ISLAMORADA (AP) — Forty queen conchs are back in the water instead of on dinner plates after a sheriff’s deputy in the Florida Keys got a tip about conch poaching.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that Deputy Nelson Sanchez got a tip Saturday afternoon about people loading a large number of queen conchs into a truck at the dock behind an Islamorada hotel.
Sanchez stopped the truck before it could leave the parking lot. The sheriff’s office says a man and woman in the truck admitted harvesting the conchs.
Harvesting queen conch is prohibited in Florida and adjacent federal waters.
The conchs were still alive. Sanchez returned the marine mollusks back to the water.
The man and woman in the truck each face 20 counts of possession of queen conch.