Spiny Lobster Amendment 13: Modifications to the Spiny Lobster Gear Requirements and Cooperative Management Procedures
This Amendment aligns federal regulations with Florida regulations for spiny lobster commercial harvesters using bully net gear. Spiny lobster commercial harvesters using bully net gear:
• must have a bully net permit from Florida,
• must mark buoys 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.
Additionally, this Amendment creates a commercial 250 lobster per day, per vessel limit for spiny lobsters harvested by bully net in federal waters off Florida and for spiny lobster harvested by diving in federal waters off of Broward, Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Lee Counties in Florida. This Amendment also allows baited commercial spiny lobster traps to be placed in the water beginning on the Saturday immediately following the recreational mini season, and modifies the cooperative management procedure to allow Florida to request changes to the spiny lobster federal regulations through NMFS rulemaking.
Regulations for commercial trap soak period are effective July 26, 2019.
Regulations for the rest of the rule are effective August 30, 2019.