Two South Florida anglers have been punished for poaching lobsters. They were caught last year during a safety inspection on the water.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials took a boat into their custody while the owners were in court Tuesday for poaching spiny lobsters.
Donny Gonzalez and Nemesio Garcia pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges of taking lobsters out of season and for taking undersized lobsters, violating state conservation laws.
During a routine safety inspection, FWC officers found 87 lobster tails hidden in their boat.
Defense Attorney Jose Sanchez-Gronlier is not happy with the sentence his clients are now facing, calling it "harsh and excessive."
"They got an $80,000 boat which will be free for the state to use or to sell, depriving them of their means of livelihood," Sanchez-Gronlier said.
Gonzalez and Garcia have been fishing the waters of Miami-Dade County for decades, and both have a history of poaching violations.
FWC officers said they aggressively pursued this case in an ongoing effort to protect our natural resources.
Besides losing their boat, Garcia and Gonzalez are losing their licenses and can't do any commercial fishing for three years.