A Diver’s Responsibility During Florida Lobster Season
Last week we discussed a captain’s responsibilities during lobster mini season; now we’ll discuss a diver’s responsibilities.
- A diver must possess a crawfish endorsement with his/her fishing license to legally hunt lobster. This can be bought at most bait shops and sporting goods stores.
- To dive on compressed air, a diver must be certified to do so and carry the appropriate certification card. No responsible dive shop will sell air to a person without one. Additionally, it is a civil infraction to fail to produce the card upon law enforcement request.
A diver must follow the following rules for lobster hunting:
- Bag limits for any county other than Monroe is 12 legal-sized bugs. Monroe’s County is 6. The carapace, or head section, must be at least 3 inches. Measuring devices are available at dive shops, bait stores and most sporting goods outfits.
- No egg-bearing lobsters may be taken.
- No spears or puncturing devices may be used.
- Finally, the tails cannot be wrung until after you return to land.
Any failure to follow the rules may lead to at least misdemeanor charges and some felonies. This may apply to confiscation of all the equipment, including the boat. Following the rules makes it safe and fun, but also protects our natural resources.