Harbormaster charges fishermen after alleged illegal catch

May 22, 2017
Courtesy of: Wareham Harbormaster Department Wareham Harbormaster officials inspect coolers filled with fish that were allegedly taken illegal from Buzzards Bay on May 21.

One person has been arrested and several others are facing criminal charges after Wareham Harbormaster officials say they caught them on Sunday, May 21, with hundreds of pounds of illegally caught fish near the Tempest Knob boat ramp.

Black sea bass, scup, tautog, blue fish, striped bass and sea robins were among the species seized from coolers aboard two vessels. At approximately 3 p.m., harbormaster officials noticed several coolers aboard the boats while performing safety inspections and then notified Massachusetts Environmental Police to assist with the investigation.

Once Environmental Police were on the scene, the vessels were removed from the water, but not before one of the boat's captains was seen discretely dumping some of the fish overboard, according to harbormaster officials.

Officials said officers stopped the captain from disposing of more and recovered a majority of the fish dumped overboard.

Those involved have been charged with fishing without a recreational license, exceeding catch limits, undersize catch and illegally disposing of fish. One vehicle, trailer and a boat were towed from the scene.

Because the fish were not properly stored harbormaster officials said they could not be used for human consumption due to health risks. Instead, the fish will be sent to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay.

“The fish will be used to help feed the numerous animals that are in their rehabilitation facility!” according to a post on the Harbormaster Department’s Facebook page. “While this was an irresponsible waste of fish they will go to good use.”

The incident remains under investigation. Harbormaster officials extended thanks to the officers of the Wareham Police Department for their assistance.

Comments (10)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 22, 2017 10:46

Great Job Gary!  Thanks.  What a sad greedy shame!  This happened last year about this time.  What is wrong with people?

Posted by: sadie | May 22, 2017 12:56

If possible I think the names of these criminals should be published, names and address so we know if we live next to any of these bums

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 22, 2017 13:46

So glad they caught these thugs.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 22, 2017 13:47

Sadie, My guess is New Bedford

Posted by: Spherebreaker | May 23, 2017 06:38

Another guess is the taking of small and extra fish is not the only thing illegal here. There are hundreds of small boats that are out there everyday working in the shadow economy where nothing is reported. No catches, no taxes collected , no immigration status. At the same time there are millions of actual citizens unemployed. If this is one of those operations i hope the authorities keep and sell the truck, boat and equipment.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | May 23, 2017 07:08

Sphere, never mind selling the boat and trucks keep them and use them instead of using Taxpayers money for new ones. Names ??? Who are these guys ? Why are their names being withheld?

Posted by: Cross Currents | May 23, 2017 07:32

With all the honest boaters on the water  we can be vigilant watc dogs and call in suspicious activity whether it is fishing or all the shell fishermen digging without a visible liscence. We have a beautiful coastline and are priveledged to be here. Our Harbormaster team is professional , well trained and as law enforcement officers puts their personal safety on the line every day.

Posted by: Uptohere | May 23, 2017 12:21

Post their names. They are no different then any other guy breaking the law.

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | May 23, 2017 18:50

Cross Currents , or the jet skiers that get ripped on booze and then jump on their skis  and hit the water

Posted by: desertsky | May 24, 2017 09:04

Guys like this just make it harder for the good guys following the guidelines legally. If charges are actually filed the names should be published. As UPTOHERE says, they're no different than the other losers who think our laws don't apply to them. Typical.

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