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Texas Woman Caught With 40 Conch In The Keys; Most Animals Rescued And Returned To The Water

A Texas woman was arrested in Key West Friday, after an officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found her with three plastic containers holding 40 queen conch.

The mollusk — the symbol of the Florida Keys — is protected and cannot be taken from the water in Florida.

Credit FWC
FWC Officer John Martino with Queen conch that were found in plastic containers in Key West.

Most of the animals were still alive and were returned to the water.

FWC Officer John Martino was dispatched to a house in Key West in response to an anonymous tip Friday morning, according to a press release from FWC.

"The queen conch were harvested by several minor children along with the subject. The woman took responsibility for all the queen conch," the press release states.

Diana Candelario Fiscal-Gonzalez, 29, of Dallas, Texas, was arrested on one misdemeanor count of violating state wildlife law.

Queen conch have been protected from commercial fishing since 1975 and from recreational fishing since 1985. 

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.