Lobster seasons about to begin
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Media contact: Aaron Podey, 850-487-0554
Recreational and commercial harvest seasons for spiny lobster in
Florida are set to reopen soon. The special two-day spiny lobster
sport season comes first, July 27 and 28 this year, followed by the
regular lobster season Aug. 6 through March 31. The special two-day
sport season occurs on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday
in July each year to let recreational harvesters collect spiny
lobsters before commercial lobster traps are placed in the water on
Recreational fishers must have a saltwater fishing license and a
spiny lobster permit to harvest spiny lobsters, unless they are
exempt from the recreational license requirements. Harvesters also
must make sure their spiny lobsters have a carapace length greater
than 3 inches to take them, and divers must possess a measuring
device and measure all lobsters while in the water.
During the two-day spiny lobster sport season, divers and
snorkelers are allowed to take up to six lobsters per person daily
in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park waters and 12 lobsters
per person daily in other Florida waters. Lobster fishermen may
possess no more than the daily bag limit of lobsters when on the
water. When lobster fishers are off the water, they may possess the
daily bag limit on the first day and double the daily bag limit on
the second day. Possession limits are enforced on and off the water
during the two-day sport season. During the Aug. 6 through March 31
regular season, the daily recreational bag and on-the-water
possession limit is six spiny lobsters per person.
Night diving for spiny lobsters during the two-day sport season
is not allowed in Monroe County, and all harvest of lobsters is
prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the
two-day season. If you are diving in Monroe County be sure to
download the lobster fishing
Lobster harvest is also prohibited at all times in Everglades
National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Biscayne Bay/Card Sound
Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, certain areas in Pennekamp Park, and
no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Divers and snorkelers are required to display a "divers-down"
flag (red with a white diagonal stripe) while in the water.
Divers-down flags displayed on vessels must be at least 20 inches
by 24 inches, and a stiffener is required to keep the flag
unfurled. Dive flags carried on floats must be at least 12 inches
by 12 inches. More information on divers-down flag requirements is
available online at MyFWC.com/Boating.
More information on recreational spiny lobster fishing, including
how to measure spiny lobster, is available online at
MyFWC.com/Fishing, under "Saltwater Fishing."