GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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August 21, 2013

Giant fines for bluefin tuna violations

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A fisherman who tried to illegally sell a giant bluefin tuna that he’d caught while daytime swordfishing off South Florida this past June and the person who was given the tuna to sell have been assessed heavy fines for their transgressions.

NOAA Fisheries issued civil violations totaling $27,500 to the two men.

That’s some expensive sushi.

A Notice of Violation and Assessment of Administrative Penalty was sent to David Fidel, of Boynton Beach, who was fined $12,500 for violating the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act “by selling or transferring or attempting to sell or transfer, for commercial purposes, an Atlantic tuna, shark or swordfish other than to a dealer that has a valid dealer permit.

“Specifically, on or about June 3, 2013, (Fidel) transferred a giant Atlantic Bluefin tuna landed on board his vessel to a person that did not have a valid dealer permit issued under (Magnuson-Stevens Act regulations) for commercial purposes.

“Moreover, when the giant Atlantic Bluefin tuna was landed aboard (Fidel’s) vessel, (Fidel) had an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Angling Permit, which precludes the sale or transfer of recreationally caught Atlantic Bluefin tuna for commercial purposes.”

The person to whom Fidel transferred the tuna was Mikylo Senkowicz, of Boynton Beach, who did not have a valid permit to sell the tuna and received a Notice of Violation for $15,000 for violating the Magnuson-Stevens Act “by receiving a giant Atlantic Bluefin tuna for commercial purposes from the owner of a vessel not permitted to sell the tuna.

“Specifically, on or about June 3, 2013, (Senkowicz) received a giant Atlantic Bluefin tuna for the purposes of selling said tuna that was landed by the owner of a vessel that was not permitted to sell the tuna.”

According to the notices issued to the two men, law enforcement officers seized $2,260 “from the sale of one Atlantic Bluefin tuna.”

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