“Gone Coastal” Column
For immediate release: March 23, 2015
“Gone Coastal” column
By Amanda Nalley
Get outdoorsy with the new Guy Harvey hard-card license
There’s something wonderful about having a shiny new piece of plastic in your wallet. While paper licenses do their part, a plastic license that easily fits in among other licenses has so many benefits. It doesn’t get accidentally tossed out with the receipts. It is waterproof. It doesn’t rip or wear.
Due to popular demand, last fall, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) began selling $4 hard-card licenses to those purchasing one-year licenses. Prior to this, only those who got 5-year or more licenses were able to purchase a hard-card.
And to top it off, the new licenses feature art donated by Guy Harvey. These new cards began printing in September 2014.
The card features Florida’s state saltwater fish, the sailfish, but a new design is coming soon that features dolphinfish or Mahi as many call them. “We wanted to put something on there that is realistic to catch,” said Brenda Brand, who works in the FWC licensing department.
“My son went crazy over it,” Brand said. “He feels like he has something adult, pre-driver’s license,” she said about her 15-year-old. “It also allows him to show his support for conservation.”
And conservation is the key in the new design. As license sales increase, funds from those sales support FWC efforts such as youth programs, improved fishing opportunities, research and law enforcement.
“A lot of people don’t know where the money goes,” said Tim O’Neill, Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida marketing director, who recently worked on the I DO advertising campaign that encouraged everybody to support conservation by purchasing a license, whether they are required to or not. “Everybody wants to tell that story. It is money well spent and yet we leave probably $7 million on the table in federal funds because we don’t have our full allocations. If we sell 500,000 more licenses, we’d get more money to support more conservation efforts.”
The I DO campaign features images of real Floridians who support conservation by purchasing a Florida hunting or fishing license. The campaign has garnered great support from the industry and was recently endorsed by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris.
Since the I DO campaign and the newly designed hard card were launched, the FWC has sold more than 98,000 Guy Harvey hard-card licenses. Learn more about the I DO campaign at floridafishinglicensecampaign.com”
Want one of your own? Visit License.MyFWC.com and renew or purchase your license today.
Say I DO to conservation and send us a picture of you and your Guy Harvey hard-card to Saltwater@MyFWC.com and we may feature it in an upcoming regulations publication or via social media.
Don’t forget to record all of your catches on the iAngler phone app or at www.snookfoundation.org/data.html.
Gone Coastal is one of many ways that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management is helping recreational anglers understand complex saltwater regulations and learn more about saltwater fishing opportunities and issues in Florida. We are also available to answer questions by phone or email anytime, and we would love the opportunity to share information through in-person presentations with recreational or commercial fishing organizations. To contact the FWC’s Regulatory Outreach subsection, call 850-487-0554 or email Saltwater@MyFWC.com.