South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Spiny Lobster

Spiny Lobster

The Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan applies to the Spiny Lobster resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Regions (North Carolina through Texas). The original FMP was approved in 1982. 

Official name: Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Lobster in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic.

The Spiny Lobster FMP was developed to protect long-term yields and prevent the depletion of spiny lobster stocks. Additionally, the plan reduced user group and gear conflicts and implemented a minimum size limit, gear limitations, possession limits, and seasonal restrictions.  


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Amendments under development

  • No current items

Completed Amendments

  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 13

    Addressed commercial harvesters using bully net gear, commercial daily vessel harvest and possession limits, and modified federal regulatory language.

    Aug 30, 2019
  • Spiny Lobster Regulatory Amendment 4

    Addressed spiny lobster annual catch limit and recreational traps.

    Jul 23, 2018
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 12

    Included in the Comprehensive Dealer Reporting Amendment. Modified permitting and reporting requirements for seafood dealers receiving federally managed species under eight fishery management plans.

    Jul 7, 2014
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 11

    Established measures to help protect threatened and endandered species and created 60 new closed areas.

    Aug 27, 2012
  • Spiny Lobster Regulatory Amendment 3

    Set regulations regarding the use of undersized lobster as attractants in the Florida exclusive economic zone.

    Jan 3, 2012
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 10

    Established annual catch limits and accountability measures, removed species, redefined biological reference points, and updated the framework process.

    Jan 3, 2012
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 9

    Included in the Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1. Established deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and established Shrimp Fishery Access Areas and Allowable Golden Crab Fishing Areas within the CHAPCs. Provided spatial information for Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and EFH-HAPC under multiple fishery management plans.

    Jul 22, 2010
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 8

    Set minimum size limit and regulations for importation of spiny lobster.

    Oct 8, 2008
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 7

    Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council amendment that created two no-use marine reserves in the Tortugas.

    Aug 19, 2002
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 5

    Included in the Comprehensive EFH Amendment. Identified essential fish habitat (EFH) and established EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) for managed species in the South Atlantic.

    Jul 14, 2000
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 6

    Included in the Comprehensive Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment. Addressed definitions and other required provisions of the Sustainable Fisheries Act in South Atlantic fishery management plans.

    Dec 2, 1999
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 4

    Allowed the harvest of two lobsters per person per day for all fishermen year round, but only north of the Florida/Georgia border.

    Sep 15, 1995
  • Spiny Lobster Regulatory Amendment 2

    Modified recreational season regulations, bag limits, and allowable gears within those seasons.

    Jul 24, 1993
  • Spiny Lobster Regulatory Amendment 1

    Established a trap certification program and modified possession, gear, bag limit, and diving regulations.

    Dec 30, 1992
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 3

    Defined overfishing and clarified that NMFS may charge the administrative cost of issuing permits.

    Mar 25, 1991
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 2

    Modified the statement of optimum yield, established a protocol and procedure for a cooperative state/Council management system, and added information on vessel safety and habitat.

    Oct 27, 1989
  • Spiny Lobster Amendment 1

    Modified various size limits, permitting requirements, possession and season regulations.

    Jul 15, 1987
  • Spiny Lobster Fishery Management Plan

    Included provisions to protect long term yields and prevent depletion of lobster stocks, implemented a minimum size limit, gear limitations, possession limits, and seasonal restrictions.

    Jul 26, 1982