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Rhode Island EPOs Arrest Two Commercial Fishermen With 38 Striped Bass

Poachers were catching bass in Rhode Island to sell in Massachusetts.

BY OTW STAFF AUGUST 22, 2019
 
Rhode Island EPO

RI DEM Environmental Police Arrest Two Commercial Harvesters For Violations of State Marine Fisheries Laws

Arrests are a Result of Information Obtained during Operation Level Playing Field, a Multi-day Effort Targeting Illegal Striped Bass Fishing Activity

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) today announced the arrest of Robert Majors, age 41, of Bristol and Peter Parente, age 53, of West Greenwich. The two men were arrested yesterday by DEM environmental police officers for being in possession of 38 striped bass. Both are Massachusetts commercial fishermen and were charged with 37 counts of exceeding the daily possession limit of one fish per day, and with 38 counts of failure to fin clip striped bass found in their possession as required by law. Majors and Parente are scheduled to be arraigned in 3rd Division District Court in September. The fish were seized as evidence.

“Preserving Rhode Island’s striped bass fishery and all our marine resources is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “I am extremely proud of our DEM Division of Law Enforcement and the commitment and professionalism our officers demonstrate every day in responding to illegal activity and bringing the people responsible to justice. Their outstanding action to thwart illegal fishing practices level the playing field for all anglers who abide by current striped bass regulations

Yesterday’s arrest stemmed from information obtained by DEM officers during Operation Level Playing Field, a recent prolonged high-visibility law enforcement patrol conducted in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coast of New Shoreham to protect the striped bass stocks. The EEZ is a portion of federal waters reserved for conserving and managing fishery stocks. From July 29 through August 2, officers from DLE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Law Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation patrolled and boarded vessels to check for compliance and enforce fishing laws and regulations on the Southwest Ledge off the coast of Block Island, an area frequently exploited by charter boat captains, dive operations, and both commercial and recreational anglers targeting striped bass near the tri-state boundary within the EEZ.

 

DEM environmental police officers learned that Majors and Parente were believed to be fishing in the EEZ and selling their catch in Massachusetts. The practice of taking striped bass from Rhode Island state waters and/or from the EEZ, and selling them in Massachusetts, is prohibited.

Based on this information, DEM law enforcement officers approached the two fishermen at a residence in West Greenwich and found them to be in possession of 38 striped bass with a total weight of 1,054 pounds. All of these fish were larger than the 34″ minimum size, and none had the right pectoral fin removed as required by regulation. Both fishermen were in violation of the possession limit of one fish per person, as well as failing to clip the right pectoral fin of a striped bass 34 inches or larger in total length.

Edited by Malsow

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Fine wasn't enough...The amount they are due to pay is no more than what they would have earned from their last illegal haul sold under the radar....How about hammering them with a punishment that actually hurts them financially.

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Given that some who commercial fish in boats have been finding it tough to put fish in the boat this year, stacking has raised its ugly head and once again the Cape Cod Canal its prime target . The recent regulation that any and all fish  34 inches or over shall have one fin on non selling days came to light during this last bust when those stacking the fish for the selling day found themselves as part of the bust and were sited. It will interesting to see if they receive a fine or  given a slap on the hand . The Environmental Police have become more aware of this practice that crosses many ethnic and cultural backgrounds . For the fish and the resource  they are a little late and a dollar short in my opinion , but we shall see. Hopefully the list will be available for all to see, when the time comes The striped bass resource needs al the help it can get and in any form

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14 mins ago, Kooky said:

Do they at least lose their MA Comm fishing license?  That should be a minimum.

How??

RIDEM never let them cross state lines on way to wholesaler.....hard to prove in a court of law that those fish were going to MA …..even though the wholesaler records will show repeated sales.....RIDEM dropped the ball on this one...its a shame....but 37 and 38 counts each will hurt and the notoriety of published names

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7 mins ago, makaha said:

How??

RIDEM never let them cross state lines on way to wholesaler.....hard to prove in a court of law that those fish were going to MA …..even though the wholesaler records will show repeated sales.....RIDEM dropped the ball on this one...its a shame....but 37 and 38 counts each will hurt and the notoriety of published names

RIDEM is their own worst enemy..... They try but never seem to get it right

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5 hours ago, gray gables said:

Dirtballs, take the boat trailer and truck that tows the trailer. 

I don't live down there but it would be great if someone got their rep to propose a bill to do just that. If it happens in one state others might follow. Losing ones boat and tow vehicle would be a real deterrent, especially if it was published in the media. Anyone up for this?

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58 mins ago, ged said:

RI posts names of game offenders. I wish Ma did this. 

Would be great if they did. Print up some large photos of there faces and post them at the big fishing shows next year with the word “ poacher”  next to them. 

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1 hour ago, gray gables said:

Would be great if they did. Print up some large photos of there faces and post them at the big fishing shows next year with the word “ poacher”  next to them. 

Some guys have tables at the winter shows after they are caught

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