FWC News Release

April 10, 2008
Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its lobster management rules during a public meeting in Tallahassee on Thursday. These rules take effect on July 1.

The amended rules extend the current moratorium on reducing the number of traps in the lobster fishery until July 1, 2009. This will give the FWC time to work with stakeholders to find ways to limit the number of traps used to harvest lobsters in Florida.

The rules also allow the display of two spiny lobster endorsement numbers from one vessel so that two commercial lobster license holders can fish from the same vessel. This will help new lobster license holders who don’t own a vessel yet to work their lobster traps.

In addition, the rules prohibit the harvest and possession of egg-bearing lobsters of any species, which will help ensure the health of all lobster populations in Florida.

No other changes to lobster regulations will be made for the 2008-2009 harvest season. The regular commercial and recreational lobster harvest season will reopen on Aug. 6 as usual, and the special two-day sport season for recreational lobster harvesters this year will take place on July 30 and 31.