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Soundbounder



Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:38 am    Post subject: New Bedford fisherman forced to give up 800-pound tuna Reply with quote

Boat owner Rafael, a big player in the local fishing industry, was elated when the crew of his 76-foot steel dragger Apollo told him they had unwittingly captured a giant bluefin tuna in their trawl gear while fishing offshore.

“They didn't catch that fish on the bottom,” he said. “They probably got it in the mid­water when they were setting out and it just got corralled in the net. That only happens once in a blue moon.”

Rafael, who in the last four years purchased 15 tuna permits for his groundfish boats to cover just such an eventuality, imme­diately called a bluefin tuna hot line maintained by fishery regu­lators to report the catch.

When the weather offshore deteriorated, the Apollo decided to seek shelter in Provincetown Harbor on Nov. 12. Rafael imme­diately set off in a truck to meet the boat.

“I wanted to sell the fish while it was fresh instead of letting it age on the boat,”he said.“It was a beautiful fish.”

It was also a lucrative one. Highly prized in Japan, a 754­pound specimen fetched a record price at a Tokyo auction in January this year, selling for nearly $396,000. These fish can grow to enormous size. The world record for a bluefin, which has stood since 1979, was set when a 1,496-pound specimen was caught off Nova Scotia.

However, when Rafael rolled down the dock in Provincetown there was an unexpected and unwelcome development. The authorities were waiting. Agents from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement informed him they were confis­cating his fish — all 881 pounds of it.

Even though the catch had been declared and the boat had a tuna permit, the rules do not allow fishermen to catch bluefin tuna in a net.

“They said it had to be caught with rod and reel,” a frustrated Rafael said.“We didn't try to hide anything. We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn't catch it with a net.”

In any case, after being towed for more than two hours in the net, the fish was already dead when the Apollo hauled back its gear, he said.

“What are we supposed to do?” he asked. “They said they were going to give me a warn­ing,” Rafael said. “I think I'm going to surrender all my tuna permits now. What good are they if I can't catch them?”

No charges have yet been filed in connection with the catch, but a written warning is anticipated, according to Chris­tine Patrick, a public affairs specialist with NOAA who said the fish has been forfeited and will be sold on consignment overseas. Proceeds from the sale of the fish will be held in an account pending final reso­lution of the case, NOAA said. No information on the value of the fish was available Friday.

“The matter is still under investigation,”said Monica Allen, deputy director with NOAA Fisheries public affairs. “If it's determined that there has been a violation, the money will go into the asset forfeiture fund.”

“I think I'm going to sur­render all my tuna permits now. What good are they if I can't catch them?”


Cap Cod Times
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111121/NEWS/111129971
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SeaDog1



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 2628

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!

Here's a good example of regulations being over interpreted.
And in my opinion, some over zealous fisheries officials pushing their authority around.

That tuna was an inadvertant and lucky catch.
Since the man did have tuna permits (played by the rules) and this was not a deliberate intended catch, then he should be allowed to keep and reap the reward of such a catch.

Money -> All boils down to Money!

SeaDog1
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SAP284



Joined: 07 Jun 2011
Posts: 654
Location: Central, CT

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read this last night. So upsetting, I feel bad for the guy. I understand there are rules and regulations but c'mon...
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Steve
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fishfinder



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 1669
Location: Naugatuck, Ct.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel bad for the guy but.... if you are commercial fishing Im sure the rules or laws are more clear about net vrs pole for fish. Heck they are pretty clear for us as far as what can and cant be caught and when we need to file a barb off or not.
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Megaman



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 83
Location: Central CT

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:16 am    Post subject: TUNA... Reply with quote

So what happened to the $400,000 tuna?? Did it go to waste? Or did the Feds confiscate it, freeze it, and bring it to Commrade Obama so he and Michele can have it with French fries?? I hope it didnt just go to waste...This guy needs to 1.get the tuna in a freezer 2.Hire a lawyer ASAP....
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Soundbounder



Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So what happened to the $400,000 tuna?? Did it go to waste?


The boat hadn't properly iced it, bled it etc. They arent set up for a fish that size. Plus it was pretty banged up from being dragged in the net.

It sold for around $5000
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Soundbounder



Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busted twice this year for installing hidden compartments on his boats

Fisherman Forced to Give Up Tuna has History of Violations

http://boatinglocal.com/news/fisherman-forced-to-give-up-tuna-has-history-of-violations.html
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