A state marine officer found two undersized nurse sharks and a dead moray eel while inspecting a catch made from an Islamorada dock Thursday.
Officer Paul Hein of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spotted several people fishing off a private dock near Tea Table Key at about 3 p.m. Hein saw two nurse sharks, one still alive, landed near the group, along with a small schoolmaster snapper.
All the anglers denied having caught any fish, Hein said in a report. Asked again after Hein pointed to the landed fish, "nobody had any recollection of catching the fish," said agency spokesman Officer Bobby Dube.
But inside a cooler, Hein found a large moray eel and two snapper.
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Eventually, Alain E. Tavarez, 26, of Homestead, and Alexander E. Toruno, 34, of Miami, were arrested on counts of possessing undersize sharks, exceeding the one-fish bag limit for shark, possession of undersized snapper and failure to land the eel (a marine-life species) alive.
Toruno was released Friday after posting a $3,280 bond. Tavarez also was released Friday but no bond amount was available.
None of the group was able to produce a fishing license. One person was ticketed. Florida's saltwater shoreline licenses are free to state residents and are mandatory in most instances.