MIAMI (WSVN) — Lobster mini-season begins at Midnight and officials at the Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission are demonstrating how not to get hurt.
Before diving in to try and capture some of these critters, there are a few things to know. “If you’re caught with more lobsters than you should have, you will be arrested, and you will be cited,” Jorge Pino, of the Florida and Wildlife Conservation said. “If it’s an egregious act, we will take your boat away.”
Only spiny lobsters of a certain size are permitted to be captured. Hauls brought to the surface may be scrutinized by Florida Fish and Wildlife officials armed with lobster-sniffing dogs.
South Florida divers are allowed to catch a dozen lobsters a day, though divers will not be able to go on multiple dive ventures. “We have officers that are going to be positioned in very strategic locations using sophisticated surveillance equipment making sure that doesn’t happen,” Pino said. “If it does happen, we will address it accordingly.”
Both divers and boaters need to look out for one another. “If we catch you diving without a dive flag,” Pino said, “we are going to issue you a citation, and it’s a $90 fine.”
Officials also warn not to let the excitement of the season put you in harm’s way. If one lobster gets away, move on to the next one. “There’s absolutely no lobster that’s worth your life,” Pino emphasized. “We stress that over and over and over again every year. If you feel that you cannot go down that extra foot to chase that lobster, then come back up. Let someone else eat that lobster.”
Mini-season begins at midnight and lasts until Thursday. The rules and regulations differ depending where you dive.
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