Skip to main content

Feds Cracking Down on Lobster Violations In the Florida Keys

The Miami Herald reports on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 that federal prosecutors have been fiercely cracking down against illegally harvested lobster. In 2009, a federal investigation dubbed Operation Freezer Burn resulted in the seizure of more than 2,000 pounds of lobster on Cudjoe Key and the arrests of six people, including ringleader David Dreifort, now serving time in federal prison. Under federal law, commercial lobster divers can harvest 250 lobster per day. However, amounts allegedly sold to a Stock Island man over the time period outlined in the indictment is more than double that amount.

That man, Scott Greager, has admitted that he bought and sold thousands of illegally harvested lobster in the most recent major federal fisheries case from the Lower Keys. Greager, the owner of a Key West business called Holiday Seafood, faced multiple federal counts of conspiring to purchase 5,435 pounds of lobster from two commercial divers over seven days at the opening of the regular lobster season in August 2008. As part of Greager's plea agreement, he will be sentenced to no more than 5 years in federal custody. Greager previously faced a sentence of 10 years.

Commercial fishermen reportedly support the recent actions to shut down illegal operations. The Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association has urged state and federal marine officers to actively pursue lobster poaching. Enforcement officers with the Florida Fish and the Wildlife Conservation Commision and National Marine Fisheries Service have reportedly responded.

If you are interested in seeing the entire Miami Herald article or wish to reach me to discuss this case further, please feel free to reach me at or at Houck Anderson, P.A. at


Popular posts from this blog

Maritime Law--U.S. Crewmember Required to Arbitrate Claims Applying Norwegian Law

In Alberts v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., No. 15-14775 (11th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a U.S. citizen, working aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship is required to arbitrate his claims against Royal Caribbean.
Plaintiff, a United States citizen, worked as the lead trumpeter on a passenger Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The ship is a Bahamian flagged vessel with a home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Royal Caribbean, the operator of the vessel, is a Liberian corporation with its principal place of business in Florida. After plaintiff became ill while working for Royal Caribbean, he filed suit alleging unseaworthiness, negligence, negligence under the Jones Act, maintenance and cure, and seaman’s wages and penalties. Royal Caribbean moved to compel arbitration, and the district court granted the motion. This appeal presented an issue of first impression: Whether a seaman’s work in international waters on a cruise ship that calls o…

Maritime Law--Tour Boat Captain Implicated in Tragedy Off Nicaragua

As reported in the Daily Business Review on January 25, 2016, Nicaragua's police, army and navy will investigate the captain of a tourist boat and his assistant for the deaths of 13 Costa Rican passengers killed on January 23rd when the vessel capsized in bad weather. The Reina del Caribe, Spanish for "Caribbean Queen," was carrying 33 people when it went down Saturday amid rain and strong winds as it ferried between the Corn Islands, a popular tourist destination, off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. The Daily Business Review article can be accessed here=> Daily Business Review article.

The government clarified on the 24th that the boat was carrying 25 Costa Ricans, two Americans, two British citizens, a Brazilian and three Nicaraguans. Previous reports had said there were 32 people on board, including four Americans. All the dead were Costa Ricans.

Nicaragua's naval commander for the southern Caribbean region said the boat's captain was detained because the …

Maritime Law--Lawsuits Filed Over RCCL's "Storm Cruise"

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd ("RCCL") faces lawsuits by passengers accusing the company of negligently endangering their lives by letting Anthem of the Seas sail into a February 7, 2016 storm.  One class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami specifically states that RCCL should be required to pay punitive damages to passengers on its ship for "knowingly sailing directly into" a strong winter storm with 120-mph winds. It is also alleged that people aboard the ship were "subjected to hours of sheer terror as the gigantic cruise ship was battered by hurricane-force winds and more than 30-foot waves."

The vessel reportedly encountered 100 mph winds and 30-foot waves, and RCCL said the storm was more severe than expected. RCCL later turned the ship around, and it returned to New Jersey on February 10. Anthem of the Seas’ port azipod reportedly burnt through “all four clutches” during the storm. RCCL reported four minor injuries among more than 6,000 p…