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lobster fishing

Danielle Rose

Spiny lobster season in Florida lasts from Aug. 6 to March 31, and the state's wildlife commission has rules in place to ensure that it's not a free-for-all. WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, spoke with Tampa blogger Danielle Rose about the "do's and don'ts" of lobster fishing.

State wildlife investigators announced Tuesday that they've wrapped up a two-year investigation targeting what they say is a criminal conspiracy in the spiny lobster fishing industry.

Lobster is Florida's most valuable commercial fishery, with landings usually worth more than $40 million a year.

Investigators went undercover and conducted surveillance in what they called "Operation Thimblerig." Thimblerig is another term for shell game.

Three people face felony charges including racketeering, fraud and identity theft.

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Just as they prepare for a crucial harvest in the wake of Hurricane Irma, lobster fisherman in the Florida Keys fear a trade war with China could undermine storm recovery in the island chain.