Tourist gets 15 days in jail for taking 40 queen conch shells from Key West

Tourist gets 15 days in jail for taking 40 queen conch shells from Key West

A Texas woman visiting Key West will spend 15 days in jail after taking 40 queen conch seashells from the waters around the island.

The Miami Herald reports Diana Fiscal-Gonzalez, 30, of Dallas, was arrested on July 13 after a tipster reported seeing her pluck the conchs from the sea.

She later pleaded no contest to taking the conchs, saying she didn’t know it was a crime and only planned to clean the shells and give them away as gifts.

Tourist gets 15 days in jail for taking 40 queen conch shells from Key West

Harvesting empty seashells is allowed in Florida, but taking a living queen conch is illegal, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The shells Fiscal-Gonzalez collected contained organisms inside.

The agency also notes that killing, mutilating or removing a living queen conch from a shell is strictly forbidden.

In addition to 15 days in jail, Fiscal-Gonzalez will also serve six months of probation and pay a $500 fine plus $268 for court costs, the newspaper reported.


Mary Greeley News
www.marygreeley.com

credit: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/38685587/tourist-gets-15-days-in-jail-for-taking-40-queen-conch-shells-from-key-west