TWO CITED FOR ILLEGAL OYSTER HARVEST ON CLOSED SEED GROUNDS IN TERREBONNE PARISH

Release Date: 09/12/2006

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents assigned to LDWF's Oyster Strike Force cited two men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on Sept. 2.


Agents responded to complaints of illegal harvest on the closed seed grounds located in Sister Lake.  Agents spotted the vessel, Miss Joyce, as she entered the public seed ground during the early morning hours and began oyster-dredging operations.  John S. Mejia, 41, Galliano, and Felipe Vazquez Cruz, 22, Houma, were both cited for taking oysters during a closed season.  Agents seized and returned two sacks of oysters to the water. 


The penalty for unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms is a fine of up to $350, imprisonment for not more than 60 days, or both, plus courts costs.  In addition, any person convicted of any these violations, shall, for one year after the date of such conviction, only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system.  Access to the monitoring system shall be granted to LDWF.  For that year, the person convicted of these violations shall notify the department as to which vessel he will be using to harvest oysters.


Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Bryan Marie and Senior Agent Mike Garrity.


For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov or 225-765-2988.
2006-285