Authorities reported a second arrest on the second and final day of Florida spiny lobster season, officials said Thursday.
At about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Victor Garcia Blanco of Monroe County and another man — who is known to officers — fled after being confronted by an undercover officer who saw them digging lobsters near North Pine Channel Bridge at mile marker 30 in the Lower Keys, said Bobby Dube, a spokesman for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Authorities charged Blanco with interference with an FWC officer, resisting arrest without violence, possession of over-the-bag limit of lobster, possession of undersized lobster, possession of speared lobster, no lobster measuring device, and violation of probation. Divers and snorkelers are limited to six lobsters per person daily in Monroe County and Biscayne National Park waters and measuring devices are required.
“Mr. Blanco has been arrested by the FWC several times before, so he’s a frequent flier,” Dube said.
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Since the season began Wednesday, one man has died and several others have received citations, said Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Becky Herrin. William Simko, a 60-year-old man from Little Torch Key, died Wednesday morning while diving for lobster on the Gulf side of Cudjoe Key. Dube said the cause of death won’t be known until an autopsy is concluded.
A total number of citations most likely won’t be known until Friday, after the season ends at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
“I think the rain has slowed people down a little bit, which is good,” Herrin said. “I suspect it’s about the same as last year.”
Monroe sheriff’s deputies cited three Florida men Wednesday who were harvesting lobster near the north end of Spanish Harbor Bridge on the bay side. Maksim Parshin of Miami, Alexey Ivanenko of Hollywood and Valeriy Gerber of Sunny Isles Beach were cited for possession of undersize lobster, possession of speared lobster and harvesting lobster without a measuring device.
Former NFL and Miami Hurricanes standout Warren Sapp kept fishing for lobster Wednesday —despite a bite from what appeared to be a nurse shark.
“You’ve got to be careful sticking your hand in some holes down here,” Sapp told the Tampa Bay Times.