I was first amused by the subtitle, "Pub in Oxford allegedly sold condemned lobsters". Isn't any lobster in a restaurant tank pretty much "condemned"? There he sits, on Lobster Death Row, waiting for his meeting with the executioner. He's not serving a life sentence there, unless you mean that he'll be there for the rest of his (presumably now short) life.
It seems a restaurant owner was charged with, among other things, "unlicensed possession of shellfish".
The whole idea that you could be prosecuted for unlicensed possession of shellfish ought to send a chill down your spine.
I get the point -- the guy lifted lobsters and sold them. That's theft. And the lobsters had been exposed to spilled fuel, so they could have been contaminated and not safe to eat. That's a public health violation. But "unlicensed possession of shellfish"?
The story is about more than contraband seafood. It is a tale of lobsters on a death-defying journey, one marred by tragedy and for some, redemption. First, thousands of lobsters onboard the overturned truck narrowly missed becoming road kill. And then, those that did not become two-for-one boiled lobster specials were rescued by state environmental police, who returned them to the sea.
I'm glad the surviving lobsters were freed rather than slain. If you're not gonna eat them, put them back where they belong.