Lobster, Spiny

Shape

Synonyms

Crawfish,Panulirus argus

Edibility

Excellent

Regulations

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  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Additional Notes
    The Spiny Lobster Annual Catch Limit (ACL) will increase and the recreational harvest of spiny lobster using traps will be prohibited effective July 23, 2018.
    Divers must measure carapace while in water.
    Undersized lobster must be released unharmed immediately without removal from water.
    Removal of tail at sea is prohibited without permit.
    No taking of berried (eggbearing) spiny lobster or slipper lobster.
    No spears, hooks, or piercing devices. Explosives prohibited.
    Offshore of Florida, bag limit increased to 6 per person off Florida. Also, season closed in Florida from April 1 to August 5. Special non-trap season off Florida is last Wednesday and successive Thursday in July.

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    Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats: -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that fish. -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in state waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters but open in state waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that species. -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in state waters but open to harvest in federal waters, they may retain that fish if they do not stop to fish in state waters when returning to port. All gear must be stowed.

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    Commercial regulations for South Atlantic Federal Waters:
    FL Atlantic coast CLOSED
    NC, SC, and GA: OPEN
    Size Limit: Carapace must be more than 3", tail must be at least 5.5" with tailing permit. Divers must measure carapace while in water. Undersized lobster must be released unharmed immediately without removal from water.
    Trip Limit: A trap certificate program has been adopted in federal waters off Florida. Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for information at 850-487-0554.
    In federal waters off NC, SC, and GA, harvesting is allowed year round with a daily bag or possession limit of 2 per person per trip.
    Season: FL Atlantic coast: Closed annually April 1 - August 5
    Permit and vessel ID required.
    Season closed April 1 through August 5 off east Florida.
    Night divers restricted to 6 lobster bag limit off east Florida.
    Allowable gear includes trap, pot, dip net, or square. There is a 5% bycatch limit by weight for incidental harvest by trawls in the EEZ.
    No spear, hooks or piercing divices. Explosive and poisons are prohibited.
    A degradable panel is required on non-wooden traps. Bouy and trap identification is required. Trap tending at night is prohibited.
    Fishermen with tailing permits must land spiny lobster all whole or all tailed.
    Fishermen may retain up to 50 Caribbean spiny lobsters less than the minimum size limit and one per trap.
    Spiny lobster commercial harvesters using bully net gear: -must have a bully net permit from Florida, -must mark boats with the harvester's Florida bully net permit number using reflective paint or other reflective material, -are prohibited from having trap pullers onboard, -are prohibited from the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial purposes. -Commercial spiny lobster daily vessel harvest and possession limits: -250 per day/vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by bully net in or from all federal waters off Florida, -250 per day/vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by diving in or from federal waters only off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida. -Existing language in spiny lobster federal regulations that incorporates Florida regulations by reference has been updated, which includes a new commercial trap soak start time. -Commercial spiny lobster traps may be baited and placed in the water beginning on the Saturday immediately following the recreational mini season.
    NEW! Guide to Spiny Lobster Closed Areas for Commercial Trap Fishing
    Area Closures for the Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery in the Florida Keys, effective August 27, 2012. Sixty areas designated to help protect corals. See Fishery Bulletin Learn more

    For more information, see: SAFMC Spiny Lobster Commercial Regulations

  • Bag Limit 3

  • Vessel Limit 10

  • Measurements Min Size: 3.5 in Carapace Length

  • License Required
    Special permit for recreational and commercial catch is required.

  • Additional Notes
    Minimum size = 3.5 inch carapace length
    Bag limit = 3 spiny lobster per person per day not to exceed 10 per boat per day.

    Must be landed whole.
    No harvest of berried (egg bearing) females.
    Use of spears, gaff hooks, or gigs is prohibited.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019
    from April 1st, 2020 to July 28th, 2020

  • Additional Notes
    Divers must measure carapace while in water. Undersized lobster must be released unharmed immediately without removal from water.
    Removal of tail at sea is prohibited without permit. No taking of berried (eggbearing) spiny lobster or slipper lobster.
    No spears, hooks, or piercing devices. Explosives prohibited.
    For more info about lobster regulations off Florida, see Florida Spiny Lobster Regs. -----------------------
    Commercial Regulations
    Size: Carapace more than 3 inches or tail more than 5 1⁄2 inches. Divers must measure in water. Trip Limit: 250 daily vessel limit for lobsters harvested by bully net in federal waters off Florida. 250 daily vessel limit for lobsters harvested by diving in federal waters off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida. NOTE: Retention of up to 50 Caribbean spiny lobsters under the minimum size limit, AND one per trip. Quotas/Season: Season closed 4/1— 8/5 Spiny lobster federal vessel permit or Florida commercial harvester license and certificates required for harvest or possession in excess of the bag limits in the EEZ off Florida, or to land or sell in Florida. Federal vessel permit required for harvest or possession in excess of bag limits in the EEZ other than off Florida, or sale other than Florida. Spiny lobster tail separation permit required for possession of a separated spiny lobster tail in or from the EEZ aboard a vessel. Fishermen with a tailing permit must land spiny lobster all whole or all tailed. Applicants applying for tailing permit must possess either a federal spiny lobster permit or the Florida permits required for commercial lobster fishermen. Also requires a spiny lobster federal vessel permit for Florida state license and certificates.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from April 1st, 2019 to July 23rd, 2019
    from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019

  • Additional Notes
    The Spiny Lobster Annual Catch Limit (ACL) will increase and the recreational harvest of spiny lobster using traps will be prohibited effective July 23, 2018.
    Season closed in Florida from April 1 to August 5. Special non-trap season off Florida is last Wednesday and successive Thursday in July (July 24-25, 2019).
    Divers must measure carapace while in water.
    Undersized lobster must be released unharmed immediately without removal from water.
    Removal of tail at sea is prohibited without permit.
    No taking of berried (eggbearing) lobster of any species.
    No spears, hooks, or piercing devices. Explosives prohibited.
    Bag limit = 2 per person off NC, SC, and GA.

    ----------
    Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats: -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that fish. -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in state waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters but open in state waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that species. -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in state waters but open to harvest in federal waters, they may retain that fish if they do not stop to fish in state waters when returning to port. All gear must be stowed.
    Commercial regulations for South Atlantic Federal Waters:
    FL Atlantic coast: OPEN
    NC, SC, and GA: OPEN
    Size Limit: Carapace must be more than 3", tail must be at least 5.5" with tailing permit. Divers must measure carapace while in water. Undersized lobster must be released unharmed immediately without removal from water.
    Trip Limit: A trap certificate program has been adopted in federal waters off Florida. Contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for information at 850-487-0554.
    In federal waters off NC, SC, and GA, harvesting is allowed year round with a daily bag or possession limit of 2 per person per trip.
    Season: FL Atlantic coast: Closed annually April 1 - August 5
    Permit and vessel ID required.
    Season closed April 1 through August 5 off east Florida.
    Night divers restricted to 6 lobster bag limit off east Florida.
    Allowable gear includes trap, pot, dip net, or square. There is a 5% bycatch limit by weight for incidental harvest by trawls in the EEZ.
    No spear, hooks or piercing divices. Explosive and poisons are prohibited.
    A degradable panel is required on non-wooden traps. Bouy and trap identification is required. Trap tending at night is prohibited.
    Commercial spiny lobster traps may be baited and placed in the water beginning on the Saturday immediately following the recreational mini season.
    Fishermen with tailing permits must land spiny lobster all whole or all tailed.
    Fishermen may retain up to 50 Caribbean spiny lobsters less than the minimum size limit and one per trap.
    Spiny lobster commercial harvesters using bully net gear: -must have a bully net permit from Florida, -must mark boats with the harvester's Florida bully net permit number using reflective paint or other reflective material, -are prohibited from having trap pullers onboard, are prohibited from the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus (not including dive masks or snorkels) onboard a vessel used to harvest or transport spiny lobster for commercial purposes. -Commercial spiny lobster daily vessel harvest and possession limits: 250 per day/vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by bully net in or from all federal waters off Florida, -250 per day/vessel for spiny lobsters harvested by diving in or from federal waters only off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties, Florida. -Existing language in spiny lobster federal regulations that incorporates Florida regulations by reference has been updated, which includes a new commercial trap soak start time. -Commercial spiny lobster traps may be baited and placed in the water beginning on the Saturday immediately following the recreational mini season.
    NEW! Guide to Spiny Lobster Closed Areas for Commercial Trap Fishing
    Area Closures for the Commercial Spiny Lobster Fishery in the Florida Keys, effective August 27, 2012. Sixty areas designated to help protect corals. See Fishery Bulletin Learn more

    For more information, see: SAFMC Spiny Lobster Commercial Regulations

  • Vessel Limit 10

  • Measurements Min Size: 5.5 in Tail Length

  • Gear No Scuba

  • Closed Seasons from April 1st, 2020 to July 31st, 2020
    from April 1st, 2021 to July 31st, 2021

  • Additional Notes
    Possession of egg-bearing females and/or removing eggs is prohibited. A permit is required to trap crawfish. Sportfishing Vessel limit is 10 crawfish per vessel.

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Additional Notes
    Removal of tail at sea prohibited. No harvest of berried females. No explosives, poisons, spears, or piercing devices allowed.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019
    from April 1st, 2020 to July 28th, 2020

  • License Required
    Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster.

  • Additional Notes
    Minimum size is carapace larger than 3 inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.

    Harvest of egg-bearing lobster of any species is prohibited.

    No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the shell or the flesh of the lobster.

    Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.

    Special rules apply within Monroe County.
    Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season, see John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary no-take areas marked with 30 inch diameter round, yellow buoys.For more info, see Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

    Also, see MyFWC Spiny Lobster for additional information.

    Recreational trapping prohibited.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019
    from April 1st, 2020 to July 28th, 2020

  • License Required
    Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster.

  • Additional Notes
    Minimum size is carapace larger than 3 inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.

    Harvest of egg-bearing lobster of any species is prohibited.

    No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the shell or the flesh of the lobster.

    Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.

    Special rules apply within Monroe County.
    Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season, see John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary no-take areas marked with 30 inch diameter round, yellow buoys.For more info, see Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

    Also, see MyFWC web page for additional information.

    Recreational trapping prohibited.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from April 1st, 2019 to July 23rd, 2019
    from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019
    from April 1st, 2020 to July 28th, 2020

  • License Required
    Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster.

  • Additional Notes
    Minimum size is carapace larger than 3 inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.

    Harvest of egg-bearing lobster of any species is prohibited.

    No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the shell or the flesh of the lobster.

    Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.

    Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during the sport season (July 24-25, 2019).

    Special rules apply within Monroe County.
    Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season, see John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary no-take areas marked with 30 inch diameter round, yellow buoys.For more info, see Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

    Also, see MyFWC web page for additional information.

    Recreational trapping prohibited.

  • Bag Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 3 in Carapace Length

  • Closed Seasons from April 1st, 2019 to July 23rd, 2019
    from July 26th, 2019 to August 5th, 2019
    from April 1st, 2020 to July 28th, 2020

  • License Required
    Unless exempt, a recreational saltwater fishing license and a lobster permit are required to harvest spiny lobster.

  • Additional Notes
    Minimum size is carapace larger than 3 inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.
    Harvest of egg-bearing lobster of any species is prohibited.
    No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest spiny lobster using any device which will or could puncture, penetrate or crush the shell or the flesh of the lobster.
    Lobster must be landed in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body is prohibited in state waters.
    Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during the sport season (July 24-25, 2019).
    Special rules apply within Monroe County.
    Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during the sport season, see John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary no-take areas marked with 30 inch diameter round, yellow buoys.For more info, see Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
    Also, see MyFWC web page for additional information.
    Recreational trapping prohibited.

  • Additional Notes
    Hunting, trapping, netting, capture, or removal of any fish, turtle, crawfish, conch, whelk, or any marine and/or fisheries resource is prohibited. You are within a National Park managed by the Bahamas National Trust. Please contact 242-393-11317 for more information.

For a list of official country and state regulations, visit here