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Aug 11, 2009 6:38 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk party boats busted for keeping illegal fish

Aug 11, 2009 6:38 PM

The crews of two Montauk party boats and several of their customers were issued dozens of summonses this week after undercover agents from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said they witnessed the crews allowing customers to keep illegally caught fish and advising them to conceal the evidence.

The agents issued a total of 53 summonses—26 to the captain, crew and customers of the Miss Montauk and 27 to the captain, crew and customers of the Marlin VI Princess. The DEC is not releasing the names of any of the individuals who were issued summonses because the charges against them amount only to violations, not misdemeanors.

According to the DEC two undercover officers were placed aboard each boat on Sunday, August 9, posing as paying customers. While aboard the boat they reported that they saw customers keeping and killing fluke that did not meet the 21-inch minimum size limit in New York State. Several customers filleted 
the fish and ate some of the meat raw while aboard the boat and then disposed of the carcasses, with the crew’s knowledge, the DEC said.

The officers also witnessed some customers keeping more than their daily limit of two fluke per person, the DEC said. At the advice of crew members on both boats, the DEC said in an release this week, the illegal fish were filleted, their carcasses disposed of and the meat concealed by the customers before the boat reached shore.

More than 60 illegally caught fish were seized by DEC agents when the boats reached shore. Both captains and their mates were issued summonses for permitting violations to occur and for failing to accurately report the number of fish their boat landed that day as required by the state.

Each summons issued carried a penalty of up to $250.

According to the DEC the undercover operation was set up after the DEC received complaints that customers aboard the two boats were filleting and eating illegal fish on the boat. The Marlin VI Princess and Miss Montauk are party boats that carry up to 150 passengers on a pay-per-person basis.

michael wright

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Why doesn't the DEC go after the big fish?
By Scratch (26), Sag Harbor on Aug 12, 09 12:02 AM
good. don't do the crime if you can't do the time. go after the netters and draggers next.
By fishy (92), East Hampton on Aug 12, 09 11:47 AM