Change to Regulations for Striped Bass Fishing in the Block Island Transit Zone

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46 mins ago, MakoMike said:

As far as deputizing them goes, you are with the consensus of the law enforcement people at the workshop, it ain't gonna happen. But it's a much more complicated subject than you hint at. 1st question is how do you know when someone if breaking the law? Your claim that you are responsible for what people do in your place of business does not ring true for any business that is open to the public. If you run a restaurant, are you "responsible," when a person walks into your establishment with a couple of grams of coke in their pocket? How about when the go the restroom and use that coke they brought in? Yes, the captain should be held responsible for what his employees (crew) do. What has that got to do with discovering whether or not the patrons are observing the law? Some captains at the workshop indicated that they do something similar to what you suggest, i.e. they feels free to search their customers coolers. Others are reluctant to do so as they fear lawsuits and/or confrontations. Different strokes for different folks, but no matter what the differences in attitudes you can't blame the captain for the actions of a passenger. Should they also be charged with drug possession if a customer has some weed on the boat? Not a big difference between a customer having some illegal drugs in his pocket or an illegal fish in his cooler.


Your response begs the question of how does the captain or crew discover that a passenger is violating the law. Your further suggestion about banning that individual once discovered, sharing the names of that individual with other captains etc. is IMHO inviting a lawsuit, and guess who is going to have to pay those attorney fees. Hint, it ain't the DEC. 


This is a very thorny issue, and one that we spent lots of time talking about, without finding anything even closely resembling a good answer. There are also several other issues imbedded with the issues, such as what does/should the DEC do when several passengers share the same container for storing their fish and how do you define "possession" when there is a fish container shared by several people, but less than the entire boat? 

This isn't rocket science and doesn't need to be treated as such.  To me, this is another excuse to further prolong an issue that doesn't need to continue.

  • ·         1st question is how do you know when someone if breaking the law? – if you see someone breaking the law, you address it.  You can confront them and if the issue becomes tense, and the someone from the crew has seen it or there is a witness, call the DEC and let them deal with the person(s) when they get to the dock.
  • ·         If someone goes into my restaurant and one of my staff sees that person doing something illegal, whether its coke, abusing another customer, etc., that person is asked to leave.  If you are on a boat which is what we are discussing here, coke is illegal as is taking shorts, more fish than the legal limit, etc., so you call the DEC this way they can deal with that person when the boat gets back to the dock.
  • ·         As far as putting someone on notice that they can no longer participate in a certain activity for X amount of time, that is already being done.  E.g. I get a number of speeding tickets and guess what; my driving privileges are taken away.  I don’t think anyone is getting sued there.
  • ·         As far as sharing containers, stop the practice.  Each person should have a cooler assigned to them. 

 In the event anyone is falsely accused, the captain or crew can explain to them what the goal is here and they can easily make it up to them and believe me, most will be forgotten and most customers would be happy to know their captain is doing what they can to sustain this fishery for all of us.

Like I said earlier, it’s not that complicated or thorny as you suggest.  We can sit here and go back and forth but if they really wanted to fix it, they could. 







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I'm not going to belabor  the point, you just assume that someone has seen something, and that is, IMHO, really the point. The point that some of the captains was on was not that. It was how far do I have to/should/am allowed to go to determine if a passenger is breaking the law. 


I do agree with you in that "if they really wanted to fix it, they could." The question is how far is the state and their law enforcement agencies willing to go? And also how far should a captain go, and both of those questions interact with each other. 

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