Collecting live specimens is an important and often difficult aspect of many research projects carried out in a laboratory setting. Keys Marine Laboratory staff can collect marine specimens for researchers, hold the collected organisms for pick-up and transfer to an investigator’s home institution, or ship them via Federal Express throughout the United States. A  FURF and Collection Request Form must be filled out and a copy of all necessary permits must be on file at KML before any specimens can be collected or shipped. Acquiring any necessary permits is the responsibility of the researcher. Please contact KML to discuss your collection needs before submitting any forms. Also refer to Guidlines for Sampling & Collecting in the Florida Keys. All necessary documents can be found on the FORMS page of this website.
IACUC protocols for all vertebrate research and education at KML: 
Research and education groups at KML are required to provide their approved IACUC Plan from their home institution for KML/FIO review and approval. These plans must be received 45 business days prior to your arrival to allow adequate time for our review process. As KML transitions to the policies and procedures of the host institution, we appreciate your cooperation with this new KML/FIO policy. We, both KML and FIO, are required to review and approve your approved IACUC plan from your home institution.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.  We want to make sure you can conduct your research or class to your satisfaction.  

Permits & Licenses - Collection of live specimens by visiting researchers or KML staff for shipping may require a special permit or license from one or more of the following agencies:

Special Activity Licenses (FWC)

KML staff collecting Caribbean Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus at the Long Key Viaduct. Collection of this species of spiny lobster is regulated by the FWC and requires an SAL.

Research which involves the harvest of regulated marine species in Florida will likely require a Special Activity License (SAL) from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Marine Fisheries Management. In some cases, small scale collection may be covered by a Florida recreational fishing license, which can be purchased instantly online at Check out fishing regulations here to determine if you are working with a species that requires an SAL. In general, collecting species which are out of season, exceeding bag limits, or collecting individuals which do not meet minimum size requirements requires an SAL. Allow at least 2 months for your SAL application to be processed.

Contact Division of Marine Fisheries Management for information or to request a SAL application.
- Website: . .
- Email:
- Phone: (850) 487-0554

National Marine Sanctuary Permits

Researcher sampling Montastrea faveolata polyps at Cheeca Rocks (FKNMS)

Permits from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are required for scientific work which involves altering the seabed in any way (permanent stakes for transect lines, etc.), deploying non-permanent experimental apparatus on the seabed, and taking hard corals or live rock. If you are uncertain whether your work requires a NMS permit, contact Joanne Delaney (information below). Allow at least 60 days for processing of the permit application.

Contact Joanne Delaney at the FKNMS to learn more about requirements and to apply for a permit.
- Website: . .
- Permit forms and instructions available at::
- Email:
- Phone: (978) 471-9653

Everglades National Park Permits

Researchers tagging & releasing sharks at Nine Mile banks (Everglades National Park).

Any research activities in the portion of Florida Bay inside Everglades National Park require a permit from the National Park Service, with few exceptions. Allow at least 3 months for the permit application to processed by the NPS.

Contact Bob Zepp at the Everglades National Park for more information about applying for a permit.
- Website: . .
- Email:
- Phone: (305) 242-7881
- Fax: (305) 242-7836