Spiny Lobster—General Facts

    Commonly referred to as the Florida spiny lobster, the Caribbean spiny lobster inhabits
    tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Spiny
    lobsters get their name from the forward-pointing spines that cover their bodies to help protect
    them from predators. They vary in color from almost white to dark red-orange. Two large,
    cream-colored spots on the top of the second segment of the tail make spiny lobsters easy to
    identify. They have long antennae over their eyes that they wave to scare off predators and
    smaller antennae-like structures called antennules that sense movement and detect
    chemicals in the water.   

    More about the spiny lobster
    More about Lobstering in the Florida Keys

    Lobstering Regulations

    The spiny lobster sport season always falls on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday
    of July each year.  The bag limits are 6 per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne
    National Park, and 12 per person per day for the rest of Florida.  The possession limit on the
    water is equal to the daily bag limit, and off the water is equal to the daily bag limit on the first
    day, and double the daily bag limit on the second day.  Possession limits are enforced on and
    off the water. Spiny lobster has a minimum size limit that must be larger than 3" carapace,
    measured in the water.  A reminder that possession and use of a measuring device is
    required at all times, and night diving is prohibited in Monroe County (only during the sport
    season). A recreational saltwater license and a crawfish permit are needed for harvest.
    Regular spiny lobster season is August 6 through March 31. The bag limit is 6 per person per
    day. Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the
    sport season.  Harvest is also prohibited during both the 2-day sport season and regular
    season in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, and no take areas in the
    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

    Call (305) 743-2437 or visit http://floridakeys.noaa.gov  for information about no take areas in
    the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Please call the FWC Key West office at (305) 292-
    0311  or click here for lobster harvesting regulations for Monroe County. Recreational trapping
    of lobster is prohibited.

    LOBSTER BAG LIMITS

    Monroe County
    Biscayne National Park
    Elsewhere

    2-Day Sport Season (July 25-26) 6 per person per day
    6 per person per day
    12 per person per day

    Regular Season (August 6 – March 31)
    6 per person per day
    6 per person per day
    6 per person per day

    Regardless of what species you are fishing for, bag limits are only for properly licensed
    individuals and those people exempt from license requirements who are actively harvesting,
    and those people harvesting may not exceed their individual bag limit and take someone else’
    s bag limit. That is, people (including children) who are not actively harvesting or are not
    properly licensed (if a license is required) may NOT be counted for purposes of bag limits.
Lobstering in the Florida Keys
Spiny Lobster Measurement
Spiny Lobster must have a minimum
carapace length of greater than 3-inches
and the measurement must take place
in the water. The carapace is measured
beginning at the forward edge between
the rostral horns, excluding and soft
tissue, and proceeding along the middle
to the rear edge of the carapace.
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