Gov. DeSantis requests federal support for Florida fisheries in aftermath of Hurricane Ian
The heartbreaking job of identifying the victims could extend into 2023.

Florida's fishing industry has a $10 billion economic impact.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is requesting that the areas affected by Hurricane Ian be declared a federal fisheries disaster by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which would open up channels for more aide for those in the fishing industry.

DeSantis announced the request Saturday at a press conference providing updates on Hurricane Ian relief efforts, highlighting support for those who work on the water. If approved, NOAA will be able to provide more support to commercial fishermen, wholesale dealers, charter boat captains and fisheries, he said.

“Clearly a storm of this magnitude — this is appropriate for this declaration,” DeSantis said. “So once this is approved, then that provides these groups and people in the industry to work with NOAA to be able to get more support. So we’re happy to help facilitate that request.”

The Governor went on to emphasize the financial benefit the fishing industry has on the state of Florida, generating a $10 billion economic impact each year. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) chair Rodney Barreto said that early estimates point to north of 5,000 damaged vessels. DeSantis added that this storm will likely have more vessels damage than any storm in Florida history.

Barreto said state crews are working to clean up boats.

“We have a special crew here, they’re tagging boats as we talk right now. We’re going to be cleaning these boats up, the insurance companies are here cleaning boats up,” he said.

Notably, this Saturday is the first day of stone crab season, Barreto said. In order to help fishermen get back out on the water and recovery, the FWC has waived commercial stone crab trap requirements in Northeast and Southwest Florida for the remainder of the 2022-2023 license year.

This waiver is intended to help stone crabbers impacted by Hurricane Ian return to business as soon as possible, Barreto said. Now, commercial fishermen will not be required to affix trap tags to their traps in state and federal waters off St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, Volusia, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.

“We’re working on ways to be able to give people breathing room, and then when the legislature comes back, we’re going to work with the legislature to provide the permanent relief for people who’ve been affected by the storm.

“Our commercial guys can get their traps back out on the water so they can start making a living,” he said, adding that the commission is also working with the state to find an avenue for crabbers to sell their products amid the lack of fisheries.

This waiver extends through the 15-day post-season trap removal period.

“We’re working on ways to be able to give people breathing room, and then when the legislature comes back, we’re going to work with the legislature to provide the permanent relief for people who’ve been affected by the storm,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis echoed announcements from earlier this week, including news that temporary patches to bridges connecting Pine Island and Sanibel Islands to the mainland will allow traffic to reach those areas for the first time since the storm. Only vehicles carrying emergency crews and equipment will be allowed over the Sanibel Causeway, though, but civilian traffic can resume on Oct. 24.

The Governor also touted the success of the Florida Disaster Fund, which has now surpassed $45 million in fundraising. This week, DeSantis announced police and firefighter groups helping those affected by Hurricane Ian will receive $2 million from the fund.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Yrral

    October 15, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Maybe,he should ask Ukraine,there is where all the money is going lately

    • Charlie Crist

      October 15, 2022 at 5:31 pm

      👆 Russian troll 🇷🇺

    • Suits me

      October 16, 2022 at 3:06 am

      Maybe you russians should stop dying faster then they can fill the ground lol

  • Yrral

    October 15, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Why should American taxpayer be paying for recreational fishing,when the US Forest Service,burnt half of New Mexico in control burn US Forest Service New Mexico Wildfire

  • Joe Corsin

    October 15, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Need California and New York money so that people can be “free” to build back on top of rubble and dead bodies… only to be wiped out again some other day. Freedom without scruples 😆 Next seatbelt laws will be declared an affront to freedom and liberty…and of course now terrorism at the Capitol is now considered exercising rights 😆🤡

    • Waste of money

      October 16, 2022 at 3:07 am

      It’s just going to get destroyed when Andrew comes back with Ian again anyways

  • Yrral

    October 15, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    Maybe he should ask NOAA,to help him read an hurricane advisory,the NHC explicitly said their would be catastrophic waves,from Ian and Desantis,some these waves in the eyewall was probably 40 ft tall, even National Data Buoy 42503,they had waves,14 ft above mean sea level 371 miles away at the same time Ian impacted Cape Coral Google National Hurricane Center Ian Advisory Archive

  • Yrral

    October 16, 2022 at 8:06 am

    Desantis lied,many died,a politician is the last person,that should be given Weather advice Google Washington Post Ian Chaotic Timelune

  • rusty

    October 16, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    There’s no enough money in the United States to bail Florida out of the stupidity of building on the barrier islands and wetlands. Funny, Rona voted against helping out Super Storm Sandy victims when he was in Congress, saying that they should have known better. Pox on Rona!

Comments are closed.


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