13 fisherman charged with illegally harvesting & selling Atlantic striped bass
Posted January 21, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Thirteen commercial fishermen in North Carolina and Georgia were indicted in federal court in Raleigh on Wednesday for illegally harvesting, selling and falsely reporting approximately 90,000 pounds of Atlantic striped bass – valued at approximately $1.1 million – from federal waters off the North Carolina coast in 2009 and 2010, federal officials said.
“The illegal poaching of striped bass by commercial fishermen can have a huge collective impact on the fish resource and has the potential to devastate the future livelihoods of law abiding commercial fishermen,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the U.S. Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement. “The vast majority of fishermen do respect the law and carefully monitor their harvest to ensure they stay within the well-researched limits.”
Under federal law, Atlantic striped bass may not be harvested from or possessed in federal waters. The ban has existed since 1990 due to drastic declines of the stock that occurred in the 1970s, federal officials said.
The following fishermen, who federal officials said are only licensed to fish for striped bass in state waters, are:
- Gaston Saunders Jr. of Wanchese
- Bryan Daniels of Belhaven
- Ellis Leon Gibbs Jr. of Engelhard
- David Saunders of Poplar Branch
- Michael Potter of Bayboro
- Steven Daniels of Wanchese
- James R. Craddock of Manns Harbor
- James K. Lewis of Gloucester
- Joseph H. Williams of Brunswick, Ga.
- Dewey W. Lewis, Jr. of Newport
- Dwayne J. Hopkins of Belhaven
- Ronald W. Berry of Kill Devil Hills
- John F. Roberts of Engelhard