Coast Guard, FWC seize illegal catch near Blackwater Sound

Mangrove snappers lie on the deck of a recreational vessel, July 9, 2018, near Blackwater Sound, Florida. The joint-boarding performed by the Coast Guard and FWC resulted in the catch being seized. (Coast Guard Photo)

Mangrove snappers lie on the deck of a recreational vessel, July 9, 2018, near Blackwater Sound, Florida. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission seized 64 mangrove snappers and one undersized barracuda aboard the 22-foot recreational boat near Blackwater Sound, Monday.

A Coast Guard Station Islamorada 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew located the boat in Blackwater Sound. Through the course of the boarding, the boarding team discovered 64 mangrove snappers and one undersized barracuda. The boat was escorted to Gilberts Marina where a dockside boarding was conducted with FWC and the catch was seized.

The violations against the operator and passenger of the boat included two tickets for not having a fishing license and improper registration decal, four misdemeanors for fishing undersized snappers and being 45 fish over the bag limit and two warnings for fishing undersized barracudas.

“Boaters and fishermen are reminded to familiarize themselves with the fishing regulations to make sure they are complying with federal and state law,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Rich Steidell, Coast Guard Station Islamorada.

The Coast Guard is a federal agency that protects our ocean environment and the marine life that inhabits it by enforcing domestic and international fisheries laws.

“Our partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard is an invaluable tool promoting public safety as well as natural resource protection,” said Maj. Alfredo Escanio, FWC law enforcement regional commander. “Working together, we can ensure the availability of Florida’s natural resources for future generations.”

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