News Releases

New law for lobster harvest aims to deter poachers

News Release

Monday, October 17, 2016

Media contact: Rob Klepper,

On Oct. 1, an amendment to the Florida statute pertaining to lobster harvest went into effect, giving authorities more latitude in prosecutions for those who harvest undersized spiny lobster.

The new legislation, SB 1470, sponsored by Rep. Holly Raschein and Sen. Jack Latvala, and championed by many in the Keys, specifies that each undersized spiny lobster found in a violator’s possession may be charged as a separate offense.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) hopes this change will encourage lobster harvesters to really pay attention and measure any lobster they harvest from Florida waters.

No one wants a small lobster for dinner, so make sure you check the size. Measuring devices are required, and lobsters harvested while diving must be measured while they are in the water. If its carapace length is not larger than 3 inches, the lobster must be left in the water. Size and bag limits exist to conserve the resource and ensure that lobsters are around for the next generation to enjoy.

For more information, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster.”

FWC Facts:
Numerous marine species, like blue crabs, redfish, white shrimp, stingrays, tarpon, are found more than 100 miles upstream in the freshwater portions of the St. Johns River.

Learn More at AskFWC