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Avalon charter-boat captain faces $25,000 in fines over striper fishing
From Press staff reports

Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From Press staff reportsTwo charter-boat operators, one from New York and one from Avalon, have been charged with taking patrons to fish for striped bass in waters where it is prohibited and filing false reports about the catch.
The charges were brought by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration but followed a joint investigation by NOAA Fisheries along with New Jersey and New York fisheries' enforcement agents.

Jerome E. Hurd, of Avalon, was charged with fishing, harvesting, possessing and retaining striped bass illegally from federal waters as well as submitting false statements about the catch to federal and state officers. Hurd faces civil fines of as much as $25,000.

NOAA also filed similar charges against Montauk, N.Y., charter-boat operator Steven N. Fosberg and Viking Starship Inc., which owns the vessel Fosberg captained. Fosberg faces a $30,000 fine and could lose his permit to fish for 30 days.

There has been a ban on catching striped bass in federal waters since 1990, but there is a fishery for them in state waters that extend from the coast to 3 miles out. The federal government controls the zone from 3 to 200 miles offshore.

In recent years there has been a growing illegal recreational fishery to catch them. There is no commercial fishery for striped bass in New Jersey.
NOAA Fisheries has responded by working with the East Coast states to conduct undercover operations. In both of these cases, federal and state agents worked undercover by posing as patrons on the charter vessels. They were on Hurd's vessel in December and on Fosberg's in November.

"Unscrupulous charter and party boat captains quietly promote their willingness to take patrons into federal waters, primarily when striped bass are scarce in state waters. This creates an unfair business environment that penalizes law-abiding charter and party boat captains who refuse to break the rules," said NOAA Fisheries Special Agent Jeffrey Ray.

The agency has conducted a public education campaign about the striped bass rules and several years ago announced that undercover operations would be taking place. It even set up a hot line to report violations. That still did not stop illegal fishing for stripers in federal waters and dozens of cases have ensued.

E-mail Richard Degener:
[email protected]
 

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From what I understand this year its going to be more then a little reminder. They are getting serious about it going undercover. The thing with the undercover sting is that now even if the captain goes beyond 3miles and is "targeting" striped bass by saying he/she will take customers out to fish for them, the feds now have a case with even keeping any fish. I suspect the season might go with out much fanfare, but you just might hear of some cases after the season once they have collected all the evidence and built a case with several trips :cowboy::2guns:
 

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A lot of tax dollars wasted. Go look for pirates. Open it up!
 

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Think of it like this, it is a small economy stimulous package with state money. If you stay inside 3 NM then the state is just boosting the economy by chartering your boat. A wise man told me once that a chartr is a charter and green money is always good.:clap::clapping2:

Capt. Mike
 

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My father keeps his boat in Avalon NJ. I think it is the Miss Avalon that is Captained by the Hurds. $25k in fines is a big chunk of coin. There hasnt been much action inside 3 miles this year. Bass have been regularly found at 5-7 miles off while bluefishing though
 

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Think of it like this, it is a small economy stimulous package with state money. If you stay inside 3 NM then the state is just boosting the economy by chartering your boat. A wise man told me once that a chartr is a charter and green money is always good.:clap::clapping2:

Capt. Mike
I was thinking the same thing. I'll take their green money and consider it a stimulous charter package. Although if they did charter us we probably wouldn't know they where agents unless you screwed up somehow. I stay inside the line anyway. I've never thought it was worth the risk, besides I've always caught plenty of fish all winter in the Coastal Zone while all those impatient people would go out and take their chances.

Catch ya Later,
 

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How do I sign up to be the guy that gets to charter the boat on the feds (our) tax dough!
 

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Well its still against the law and these guys knew that was the case as they filed a false report as to where the fishe were caught. I'd perfer that there was no thre mile limit but there is so I stay within those limits. I fell sorry for the ones who truly make a honest mistake but not for the one who knownly break the law.
 

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Perhaps they should take a good, hard look at the charter boats out of Rudee Inlet, Va. Some, if not most, make a beeline directly off-shore, beyond the 3 mile limit so their customers can quickly catch their limit of big stripers. They will deny it, but it happens!
 

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Perhaps they should take a good, hard look at the charter boats out of Rudee Inlet, Va. Some, if not most, make a beeline directly off-shore, beyond the 3 mile limit so their customers can quickly catch their limit of big stripers. They will deny it, but it happens!
Really?....And here I thought that was the Winter Coast Guard Poker Run I saw.;-)
 
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Its like speeding in a car - you know you are breaking the law and take the risk. its no different than keeping a slot fish, is it???
 
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