This week while patrolling federal waters off Block Island with officers from NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, Environmental Police Officers boarded several commercial and recreational vessels. Officers found several boats to be in illegal possession of striped bass in the EEZ – a portion of federal waters reserved for conserving and managing fishery stocks. Officers issued large fines. The stripers were seized and donated to the Amos House, a nonprofit social service agency that provides direct support for men, women, and children in Rhode Island who are hungry, homeless and in crisis.

Also, Environmental Police Officers from DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement boarded a recreational fishing vessel with a group of people spear fishing. During the inspection officers discovered the group to be in possession of undersized striped bass, some of which had already been filleted and several tautog, which is out of season at this time. The owner / operator of the vessel was cited for the following violations and their fishing gear was seized:
•Possession of undersized striped bass
•Exceeding the daily limit of striped bass
•Possession of undersized tautog
•Possession of tautog out of season
•Failure to produce a Saltwater fishing license
•Failure to display a proper dive flag

Adhering to the rules is not only good for the health of our fisheries; it’s the law. Rhode Island environmental police will continue their efforts to combat illegal fishing activity in both state and federal waters.

Help DEM protect what is yours. Report violations to our 24 hour dispatch center at (401) 222-3070