fixtures ................. 274.09
Freight, Express and Cartage .................. 47.86
Photographing and Blueprinting ............... 162.25
Postage .................................... 10.64
Printing and Binding ......................... 277.70
Publication of Notices ....................... 20.70
Laboratory Rent ............................ 330.00
Registrations, Dues and etc .................... 31.50
Stationery and Office Supplies ................ 80.70
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 165.64
$ 7,530.42
Field Division
Salaries ....................................$ 9,716.28
Traveling Expenses .......................... 81.28
Two (2) Trucks .................. ........... 2,818.72
Engineering and Scientific Equipment .......... 1,527.05
One (1) Boat ................................ 1,500.00
One Skiff ................................ 60.00
One (1) Outboard Motor ..................... 254.34
Maintenance and Operation of Equipment ....... 1,338.61
Rental of Equipment ........................ 969.00
Insurance on Equipment ..................... 354.79
Chemical and Other Supplies .................. 1,561.86
Other Contractual Services .................. 1,279.94
Miscellaneous Items ......................... 197.71

$ 21,659.58

$ 29,190.00
Balance credited to State Board of Conservation
Oyster Division Fund in Comptroller's Office
December 31, 1949 ...................................... 6,873.21
$ 36,063.21











SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
GENERAL CONSERVATION
1.950

Balance credited to State Board of Conservation Fund
in Comptroller's Office as of December 31, 1949..$ 15,301.52
Released 1950 .................... 108,000.00
Released 1950 .................... 108,000.00
--- 216,000.00
Refunds Received ........................... 123.40

$231,424.92
DISBURSEMENTS
Administrative and Office
Salaries ....................................$ 20,438.12
Traveling Expenses .......................... 2,403.03
Printing and Office Supplies .................. 9,476.06
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 1,101.04
Postage and Box Rent ........................ 1,996.00
Public Official Bond ......................... 35.00
Employees Insurance ........................ 790.76
Office Rent ................................ 1,887.00
Office Furniture and Equipment ............... 2,099.02
Other M materials ............................. 2,324.75
Supplies ................................... 428.73
Freight .................................... 60.11
Publication of Notices .............. .. ... .. 97.12
Information and Credit Service ................ 92.47
Cleaning, Painting and Waste Remoial ......... 87.24

$ 43,316.45
Field Division
Salaries ....................................$ 89,316.50
Traveling Expenses .......................... 58,020.43
Six (6) Boats ................................. 11,969.70
One Jeep .................................. 925.00
Maintenance and Operation of Patrol Boats ...... 10,614.05
Insurance on Equipment ..................... 3,889.54
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 648.55
Postage and Box Rent ........................ 11.41
Miscellaneous Items ......................... 19.55

$175,414.73

$218,731.18
Balance credited to State Board of Conservation Fund
in Comptroller's Office December 31, 1950 .................. 12,693.74

$231,424.92











SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
OYSTER DIVISION
1950

Balance credited to State Board of Conservation
Oyster Division Fund in Comptroller's Office
December 31, 1949 ..........................$ 6,873.21
Released During 1950 ......................... 45,000.00
Refund Received .............................. 33.35

$ 51,906.56
DISBURSEMENTS
Administrative and Office
Salaries ...................................$ 9,174.27
Traveling Expenses .......................... 3,315.94
Freight, Express and Cartage ................ 34.99
Photographing and Blucprinting ............... 52.50
Postage .................................... 25.36
Publication of Notices ........................ 53.58
Laboratory Rent ............................. 550.00
Stationery and Office Suppli s ................. 275.77
Telephone and Telegraph .................... 229.29
M miscellaneous Items ......................... 9.38

$ 13,721.08
Field Division
Salaries ....................................$ 13,253.06
Traveling Expenses .......................... 30.61
Maintenance and Operation of Equipment ....... 2,508.53
Rental of Equipment ......................... 913.00
Insurance on Equipment ...................... 402.30
Other Contractual Services .................... 6,689.29
Chemical and Other Supplies ................. 2,497.47

$ 26,294.26

$ 40,015.34
Balance credited to State Board of Conservation
Oyster Division Fund in Comptroller's Office
December 31, 1950 ...................................... 11,891.22

$ 51,906.56




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