Big Biscuit

Rhode Island DEM Bust Spear Fishermen

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(From the RI DEM) This morning while patrolling state waters on the Southeast of Block Island, Environmental Police Officers from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement boarded a recreational fishing vessel with a group of people spear fishing. During the inspection officers discovered the group to be in possession of undersized striped bass, some of which had already been filleted and several tautog, which is out of season at this time. The owner / operator of the vessel was cited for the following violations and their fishing gear was seized:
•Possession of undersized striped bass
•Exceeding the daily limit of striped bass
•Possession of undersized tautog
•Possession of tautog out of season
•Failure to produce a Saltwater fishing license
•Failure to display a proper dive flag

Help us protect what is yours, report violations to our 24 hour dispatch center at (401) 222-3070

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4 hours ago, sandworm said:

Need to confiscate the vessel plus citation and if they brake the law again cancel there license for life.

Canceling their license for life is pointless. It appears they didn't have licenses to begin with, so not being able to have a license won't ever stop them. People like this need jail time.

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6 hours ago, chitala383 said:

Canceling their license for life is pointless. It appears they didn't have licenses to begin with, so not being able to have a license won't ever stop them. People like this need jail time.

Taking away there ride and boat and hold them  for 30 days before there court date adds up  and cancel there license plus not be able to fish any where on the state they live at.  I know someone that this happened to that was busted with 17 salmon in there car and continued to fish  and lost her fishing privilege in the whole state or prison time.

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1 hour ago, westhavendave said:

That "sport" should be banned in RI as it is in other states. 


Why is spearfishing any worse than regular fishing? And what states have outright banned spearfishing? If your goal is to put a few fish on the table, it's much more sustainable than rod and reel fishing. And don't act like it's any less difficult than rod and reel fishing, freediving is difficult on it's own, hunting while doing so just adds another degree of difficulty.

 

This is coming from a rod and reel fisherman that occasionally throws in a spear fishing trip. A poacher is a poacher no matter how they catch their fish. 

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9 hours ago, C.Robin said:


Why is spearfishing any worse than regular fishing? And what states have outright banned spearfishing? If your goal is to put a few fish on the table, it's much more sustainable than rod and reel fishing. And don't act like it's any less difficult than rod and reel fishing, freediving is difficult on it's own, hunting while doing so just adds another degree of difficulty.

 

This is coming from a rod and reel fisherman that occasionally throws in a spear fishing trip. A poacher is a poacher no matter how they catch their fish. 

I think the slot limit justifies taking another look at spearfishing.

 

One of the big arguments against allowing commercial fishermen to spearfish for bass in New York always was that spearfishermen would have difficulty staying within the (then) 10-inch or (now) 12-inch slot, while recreational spearfishermen could just hedge by taking larger fish that they knew were over 28 inches.  Now that recreational spearfishermen need to stay within a narrow 7-inch slot, it may be time to reassess whether it should be allowed.

 

Curious whether the boat busted in Rhode Island is related to the folks who had a big spearfishing bass violation off Montauk a few years ago (I understand that the boat boarded off Rhode Island came from Montauk).

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9 hours ago, C.Robin said:


Why is spearfishing any worse than regular fishing? And what states have outright banned spearfishing? If your goal is to put a few fish on the table, it's much more sustainable than rod and reel fishing. And don't act like it's any less difficult than rod and reel fishing, freediving is difficult on it's own, hunting while doing so just adds another degree of difficulty.

 

This is coming from a rod and reel fisherman that occasionally throws in a spear fishing trip. A poacher is a poacher no matter how they catch their fish. 

No release for a spear fisherman. Surfcasters at least have that option. Also not all spearfishermen are free divers. 

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1 hour ago, CWitek said:

I think the slot limit justifies taking another look at spearfishing.

 

One of the big arguments against allowing commercial fishermen to spearfish for bass in New York always was that spearfishermen would have difficulty staying within the (then) 10-inch or (now) 12-inch slot, while recreational spearfishermen could just hedge by taking larger fish that they knew were over 28 inches.  Now that recreational spearfishermen need to stay within a narrow 7-inch slot, it may be time to reassess whether it should be allowed.

 

Curious whether the boat busted in Rhode Island is related to the folks who had a big spearfishing bass violation off Montauk a few years ago (I understand that the boat boarded off Rhode Island came from Montauk).

 

50 mins ago, westhavendave said:

No release for a spear fisherman. Surfcasters at least have that option. Also not all spearfishermen are free divers. 

I agree that slot limits make striped bass not a great target for spear fisherman. However, if you're going to keep a bass anyway, it seems much more sustainable to shoot one, then to have to release x amount and have ~.10(x) die. Not to mention most rod and reel fisherman aren't going to quit on a hot bass bite just because they got their limit.

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Spear-fishermen require a kill to consider their outing "successful".    A rod and reel angler can catch a fish and release it to have a successful day. 

     I have have had a spear guy exiting the water with all sorts of species on him, and he asks 

 me if I want fish, because he 'doesn't eat fish"  

 

   That's the difference.   

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16 hours ago, Pistol Pete said:

Spear-fishermen require a kill to consider their outing "successful".    A rod and reel angler can catch a fish and release it to have a successful day. 

     I have have had a spear guy exiting the water with all sorts of species on him, and he asks 

 me if I want fish, because he 'doesn't eat fish"  

 

   That's the difference.   


 

You encountered a moron. Let's not pretend there aren't countless morons on the rod and reel side of things either.

 

A spearfisherman shooting their one bass limit has much less impact than a guy catching and releasing dozens of schoolies. A spearfisherman shooting a few sea bass for dinner doesn't have to leave numerous  fish with jaw injuries or barotrauma for a meal.

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I was simply illustrating how spearfishing is different than rod and reel.... not defending the rod and reel morons that exist. 

 

   Rod and reel has the OPTION for release.... spearing a fish does not. 

  Spear guys need to kill a fish to have a "good day" .... a kill must be made to 

   enjoy the hobby of spearfishing. 

     Rod and reel has the RELEASE option. 

  

    thats all Im saying.   Read it 2x

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We can all go crazy trying to think of adequate penalties for these guys. Somehow jail time does not seem appropriate, as it’s not a violent crime against another human. Confiscating their gear does seem right , plus hold their boat for a month or 2 until they appear before a judge, would certainly put a dent in their season. But that may not work because they may not have a place to hold the boat and if it was damaged the state could be liable unless the laws were such that the state would be held not liable when holding gear in response to a court ordered penalty. But if they

 

1 had undersized or out of slot fish

2 exceeded the legal limit of fish

3 had species that were outta season at the time

4 did not have fishing licenses

 

seems some big fines are in order. 

 

Good job job on the enforcement guys catching them. Let’s hope the judge is a fisherman!

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