The Countdown to Lobster Mini-Season Begins!

It's here folks... in less than twelve hours, after the stroke of midnight, it's time to go a- hunting! With the crowd of divers, boats and measuring tape things can get crazy quick. Since there were four deaths last year, it's always a good idea to stay calm and review some safety tips. Boynton Beach dive boat Capt. John Allen warns the Palm Beach Post that it's just that panic that is deadly.

According to John Corbett with the Us Coast Guard, a diving plan "lets your friends, family or loved ones know where you are going to be, how long you are going to be and when you are going to return. That way if we have to go out and look for you, we already know where you're at and we can find you quickly."
Here are some safety tips to remember before you hit the water:

-Always buddy up

-Mark the area you are diving with a dive flag (duh)

-Check your dive equipment.

-Refresh CPR skills


In addition to safety tips, you should also know the rules about the 48-hour mini-season. Fast Facts: Lobster Mini-Season Rules. (CNBC, Channel four)

*You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a crawfish stamp to take lobsters.

*The mini-season bag limit is six lobsters per person per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park and 12 per person in the rest of the state.

The lobsters must be legal and we're not talking 18 years or over.

*Spiny lobster must have a minimum carapace length of more than 3 inches and must be measured in the water.

Click Here to learn 'How to Measure Spiny Lobster'

*Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times.

*Lobsters must remain in whole condition while in or on the water.

*No egg-bearing females may be taken.

*Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during the 48-hour mini-season.

Click Here for more Monroe County Rules & Regulations.

Most lobster violations are second-degree misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail.

Scores of federal, state and local marine law-enforcement officers will be patrolling waterways, marinas and boat ramps. Their job is to keep people safe and to prevent the much-sought-after animals and their habitat from being trashed.
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