Fisheries Department confiscate illegal lobster

The Fisheries Department today made a sizable bust of illegal lobster as part of a series of operations conducted during the currently closed lobster season from February 15 – June 14. Here is supervisor Hampton Gamboa with details.

Hampton Gamboa – Supervisor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-20h10m48s227We have in our estimation roughly over 25 hundred individual lobster tails here.  With the assistance of the general public, we gathered some information late yesterday, and we embarked on a couple of establishments, of course this is one of them.  As a result we came up with this bust.

It is the largest recent bust in memory and the finance involved is staggering, as Hampton Gamboa tells us.

Hampton Gamboa – Supervisor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-20h10m59s81A rough estimation would be somewhere about a thousand to thirteen hundred pounds, in our estimation.  We have 19 large black garbage bags, [containing] on average about 140 to 145 tails.   So in our estimation it would be round about 25 hundred tails.
If it’s roughly 12 hundred pounds, and first payment at the cooperative is usually right about 15 hundred dollars.  So looking at that, an estimation figure of a thousand pounds will give you round about 20 thousand dollars at the coop, in rough estimation.  Street value right now will be, well of course we’re in the closed season, guys are buying these things for round about ten dollars a pound. So street value will probably be about 12 thousand dollars.

Hampton Gamboa also charged that certain restaurants and individuals have been caught stockpiling lobsters, particularly the larger ones, for sale to the local cooperatives for big money during the closed season. Some fishermen, he said, even wait for the closed season to go fish in defiance of the regulations. But the Department is watching and Mr Gamboa says someone is already in custody.

Hampton Gamboa – Supervisor:
vlcsnap-2013-05-31-20h11m14s219We have someone in custody as such right now.  As soon as we finalize with all individuals who count these products, because for us that’s the most tedious part as you can see here. We have to tally all of these and ensure that we can count them individually, in the presence of the person who we found at the establishment.

At the close of the case, says Mr Gamboa, the Department will distribute the catch at the orders of the Magistrate or Fisheries Administrator to its many benefit agencies.

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