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Prosecutor Wants Big Time Poachers To Do Big Time

A Key West prosecutor is urging lawmakers to crack down on lobster poaching. 

Monroe County State Attorney Catherine Vogel told a House panel the law needs to be clarified after a recent court ruling made it harder to prosecute big-time violators.  

“So imagine if you would, that you have a tourist that comes in, they pick up a couple of undersized lobster. They’re being treated, according to our courts, as the same people that go out and maybe harvest 300 or 400 undersized lobster.”

Vogel convinced the State Affairs Committee to approve a measure by Republican Representative Holly Raschein of Key Largo.

The bill makes it a felony to take more than 100 undersized spiny lobsters.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.