By Beth David, Editor
Boaters and fishers be warned: The Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers (EPOs) have been out in force, checking boats for safety and for illegal fish.
At Hoppy’s Landing in Fairhaven, three people received verbal warnings for being 100 scup over the limit on Friday, 5/19, according to Katie Gronendyke, a spokesperson for the EP. According to those on the scene, the boat was a small charter that regularly uses Hoppy’s Landing to launch. No other information was available by press time.
In Wareham, on Sunday, 5/21, the Harbormaster’s Department was conducting safety checks at the Tempest Knob Boat Ramp when officers observed large quantities of coolers on the decks of two center console boats. Wareham officials contacted environmental police.
One of the captains dumped some fish overboard, but officials recovered the dead fish.
EPOs allege that the two boats had “hundreds of pounds of various fish illegally taken that included black sea bass, scup, tautog, bluefish, striped bass and sea robins, which were seized,” according to the Wareham Harbormaster’s Facebook page.
Charges against numerous individuals included having no recreational fishing licenses, exceeding catch limits, undersize catch and illegally disposing of fish.
Because of the “questionable storing of the fish without ice and the unknown amount of time that the fish had been stored,” the fish were taken to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay to be used for feeding animals there.
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