As commercial fishermen and women begin to purchase their spiny lobster trap tags, this is a reminder that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has waived the $1 per trap spiny lobster trap tag fee for the 2018-2019 season. This waiver was approved at the December 2017 Commission meeting as an action in response to Hurricane Irma.
“Our hearts go out to the men and women who were impacted by Hurricane Irma. The commercial spiny lobster industry was severely impacted through the loss of traps during the height of the season. We hope this waiver will help the industry, which is one of the most economically important fisheries in Florida, get back to work,” said Jessica McCawley, director of the FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management.
The commercial spiny lobster season is open from Aug. 6 through March 31 annually. While the tag fee for the 2018-2019 spiny lobster season is waived, commercial harvesters do need to submit the order for the tags and affix them to their traps prior to the August opening.
To access the Commercial Licensing System and to learn more, visit MyFWC.com/CLS.