MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two South Florida fishermen were caught red-handed poaching lobsters from commercial fishing traps in Biscayne Bay, according to officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Wildlife officials say Eloy Torres, 63, and his son Israel Torres, 42, were found with 119 lobsters and 107 were under legal size, according to FWC spokesman Jorge Pino.
“Some of these lobsters are so small they look like shrimp,” Pino said. “You can’t eat them. There is no point in taking them out of their natural environment.”
The men are charged with lobster trap violations, catching undersize lobster, resisting and interference with a wildlife officer, exceeding the bag limit for lobster and diving without a measuring device.
Pino said the men are stealing from legitimate commercial fishermen who pay fees for licenses to legally trap lobster until the season ends March 31st.
“We protect these lobsters not just because they are an essential part of our ecosystem, but also because they are an important economic force in South Florida,” Pino said.