PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Fishing and Wildlife Commission made changes to seasonal fishing stories during its final meeting of the year. 

The Commission used information from marine specialists to help set fishing regulations and quotas.

Scientists use past data trends to determine the level a species’ populations should be at in order to be sustainable. 

They then compare that number to where the species population is currently. 

Using this information, coupled with other competing factors, the commissioners sets regulations they determine will be the best for the people of Florida. 

During today’s meeting the population of several marine species were discussed. 

“I wanted to highlight a recent lane snapper federal fishery closure,” fisheries biologist at Marine Fisheries Management, CJ Sweetman said.  “NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] fisheries are required to close commercial and recreational harvest if the quota is met or predicted to be met in order to prevent overfishing.”

Similarly, the commission is considering decreasing the overfished great amberjack despite already decreasing the quota this year. 

“The council recently approved measures and an updated rebuilding plan that significantly reduced the quota by 83 percent  and modified sector allocations,” Sweetman said. “The stock has not responded in the manner that the council would have hoped based on actions previously taken. So additional management measures are also being considered.”

The number of red snapper allowed to be caught,however, has increased. 

These are just some of the efforts the commission is making to improve Florida’s wildlife.