Spiny Lobster

Spiny Lobster 1

Scientific Name

Panulirus argus

Common Name

Rock lobster

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – Unknown

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
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. Season Open August 6 – March 31.
Minimum Size 3 inch carapace. Divers must measure lobster in the water. Spiny Lobster Minimum Size Carapace more than 3 inches or tail more that 5 ½ inches. 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. 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 State issued recreational license 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 Spiny lobster may not be taken with a spear, hook, or similar device. No recreational trapping allowed. 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.

Harvest Limits

Sector Annual Catch Limit Annual Catch Target
Stock  9,600,000 pounds 8,640,000 pounds