Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LOBSTERS - WATCH OUT!!

Panulirus argus
 
If you are not a resident of South Florida you may not know about the annual "mini lobster season" which are known as "bugs" around here. This does not mean that you can catch mini-lobsters - far from it - it means the season is mini in fact just two days.  It runs from 0001 today Wednesday to 2359 tomorrow Thursday and the Law Enforcement for this mini-season is intense.  On water patrols and shore duty will be the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers www.MyFWC.com for all the Regulations, Miami-Dade Police both ashore and on the water, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue ashore and on the water, and the USCG.  The Patrols will be both the usual marked vehicles and boats but also unmarked vehicles, boats and Zeus - the hidden lobster finding dog - who is pretty good at his job according to FWC Officer Caitlyn Kirkland.

Frankly NAUTICAL LOG (who is a big seafood fan) has never seen the point of this lobster mini-season and that viewpoint has not changed in the 40 years of residing in South Florida.  Each year it seems we have death and serious injuries on the water and the vast expense of enforcement which has increased astronomically in those 40 years does not seem worth it for two days.

But there it is on it goes each year and sadly one supposes there will be deaths, injuries plus the inevitable arrests for disobeying the Rules again this year.  If you must go lobster harvesting a summary of the Rules follows but remember to go to the www.MyFWC.com  for the "Official Word" and get that Florida Saltwater License endorsed with a lobster permit.

  • In the areas of The Keys and Biscayne National Park the bag limit is 6 lobsters per person per day.
  • Everywhere else the bag limit is 12 lobsters per person per day.
  • No spearing
  • No taking egg bearing  females.
  • Measure with a gauge the lobster carapace (head) in the water, it must be more than three (3) inches long.
  • NO NIGHT diving in The Keys.
  • No lobster harvesting in Everglades National Park, Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Key Largo or the no-take zones in Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Display the diver down flag.
Both the USCG and NAUTICAL LOG urge all boaters to FILE A FLOAT PLAN

Good Watch.

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