Florida Lobster Poachers Arrested With 468 Tails

Florida Lobster Poachers Arrested With 468 Tails

Lobster season in Florida runs from August 6 through March 31. The lobster-tail bag limit for the season is six per person, per day.

But apparently two men decided that lobster season is right now and that the lobster-tail bag limit is none.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, two men were arrested for poaching a whopping 468 wrung lobster tails.

Some of the tails even turned out to be undersized, with at least one of them being from an egg-bearing female.

Police officers spotted Javiel Vergel and Eriel Casana Menendez acting suspicious as they loaded a boat onto a trailer at a boat ramp, according to the FWC Facebook page.

How one acts suspicious while loading a boat is a mystery, but it was enough to make cops investigate the men. That's when they discovered a garbage bag filled with the lobster tails. Police then called FWC, who responded to the scene.

Upon further inspection, FWC officers discovered even more bags full of spiny lobster tails hidden in several compartments on the boat.

The law says that caught lobsters must remain in whole condition -- separating the tail from the rest of the lobster's body is illegal. Also, 283 of the lobsters the men poached were undersized.

Female lobsters with eggs are also illegal to harvest.

Vergel and Menendez were arrested for poaching spiny lobsters and for possessing 468 wrung tails.

One undersized stone crab claw and one queen conch were also found in the men's possession. Stone crab season is currently closed, and queen conch are illegal to possess in state waters.

You can see photos of the poached tails here.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter




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