July 24, 2013

Sport lobster season relatively quiet so far

So far, the two day sport lobster season has been a relatively quiet one in the Florida Keys. Deputies have been out all day checking boat ramps, looking in coolers and doing boat checks on the water. The extra patrols will continue through tomorrow as the Sheriff’s Office does its best to keep everyone operating within the law, and keep everyone safe.

In thephotos (Photo credit to Sheriff’s Sgt. Glenn Test):

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra and Detective Nick Whiteman have been patrolling all day together on a Waverunner, checking boats and patrolling the shoreline for anyone who might be in violation of the law and county ordinances. In the photo, Deputy Guerra holds a seized short lobster over Detective Whiteman’s head joking around before returning the crustacean alive to the water.

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra goes to great lengths to check out what people might be up to in the water. Here, he jumped into the water to recover six undersized lobster and an egg bearing stone crab from this man who was snorkeling at the 69 mile marker on the bayside today. The man was cited for his violations.

1 comment:

  1. In the Monroe County Recreational Lobster Harvesting Regulations document it states "All lobster must be measured in the water and released unharmed if undersized”. If the lobsters in question are underwater and have never been removed from said water, how much time does one have to perform the measurements before the lobsters are considered to be in one's possession? After researching the information available from Monroe County, I still haven't found a specific point in which possession is transferred from the wild to one's own person while the sea life is still underwater. What are your thoughts?

    In a somewhat related topic of the use of divers-down flags, I've read and re-read the 2012 Florida Statute 327.331 in order to properly understand the requirements of these flags while snorkeling under one's own dock. Unfortunately the statute doesn't mention docks, only the use of flags in conjunction with vessels in rivers, inlets, navigation channels and all waters. All waters hints at body's of water larger than rivers, inlets and navigation channels as that in all waters the diver must make a reasonable effort to stay within 300 feet of the divers-down flag. This is a much larger area than the reasonable effort to stay within 100 feet of the divers-down flag as required for rivers, inlets and navigation channels.

    Furthermore, Section 2 states, "All divers must prominently display a divers-down flag in the area in which the diving occurs, other than when diving in an area customarily used for swimming only." Most personal docks are not tall enough for vessels to navigate under. In addition, most personal docks are built in areas too shallow for vessel's to operate around. If a dock were to fall under these characterizations, wouldn't swimming be the only activity possible under said dock? What is your interpretation of the law in regards to snorkeling under one’s own dock?