They may not be as sweet as Maine lobsters, but they’re ours.
South Florida’s spiny lobsters will be in high demand by upward of 50,000 divers and snorkelers hunting them through Thursday.
The Florida spiny lobster sport season began Wednesday and ends just after 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Boaters and lobster hunters are being urged to follow Florida laws for bagging the crustaceans — and for being extra aware on the water.
“Most of the harvest tends to be concentrated in South Florida, the Keys more than anywhere else,’’ said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s marine fisheries spokeswoman Amanda Nally. “The big thing we want to remind people is just to be safe on the water.
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“Make sure you’re using your divers-down warning device. That can be a dive flag, for example. Basically, you want to warn others in vessels that there are people swimming or diving nearby.’’
Regarding safety, Nally said at about 9 a.m. that there were “no incidents thus far, but it’s early.’’
Added Nally: “Be aware of your physical limits and make sure you’re not diving deeper than it would be good for you. When you’re tired take a break.’’
The mini-season bag limit for spiny lobsters — also known as rock lobsters — is six per person per day for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, and 12 per person for the rest of Florida.
Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during these two days, and harvesting of the lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, in no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary.