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Three convicted of illegal spear fishing get big fine, prison time PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 August 2011 10:19

A Turks and Caicos Islander will have to pay a $4,000 fine or spend a year in jail for a host of illegal fishing charges, and two Haitian men caught with him will go to jail and then be deported.

A joint surveillance operation between the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and Marine Police caught three men fishing in a small boat Aug. 2 on the Caicos Bank, according to DECR.

Officers searched the boat and found bleach, a spear gun and a cooler full of grouper and snapper, some of which had been speared. None of the men had valid fishing licenses.

Islander Pressely Young Hall and Haitians Louis Jean Petit Frere and Renan Auguste were found guilty Aug. 9 of possession of a spear gun, use of an unlicensed vessel in fishing, possession of noxious substance namely bleach for fishing, taking marine product without a license, and taking marine products by use of a spear gun.

Hall must pay a fine of $4,000 or spend 12 months in prison. Both Frere and Auguste were sentenced to six months in prison followed by deportation.

Frere was previously convicted in 2009 by the DECR for taking marine products within the national park and was fined $2,500 or six months in prison.

Auguste was previously charged by the DECR in 2007 and 2008 for possession of illegal marine products, possession of noxious substance and possession of spear gun.

“This is another success story from the collaborative efforts between the DECR and the Marine Police in joint enforcement operations,” said DECR Director Wesley Clerveaux.

“I am very satisfied with the sentencing, and I believe that this will give a strong message that with the fisheries resources dwindling, the government is serious about protecting the resource, and offenders would be prosecuted swiftly and punitive action will be taken by the courts.”

 

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