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First day of net ban is quiet

Despite threats of violence and organized blockades, the state's new net ban went into effect Saturday with only a few incidents.

Four citations were issued for net violations and 15 boats were vandalized overnight in Fort Pierce, but no violent incidents were reported.

"It's been very quiet," said April Herrle, spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection.

The state Marine Patrol had 350 officers on duty for the weekend, already a heavy time for boating activity because of the Fourth of July holiday.

The Marine Patrol said several hundred nails were dumped on a boat ramp in Fort Pierce, 15 private boats were vandalized in the same town, three of them tangled in nets and 12 spray painted.

The Marine Patrol issued four citations. Two fishermen were ticketed shortly after midnight Friday for using illegal gill nets and shrimp nets in East Bay near Pensacola. One was charged with using an illegal shrimp trawl off Mayport. And one was charged with using a gill net on Dickerson Bay in Panacea.