From May through September 1987, observations were made on 38 trips in the driftnet fishery off the Fort Pierce-Port Salerno area off southeast Florida. Of the number and weight of fish landed on observed trips, 91.6 percent consisted of king mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla, the targeted species. Over 33 species of fishes were observed among the discarded by-catch. The most frequently occurring species in the discards was little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus, which made up 67.0 percent by number of the discarded by-catch. Total landings for all commercial gear from Saint Lucie and Martin counties (the counties of the study area) increased 516,741 pounds from 1986 to 1987. In 1986, 55 percent of the catch was from handline and 45 percent from driftnet landings. In 1987, 78 percent was
from driftnet and 22 percent from handline landings. A comparison of lengths from recreational and commercial landings showed recreationally caught fish to be, on the average, smaller. No marine mammals, birds, or turtles were entangled in the net on observed trips. Data on cost of
nets. fuel, and supplies plus the distribution of earnings among the crew were obtained for five driftnet boats.