Wildlife officials have fined four South Florida men $10,000 for catching and keeping three undersized swordfish instead of throwing them back into the water.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a statement on Friday saying it hopes the case serves as a deterrent to other anglers. The two men on the boat at the time - the captain and a fisherman - were fined, as were the boat owner and a permit holder.

Federal regulations require that swordfish be at least 47 inches long to keep.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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