Infography showing the results of the dismantling of the ring engaged to illegal striped bass harvest.
NOAA uncovers striped bass illegal harvesting ring
Thursday, November 08, 2018, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
A conspiracy ring that illegally harvested Atlantic striped bass (Morone saxatilis) off the coast of North Carolina. bass has been uncovered by NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement.
NOAA’s special agents found out that thirty co-conspirators were part of the illicit activity but only 12 subjects were charged and sentenced in connection to this case, which saw 52 charges in 13 indictments.
► Photo: NOAA
The 12 subjects that were prosecuted for illegally harvesting 31,306 pounds of Atlantic striped bass in 2009 and 102,296 pounds in 2010.
The annual trawl quota for North Carolina is only 160,160 pounds, which means the illegal harvesting of this species reduced the quota available to be caught by honest fishermen.
The sentencing of the 12 subjects collectively resulted in the following:
- The forfeiture of four vessels and substitute assets in the amount of USD 124,000 were collected and paid to the US Marshals Service.
- Restitution amounting to USD 1.23 million: All restitution was paid to the US Treasury.
- Probation from fisheries activities for a total of 38.5 years.
- 850 hours of community service: Seven of the 12 conspirators received community service, while three were individually sentenced to 6 months of home confinement.