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FWC arrests lobster poachers in Miami-Dade County

News Release

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Media contact: Jorge Pino, 561-723-1417; Liz Barraco, 850-556-2269

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Biscayne National Park law enforcement officers arrested three people on Saturday, May 9, for poaching spiny lobsters in Miami-Dade County. The individuals illegally possessed 87 wrung lobster tails, 66 of which were undersized.

During a routine safety inspection on board the El Donny, officers observed a lobster shell inside a crab trap. The boat owner indicated that no lobster were on the vessel. While inspecting the engine room, an officer noticed a white plastic bag stashed behind some engine equipment. This bag, and four more located on the boat, contained a total of 87 wrung lobster tails. These lobsters were collected outside of regular lobster season, which is Aug. 6 through March 31. Also, lobster must remain in whole condition; separating the tail from the body before bringing the lobster ashore is prohibited.          

“The occupants on this vessel are individuals with a history of poaching convictions,” said FWC Maj. Alfredo Escanio, regional commander. “This arrest represents our efforts to conserve our natural resources and support law-abiding recreational and commercial fishermen.”

Officers arrested Donny Caridad Gonzalez (DOB 09/08/61), Nemesio Gonzalez Garcia (DOB 01/27/39) and Josefina Diaz Garcia (DOB 03/15/47) for misdemeanor charges including possession of lobster during closed season, possession of wrung lobster tails, undersized lobster tails and interference with an FWC officer. Additionally, five deck-hands on board the El Donny were issued citations for other infractions.

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