While there are many spots to catch a sizable lobster, there are also many areas protected by a special set of rules that make it against the law to hunt lobster in the Florida Keys. Know where you’re going before you head out. Don’t lobster in these areas:

Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs) – Red marker

Upper Keys

  • Carysfort Reef
  • Cheeca Rocks
  • Conch Reef
  • Davis Reef
  • Elbow Reef
  • Grecian Reef
  • French Reef 
  • Hens and Chickens
  • Key Largo Dry Rocks
  • Molasses Reef
  • Alligator Reef

Middle Keys

  • Coffins Patch
  • Sombrero Key

Lower Keys

  • Eastern Dry Rocks
  • Looe Key 
  • Newfound Harbor 
  • Sand Key
  • Rock Key

Ecological Reserves (pink marker)

  • Western Sambo
  • Tortugas (not marked, refer to GPS coordinates)

Special-Use Research Only Areas (No entry) (blue marker)

  • Conch Reef
  • Tennessee Reef
  • Looe Key Patch Reef
  • Eastern Sambo

Other Closed Areas (Year-Round)

  • Everglades National Park
  • Dry Tortugas National Park
  • Biscayne Bay Card Sound
  • Spiny Lobster Sanctuary
  • City of Layton 
  • Artificial habitats in state waters

Wildlife Management Area (yellow marker)

Existing Management Area (green marker)

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