FLORIDA – The operator of a commercial fishing vessel has been arrested in Lee County and charged with eight felony counts of trap theft related to crab traps found on the vessel, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced.
“When our officers conducted a resource inspection on a fishing vessel, they discovered 12 crab traps belonging to other commercial and recreational fishermen,” the FWC said.
Twenty-eight stone crabs were found in whole condition, four of which were egg-bearing females, and one undersized sheepshead,” the FWC said.
“And wait, there’s more! Included in the haul: 26 stone crab claws, 17 of which were undersized.”
The fishing boat’s operator was arrested and charged with eight felony counts of trap theft, as well as additional charges for resource violations, the FWC said.
To report wildlife violations, contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.