Published: Aug 20, 2010 4:05 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 20, 2010 1:05 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - State officials say Florida's commercial spiny lobster season is off to a good start.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says several of Florida's top lobster producers are reporting abundant numbers of spiny lobsters and high demand for the seafood delicacy.

Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson says that's good news for Florida's seafood industry, which saw declines this year because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida's commercial spiny lobster season began Aug. 6 and continues through March 31. The bulk of the harvest comes from Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Last year's spiny lobster harvest totaled $13.2 million. It ranked third behind shrimp and stone crab claws.