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:

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One Comment

  1. Robert Freeman says:

    These are the same type of recreational fisherman that scream bloody murder that commercial fisherman are the source of the decline of the fishery. This is just one example and one boat that has been caught but there is hundreds more that came in that day i’m sure with the coolers filled with illegal size fish. oh that one is close enough or i’m going to bring something in today because i spent all this money on gas..etc,etc. I hope they prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law and make an example out of them.They knew exactly what they were doing.