Florida’s Supreme Court this week denied a petition by commercial fishermen to overturn the state’s Constitutional amendment banning gillnets.


The ruling from the state’s highest court puts an end to the latest challenge brought by commercial fishermen who won a sympathetic circuit court ruling in 2013 allowing them to briefly reintroduce gill nets into Florida waters. Florida’s voters passed the net ban amendment with a 72-percent vote in 1994.


The move has been credited with saving and improving bait and forage fish populations, along with a powerful recovery in red drum, speckled trout, snook and other species that provide the foundation for a billion-dollar recreational industry — particularly along the Space Coast.


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