A Key West college student found out the hard way that you should not ignore wildlife laws, because the state of Florida takes them seriously and they may end up arresting you.
According to the Miami Harold, Joshua David Anyzeski, 18, was arrested and jailed by state fish and wildlife officers after he removed a 20-pound juvenile Goliath grouper from the water for a photo op.
He was charged with a misdemeanor of possession of a Goliath grouper. He was booked into the Stock Island Detention Center and released later that day after posting a $7,500 bond.
The investigation revealed that he caught the grouper in a no fishing zone on Stock Island that on property owned by the Collage of the Florida Keys. there he caught the fish and according to the arrest record he was “Messing around” with it and got a photo.
The problem is that Anyzeski took the fish from the water and traveled at least 100 feet to take the photo. Goliath grouper are protected and must be released as soon as possible without harming the fish.
“Photographs can be taken but only during the active act of release,” according to the FWC website. “Photographs or any other activities such as measuring the fish should not delay release in any way.”
Large Goliath groupers should be left in the water during release, the agency says.
Anyzeski probably would have gotten away with if it was not for him texting the photo to a group of friends and bragging about the catch. Evidently one of the friends he sent the photo to did not appreciate the complete disregard for wildlife laws and turned him into the officers from Fish and Wildlife.
Anyzeski is also in trouble with his college but they did not comment on what punishment he might be recieving.
Hopefully, this will serve as a lesson for other to follow the law and do the right thing.