Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Conch fritters and cracked conch are common menu objects in South Florida. However the queen conch served within the state is normally harvested within the Bahamas, and never caught right here — or at the least it shouldn’t be.

Harvesting queen conch, which is a protected species in Florida and in consideration to be listed as “threatened” underneath the Endangered Species Act, generally is a third-degree felony within the state, as a Key West man came upon late final week.

Burley David Smith, 67, was arrested Friday by state fish and wildlife officers who say he caught and ate two queen conchs on Wisteria Island, an undeveloped island simply off Key West frequented by homeless individuals.

As of Tuesday, Smith remained in Monroe County jail, held on a bond of $21,500 on one felony depend of harvesting queen conchs, a misdemeanor cost for harvesting the conchs and one other misdemeanor cost of resisting arrest with out violence.

Details about his authorized illustration was not instantly obtainable.

Three Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee officers have been despatched to the island to reply to experiences an individual was catching and consuming queen conch, stated company spokeswoman Arielle Callender.

After they arrived, Callender famous a witness instructed them Smith caught the conchs, cooked the ocean snails and ate them at his camp web site.

The officers spoke with Smith, who they stated was “argumentative and refused to cooperate.” When the officers instructed Smith he was being detained, “he grew to become combative and was positioned underneath arrest,” Callender stated.

The officers went to his campsite and located two empty queen conch shells subsequent to a pot and fireplace, Callender added.

For extra info on queen conch and different fisheries rules in Florida, go myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/leisure/marine-life.

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By Admin

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