NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - South Floridians are getting ready for the highly anticipated lobster mini-season that will begin at midnight.
Fishermen are ready to dive for the delicacy over the course of two days.
On Tuesday morning, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advised those who plan on taking part of the event to know the rules and regulations surrounding their catch.
“Whether you’re a new or seasoned veteran to lobstering, you must abide by the fishing laws and boating laws,” said FWC Officer Ronald Washington. “Some common violations that we will catch are wrung tails, out of season lobsters, under-sized or egg-bearing females and over the bag limit. They are all misdemeanors and will land you in jail.”
Officials said the carapace must be longer than three inches and measured in the water.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be patrolling boat ramps, bridges and in the water for illegal catches.
Bags in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park are limited to six lobsters per person per day.
For the rest of Florida, fishermen are able to capture 12 lobsters per person, per day.
Mini-season officially ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.
Boaters are advised to check their safety equipment before heading out to the water.
“There is some inclement weather approaching,” said United States Coast Guard Lt. Brandon Earhart. “Ensure that you are checking weather sites and that you are using common sense so when you get out on the water, you and your guests are safe.”
Agencies across South Florida including FWC, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the Coast Guard will be out patrolling the waters and ensuring participants are safe.
Regular lobster season begins on Aug. 6.
Over 236,000 people were licensed for lobster catching in 2018. Officials expect the number to rise this year.
To review state and local laws in the Florida Keys for lobster catching, click here.
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