Key Colony Beach Lobster Dive Ordinance

Sec. 5-11. Diving and snorkeling prohibited on dates associated with the lobster mini-season and opening of the commercial lobster season.

(1) Intent and purpose. The intent and purpose of this section is to abate the destruction of property, deleterious environmental effects and criminal trespass that results from the close proximity of divers to public and private property, as well as their interaction and exploration of docks, piers, and bulkheads in search of spiny lobster during the lobster mini-season and the opening of the commercial lobster season; which activities constitute a public nuisance.

(2) Diving and snorkeling. Diving and snorkeling restricted during the period associated with the two-day sport lobster season and the opening of the commercial lobster season.

(a) Definitions. The following words, terms, and phrases when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

"Commercial lobster season" means the period of time designated for harvesting of lobster, currently from August 6 through March 31 of the following year, authorized by Marine Fisheries Department of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission pursuant to Section 68B-24.005, Florida Administrative Code, as amended from time to time.

"Dive" means to wholly or partially submerge one's body while equipped with a mask or goggles, whether or not any type of underwater breathing apparatus is used.

"Lobster mini-season" means the two-day sport season authorized by the Marine Fisheries Department of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission pursuant to Section 68B-24.005, Florida Administrative Code, as amended from time to time.

(b) Diving and snorkeling prohibited. It is a public nuisance and unlawful for any person to dive or snorkel in any navigable canal, marina, or within three hundred (300) feet of an improved residential or commercial shoreline beginning four (4) days prior to the opening of lobster mini-season and continuing until ten (10) days has elapsed after the opening of the commercial lobster season. A map reflecting the boundaries of the prohibited areas shall be posted at city hall, and copies shall be available upon request. Idle speed markers as well as buoys provided in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations, shall indicate the boundaries of the prohibited areas that extend to the open ocean. Nothing in this section shall prohibit diving incidental to vessel or dock maintenance provided the diver performing the maintenance lawfully displays a diver down flag and otherwise complies with the requirements of Chapter 327, Florida Statutes, as amended from time to time.

(3) Penalties. A violation of this section may be enforced by issuance of a citation, summons, notice to appear in county court, arrest as provided in Chapter 901, Florida Statutes, or in accordance with Chapter 1. General Provisions, Section 1-10. Organization of code enforcement board; appointment of special master; of the City Code, and punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00). Nothing contained herein, however, shall prohibit the city from enforcing this section by any other lawful means.