Abundance of Spiny Lobsters in Florida for divers

Abundance of Spiny Lobsters in Florida for divers

Abundance of Spiny Lobsters in Florida for divers

I cannot think of a fishery in the world better managed than Florida’s Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus).  Despite the thousands of people catching lobsters for fun or commercially, lobsters in Florida are abundant, all over the place.  There are enough lobsters for commercial boat catch to supply thousands of local restaurantes, supermarkets and still have surplus lobsters to export.  Recreational divers can harvest up to 6 lobsters per day and most divers catch their limit when diving with that intention.

Of course Florida’s coast is naturally rich in Spiny Lobsters, but the abundance we see today is a result of wise and strict management of the fishery and not simply Mother Nature’s goodwill.  A series of effective fishing regulations that apply to anyone catching lobsters in the state seem to have found the perfect balance between what can be caught and what is left to reproduce, as every year lobsters are back in great numbers for the season.  Legally harvested lobsters are governed by rules that determine minimum size, amount caught, method used and areas where capture are permitted.  But probably the most efficient measure is the closed period.  From the last day of March through October 6, lobsters literally cannot be touched, much less harvested, protecting the sought after crustaceans during it’s vulnerable reproduction period.

There is one exception to the closed period, its the 48 hours that encompasses the last Wednesday and Thursday of July, known as the Lobster Mini Season.  During these two days and two nights, recreational divers are allowed to harvest 12 lobsters per day, twice as much permitted during regular season. No comercial boats are allowed to catch lobsters during the mini season, as the whole idea is to give folks a head start before the professional lobster fleet hits the rested spiny lobster population.

By late June, Florida’s corals and artificial reefs are stacked with Spiny Lobsters.  Remember, lobsters have not been bothered by humans for approximately 110 days.  This is as close to untouched as it gets!  For the next 8 months Floridians lobster lovers and commercial boats will have plenty of lobsters for their fund and livelihood!


Florida Spiny Lobster Regulations


Regular Season  :         August 6 - March 31

Minimum Size  :            3 inches for Carapace

Bag Limit  :                    6 lobsters per license 

Fishing Methods   :      - Tickle Stick & Net

                                        -  Lobster Snare

                                        - By Hand 

Lobsters w/ eggs   :      Forbidden 

License required      :     FL Saltwater and Lobstering licenses required 

Francisco was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he learned to fish. Spearfishing in Rio de Janeiro is a way of life, and his love for the sea and spearfishing has led him to be a proponent of sustainable spearfishing. He has served as captain of the USA National Spearfishing Team,...

Your comments

No comments for this page

Submit your comment

This blog encourages comments, and if you have thoughts or questions about any of the posts here, I hope you will add your comments.
In order to prevent spam and inappropriate content, all comments are moderated by the blog Administrator.

 By providing this application form, you agree to blog.cressi.com's Anti-spam Policy & Terms of Use. Read more

More articles