Fishermen arrested for allegedly using gill nets near the Skyway Bridge

Wildlife officers seized more than 500 pounds of fish allegedly caught with an illegal gill net.
Wildlife officers seized more than 500 pounds of fish allegedly caught with an illegal gill net.(Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 1:09 PM EST
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A group of 10 fishermen from Atlanta were arrested near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Friday for using illegal gill nets to catch more than 500 pounds of fish, state wildlife officials said.

Acting on a tip from a citizen, law enforcement officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the men were found in possession of four gill nets totaling 1,660 feet in length. More than 500 pounds of fish and sharks were seized, including snook, blue crab, and undersized sheepshead, trout and black drum, the FWC said.

Using a gill net is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

The monofilament nets entangle fish and other wildlife. The majority of marine life that becomes entangled die. This type of net can be especially devastating for sea turtles and marine mammals.

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