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MCMR Fines Recreational Fishermen for Illegal Catch

BILOXI, Miss. – During its January 2013 meeting, the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources (MCMR) voted unanimously to fine four recreational fishermen for possession of fillets and red drum caught in federal waters. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources' (MDMR) Marine Patrol issued citations to the fishermen for their illegal catch during a routine stop patrolling the Mississippi Sound under the Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) last January. MDMR recommended that MCMR impose administrative penalties against the four fishermen.

The captain of the vessel, Alexander Fogg of Pascagoula, was fined $1,000. The other three fishermen: Holland McCandless and Andrew Lamier of Ocean Springs, Miss., and Justin Goggins of Pascagoula, Miss., were each fined $1,000 with $500 to be suspended contingent on no new fishing violations being committed in any jurisdiction for two years and payment of $500.

MDMR Marine Patrol officers Patrick Webb and Rocky Southern stopped a vessel coming into the Pascagoula Ship Channel at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2012. The officers boarded the vessel to check fish size and possession limits according to Mississippi and federal laws. An inspection revealed an ice chest containing red drum, triggerfish and a white bag containing fish fillets which appeared to be red snapper. Officer Southern advised the boat’s captain that it was illegal to possess fish with heads, tails or flesh removed until final destination. Upon further questioning, Officer Southern learned that the red drum were caught in federal waters.  All fillets were returned to sea and a state citation was issued to Mr. Fogg for possession of fillets.

On Jan. 25, 2012, MDMR Marine Patrol Capt. Donald Armes discovered Internet posts on two separate fishing websites by "afogg" dated Jan. 15, 2012 stating that he and his friends had moved offshore into 60 feet of water and caught red snapper, catfish, triggerfish and a red drum. Along with the posts were various pictures of the total catch and the fishermen. It was later determined that the anglers depicted in the photographs were the individuals onboard Alexander Fogg’s boat on Jan. 15, 2012. Enforcement Action Reports were issued to each individual onboard for possession of fillets and possession of red drum in federal waters.

On Aug. 1, 2001, the MDMR entered into the JEA with the U.S. Department of Commerce NOAA to provide law enforcement of federal regulations in both state and federal waters.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.

Contact: Lauren Thompson
Phone: (228) 523-4053

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