FWC arrests 2, seizes hundreds of pounds of illegally harvested fish in Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrested two men for using illegal gill nets in state waters off St. Lucie and Martin counties. The morning of March 10, officers confiscated a gill net in excess of 500 square feet and approximately 500 pounds of fish, which were mostly pompano.

FWC aviation officers recorded the men setting and retrieving the gill net, which is illegal to use in state waters. They returned to the Jensen Beach Causeway boat ramp in Martin County with their illegal harvest, where FWC officers were waiting to take them into custody.

David Black (DOB 10/16/62) of Sebastian and Wayne Black (DOB 02/29/68) of Fort Pierce are facing felony and misdemeanor charges. The men were booked into the Martin County jail. David Black also had a felony warrant on an unrelated charge. Further charges may be pending.

“These nets don’t discriminate and they can be very damaging to our natural resources,” said FWC Maj. Jeff Hubert, regional commander. “By disregarding Florida’s gill net rules, these men are depleting the resource and future opportunities for legitimate commercial fishermen.”

By catching intentional violators, the FWC seeks to restore balance in the competition for the resource, and supports law-abiding, honest commercial and recreational fishers, recreational hunters and business owners.

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