FLORIDA KEYS — The traditional lobster harvesting season in the Florida Keys begins on Aug. 6. Area officials want visitors and residents to have an enjoyable, safe and environmentally non-impacting experience.
The annual sport or mini-season is now over. Regular lobster season runs from Sunday, Aug. 6, through March 31.
Law enforcement agencies work together to strictly enforce lobster harvest and boating safety regulations. Divers should be in good physical health and, before embarking on their lobster excursion, ensure they are current with their dive certification and verify that their dive equipment and boating gear are all in good working order.
Keys lobster-catching regulations can be found at KeysLobsterSeason.com. The dedicated website features videos highlighting dive and boating safety tips, up-to-date rules and regulations for lobster harvesting within the Keys such as daily limits, and emphasizes avoiding prohibited, no-take zones protected within Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary boundaries.
Rules include a limit of six lobsters — each with a carapace measuring larger than 3 inches — per person, per day. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials. A lobster's carapace must be measured in the water and the lobster must be kept intact until after returning to shore.
“Size and bag limits really matter in the Florida Keys,” said FWC Captain David Dipre. “Regulations are extremely important because this is a national marine sanctuary.”
Keys lobster season information: KeysLobsterSeason.com
Rules in the Florida Keys include a limit of six lobsters — each with a carapace measuring larger than 3 inches — per person, per day.