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One of South Florida’s favorite times of the year is here – lobster mini season.
Miami-Dade County officials, in partnership with the Marine Patrol Unit, released strict guidelines for this year’s lobster divers.
The mini season starts at midnight on Wednesday and lasts until midnight on Thursday.
Spiny lobsters, with carapaces larger than three inches, are in season during the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of each July.
Here’s what to keep in mind before lobster diving, according to the Florida Wildlife Commission and Miami-Dade Police Department:
There are limits of 12 lobsters per person are in place for Florida, while limits of six lobsters exist per person in Biscayne National Park and Monroe County.
Lobsters must be kept whole and no harvesting or penetrating of the shell are allowed.
Everyone, unless exempt, needs a recreational saltwater fishing license with permit for lobster diving.
Diving is not permitted at night during the mini season.
Vessels must have safety equipment on board including flares, life jackets and fire extinguishers.
Dive flags must be mounted on the highest point of the boat, with a measurement of 20 x 24 inches. If the boat is in the water, the flag must be 12 x 12 inches.
For more safety tips, click here.