Stay Safe Diving During Lobster Season

 In Maritime Law

waterOn July 30th, a 22-year-old man died while diving for lobsters on the first day of the mini-season in Pompano Beach. The Florida mini-season is a two-day event that always falls on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July.  There is also an eight-month regular lobster season that runs from August 6 through March 31. 

Rules and regulations that govern both Florida lobster seasons:

  1. Each harvester must have a gauge made for measuring lobsters while harvesting in the water. 
  2. All lobsters must be measured in the water and released unharmed if undersized.
  3. All harvested lobsters must have a carapace (head, body or front section) greater than 3 inches.
  4. Tails can only be separated on land, and all recreationally harvested lobster must remain whole while at sea.  When the tail is eventually separated from the body, it must be greater than 5 ½ inches long. 
  5. Harvesters are required to carry a valid Florida saltwater fishing license with a current crawfish permit.
  6. All divers and snorkelers in the water are required to display a diver-down flag.
  7. Egg-bearing (berried) lobsters must be released unharmed. Lobster eggs are found on the underside of the tail and are orange, yellow, brown or red.
  8. The bag limit during regular season is six lobsters per recreational harvester.

Local jurisdictions may have more specific restrictions, so check their prohibitions before heading out on the water.For a full review of the rules and regulations governing both lobster seasons, see Chapter 68B-24 of the Florida Administrative Code.

Lobster season in Florida is a fun time to get out on the water and enjoy one of this state’s most delicious sea life.  Unfortunately, lobster season almost always entails some fatalities either through inexperienced divers or from the negligence of others.

A few points for new divers:

  • Divers should not attempt to harvest lobster without first becoming trained by diving instructors. 
  • Divers should get all diving equipment checked by professionals before heading out on the water. 
  • For those operating boats during both lobster seasons, always use a diver-down flag when in the water. If you spot a diver-down flag, stay at least 300 feet away from the flag, or put your boat on idle if within 300 feet. 

If you have been injured by the negligence of another boater, you need to hire an attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Accidents at sea are different than those on land.  It takes an attorney with specialized knowledge of those differences to get the best results for your case. 

How LaBovick Law Group Handles a Maritime Boating or Diving Case:

The LaBovick Law Group has a team of attorneys that handle maritime injury claims. If you think you have a case, we always offer free initial consultations, so call us to begin the process. Many details of your situation will help us determine if you have a case, including when your accident occurred, where it occurred, what documentation exists from your accident, how severe your injuries are and if you were at all at fault.

Once you sign up as a client, there should be no out-of-pocket costs for you. Our dedicated maritime legal team will begin going to work on your case immediately, gathering medical records, police reports, witness testimonials, etc. In order to expedite the process, we may need your assistance gathering these records.

The timeline of a maritime case depends on many factors, but it could last from a few months to a few years depending on medical treatments, etc. Every situation is different, so we tailor our approach to the case based on your unique situation and needs.

Keep in mind that in all maritime injury cases, we don’t get paid unless you get paid. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net bym_bartosch

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