A Miami man is facing a number of charges after officers found him hiding in a bush with what they say was a container full of out-of-season spiny lobsters.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Officer Josh Stallings was out surveilling Whale Harbor Bridge in Islamorada on July 10. At about 11 p.m., he spotted a man carrying a dip net south across the bridge.

Stallings and FWC Officer Jessica Diaz found a man trying to stay out of sight in bushes. They found Thanh Doan, 47, with a clear plastic container holding 27 out-of-season spiny lobster,  16 smaller than the legal minimum size of a 3-inch carapace. Doan was arrested and taken to the Monroe County Jail. He faces misdemeanor charges for possession of spiny lobster, for carrying and transporting spiny lobster out of season and 16 misdemeanors for possession of undersized spiny lobster. 

Lobster mini-season is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. The daily bag limit in Monroe County is six. Carapace must be larger than 3 inches, measured in the water. Possession and use of a measuring device is required at all times. Harvest of lobster is prohibited in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park during mini-season and in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary, and in the five Coral Reef Protection Areas in Biscayne National Park during both the two-day mini-season and regular season.

More information is at myfwc.com.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Officer Josh Stallings following a lobster resource arrest near Whale Harbor Bridge in Islamorada. FWC/Contributed
Twenty-seven lobsters were found inside a clear container. FWC officers arrest Thanh Doan, 47, of Miami. FWC/Contributed

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