Federal Government Seizes $0.4 Million Fish – Fisherman Had Wrong Fishing Permit

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Federal Government Seizes $0.4 Million Fish – Fisherman Had Wrong Fishing Permit

Carlos Rafael and 881-pound tunaThe enforcement division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) seized an 881 pound because they said that Carlos Rafael did not catch the fish in a way allowed by the registered permit.

The tuna must be caught by rod and wheel, not by a net. Rafael and his crew were using nets to catch bottom-dwellers when they caught the giant tuna. Rafael stated, “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.” He has purchased 15 tuna permits over the past four years. He even immediately called a “bluefin tuna hot line” to report his catch. “I wanted to sell the fish while it was fresh instead of letting it age on the boat.”

In January 2011, a 342 kg (754 lb) bluefin tuna was sold at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo for a record 32.49 million Yen (US$396,000). This would value this rare tuna at approximately $460,000.

Who was right?

Did Carlos Rafael break the law? Or did the US Government leverage its power to profit from the labor of another man?

Was Carlos Rafael arrested for a crime?

The 881-pound bluefin tuna was said to be sold on consignment overseas and the proceeds from the sale of the fish will be held in an account pending final resolution of the case.

“The matter is still under investigation. If it’s determined that there has been a violation, the money will go into the asset forfeiture fund.” – Monica Allen, Deputy Director with NOAA Fisheries.

No charges have been filed yet, but Rafael will likely get a warning, according to reports.

“What are we supposed to do?” Rafael asked. “They said they were going to give me a warning,” Rafael said. “I think I’m going to surrender all my tuna permits now. What good are they if I can’t catch them?”

Sources:
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-catches-881-pound-tuna-seized-feds-194650751.html
http://www.batangastoday.com/881-pound-tuna-snared-by-carlos-rafaels-crew-confiscated-by-authorities/18729/

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