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Illegal Lobsters: A Unique but Recognized Offense

Illegal Lobsters: A Unique But Recognized Offense

Posted By Parks & Braxton || 17-Sep-2012

When we think of criminals, we don’t often think of ocean-men who have lifted lobsters from the water. Yet in Marathon, Florida, this was the exact crime that landed two men in a county jail. In order to fish for lobster, men need to abide by regulations and receive permits. When they don’t do these things, it can mean arrest or serious penalties from law enforcement officers. You are required to obtain a fishing license in order to pull lobsters from Florida waters, whether or not you are a state resident. Specific licenses are issued depending on whether you plan to fish by boat or by wading into the water. There are also different licenses based on whether or not you will be fishing your lobster for recreational or commercial purposes.

Even licensed fishermen are only allowed to pull six lobsters from the Florida waters every day. The law is strict and fines are enforced for those who decide to push this limit. Children that are under 16 are not allowed to pull six lobsters from the water. In addition to limits and licenses, there are important regulations when it comes to choosing which lobsters to keep. Of the six choice lobsters of the day, all of them must be at least three inches long from above the eye to where the tail starts. Female lobsters that have eggs must be left in the water to care for their young. Florida also has specific areas where lobstering is illegal and fishermen are required to adhere to these limits.

When marine patrol deputies came across two men in a boat Sunday morning, and discovered that they were not abiding by these specific lobster laws, they were taken to jail on the spot. On the men’s large boat was a silver box, which held 332 lobster tails. 304 of the tails did not meet the size requirements, and should have been thrown back. The men were aware that they were operating illegally, which is why they had turned the lights off on their boat in order to detract attention. If you have been charged with violating fishing regulations in Florida, then talk to a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer today!

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