Captain of cargo ship cited for red snapper violations

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Philippines man for alleged recreational fishing violations on June 20 in St. John Parish, according to a press release.

Agents cited Alberto Abad Defeo Jr., 47, for possessing over the limit and undersized red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses.

Agents received a tip from Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists that an ocean going cargo ship was docked at the Port of South Louisiana in Reserve with possible illegal fish on board.

Agents were able to board and inspect the cargo ship and found 143 red snapper in the ship’s freezer, refrigerators and galley. After further inspection, agents determined that 90 of the red snapper on board were also undersized.

Agents interviewed Defeo Jr., who was the captain, and he told them the fish were caught while the ship was anchored about six miles out of southwest pass in the Gulf of Mexico. Agents explained to Defeo Jr. that there is a daily limit of two red snapper per licensed fisherman and there is a 16 inch minimum size limit. Defeo Jr. didn’t possess any fishing licenses and agreed to take all of the citations.

Possessing undersized and over the limit of red snapper, and fishing without non-resident basic and saltwater fishing licenses each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail for each offense.

Defeo Jr. may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken fish.

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