BLAINE, Wash. - Washington State Fish and Wildlife officers and Lummi Tribal police teamed up this week to bust an alleged illegal seafood ring that involves distributors, commercial outlets and fishermen in three counties.
Officers simultaneously swooped in on 16 commercial fishermen, two wholesale fish companies and 10 retail establishments in Whatcom, Snohomish and King Counties. Investigators said the fishermen captured undocumented and undersized crab and sold them through the back doors of businesses that included some restaurants and nail salons.
The crab were taken before they could mature enough to spawn, stealing a future generation from a delicate and wild population.
Undercover video shows illegal crab being sold through the back doors of businesses.
"If you're buying your shellfish from a nail salon, chances are it's illegal," said WDF&W Deputy Chief Mike Cenci who joined in the arrest of two fishermen at the Blaine Marina.