Spiny Lobster Season Starts – Record Harvest Low Prices

The harvest of spiny lobster off the Florida Keys has never been better, but the price fishermen are being paid is down significantly so far because the Asian market has yet to take off this season. The season started earlier this month with trap fishermen catching near record number of lobster, fishermen said. A trap … Read more

FWC Nab Wildlife Mobsters in Fishing Bust Off Key Largo

  Four Homestead men aboard a 15-foot skiff off North Key Largo were arrested Sunday on multiple conservation charges Sunday, state marine officers report. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers recovered a mesh bag from the bottom of Angelfish Creek, agency spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said. The bag held undersized lobster, snapper and grouper. … Read more

Planning Commish Wants Discussion on Lobster Mini-Season

A push to end lobster mini-season in Florida Keys waters drew the notice of Monroe County Planning Commissioners on July 29. Planning Commissioner William Wiatt urged his fellow commissioners to speak to Monroe County commissioners in support of “a working group … to discuss and evaluate the current regulations, specifically in county waters, that govern … Read more

Are Bad Divers Spoiling Lobster Mini-Season?

Anybody who’s been in the Keys for Florida’s sport lobster season knows things can get crazy, so crazy that some people think the two-day event should be stopped. According to a 2003 North Carolina State Universitystudy, the boat density during sport season, also known as mini-season, can be 900 times the density during the regular … Read more

Big Pine Key Lobster Mobster to Surrender 400 Trap Certs

A Big Pine Key fisherman arrested in October for lobster fishing with hundreds of illegal traps was ordered Thursday to surrender 400 traps, effectively cutting his fishing capabilities in half, according to court records. David Lee Boggs, 51, was ultimately charged with more than 100 counts of misdemeanor fishing without proper tags after state wildlife officers … Read more

Regular Lobster Season Opens

“What’s going to happen when the season starts is always the question,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. “I’m optimistic that things will be good,” said Marathon fisherman Richie Stiglitz, who grew on his family’s lobster boats. “As long as the price is good, we could all make some … Read more

Wildlife Officials Report Calm Lobster Mini-season

As an uneventful lobster mini-season came to a close, commercial lobster fishermen remained optimistic about the start of the regular season on Aug. 6. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Coast Guard did not report any accidents, injuries or deaths as of Thursday evening. The FWC did cite multiple people diving on … Read more

Local Lobster Mobsters Sentenced

Three [Lobster Mobsters] fishermen convicted of robbing lobster traps and possession of undersized lobsters in June stemming from their September 2011 arrest were banned from commercial lobster fishing for life and two of them were given prison time. The captain of the Marathon-based commercial lobster fishing vessel Classy Lady, Nelson Rojas, was convicted of trap … Read more

Law Enforcement Cracking Down Harder on Lobster Mobsters

By KEVIN WADLOW When lobster-resource violations reach the egregious point, Florida Keys prosecutors “will take it very, very seriously,” State Attorney Catherine Vogel cautions. “All those people out there for lobster mini-season next week need to be aware they cannot take undersized lobster, wring tails on the water or spear lobster,” Vogel said Tuesday. “A lobster can … Read more

Prepare for Low-Impact Lobstering

Lobster season is one of the busiest times in the Florida Keys, as thousands of visitors and residents hit the waters in search of one of their favorite delicacies, the Florida spiny lobster. With smart choices, you can lower your impact on sensitive coral reefs and other natural resources that you are here to enjoy. … Read more

Tennessee Man With 63 Illegal Lobster = 156 Criminal Charges

BY KEVIN WADLOW A Tennessee man found off Key West with 63 lobster tails was booked into jail on 156 resource conservation counts Thursday, state marine officers report. Charles J. Emanuel, 38, of Signal Mountain was snorkeling off a canoe at the Sigsbee Ledge, a few hundred feet from a U.S. Navy campground, according … Read more

Lobster Mobster Yasmany Escalona of Hialeah Arrested

21-year-old Hialeah man was arrested Sunday on multiple lobster-related charges after FWC officers found him illegally spearing lobster near Banana Bay Resort in Marathon, Dipre said. Yasmany Escalona was charged with felony tampering with evidence after diving and burying a bag of wrung tails in the mud after officers spotted him Sunday morning, Dipre said. … Read more

Local Lobster Mobster Gets 1 year And Banned From Water for 5 years

By Kevin Wadlow A Miami man caught near Long Key with hundreds of lobster and a commercial trap-puller — but no commercial lobster licenses — was sentenced to a year in jail April 1. Jorge Vargas, 59, also was fined $28,680 and banned from Florida Keys waters during a five-year probation term following his … Read more

Lobster Mobsters Caught with 46 Tails

Three men aboard a commercial boat headed into a Coco Plum canal in Marathon were arrested Saturday on charges of possessing 46 separated lobster tails. FWC Lt. David Robison and Officer Olly Adams conducted a catch inspection at 3:45 p.m. near Avenue A on Coco Plum. “A bag containing 46 wrung tails were found in a … Read more

Local Brothers Plead Guilty to Illegal Lobster Harvesting

By Adam Linhardt Citizen Staff  Three Lower Keys brothers accused of harvesting lobster from illegal artificial habitats known as casitas will likely serve six months in federal prison, and lose their crawfish licenses for life, after all three pleaded guilty in court Monday. Charles, Ryan and Tyson Veach each pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, … Read more