Joint Coast Guard, FWC boarding leads to illegal fishing discovery

7th Coast Guard District News
KEY WEST, Fla. – A Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) joint boarding team conducted a boarding on a recreational vessel with 51 illegal dolphin fish (mahimahi) onboard a half mile off Marathon, Fla., Sunday.

While conducting a routine patrol, Coast Guard boarding team members from Coast Guard Station Marathon boarded a 28-foot cabin cruiser to conduct a safety inspection. During the inspection, the Coast Guard boarding officer discovered a large catch of undersized dolphin fish. After discovering the catch, the boarding team notified local FWC officials and worked with them to count and measure the catch.

There is a 20-inch fork length minimum size limit for dolphin fish off Georgia and Florida. There is a recreational bag limit of 10 dolphin fish per person per day, with a limit of 60 dolphin fish per boat per day.

FWC charged the men with possession of 51 undersized dolphin fish and for being over the bag limit for a recreational vessel. These charges are a second degree misdemeanor and could carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and over $1,000 in fines.

Information about fishing regulations and guidelines for the Florida Keys can be found at: www.myfwc.com/fishing


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