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  #1  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:58 AM
Soundbounder Soundbounder is offline
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New Bedford fisherman forced to give up 800-pound tuna

Surprised this isn't on here yet.

New Bedford fisherman forced to give up 800-pound tuna

Boat owner Rafael, a big player in the local fishing industry, was elated when the crew of his 76-foot steel dragger Apollo told him they had unwittingly captured a giant bluefin tuna in their trawl gear while fishing offshore.

“They didn't catch that fish on the bottom,” he said. “They probably got it in the mid*water when they were setting out and it just got corralled in the net. That only happens once in a blue moon.”

Rafael, who in the last four years purchased 15 tuna permits for his groundfish boats to cover just such an eventuality, imme*diately called a bluefin tuna hot line maintained by fishery regu*lators to report the catch.

When the weather offshore deteriorated, the Apollo decided to seek shelter in Provincetown Harbor on Nov. 12. Rafael imme*diately set off in a truck to meet the boat.

“I wanted to sell the fish while it was fresh instead of letting it age on the boat,”he said.“It was a beautiful fish.”

It was also a lucrative one. Highly prized in Japan, a 754*pound specimen fetched a record price at a Tokyo auction in January this year, selling for nearly $396,000. These fish can grow to enormous size. The world record for a bluefin, which has stood since 1979, was set when a 1,496-pound specimen was caught off Nova Scotia.

However, when Rafael rolled down the dock in Provincetown there was an unexpected and unwelcome development. The authorities were waiting. Agents from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement informed him they were confis*cating his fish — all 881 pounds of it.

Even though the catch had been declared and the boat had a tuna permit, the rules do not allow fishermen to catch bluefin tuna in a net.

“They said it had to be caught with rod and reel,” a frustrated Rafael said.“We didn't try to hide anything. We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn't catch it with a net.”


Cape Cod Times:
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pb...NEWS/111129971
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2011, 10:00 AM
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Video of owner on Fox & Friends this morning

http://boatinglocal.com/fishing/new-...ound-tuna.html


Sorry, but I'm not buying the claim that he didn't know BFT caught in nets were illegal
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2011, 10:37 AM
riptide riptide is offline
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The guy ownes 40 LARGE Commercial boats, he's HUGE on the NB waterfront. They were rushing to get the illegal fish off the boat!
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2011, 07:31 PM
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In a way you can feel sympatric for the boat owner about the tuna issue. He has a ground swell of grass roots support including having the tuna permits.

On the other hand a few of his boats recently were discovered with hidden compartments complete with refrigeration units by the Coast Guard south of Block Island, scalloping. Tell me the owner didn’t know about this elaborate set-up.

It’s a double edge sword he’s playing with.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2011, 08:32 PM
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He did not have a permit for draggin up a tuna as there is no such permit. The guy is a dope. 40 boats and he did not know the regs? There's nothing more to the story than that.He was too stupid or too greedy to pass it off to a properly-permitted vessel. Do not fall for the every man angle on this-he's full of shyt...

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  #6  
Old 11-22-2011, 08:51 PM
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rules is rules
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2011, 05:28 AM
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NOAA Comments on Carlos Rafael's Tuna Seizure


NOAA Law Enforcement provided Saving Seafood with the following comment and explanation of its enforcement actions in the case of the 881 pound bluefin tuna caught by a vessel owned by Carlos Rafael of New Bedford. The story was first reported yesterday and has since "gone vira;" receiving national attention from media outlets coast-to-coast and and in Canada, as well as hundreds of web sites around the world.


The tuna was seized under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act. Under that Act, it is unlawful for any person or vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction to fish for, catch, retain or possess a bluefin tuna with gear not authorized by the vessel's category permit. In fact, it's even unlawful to have a bluefin tuna in possession if the vessel has a permit but also has gear not authorized by that permit on board.

This vessel has a general category permit for bluefin tuna. Under the general category regulations, bluefin tuna must be caught with rod and reel (including downriggers), handline, harpoon, bandit gear or green-stick.

This particular tuna was caught in a trawl net. There is no permit that allows bluefin tuna to be caught with trawl net.

Bluefin tuna is a highly regulated, highly competitive fishery, and the U.S. bluefin tuna quota is allocated fully to those fishing categories based on traditional gear types, which does not include trawl nets. Bluefin tuna are overfished, and there is insufficient quota to allow for incidental landings by all gears that have the potential to catch bluefin tuna on occasion. Furthermore, given the high value of individual bluefin tuna, regulations are strictly enforced to ensure equitable fishing opportunities amongst the many user categories Atlantic Coast-wide.

The tuna was seized by NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement and was sold. While the amount is unknown at this time, the proceeds will go into a suspense account pending forfeiture proceedings or abandonment of the fish by all interested parties. Abandonment is a voluntary process whereby an individual voluntarily abandons his title and interest in the property, whereas forfeiture is a legal action in U.S. District Court whereby the U.S. Government seeks forfeiture of the seized property.

In this case, the owner already has signed an abandonment form, and a written warning has been issued to the corporation that owns the vessel. Those who receive written warnings may choose to contest those warnings.

For more information, here is a link to the Highly Migratory Species Bluefin Tuna Guide:
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/Com...uide/index.htm
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:00 AM
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I remember that story. How do you know it was the same company?
That's really interesting
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:41 AM
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If it was an incidental catch what should have done with the Tuna... throw it over the side? That doesn't seem sensible from a business or conservation perspective. The whole bycatch issue appears to be a management nightmare.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:37 AM
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Coast Guard finds hidden compartment on New Bedford scalloper


NEW BEDFORD — Coast Guard inspectors found an insulated, lit and drained secret compartment earlier this month on the 94-foot scalloper Vila Nova Do Corvo II belonging to Carlos Raphael, who runs the largest fleet of fishing boats in the city.

According to Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Hamel, an enforcement officer for the 1st Coast Guard District, the compartment was empty and large enough for a man to easily enter. It was discovered by removing a panel in the forward bulkhead of the crew head as the four-man inspection team surveyed the boat for unaccounted-for space.


http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/...NEWS/108190307
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2011, 10:28 AM
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He was also busted earlier this month:

Coast Guard finds hidden hold in fishing leader's boat

For the second time in three months, the U.S. Coast Guard has charged the captain of a fishing boat in the fleet of Carlos Raphael, an influential New Bedford businessman and New England industry leader, with operating while having a hidden compartment on board.

An admiral estimated the discovery meant the boat could have illegally generated $3 million this year from a hidden harvest of scallops — the No. 1 cash crop in U.S. fisheries, and the hallmark that has made New Bedford the nation's port of highest valued landings.

Raphael owns New Bedford's largest fleet, estimated at more than two dozen active groundfish and scallop boats. He also serves as a board member of the Gloucester-based Northeast Seafood Coalition.

The Coast Guard announced that the 67-foot F/V Dinah Jane, which is owned by a corporation controlled by Raphael, was boarded Friday near Block Island, R.I. by a team from the cutter Bainbridge Island while fishing for scallops.

The captain, who was not identified, and the vessel were charged with "having a hidden compartment" and "impeding a Coast Guard boarding," said the release by First District (Boston) Public Affairs.

Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, commander of the Coast Guard's First District out of Boston, said in the statement that the hidden compartment was estimated to be capable of concealing up to 2,750 pounds of scallops, "which over the course of limited access individual fishing quota trips this year, could have concealed an additional 300,000 pounds of fresh scallops, with commensurate market value of $3 million."


http://www.gloucestertimes.com/local...ers-boat/print
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:16 AM
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Cheaters are cheaters.

What does it take for this guy to lose his right to work in the fishing industry?
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2011, 02:15 PM
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Somehow I knew there were other shoes to drop in this case...

CMP, Happy Thanksgiving all
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2011, 11:29 AM
z-drive z-drive is offline
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for now on all he needs to do is keep a rod/reel on the boat with a few assorted tackle items...problem solved
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:40 AM
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Z, I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that boats required to have VMS on-board can only have that gear specified on its permit with them, so it won't work. Bottom line is that this dope is a bad actor and with him having been caught with illegal things on his boats as recently as this year and had violations, one can safely make the leap that he knew damm well what the regs were...

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