Guide to the Florida Keys & Everglades
By Rick Ferren
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary provides the following guidelines
and regulations to protect the coral reefs and provide for a safe trip.
- Just touching coral may cause damage to this fragile animal; therefore,
do not allow your hands, knees, fins, gauges,
or tank to touch the coral.
- When anchoring, the anchor, anchor chain, or line should not be in contact
with coral. Use mooring buoys that are provided.
If one is not available, ask to tie off to another boat's stern. If neither
option is available, carefully
anchor in sand.
- Corals, shells, sea biscuits and other animals, living or dead, cannot
be removed from the Key Largo or Looe Key national
- The red and white divers down flag must be flown while diving or snorkeling.
Boats should slow to a nowake speed within 100
yards of a dive flag. Divers should stay within 100 feet of their dive flag.
- Spearfishing and possession of spearfishing equipment or of speared
fish is not allowed within the boundaries of the
Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. Within the Looe Key National Marine
Sanctuary, spearfishing is not
allowed; however, equipment may be stowed and not
readily available on board. Call the Florida Marine Patrol concerning other
closed areas (800DIALFMP).
- Florida law requires a fishing license. Special stamps are required
for lobster, snook, and tarpon. Applicable size,
bag limits, and seasons must be observed when harvesting seafood products.
Consult state and federal authorities
for current regulations.
Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): January 2003,