I had no idea about “Mini Season” in South Florida until we moved here. For those, like me, who aren’t familiar with the term, there is a two-day period each July that preceeds the regular lobster season that runs from early August to March. Mini Season is a tradition that is a good example of something that can be lots of fun, but also demonstrates human folly. People who do not get into the water at any other time of the year rush down to be a part of Mini Season. That’s fine and I do believe in the “any excuse for a party”. The problem comes in when those same people maybe haven’t serviced their scuba equipment since the last Mini Season, aren’t as adept at free diving as they think, or haven’t really checked out their boat properly, etc. This year though is the first year since 2003 with no fatalities, so perhaps people were better prepared.
Anyway, this is also the first year that my husband has gotten his license and gone out. Not like a friend of ours who chose to go at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, but went out last evening with other crew from Horizon Divers in Key Largo. Apparently the boat overall had quite a haul, although certainly within the limits. In Monroe County that includes all of the Keys, the limit is six per person, while in Miami-Dade it is 12 per person. Most people abide by the rules and the Florida Wildlife Conservation (FWC) patrols are diligent about checking for not only catch limits, but also allowable size. These are the rules that protect the sustainability of the lobster population.
For those who may not be familiar with Florida lobster, they are the Spiny type with no claws. One friend from Maine is convinced that the cold water Maine lobster is better, others match them side-by-side. I can’t honestly say that if I did a blind taste test of the tail meat that I could tell the difference. Both are delicious and it does make me sympathize with anyone who is allergic to shellfish.