The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone they should make sure they know the rules before fishing in the Florida Keys. The Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers are always keeping an eye out for violations both on the water and on the many fishing bridges and piers in the Keys.
This morning, Deputy Donald Stullken was on patrol and conducted a resources check at the Torch Ramrod Channel Bridge. He found 39 year old Angel Luis Velazquez fishing. When he checked Velazquez’ cooler, he found a Bonnet head shark that had been gutted and had the head removed.
Removing the head of the shark is against Florida Administrative Code 68B-44.004 and is a second degree misdemeanor.
Velasquez, who is from Miami, was arrested and booked into jail on the charge.
For more information about rules and laws regarding fishing in Florida and in the Florida Keys, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission web site at http://myfwc.com.
68B-44.004 Landing in Whole Condition; Transit Through State Waters.
(1) All sharks harvested from State of Florida waters shall be landed in a whole condition. Except as provided for in subsection (2), the possession, while in or on the waters of the state, on any public or private fishing pier, or on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, of any shark that has had the head removed, been divided, filleted, ground, skinned, finned, or had the caudal (tail) fin removed is prohibited. Mere evisceration or “gutting” of such fish or slicing the base of the caudal fin to bleed the carcass as long as the caudal fin remains attached before landing is not prohibited.