NMFS & DEC at it again!

flybridge

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State and federal fisheries enforcement agents raided the homes and boats of at least two Long Island commercial fishermen Tuesday, confiscating documents and computer files as part of an ongoing probe, officials and the fishermen said.

Anthony Joseph, a fisherman who operates the Stirs One from Point Lookout, said law enforcement agents raided his Levittown home at 8:30 a.m., brandishing separate search warrants for his home and boat. They spent hours sifting through documents and computer files but declined to say why they were there, he said.

Joseph, who has fished commercially for 21 years, said agents identified themselves from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

"They went through my kid's bedroom and my shed -- every inch of the house," said Joseph, who last week led a contingent of fishermen from Point Lookout to a fishermen's rally in Washington, D.C. "They won't give me a clue what it's about."

A separate crew of agents conducted a raid of his boat, he said.

Agents also raided the Freeport home of another longtime commercial fisherman as he was leaving home for chemotherapy treatments Tuesday morning, according to the fisherman, who asked that his name not be used. He said agents scoured his home, including his attic where he kept 20 boxes of his deceased wife's antiques in crates marked "fish."

They videotaped his entire house, he said, and looked everywhere, including a spice cabinet, for documents.

"I was sitting on the couch and they made me get up and they looked under the couch," said the fisherman, 72, in treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, declined to comment on the nature of the raids.

"It's an ongoing investigation. We don't comment on ongoing matters," he said.

The DEC declined to comment.

Neither fisherman has been charged with any wrongdoing.

One said he was told by an agent the raid was related to the federal research set-aside program, in which fishermen can buy the right to catch regulated fish beyond their local quotas.

The raids follow a year in which federal investigators found fisheries agents used heavy-handed tactics in policing offshore fisheries and dealers, and misappropriated a forfeiture fund to buy excess cars, luxury boats and world travel. After the probe, some New York fishermen and wholesalers received reduced fines and settlements from the government.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declined to comment on Tuesday's raids, referring questions to Hornbuckle.
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/f...rmen-1.3626823
 

El Mar

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Pedlyr

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I remember a dragger from Long Island years ago called the Stirs 1..........Screw The IRS. Everyone knew the moniker.
 

El Mar

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Bassin

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Shit if these guys raided my house Id be screwed :eek:
 

El Mar

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MDI45

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Brian,yes you buy quota from the DEC...and then you can fish..just another sceem for then to make money....then they look to give fines out on top of it
 

31jcptown

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RSA IS A JOKE


IF I understand the process it to protect the fish that are in trouble However if you pay the Government you can fish for them. Since when does the Government own the FISH and why is it ok to target them if you pay X amount of dollars. ITs A F%^King Joke and then you wonder why so many people go out and do what they want... Just my 2cent RANT........
 

reelrampage35

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Rsa

RSA is just a way to separate all of the commercials, recreationals and party boats. In the end big corporate entities will own all the rights to fish and all of us will be pay them to fish. What a JOKE is RIGHT!!!!!!
 

CaptainJP

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I hate the RSA program, but actually none of the money goes to government, it goes to fund independant research done through rutgers university, but none the less, paying for fish is a bad precedent to set. Supposedly they are trying to eliminate the program on the whole.
 

Bassin

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Don't know if this is the same idea... but in Ma you need a salt water permit to fish and in order for me to fish for stripers before the commercial season I need to buy this permit too. I mean its only like 15 bucks I think, but im already playing 190 in total for my boat permit... kinda bs in my opinion.
 

CaptainJP

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The prices are exhorbatant, BSB was more than double that. All I can say is do the math.
 
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MDI45

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Capt J P,I know what your saying......With the lack of enforcement ..its tuff to keep things in line
 

Jackson

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I just wish fisherman would band together and NOT BUY RSA. Instead you get businesses that are eager to buy for a competitive edge. It is BS and does further segregate fisherman.
 

CaptainJP

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The RSA program in the for hire industry is just a bad idea, I don't like the program in general, but it has served some purpose in the commercial industry. Some commercial boats wouldn't be able to keep fishing without the RSA program, but definitely not a long term solution, kind of a band aid on a gun shot wound. In either case paying for fish is a bad thing, more than one government official has said "why don't we just sell them all of the fish they catch", pretty scary.
It would be great if you could organize fisherman into a strong, single minded group, but I don't see that happening. Fisherman in general are a very independant lot who don't want to be told what to do by another boat owner and especially the government.

I think in the for hire area the program will end itself, with better regs there is no need for the program. Just look at this years auction, with better fluke and scup regs the only fish the for hire industry bought much of was black sea bass, and when the scientists get there heads out of their asses and open the regs on that healthy, underharvested stock as well, then the for hire RSA program may just kill itself.
 
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