Gulf Stock Characteristics

Current Federal Regulations:

Quota: 

    • Stock ACL –  9,600,000 pounds
    • Stock ACT –  8,640,000 pounds

Recreational:

    • Season: Open August 6 – March 31. Open in federal waters off the state of Florida for 2-day mini-season the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. Open in federal waters off Gulf states other than Florida during the last Saturday and Sunday of July.
    • Minimum Size Limit:  3 inch carapace. Divers must measure lobster in the water
    • Bag Limit: 6 per person. Lobsters with eggs may not be possessed. During the Florida mini-season the bag limit is 12 per person in the federal waters off Florida other than Monroe County.
    • Permit/License:  State issued recreational license
    • Gear: Spiny lobster may not be taken with a spear, hook, or similar device. No recreational trapping allowed.

Commercial:

    • Season:  Open August 6 – March 31.
    • Size:  Carapace more than 3 inches or tail more that 5 ½ inches. Divers must measure lobster in the water.
    • Trip Limit: 250 per day/vessel for spiny lobster harvested by bully net from federal waters off Florida. 250 per day/vessel for spiny lobster harvested by diving from federal waters off Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties in Florida. Lobsters with eggs may not be possessed. No more than 50 undersized, live lobsters may be retained aboard a vessel for use as a trap attractant.
    • Permit: Spiny lobster federal vessel permit or Florida commercial harvester license and certificates. Additionally, a federal tail-separation permit is required for vessels to possess spiny lobster tails.
    • Gear:
      • Trap: A spiny lobster trap may be no larger than 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. A trap constructed of material other than wood must have a panel located in the upper half of the trap constructed of wood, cotton, or other material that will degrade. Traps may only be tended during daylight hours.
      • Diving: Commercial harvest is not allowed at night. Simultaneous possession of bully net and underwater breathing apparatus is prohibited.
      • Bully Net: Simultaneous possession of bully net and underwater breathing apparatus is prohibited. Bully net vessels are prohibited from having trap pullers aboard.

Description:

Life History and Distribution:

Landings Summary