Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You Kill Three Tons and What Do You Get?

Away with it. - Maryland DNR seizes net with 3 tons of illegally caught striped bass.
KENT ISLAND, Md. (AP)- Three tons of rockfish trapped in an illegal, 900-yard net have been seized, authorities said Tuesday.

The seizure, one of the largest ever for the Natural Resources Police, required authorities to bring in an icebreaker to carry the load.

NRP spokesman Sgt. Art Windemuth said an officer discovered a 900-yard anchored gill net off Bloody Point Monday night. Police staked out the net all night, hoping to catch the poachers. When none showed up Tuesday morning, officers started pulling the net up to reduce impact on the fishery.
The season is currently closed (it will open again tomorrow).  Moreover, by law gill nets must not be anchored, but rather drifting, and fishermen must be minding the net.  Commercial fisherman are allowed 300 lbs per licensee per day, and only four licenses are allowed on a boat.  So, there was a whole lot of illegal going on here...

CCA Md has a slide show showing the haul on the deck of the states boat.

UPDATE!: More illegal nets have been found, upping the kill to approximately 10 tons.

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