The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Thursday, Feb. 5, approved a rule amendment to help reduce the number of traps that can be used in the commercial spiny lobster fishery.
The rule change will end a 5-year moratorium on the reduction of lobster traps in Florida.
However, the number of traps will be reduced only when a commercial lobster harvester decides to sell or transfer his FWC-issued trap certificates to someone outside his immediate family.
The new rule will allow the harvester to sell or transfer all but 10 percent of those certificates.
“This will help decrease the total number of traps used in the lobster fishery and benefit both the fishery and the sensitive South Florida habitats where lobsters are harvested,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.
The new rule amendment takes effect on July 1.