COMPLAINT LEADS AGENTS TO ILLEGAL HARVEST NEAR HALF MOON ISLAND

Release Date: 04/07/2008

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 St. Bernard Parish on Tuesday, April 1.


Agents responded to complaints of illegal oyster harvesting on the unapproved (polluted) area located near Half Moon Island.  During the early morning hours, agents spotted the vessel, Strictly Business, being used to harvest oysters in the polluted area.  Robert L. Campo, 39, and Claude Norton, 42, both from St. Bernard, were cited for taking oysters from an unapproved area.  Agents seized and returned two sacks of oysters to the water.


The penalty for unlawfully taking oysters from an unapproved area is a fine between $450 and $750, imprisonment for not more than 120 days, or both, plus courts costs.


In addition, the oyster harvester's license or licenses under which the violation occurred will be revoked for the period for which it or they were issued.  For the first offense, the license or licenses shall not be reinstated for one year.  For the second and subsequent offenses, the license or licenses shall not be reinstated for three years.


Any person convicted of any these violations can only harvest oysters from a vessel that employs a vessel monitoring system for one year.  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 Capt. Stephen McManus at 504-280-1574 or smcmanus@wlf.louisiana.gov.


2008-103