The Florida Lobster
The Florida Lobster
What is a Florida Lobster?
Lobstering is the largest economic segment of the fishing industry in Florida, with $20 million worth of lobster brought in annually. Florida lobsters are sent all over the state and country, but they’re rarely marketed as Florida lobsters. If you’ve ever had a lobster tail at a restaurant or bought one from the grocery store, you may have had a Florida lobster—without even realizing it.
The Clawless Lobster
The lobsters in Florida’s waters don’t have claws, which is why they’re often used for lobster tails. While they otherwise look similar to the clawed American lobster that Maine has made famous, Florida lobsters aren’t closely related to cold-water lobsters. Without claws to defend themselves, Florida lobsters use their antennae to defend themselves when threatened. They scratch the ends of their antennae against their shells to create a loud screeching sound that hopefully frightens the predator threatening them.
The Traveling Lobster
Unlike the American lobster, which is only found along the Northern Atlantic Coast, the spiny lobsters of Florida are found in warm seas throughout the world. They’re harvested in Australia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, the Bahamas and, of course, Florida.
Spiny lobsters are found throughout the world because they often travel vast distances during their lifetime. As larvae, they may drift thousands of miles along ocean currents. Once they mature into adults, they migrate from the shallow waters where the ocean currents deposited them to offshore reefs.
When migrating, they walk single-file along the seafloor with up to 50 other lobsters, scratching their antennae on the lobster in front of them to maintain their formation and scare off predators.
The next time you have a lobster tail, you might be enjoying some of our state’s fine seafood. Although the Florida lobster isn’t well-known, it’s loved by many seafood aficionados.
By: Scott M. Brodie
Tags: Florida Lobster