MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – It should go without saying, but the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents and visitors not to call 911 with questions regarding the status of lobster mini season.
Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said in an email Monday that authorities feel the need to remind the public that 911 is for emergencies only, as they have seen an increase in 911 calls from people wanting to check the status of lobster mini season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Linhardt said officials have also been receiving similar calls to their Communications Division non-emergency line, which is not what that line is intended for.
“The Sheriff’s Office (and) Monroe County officials cannot decide to stop mini season, only officials in Tallahassee can make that decision,” Linhardt said. “Questions of this nature into 911 only tie up Communications Specialists who are often very busy with life threatening live 911 calls.”
With that said, Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers has called for an emergency virtual special meeting to be held Tuesday morning to discuss the spike in COVID-19 cases and to ask the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to cancel lobster mini season.
Lobster mini season runs from July 29 to July 30.
The village of Islamorada has already announced that it will close all its public parks, public beaches and public boat ramps from Friday, July 24 through Wednesday, Aug. 19 in an effort to reduce community spread of the virus. Monroe County residents and visitors can find the latest updates from the county via its website.