I am once more angered and saddened by the continued poaching of our natural resources by the ignorant and selfish. Recall the recent snatching of Key Deer by two Miami-Dade residents that resulted in the death of one
Recently six men from Alabama and Georgia speared 586 out-of-season lobsters including more than 100 undersized lobsters. They also poached stone crabs and reef fish over a two day period. I am grateful for thorough work by our marine law enforcement officers, particularly Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers.
As we know our natural resources — especially our marine life — drives the Keys’ economy. Those, such as these Neanderthal throw-backs, are stealing from all of us.
I urge prosecutors and judges to impose the maximum penalty on those who poach in our waters and in our preserves. Let them hunt lionfish and Burmese pythons. There is no limit, nor is there a season for these invasive creatures.
Let us set an example of these poachers and send the message loud and clear to others who would steal from us all that the people of the Keys will not tolerate the rape of our pelagic wildlife.
Steve Gibbs, Key Largo