Conditional & Prohibited Nonnative Species Regulations

Conditional and Prohibited Species Regulations

It is illegal to release any nonnative species in Florida without a permit.

The Florida Administrative Code and the Florida Statutes govern the importation and introduction of nonnative fish and wildlife:

  • It is unlawful for any person to possess, transport or otherwise bring into the state or to release or introduce in the state any freshwater fish, aquatic invertebrate, marine plant, marine animal, or wild animal life that is not native to the state without a permit from the Commission, except fathead minnow, variable platy, coturnix quail, and ring-necked pheasant. ( 68-5.001, F.A.C.)
  • It is unlawful to import into the state or place in any of the fresh waters of the state any freshwater fish of any species without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.28, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.231, F.S.)
  • It is unlawful to import or possess any marine plant or marine animal, not indigenous to the state, which, due to the stimulating effect of the waters of the state on procreation, may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard, except as provided in this section. (379.26, F.S.)

You can read more detailed information about the Florida Statutes at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/ and about the Florida Administrative Code at https://www.flrules.org/default.asp. Interested people may want to read the rule language for Chapter 68-5, F.A.C.

A permit is required to import nonnative species, including conditional and prohibited species, into the state. A permit is also required to possess conditional or prohibited species. The Nonnative, Conditional and Prohibited Species permit is issued for the following purposes:

  1. Possession/importation of conditional species (only issued to licensed dealers, public exhibitors or researchers that meet certain biosecurity measures)
  2. Possession/importation of prohibited species (only issued to public exhibitors or researchers that meet certain biosecurity measures)
  3. Possession of red-eared sliders
  4. Collection of conditional species (for commercial use only)
  5. Collection of prohibited species (for public exhibition or research only)
  6. Removal of conditional species from FWC lands (including Burmese pythons)
  7. Release of nonnative species (for research only)
  8. Importation of leopard, African spurred or Bell's hingeback tortoises (for commercial or personal use)
  9. Importation of nonnative fish not listed as conditional or prohibited (for use by hobbyists in personal aquariums)


FWC Facts:
Anyone operating a vessel and willfully disregarding the safety of people or property will be cited for reckless operation (a 1st-degree misdemeanor).

Learn More at AskFWC