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Jason Chockley steps over some of the 31 lobsters he caught on the first day of the two-day mini season on July 28, 2010 in Miami, Florida.
Florida Keys authorities reported three arrests and several hundred violation calls hours before the close of the 2012 lobster mini season.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday afternoon that although several reports are not complete, three men have been charged with failing to follow regulations.
Jorge Manuel Quintana Basulto, 35, from Miami, was arrested Wednesday in Duck Key and charged with violating saltwater regulations and interfering with an officer. A deputy, who found the man with three speared lobster, said Basulto dropped his spear gun, swam away and dropped what looked like several lobster tails.
Omar Lago, 47, of Hialeah, was found with 21 wrung tails and 15 lobster tails over the limit on Long Key Bridge Wednesday, the sheriff's office said. The tails, which Lago admitted to wringing in the water, were donated to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
Michael Demchak, 37, of Ormond Beach, was charged with possessing two undersized lobster and two queen conch at Knights Key Campground Wednesday. Officers said it appeared as though the man, who said he did not know it is illegal to catch conch, was measuring the lobster improperly.
The sheriff’s office also received 122 violation-related calls Wednesday and 23 calls as of 12 p.m. Thursday from the public and deputies.
One boating collision was reported Wednesday at Mile Marker 81.5. Five to six people were reported in the water but only one person was transported to Mariner’s Hospital.
The 2012 mini lobster season will come to a close at midnight Thursday.