Florida Keys Prepare Divers for Lobster Mini-Season

Five Upper Florida Keys dive shops are participating in a safety program to prepare divers for the season, which is July 24 and 25.

By Samantha Shavell
|  Friday, Jul 19, 2013  |  Updated 1:48 PM EDT
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The Florida Keys wants to prepare divers for the lobster mini-season, which is July 24 and 25.

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The Florida Keys want to ensure divers are safe during this year's lobster mini-season.

Five Upper Florida Keys dive shops are participating in a safety program to prepare divers for the season, which runs from July 24-25.

The program is from 8 a.m. to 5 pm. at the Florida Keys Visitor Center, located at mile marker 106.2 bayside in Key Largo.

All certified divers can get a free scuba review course, a fitness-to-dive health consultation, scuba equipment inspection and a boat safety check by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Islamorada.

The dive shops involved in the program are Atlantis Dive Center, Conch Republic Divers, Florida Keys Dive Center, Horizon Dive Center and Islamorada Dive Center.

"So many divers come for mini-season and they haven't been underwater in a year or even several years," said organizer Gary Mace in a statement. "Their gear may not be well maintained and their physical condition may not be right for what can be a strenuous activity.

During the mini-season, divers are limited to six bags per for for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. Divers in the rest of Florida are limited to 12 bags per person.

Lobsters must be larger than three inches and in whole condition, the FWC said.

Click here for more information about the program.

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