Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

What is the commission's mission?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's mission is to manage fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.

How is the commission appointed?

Seven commission members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to five-year terms.

What activities are conducted by the commission?

The commission manages and protects fish and wildlife resources and their habitat by
  • conserving and managing habitat for a diversity of species;
  • developing and implementing plans for conserving species;
  • developing and enforcing fishing and hunting regulations, public access regulations for wildlife management areas, and boating safety laws;
  • producing and distributing selected freshwater species of fish;
  • providing hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities; and
  • researching, monitoring, and conducting surveys of fish and wildlife species.
The commission conducts these activities through six divisions.
In addition, the commission's Executive Direction and Administrative Services program supports agency programs by providing budget, legal, and other administrative services.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
PROGRAM: EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
OFFICE OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES
32,482,397
218.00
PROGRAM: FRESHWATER FISHERIES
FRESHWATER FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
6,154,802
59.00
PROGRAM: HABITAT AND SPECIES CONSERVATION
HABITAT AND SPECIES CONSERVATION
140,417,171
374.50
PROGRAM: LAW ENFORCEMENT
FISH, WILDLIFE AND BOATING LAW ENFORCEMENT
145,618,763
1,043.00
PROGRAM: MARINE FISHERIES
MARINE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
20,767,874
34.00
PROGRAM: RESEARCH
FISH AND WILDLIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
83,774,166
341.00
PROGRAM: WILDLIFE
HUNTING AND GAME MANAGEMENT
7,477,243
45.00
TOTAL
436,692,416
2,114.50

Updates

Wildlife Trafficking. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-55, Laws of Florida, amending the definition of “racketeering activity” in the Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act to include violations of Chapter 379, F.S., and Title 68, F.A.C., which relate to the illegal sale, purchase, harvest or possession of wild animal life, freshwater aquatic life or marine life and related crimes. This change will allow such unlawful acts to be prosecuted as racketeering. A criminal violation of the Florida RICO Act is a first-degree felony and provides additional civil penalties. Previous language did not explicitly mention wildlife and sometimes proved problematic when prosecutors were applying the RICO Act to criminal networks focusing on wildlife exploitation for illegal gain. This legislation explicitly adds necessary language to assist in the charging and prosecution of such activities under the RICO Act.

Derelict Vessels.  The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-184, Laws of Florida, revising Florida's laws on derelict vessels. The legislation

  • authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to establish a derelict vessel prevention program;
  • revises the conditions under which a vessel may be determined to be at risk of becoming derelict;
  • authorizes officers to provide in-person notice that a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if there is a body camera recording;
  • authorizes law enforcement officers to relocate at-risk vessels to a certain distance from mangroves or vegetation;
  • authorizes local governments to enact and enforce regulations to remove an abandoned or lost vessel affixed to a public mooring;
  • authorizes FWC to provide local government grants for the removal, destruction, and disposal of derelict vessels;
  • revises provisions relating to the removal of derelict vessels and public nuisance vessels, and creates specific procedures for such vessels, including notice and hearing requirements and liability for removal costs; and
  • authorizes FWC, law enforcement agencies, and authorized governmental subdivisions to perform relocation, removal, storage, destruction, and disposal activities.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Agency Strategic Plan 2020-2024, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, May 6, 2020.

2020-21 Programs of the FWC, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

A complete list of Auditor General reports is available on its website. 

Websites of Interest
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Inspector General
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Legislative Affairs
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Research Publications
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Article IV, Section 9, Constitution of the State of Florida, and s. 20.331 and  20.3311 and Chs. 379 and 327, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Eric Sutton, Executive Director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 850-487-3796, e-mail:  eric.sutton@myfwc.com

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