NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – Florida wildlife officials got ready for the start of lobster mini-season on Tuesday.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers had their canines sniff out hidden lobsters on a boat.
In less than five minutes, a K-9 can sniff out where spiny lobster are hidden.
They are a useful tool during the busy mini-season, when it could take an officer more than an hour to search an entire boat. Their goal is to make sure you follow all rules and regulations.
You are allowed to harvest 6 lobsters per day in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park, while there's a 12 per person limit each day elsewhere around Florida.
"Ignorance of the law is no excuse," said Jorge Pino with FWC. "If you are caught with more lobster than you should have, you will be arrested. If it's an egregious act, we will take your boat away."
What should be a fun day out on the water can become dangerous if you don't make safety your priority.
"Last year we had one person die down in the Keys and that is something that we are trying to avoid," said Pino.
Pino suggests checking your dive equipment before heading out, diving with a partner, keeping your dive flags up, and having a float plan.
"There is absolutely no lobster that is worth your life and we stress that over and over and over again.
Lobster mini-season begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Click here for instructions on how to measure spiny lobster.