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​                                               Splash Day

               Annual Lobster Season

              August 1st to March 31st

  • ​​Spiny lobster must measure a minimum of  3" in carapace length
  •  Make sure you check the size. Measuring devices are required, and lobsters must be measured while they are in the water. If the carapace length is not larger than 3 inches, it must be left in the water (see image on how to measure spiny lobster). Spiny Lobster measurement
  • All egg bearing females must be released alive, immediately

Spiny Lobster Closed Areas Off Florida Keys

Effective August 27, 2013 spiny lobster commercial trap fishing

is prohibited in 60 new areas in federal waters off the Florida Keys.

 

For maps and coordinates of closed areas visit: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SpinyLobsterClosedAreas.htm

     The commercial fishing industry, working closely with state and federal fisheries managers and environmental organizations, developed these closed areas to protect threatened or endangered coral species, including staghorn and elkhorn corals severely impacted by climage change and poor water quality.  In total 5.9 square miles of additional benthic habitat within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary have been designated as new coral protection zones.

     For more information on spiny lobster management, please visit: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SpinyLobsterAmendment.htm

     The following groups worked together to select areas that would protect the most coral habitat without overly restricting fishing:

  • Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association
  • NOAA/ Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division
  • Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
  • South Atlantic FisheryManagement Council
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Coral Restoration Foundation
  • Mote Marine Labs
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Organized Fishermen of Florida (Marathon Chapter)
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary