red eared slider Good news for Florida freshwater turtles Florida will soon have the strictest conservation law for the harvest of imperilled freshwater turtles in the U.S. The new legislation pertains to all freshwater turtles on Florida’s imperilled species list plus species that look similar to the imperilled species, which include common snapping turtles and cooters.

• Commercial harvesting of these freshwater turtles will be prohibited.
• Individuals will still be allowed to take these freshwater turtles for non-commercial use, but no more than one turtle per day per person.
• Transporting more than one of these turtles per day will be prohibited.
• Collecting freshwater turtle eggs will be prohibited.

Turtle farms that depend on turtles collected from the wild will still be allowed to collect turtles, but only if adhering to a strict set of rules and only in order to establish reproduction in captivity to make the farm self-sustaining.

“I believe this industry should be moved to aquaculture, said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “That’s the logical place for it to be.”

The closed season for the take of softshell turtles, May 1 to July 31, will not change under the new rule.