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TITLE XXII

PORTS AND HARBORS

Last update: 2013-11-01


  • Shipping Masters
  • Protection Of Ports And Harbors
  • Pilots, Piloting, And Pilotage
  • Seaport Programs And Facilities
  • Harbormasters For Ports In General
  • Harbormasters For Certain Ports
  • Port Facilities Financing
  • Version 2013-11-01
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  • Version 2011-11-08

Chapter 308

SHIPPING MASTERS

308.01 - Appointment and duties

There shall be created in and for the several ports of this state, one or more shipping masters, to be appointed by the mayor with the consent of the common council of each city or incorporated town in this state, whose business it shall be to provide and ship crews for vessels and seamen, in accordance with the laws of the United States, whenever required to do so, by proper authority, representing the vessels or owners.


History.- s. 1, ch. 1750, 1870; RS 933; GS 1287; RGS 2457; CGL 3866.

308.02 - Bond; penalties

Before obtaining the license provided for in s. 308.03, said shipping master shall execute a bond, with two good and sufficient sureties, to be approved by the mayor, in the sum of $2,000, payable to the mayor and the mayor’s successors in office, conditioned for the honest and faithful transaction of all business appertaining to the shipping master’s office and occupation; and if any shipping master, or any other person by his or her consent, procurement, advice or connivance, shall be found guilty of harboring, concealing or enticing away any marine or seaman from a vessel, or encouraging any marine or seaman to mutiny or disobey lawful orders, he, she, or they shall, in addition to the punishment provided by law for every such offense under this chapter, forfeit for the use of the port or town for which the shipping master is appointed, not less than $100 nor more than $1,000; the cause to be tried in the proper court on complaint of the mayor or party aggrieved.


History.- s. 2, ch. 1750, 1870; RS 934; GS 1288; RGS 2458; CGL 3867; s. 276, ch. 95-148.

308.03 - License and regulation; penalties

The mayor and council may grant license in conformity to this chapter, under such rules and regulations as they may prescribe, and such ordinances and orders as in their judgment may be most conducive to the interests of their port, and for the government of the shipping and for the welfare and protection of the marine and seamen, subject to the laws of the United States, and for the direction and government of said shipping masters as they may deem proper; and the same at any time may amend or revoke, and may impose fines for the violation of such rules, ordinances, orders and regulations, provided such fines so imposed by city or town authority under this chapter shall not exceed $50 for each offense in violating said rules, orders and regulations or ordinances.


History.- s. 3, ch. 1750, 1870; RS 935; GS 1289; RGS 2459; CGL 3868.

308.04 - Acting as shipping master without license; penalties

Whoever attempts to exercise the calling of a shipping master, or falsely represents himself or herself as a shipping master, in this state, not having been licensed or appointed by law, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.


History.- s. 4, ch. 1750, 1870; RS 2750; GS 3745; RGS 5770; CGL 8000; s. 167, ch. 71-136; s. 277, ch. 95-148.

Chapter 309

PROTECTION OF PORTS AND HARBORS

309.01 - Deposit of material in tidewater regulated

  • (1) It is not lawful for any person to discharge or cause to be discharged or deposit or cause to be deposited, in the tide or salt waters of any bay, port, harbor, or river of this state, any ballast or material of any kind other than clear stone or rock, free from gravel or pebbles, which said clear stone or rock shall be deposited or discharged only in the construction of enclosures in connection with wharves, piers, quays, jetties, or in the construction of permanent bulkheads connecting the solid and permanent portion of wharves. It is lawful to construct three characters of bulkheads for retention of material in solid wharves. First, clear stone or rock enclosures, or bulkheads, may be built upon all sides to a height not less than 21/2 feet above high watermark; and after the enclosures have been made so solid, tight, and permanent as to prevent any sand, mud, gravel, or other material that may be discharged or deposited in them from drifting or escaping through such enclosures, any kind of ballast may be discharged or deposited within the enclosures. The enclosures may be constructed of wood, stone, and rock combined, the stone and rocks to be placed on the outside of the wood to a height not less at any point than 21/2 feet above high watermark. Second, a bulkhead may be built by a permanent wharf consisting of thoroughly creosoted piles not less than 12 inches in diameter at the butt end, to be driven close together and to be capped with timber not less than 10 or 14 inches drift, bolted to each pile, and one or more longitudinal stringers to be placed on the outside of the bulkhead and securely anchored by means of iron rods to piles driven within the bulkheads, clear rock to be on the inside of the bulkhead, to a height of not less than 21/2 feet above high water; and after this is done, ballast or other material may be deposited within the permanent enclosure so constructed. Third, a bulkhead may be constructed to consist of creosoted piles, as described herein, driven not exceeding 4 feet apart from center to center, inside of which two or more longitudinal stringers may be placed and securely bolted to the piles. Inside of these longitudinal pieces, two thicknesses of creosoted sheet piling are to be driven, each course of the sheet piling to make a joint with the other so as to form an impenetrable wharf; and within this permanent bulkhead so constructed, any ballast or other material may be deposited. No such enclosure, pier, quay, or jetty shall be begun until the point whereat it is to be built shall have been connected by a substantial wharf with a shore or with a permanent wharf; except that the owners of wharves may at any time, with the consent of the Board of Pilot Commissioners of the Division of Professions of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, build wharves of clear stone or rock, or creosoted walls as hereinafter provided, on each side of their wharves from the shore to a point at which the water is not more than 15 feet deep, and when such walls have attained a height of 21/2 feet above high watermark and have been securely closed at the deepwater end by stone or creosoted walls of the same height, any kind of ballast may be deposited in them. Nothing contained in this section shall interfere with any rights or privileges now enjoyed by riparian owners. While this section empowers those who desire to construct the several characters of wharves, piers, quays, jetties, and bulkheads provided for and described herein, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to require any person not desiring to construct a permanent wharf by filling up with ballast, stone, or other material to construct under the specifications contained herein; and nothing in this chapter shall be so construed as to prevent any person from constructing any wharf or placing any pilings, logs, or lumber in any waters where the person would have heretofore had the right so to do.

  • (2) This section shall not prohibit Escambia County from placing in Pensacola Bay, on the Escambia County side, beside the old Pensacola Bay Bridge, certain materials, as recommended by the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to increase the number of fish available for persons fishing from the old Pensacola Bay Bridge.

  • (3) This section shall not prohibit Manatee County from placing in the Manatee County portions of Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay and in the Manatee River, certain materials, as recommended by the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to increase the number of fish available for persons fishing in the above areas.

  • (4) This section shall not prohibit Pinellas County from placing in Tampa Bay certain materials as recommended by the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to increase the number of fish available for persons fishing in the bay.

History.- ch. 3298, 1881; RS 936; s. 1, ch. 4370, 1895; GS 1290; RGS 2460; CGL 3869; s. 1, ch. 61-11; s. 1, ch. 63-423; s. 1, ch. 65-26; ss. 25, 30, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 184, ch. 81-259; s. 31, ch. 94-218; s. 134, ch. 94-356; s. 890, ch. 95-148; s. 236, ch. 99-245.

309.02 - Deposit of material on wharf or quay regulated

It is not lawful for any person to deposit or cause to be deposited on any wharf or quay, any ballast, stone, earth, or like material, except such wharf or quay may be so secured as to prevent such ballast or other material from washing into the waters of the harbor.


History.- s. 3, ch. 3142, 1879; RS 937; GS 1291; RGS 2461; CGL 3870.

Chapter 310

PILOTS, PILOTING, AND PILOTAGE

310.001 - Purpose

The Legislature recognizes that the waters, harbors, and ports of the state are important resources, and it is deemed necessary in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare to provide laws regulating the piloting of vessels utilizing the navigable waters of the state in order that such resources, the environment, life, and property may be protected to the fullest extent possible. To that end, it is the legislative intent to regulate pilots, piloting, and pilotage to the full extent of any congressional grant of authority, except as limited in this chapter.


History.- s. 2, ch. 75-201; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 16, ch. 78-140; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-185; ss. 10, 11, ch. 86-280; s. 2, ch. 89-262; s. 4, ch. 91-429.

310.0015 - Piloting regulation; general provisions

  • (1) Piloting is an essential service of such paramount importance that its continued existence must be secured by the state and may not be left open to market forces.

  • (2) Because safety is the primary objective in the regulation of piloting by the state and because of the significant economies of scale in delivering the service, the requirement of a large capital investment in order to provide required service, and the fact that pilots are supplying services that are considered to be essential to the economy and the public welfare, it is determined that economic regulation, rather than competition in the marketplace, will better serve to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

  • (3) The rate-setting process, the issuance of licenses only in numbers deemed necessary or prudent by the board, and other aspects of the economic regulation of piloting established in this chapter are intended to protect the public from the adverse effects of unrestricted competition which would result from an unlimited number of licensed pilots being allowed to market their services on the basis of lower prices rather than safety concerns. This system of regulation benefits and protects the public interest by maximizing safety, avoiding uneconomic duplication of capital expenses and facilities, and enhancing state regulatory oversight. The system seeks to provide pilots with reasonable revenues, taking into consideration the normal uncertainties of vessel traffic and port usage, sufficient to maintain reliable, stable piloting operations. Pilots have certain restrictions and obligations under this system, including, but not limited to, the following:

    • (a) Pilots may not refuse to provide piloting services to any person or entity that may lawfully request such services, except for justifiable concerns relating to safety, or, in the case of a vessel planning a departure, for nonpayment of pilotage.

    • (b) Pilots may not unilaterally determine the pilotage rates they charge. Such pilotage rates shall instead be determined by the Pilotage Rate Review Committee, in the public interest, as set forth in s. 310.151.

    • (c) Pilots shall maintain or secure adequate pilot boats, office facilities and equipment, dispatch systems, communication equipment and other facilities, and equipment and support services necessary for a modern, dependable piloting operation.


    • (d)1. The pilot or pilots in a port shall train and compensate all member deputy pilots in that port. Failure to train or compensate such deputy pilots shall constitute a ground for disciplinary action under s. 310.101. Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to create an agency or employment relationship between a pilot or deputy pilot and the pilot or pilots in a port.

      • 2. The pilot or pilots in a port shall establish a competency-based mentor program by which minority persons as defined in s. 288.703 may acquire the skills for the professional preparation and education competency requirements of a licensed state pilot or certificated deputy pilot. The department shall provide the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives with a report each year on the number of minority persons as defined in s. 288.703 who have participated in each mentor program, who are licensed state pilots or certificated deputy pilots, and who have applied for state pilot licensure or deputy pilot certification.

    • (e) In any instance of a payment or transfer of funds, a request for the payment or transfer of funds, or a contractual obligation assumed in respect to the payment or transfer of funds from a licensee payor to a pilot or group of pilots, or to any legal entity or fund administered or controlled by or under common control with such pilot or group of pilots, the pilot or group of pilots shall provide to the licensee payor, at the time the payment or transfer or request for the payment or transfer is made or the obligation is assumed in respect to the payment or transfer, a detailed accounting of the specific assets, tangible or intangible, in which an interest is being directly or indirectly purchased or for which the licensee payor is being granted an interest in return for such payment or transfer of funds or such contractual obligation. This paragraph does not apply to either payments or transfers of funds if their aggregate amounts are less than $1,000. As used in this paragraph, “licensee payor” means any current or prospective state pilot or deputy pilot.

History.- s. 338, ch. 94-119; s. 66, ch. 2000-356; s. 2, ch. 2010-225; s. 226, ch. 2011-142.

310.002 - Definitions

As used in this chapter, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
  • (1) “Vessel” includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.

  • (2) “Pilot” means a licensed state pilot or a certificated deputy pilot.

  • (3) “Board” means the Board of Pilot Commissioners.

  • (4) “Port” means any place in the state into which vessels enter or depart and includes, without limitation, Fernandina, Nassau Inlet, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Canaveral, Ft. Pierce, Palm Beach, Port Everglades, Miami, Key West, Boca Grande, Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, Tampa, Port Tampa, Port Manatee, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Apalachicola, Carrabelle, Panama City, Port St. Joe, and Pensacola.

  • (5) “Pilotage waters of the state” means the navigable waters within the boundaries of the state.

  • (6) “Piloting” means the acts of pilots in conducting vessels through the pilotage waters of the state.

  • (7) “Pilotage” means the compensation fixed by the Pilotage Rate Review Committee which is payable by a vessel, its owners, agents, charterers, or consignees to one or more pilots in the port where piloting is performed. The word “pilotage” also means the compensation of all types and sources derived by one or more pilots or deputy pilots for the performance of piloting at that port by licensed pilots or by certificated deputy pilots, whether such piloting is performed pursuant to this chapter or is performed by state-licensed pilots or state-certificated deputy pilots when acting as a federal pilot for vessels not required by this chapter to use a state-licensed pilot or state-certificated deputy pilot.

  • (8) “License” or “certificate” means the document issued by the board under seal of the department to pilots.

  • (9) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

History.- s. 2, ch. 75-201; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 1, 16, ch. 78-140; s. 185, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-185; ss. 1, 10, 11, ch. 86-280; s. 2, ch. 89-262; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 339, ch. 94-119; s. 32, ch. 94-218; s. 3, ch. 2010-225.

310.011 - Board of Pilot Commissioners

  • (1) A board is established within the Division of Professions of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to be known as the Board of Pilot Commissioners. The board shall be composed of 10 members, to be appointed by the Governor, as follows: five members shall be licensed state pilots actively practicing their profession; two members shall be actively involved in a professional or business capacity in the maritime industry, marine shipping industry, or commercial passenger cruise industry; one member shall be a certified public accountant with at least 5 years of experience in financial management; and two members shall be citizens of the state. The latter three board members shall not be involved in, or have any financial interest in, the piloting profession, the maritime industry, the marine shipping industry, or the commercial passenger cruise industry. The board shall perform such duties and possess and exercise such powers relative to the protection of the waters, harbors, and ports of this state as are prescribed and conferred on it in this chapter.

  • (2) Each member shall be appointed for a term of 4 years. The Governor shall have power to remove members of the board from office for neglect of duty required by this chapter, for incompetency, or for unprofessional conduct. Any vacancy which may occur in the board in consequence of death, resignation, removal from the state, or other cause shall be filled for the unexpired term by the Governor in the same manner. A majority of those serving on the board shall constitute a quorum.

  • (3) In appointing members to the board who are pilots, the Governor shall appoint one member from the state at large; one member from any of the following ports: Pensacola, Panama City, or Port St. Joe; one member from any of the following ports: Tampa Bay, Boca Grande, Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor, or Key West; one member from any of the following ports: Fernandina, Jacksonville, or Port Canaveral; and one member from any of the following ports: Ft. Pierce, Miami, Port Everglades, or Palm Beach.

History.- s. 2, ch. 75-201; s. 3, ch. 76-168; ss. 1, 2, ch. 76-217; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, 16, ch. 78-140; ss. 186, 187, ch. 81-259; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 4, ch. 83-329; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-185; ss. 10, 11, ch. 86-280; s. 2, ch. 89-262; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 340, ch. 94-119; s. 33, ch. 94-218; s. 4, ch. 2010-225.

Note.- Subsections (2) and (3) former s. 310.021.


310.032 - Oath of members of the board

Immediately, and before entering upon the duties of said office, the members of the board shall take the constitutional oath of office and shall file the same with the Department of State; there shall thereupon issue to said member a certificate of his or her appointment.


History.- s. 2, ch. 75-201; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 16, ch. 78-140; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-185; ss. 10, 11, ch. 86-280; s. 2, ch. 89-262; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 278, ch. 95-148.

310.042 - Organization of board; meetings

  • (1) Immediately after the appointment and qualification of its members, the board shall meet and organize. Said board shall annually elect a chair and a vice chair from its membership. Members, while attending official board meetings, shall receive per diem and mileage, as specified in s. 112.061, from their place of residence to the place of meeting and return.

  • (2) Said board shall hold one or more regular meetings each year at some convenient place in the state on such date or dates as the board may select. Special meetings may be called by a majority of the board. The secretary of the board shall give written notice of all regular and special meetings to all pilots in addition to any other persons required by law to be notified.

  • (3) Within 14 days from any meeting of the board, the board shall forward a written report to each pilot outlining any actions of the board taken at the meeting which would affect any pilots.

History.- s. 2, ch. 75-201; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 16, ch. 78-140; ss. 13, 15, 25, 30, 34, 59, 62, ch. 80-406; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-185; ss. 10, 11, ch. 86-280; s. 2, ch. 89-262; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 279, ch. 95-148.