Fisherman pleads not guilty to possession of lobster during closed season

vlcsnap-2013-06-04-19h35m33s213On Friday we told you about a record bust In Magistrate’s Court on Monday 78 year old fisherman Ishmael Llewellyn Moody of Belize City pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of lobster during closed season. He was represented by attorney Arthur Saldivar and appeared via summons as required by the Fisheries Act. Moody was at home on Friday, May 31, when Fisheries authorities stopped at his house at the corner of Tibruce and Heart Streets and saw him holding a large black plastic bag that looked suspicious to them. They conducted a search and found lobster in the bag, which it is an offense by anyone to possess during the closed season from February 15 to June 14. A further search revealed 19 garbage bags containing as many as 145 lobster tails each, which comes up to well over 2,000 tails, about 1,000 pounds. The fine if Moody is found guilty of the charge is $30 per tail, which comes up to $61,000, over three times the commercial value of the catch.  Fisheries Supervisor Hampton Gamboa told reporters including PLUS News on Friday that the Department is cracking down on the practice of bringing in already-caught and in some case frozen lobster to fishing cooperatives right after the opening of the season which results in low-quality product being shipped out. This catch will be shared with various beneficiaries including schools. Moody is due back in court on July 3.

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