MARATHON, FLA. (WSVN) - Several individuals were arrested by officers who found them in possession of out-of-season marine life, Sunday.
Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were on water patrol near Vaca Cut in Marathon. They conducted a vessel stop to perform a boating safety and resource inspection.
The resource inspection revealed a bag containing 137 out-of-season wrung spiny lobster tails, four out-of-season stone crab claws and eight reef fish fillets.
The passengers were seven males from out of town. They admitted to spearing the lobster, which is illegal.
The officers received consent to search the house the men were renting nearby. The search uncovered another 183 out-of-season spiny lobster tails or parts, one out-of-season stone crab claw and one undersize black grouper carcass that the men admitted to taking the day before.
The men, included two sets of fathers and sons, had all of their spear guns and snorkel gear seized.
They were arrested and transported to Monroe County Jail on numerous felony and misdemeanor counts for taking advantage of marine resources.
“Unfortunately, these individuals chose to take advantage of our valuable saltwater resources that we are so proud of in the Keys,” said Major Alfredo Escanio, FWC Regional Commander for the area. “They are also stealing from law-abiding residents and visitors who are looking forward to taking lobster during the two-day sport season later this month.”
The two-day lobster sport season is July 26 through July 27, and the bag limit is six lobster per person per day.
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