Division of Marine Fisheries Management

Jessica McCawley, Director
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

Mission: To sustain the long-term health and abundance of Florida's marine fisheries.


  • Brings together fisheries interest groups, research institutions, government agencies and the public to consider ways to manage Florida's marine fisheries effectively.
  • Supports Commission efforts to make informed management decisions based on the best available scientific data.
  • Develops fisheries management plans to prevent overfishing of important commercial and recreational marine species while allowing for sustainable levels of annual harvests to benefit people.
  • Provides grants for artificial reef construction, monitoring and research.
  • Provides the public with information regarding conservation and management of Florida's valuable marine fisheries.

The Division of Marine Fisheries Management (MFM) works with many agencies and groups to accomplish its mission. Fishery management requires coordination with federal agencies, other states and regional councils: the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. Other activities include issuance of special activity licenses, recovery of lost or abandoned lobster and crab traps, coordination of federal programs to provide disaster relief assistance to commercial fishers, and review and comment on proposed development projects that may affect marine resources. This division also conducts wholesale-dealer audits.

Marine Fisheries Management sections

Analysis and Rulemaking

This section compiles fishery data, coordinates with other government agencies and research institutions, and solicits information from the public regarding fishery management strategies for state saltwater fisheries regulations. Section employees use this information to develop management and rule-making recommendations for Commission consideration.

Federal Fisheries

This section serves as liaison between the FWC Commissioners and the councils that have been created to assist in providing input into the management of federal marine fish species, such as snapper and grouper. Staff members in this section serve on these regional fishery councils and coordinate with stakeholders on federal fisheries issues.


This section works as a liaison between the marine fishing community and the FWC, promoting responsible recreational and commercial fishing activities. The Marine Fisheries Services section also works to resolve issues related to proposed regulations, commercial license applications and wholesale-dealer compliance; coordinates with the industry to document fisheries disasters, seeks fisheries disaster-relief financial assistance and distributes funding; operates a trap-retrieval program; administers the statewide artificial reef programs; and comments on environmental projects.

MFM budget summary

Funding Source FTE FTE salaries Other costs
FGTF   $591,149 $1,331,269
GDTF   $0 $361,361
MRCTF   $1,609,001 $1,371,033
Total operating   $2,200,150 $3,063,663
Fixed capital outlay      
Artificial reef   $0 $11,832,924
Total budget 33.0 $2,200,150 $14,896,587

Glossary of funding sources

FWC Facts:
Seagrasses are different from seaweeds (macroalgae) because they have true roots, leaves, internal veins and produce flowers.

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