Skip to comments.Man catches 881-pound tuna, seized by feds
Posted on 11/23/2011 8:04:04 AM PST by Cowman
A Massachusetts fisherman pulled in an 881-pound tuna this week only to have the federal authorities take it away. It sounds like a libertarian twist on the classic novella by Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, but for Carlos Rafael, the saga is completely true. Rafael and his crew were using nets to catch bottom-dwellers when they inadvertently snagged the giant tuna. However, federal fishery enforcement agents took control of the behemoth when the boat returned to port. The reason for the seizure was procedural: While Rafael had the appropriate permits, fishermen are only allowed to catch tuna with a rod and reel. It would seem that unlike the fictional New England shark hunters in Jaws, Rafael didn't need a bigger boat, just a better permit. In an interview with the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Rafael disputes the claims from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) enforcement division that the humungous tuna was trawled from the bottom of the Atlantic. "They didn't catch that fish on the bottom," he said. "They probably got it in the mid-water when they were setting out and it just got corralled in the net. That only happens once in a blue moon." And while Rafael is denied the mother of all fish stories, the federal impoundment of his catch also means he's probably losing out on a giant payday. A 754-pound tuna recently sold for nearly $396,000. NOAA regulators do not share any of the proceeds from the fish's eventual sale with a fisherman found in violation of federal rules. "They said it had to be caught with rod and reel," a frustrated Rafael said. "We didn't try to hide anything. We did everything by the book. Nobody ever told me we couldn't catch it with a net."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
How about we get these NOAA and fish and wildlife guys a fishing job? I think they would qualify to be bait.
It is stories such as these that metasticize hatred of government throughout our society.
The government is against Big Tuna
I'd be willing to bet it will be either thrown back in the sea or discarded altogether. However, the cynic in me says that someone, somewhere in the Gubmint chain of command will profit from its sale.
HOW DARE YOU NOT KNOW EVERY SINGLE REGULATION IN THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES ON THE BOOKS!!!
IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. He was in violation of the law, however unintended. Unless the law states that unintended catches have to be turned over to authorities, I would have carved off enough for a couple of good meals for the crew and tossed the rest back into the sea.
I'd have just kept a spare rod and reel on the boat in case the feds came snooping around.
Tuna steaks being served at the White Hut tonight!
This Nov. 12, 2011 photo released by NOAA and provided by Stephanie Rafael shows fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael in New Bedford, Mass., with an 881-pound tuna.
Typically these large Bluefin tuna will be sold before the boat reaches the dock. On arrival to land they are loaded onto a truck and driven immediatley to Logan or JFK where they are on the next plane to Tokyo. This is sushi tuna.
This fish would have made him more in one day than he would the rest of the year. It is really a shame. I wonder what happened to this fish.
I don't know much about this--are there federal fishery enforcement agents at every port? How did they know he had a big fish? Why were they expecting him?
Another example of our government gone amuck. Where does it end? When is enough, enough? Why are they wasting time and money on this BS?
*sniff sniff* Charlie?????
LOL I doubt this had anything to do with PETA, (probably all about money and dumb regulations) but if you want a good laugh check out this website.
Yes, that’s right. Sea. Kittens.
Remember, fishing hurts. /sarc
We have way too many government enforcers bothering ordinary citizens whilst the government allows illegals and terrorists easy access to our nation.
The problem didn’t start with obama but it has gotten worse.
$400,000 for one fish. Man. Those gold mining guys on tv better sell all their mining gear and start fishing for tuna. They could call the new show “WEALTHIEST CATCH”.
That's for sure. We have the same problem here. Ontario busybodies are making it very difficult for farmers to sell fresh eggs or milk. If I remember right, there was also some story about authorities clamping down on church bake sales--the food wasn't inspected, or some such nonsense.
Just in case you decided to fish for tuna, of course.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.