Massachusetts-Based Fish Company
NMFS Northeast Region
N E W SGloucester, Mass. – Federal fisheries authorities are seeking $10,000 and a 30-day suspension of rights to deal in any federally-regulated fish species from AmerAsia trade Corp., a fish company based in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The company is alleged to have illegally possessed several hundred live, undersized cod and haddock at Bar Harbor, Maine last July. Not only were the fish undersized, according to investigators, but Bar Harbor is not a legal port of entry for live fish.
Fisheries enforcement agents from NOAA Fisheries and the Maine Marine Patrol seized a truck containing the fish coming off a ferry arriving in Bar Harbor from Canada late on the evening of July 30, 1999. The truck was owned by AmerAsia Trade Corp. and allegedly contained 377 undersized live cod and 1 undersized live haddock. The minimum legal size is 19 inches. All the undersized fish were measured, then returned to the ocean.
Violations of the size limit are civil charges and the penalties are proposed by NOAA Fisheries attorneys under the federal rules governing northeastern groundfish harvest and possession. The violations are civil, not criminal matters, and are heard before an administrative law judge whose decisions can be appealed to the NOAA administrator and through the federal court system.
Any charges related to entering through a port not designated for live fish are under consideration by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorities.