Florida’s lobster miniseason begins soon

Lobster miniseason, Marathon, FL – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Beach Images

Summer season means good eating down in the Florida Keys.

The 2022 spiny lobster season begins with the two-day recreational miniseason on Wednesday, July 27 at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight Thursday night, followed by the regular recreational and commercial lobster season, which opens on August 6 and runs through March 31, 2023.

“Spiny lobster season is an exciting time for anglers of all ages to be on the water,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Commissioner Robert Spottswood. “It’s also a great time to practice safe boating and take care around Florida’s coral reefs.”

Law enforcement agencies work diligently to strictly enforce boating safety and lobster harvesting regulations. Divers should be in great physical shape and, before journeying on their lobster excursion, ensure they are up to date with their diving certifications and ensure that their equipment and boating gear are all working properly.

According to the rules, each lobster must have a carapace that is greater than 3 inches and there is a daily limit of six lobsters per person. A measuring device must be in your possession at all times, according to representatives of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The carapace of a lobster must be measured underwater, and the lobster must be preserved intact until it has reached land.

On Saturday, July 23, FWC officials set up an information booth at Key Largo’s Waldorf Plaza, mile marker 100 oceanside at Divers Direct, with hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will remain open through Tuesday, July 26. There, staff will provide all the latest lobster-catching regulations and rules, as well as demonstrations on how to properly measure harvested lobsters.

Key lobster-harvesting regulations for both regular lobster and sports season can be found at www.keyslobsterseason.com. The website features several videos highlighting boating and diving safety tips, and up-to-date information on rules and regulations for lobster harvesting within the Florida Keys, such as daily lobster limits and the importance of avoiding prohibited no-take zone boundaries protected within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Night diving is not allowed during the miniseason in Monroe County. Meantime, Miami-Dade County Parks stated that due to ongoing construction, Haulover Park will be operating at a limited capacity. 

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