'Ya Conch Touch This': 300 pounds of illegal queen conch, crab found in Florida
Authorities in Florida found nearly 300 pounds of illegal queen conch and stone crab on a fishing boat, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
In a Facebook post, the FWC said the queen conch, a type of slow-moving mollusk, and the stone crab were found on the boat during a resource inspection. That boat was returning from the Bahamas, according to the FWC.
Other reef fish and fillets were also found in a large compartment on the boat, the FWC said. The post did not indicate when the discovery was made.
Photo credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Facebook
A photo shared with the Facebook post showed several bags filled with what appeared to be stone crab claws, queen conch, and more than two dozen fish.
According to the FWC, queen conch are a protected species.
People can keep queen conch shells as long as there is no live animal inside of it. However, it is also illegal to kill, mutilate, or harm a living queen conch in order to keep its shell, according to the FWC's website.
Their shells are known for their whorl-shaped shells and pink interior. According to NOAA, queen conch can grow up to 12 inches and weigh more than five pounds.
Stone crab claws can be harvested in Florida between October and May, but there are size limits and daily bag limits. Only their claws can be harvested, according to FWC's website.