Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited four men in Vermilion Parish for oyster violations within four days during the month of February.
On Feb. 19, Jluz Rodriguez Cervantes, 34, and Jose Miguel Rodriguez-Flores, 29, both from Houma were cited for allegedly violating sanitation regulations. The two had harvested oysters the previous day and kept the oysters onboard one of the vessels overnight. Flores did not tag his oysters before transferring them onto the other vessel. Cervantes had not tagged his oysters from the previous day and did not fill out his harvester's logbook correctly. Agents seized and returned 208 sacks of oysters to the water.
On Feb. 22, Jody Anthony Hebert, 35, of Abbeville was cited for allegedly possessing over 10 percent of untagged oysters. These oysters were located at his local restaurant and were intended for raw consumption. Five sacks of oysters were seized and returned to the water.
Agents also cited John William Parker Jr., 55, of New Iberia for allegedly possessing over 10 percent of untagged and improperly tagged oysters and for failing to maintain traceable oyster records. The oysters were located at a shucking facility near Abbeville. There were 200 sacks of oysters that were tagged with the wrong date, 21 sacks of oysters that were mixed from different harvest locations and four sacks that were found to be untagged. All 225 sacks of oysters were seized and returned to the water.
The penalty for violating the sanitation code is $25, or up to 10 days in jail or both. The penalties for possessing over 10 percent of untagged or improperly tagged oysters and for failing to maintain traceable oyster records are fines of $250 to $500, or jail time up to 90 days, or both plus court costs.
Agents participating in the cases were Senior Agents Justin Sonnier, Lonnie Campbell, Gene Viator, Jason Dreher and Ladd Turner.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.