What To Know Before You Go. . .
Spearfishing is defined as the taking of any saltwater fish through the instrumentality of a
spear, gig, or lance operated by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water. The
use of powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers remains prohibited.

Possession of spear equipment:
Possession of spears and spearguns is prohibited in Everglades National Park,
Dry Tortugas National Park and Florida State Parks.  Coral is protected from damage and
taking in state and federal waters.

Bag and Size Limits:
The federal bag limits cannot be combined with state bag limits. Remember to abide by
regulations regarding size limits. Objects underwater appear 25% larger. Check with agencies
for current regulations: http://www.myfwc.com or http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/

License Requirements:
Recreational harvesters are required to possess a valid Florida Saltwater Fishing License.
Consult your license agent for purchasing and exemptions to licensing requirements or visit

Dive Flag: All divers and snorkelers in the water are required to prominently display a
diversdown flag. The minimum size for any divers-down flag displayed on a buoy or float towed
by the diver is 12” by 12”. The minimum size for any divers-down flag displayed from a vessel
or structure is 20” by 24”. Any divers-down flag displayed from a vessel must be displayed from
the highest point of the vessel or such other location which provides that the visibility of the
divers-down flag is not obstructed in any direction.

State Waters are all salt waters surrounding the Florida Keys out to three (3) nautical miles
from the nearest point of land including islands on the Atlantic side and out to nine (9) nautical
miles from the nearest point of land including islands on the Gulf side. Consult NOAA nautical
charts. Information and chart distributors can be found at http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/.
• Unincorporated Monroe County
It is unlawful for any person to use, fire or discharge any speargun on or below the surface of
the water in any man-made canal in the unincorporated areas of Monroe County.
• Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
• Existing Management Areas (EMA’s)
Possession of spearfishing equipment within an Existing Management Area is prohibited
except while transiting through without stopping.
• Key Largo - adjacent to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and extends to the 300’ depth
• Looe Key
The following no-take areas are marked by 30" diameter round yellow buoys:
• Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA’s)
• Carysfort Reef • Cheeca Rocks
• Elbow • Alligator Reef
• Key Largo Dry Rocks • Coffins Patch
• Grecian Rocks • Sombrero Key
• French Reef • Looe Key
• Molasses Reef • Newfound Harbor
• Conch Reef • Eastern Dry Rocks
• Hen and Chickens • Rock Key
• Davis Reef • Sand Key
• Special-use Research Only Areas
• Conch Reef • Tennessee Reef
• Looe Key Patch Reef • Eastern Sambo
• Ecological Reserves
• Western Sambo
• Tortugas (not currently marked)
• State Waters from Long Key north to the Miami-Dade County line (including the island of
Long Key) State Waters are all salt waters surrounding the
Florida Keys out to three (3) nautical miles from the nearest point of land including islands on
the Atlantic side and out to nine (9) nautical miles from
the nearest point of land including islands on the Gulf side.
• Everglades National Park
• Dry Tortugas National Park
• State Parks
• The following state parks are within State Waters in the Upper Keys - spearfishing is
• Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
• John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
• Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
• Lignumvitae Key Submerged Land Management Area
• Long Key State Park
• The following state parks boundaries extend out to 400 feet from the shoreline - spearfishing
and the possession of spearfishing equipment is prohibited in these areas.
• Curry Hammock State Park
• Bahia Honda State Park
• Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Sate Park
• Beaches, Piers, Bridges
Within 100 yards of a public swimming beach, any commercial or public fishing pier, or any
part of a bridge from which public fishing is allowed.
• Jetties
Within 100 feet of any part of a jetty that is above the surface of the sea - except for the last 500
yards of a jetty that extends more than 1,500 yards from the shoreline.   
Spearfishing is Prohibited in the Following Areas of Monroe County
Species Prohibited for Harvest by

• African Pompano • Red Drum
• Billfish • Sharks
• Bonefish • Snook
• Goliath Grouper (Jewfish)
• Sturgeon
• Lobster • Spotted Eagle Ray
• Manta Ray • Spotted Seatrout
• Nassau Grouper • Tarpon
• Permit • Tripletail
• Pompano • Weakfish
• Families of Ornamental Reef Fish
(Surgeonfish, Trumpetfish,
Angelfish, Butterflyfish,
Porcupinefish, Cornetfish,
Squirrelfish, Trunkfish,
Damselfish, Parrotfish, Pipefish,
Seahorse, Puffers,
Triggerfish except gray and ocean)

Know Your Fish Before You Go
(These 2 fish are protected and
often confused with similar looking

Goliath Grouper (Jewfish)
head and fins covered with small
black spots; irregular vertical bars
present on the sides of body;
pectoral and caudal fins rounded;
eyes small
Nassau Grouper
color light background with brown
or red-brown bars on sides; stripe
in shape of tuning fork on
forehead; black dots around the
eyes; large black saddle on
caudal peduncle
Spearfishing in the Florida Keys
Florida Keys Diving
All About Florida Keys
Scuba Diving, Florida
Keys Diving, Key West
Scuba Diving, Florida
Keys Snorkeling, Key
West Snorkeling,  Florida
Keys Dive Trips, Florida
Keys Scuba Diving
Charters, Florida Keys
Tropical Fish, Florida Keys
Reef System and much
Divers and snorkelers can choose from a
variety of Florida Keys dive sites for
scuba diving and snorkeling.  We offer
wreck diving, reef diving, night diving,
beginner and advanced diving.