NOAA SETS ASSESSMENT ON 909 RED SNAPPER CASE

Release Date: 07/03/2008

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States Department of Commerce, General Council for Enforcement and Litigation, Southeast Region, handed down a Notice of Violation Assessment (NOVA) on a red snapper case made on April 28, 2008.


The NOVA stemmed from the case made on the vessel Captain Charlie which was captained by David T. Harrelson, 52, of Lockport, Louisiana. The boat was chartered by one Florida and 17 Georgia fishermen.


The vessel Captain Charlie was found to have a total of 909 red snapper which were taken during closed season on board the vessel when boarded by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agents working under a Joint Enforcement Agreement between NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The recreational red snapper season was not set to open until June 1, 2008, and the recreational limit during open season is two red snapper per person per day. In addition, 287 of the red snapper were under the minimum 16 inch size limit.  None of the 18 non-resident fishermen possessed a Louisiana basic or saltwater license.


The NOVA issued was in the amount of $80,000, and a 210-day Notice of Permit Sanction (NOPS) for the violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act regulations was issued to the owner and operator David T. Harrelson of Rebel Charter Services, LLC.


Also, a joint and several NOVAs in the amount of $45,450 was given to all of the fishermen aboard the vessel Captain Charlie.  In addition, the owner, operator and all fishermen were issued a Notice of Proposed Forfeiture for the red snapper.


The following is a list of the Captain, deckhand, and fishermen:


David Harrelson, 52, Lockport, La., (Captain)
Donald R. Humphrey, 45, Golden Meadow, La., (Deckhand)
Artesza Portee, 35, Autell, Ga.
Glover Jefferson Jr., 69, Atlanta, Ga.
Walter Bailey Jr., 61, Atlanta, Ga.
Robert Kemp, 72, Atlanta, Ga.
James E. Williams, 65, Callaway, Fla.
Clyde E. Raiford, 68, Fayetteville, Ga.
Baxter R. Maddox, 67, Atlanta, Ga.
Leslie H. Durham, 45, Douglasville, Ga.
Cleveland B. Kemp Jr., 56, Conyers, Ga.
Harry Crosland, 67, Decatur, Ga.
Willie T. Epps, 72, College Park, Ga.
Lawrence Kendrick, 60, Atlanta, Ga.
Walter L. Gibson Jr., 38, Union City, Ga.
Warren R. Brownlee, 36, Palmetto, Ga.
Andrew R. Smith, 70, Decatur, Ga.
Kym D. Haywood, 44, Hapeville, Ga.
Charlie W. Patrick 68, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Earnest Sessoms, 79, Atlanta, Ga.


"We would like to commend our agents for doing an outstanding job in protecting our state and federal fisheries resources," said Colonel Winton Vidrine, Chief Law Enforcement Office for the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 


A response from the respondents is anticipated within the next 30 to 40 days.


For more information, contact Major Joey Broussard at 225-765-2980 or jbroussard@wlf.louisiana.gov.


2008-193