With Florida’s mini spiny lobster season well under way (July 24 & 25) divers hit the water. The two-day mini spiny lobster season is one of the state’s most popular recreational events each year. Divers from all over the state, including the Jupiter and Tequesta area, test their gear and watch the weather in the hopes for a bountiful lobster mini-season.
Divers-down flag is just one of the many requirements the state requires of participants. Others include possession and use of a measuring device, the body of the lobster must be at least three inches long and measured in the water. Divers may not harvest or possess egg bearing female lobsters out of the water. An egg bearing female lobster will have bright orange eggs on the underside of the carapace. The tasty crustacean must be completely in tack when brought back to shore. Bringing up only the tail is strictly prohibited.
Bag limits have been set at six per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park. Twelve lobsters per person per day for the rest of Florida. A recreational saltwater fishing license and spiny lobster permit are required. Authorities also prohibit the harvesting of spiny lobster with any device that may pierce or penetrate the exoskeleton of the lobster. Visit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for more information on rules and regulations.
Violators of the Florida regulations for spiny lobster sport season may be cited and/or arrested. Authorities set limits to ensure the spiny lobster population does not shrink. Lobster harvest is prohibited at many state parks and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
If you missed mini-season, regular spiny lobster season begins August 6 – March 31, 2013.