FWC arrests 2, seizes hundreds of pounds of illegally caught pompano and other fish.

Illegal gillnets, like this one photographed by Indian Riverkeeper volunteers, indiscriminately kill all fish that get entangled. (Pictured is not the gillnet that was apprehended by the FWC in mid-March.)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrested two men for using illegal gillnets in state waters off St. Lucie and Martin counties. The morning of March 10, officers confiscated a gillnet 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 gillnet, which is illegal to use in state waters. They returned to the Jensen Beach Causeway boat ramp in Martin County with their illegal catch, 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 gillnet 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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