With lobster mini season just around the corner, let’s take a look at our local tasty friend!
About Spiny Lobster
During the day, Caribbean spiny lobsters remain hidden in caves, under ledges, and in crevices on the reef surface. During the twilight hours and at night, spiny lobster are much more active and forage along the reef. Caribbean spiny lobsters will eat most things that they find. Unlike the famous Maine lobster, Caribbean spiny lobsters do not have enlarged front claws and are harmless to people. Even so, if a SCUBA diver or snorkeler grabs onto one without gloves, the sharp spines covering the head and body may cut the hand.
Spiny lobsters make their homes in the protected crevices and caverns of coral reefs, sponge flats, and other hard-bottomed areas. The lobsters spawn from March through August and female lobsters carry the bright orange eggs on their undersides until they turn brown and hatch. Larvae can be carried for thousands of miles by currents until they settle in shallow nearshore areas among seagrass and algae beds. They feed on small snails and crabs. The lobsters are solitary until they reach the juvenile stage, when they begin to congregate around protective habitat in nearshore areas. As they begin to mature, spiny lobsters migrate from the nursery areas to offshore reefs.
Every year in Florida a 2 day mini season on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July marks the start of lobster hunting. Strict limits are placed to ensure they are not over-fished. When you catch and individual carrying eggs or who are too small it must be released. There are also regulations on how they can be caught in many places. When you go lobstering you must catch the lobster in such a way that it can be released unhurt. You allow the lobster to then continue to thrive should it be too small or have eggs.