A commercial fisherman is facing charges after officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) discovered more than 500 closed season crab traps in Hernando County.
According to FWC, on Sept. 21 the officers initially came upon 54 illegal traps while on patrol.
Later acting on a warrant that provided the fisherman’s GPS coordinates, officers found another 450 traps belonging to the fisherman who allegedly illegally worked at night.
None of the traps were marked with the required buoy, some had expired tags and most did not have the required biodegradable panel, according to the FWC.
According to Melissa Smith, public information director for the FWC’s Northwest Region, the traps were recovered from multiple locations off the coast of Hernando County.
As a result, the traps’ owner was charged with having out-of-season traps as well as with other violations.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Smith said.
To view regulations for recreational traps use visit Stone Crab | FWC (myfwc.com).
To report a violation call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.