Fishermen Fined Heavily for Possession of Illegal Marine Products
The court has levied a heavy fine against fishermen found with illegal marine products. The fine is close to one hundred thousand dollars for fifty-eight fillet angel fish; twenty three Angel fish; 24 conch; 28 lobsters and for not being able to produce a fishing license. Senior Magistrate Baja Shoman ordered that a thousand dollar fine will be levied for every prohibited angel fish that they had plus a thousand dollars for each fillet Angel Fish. The men are, 40-year-old, Randolph Bruce Aragon; 30-year-old, Vidal Gabriel Orellano, and 37-year-old, Aison Weir, pleaded guilty. The trio were all read separately a single charge of using a vessel without a valid fishing license. The fines are to be paid by September 29, 2023 in default, 6 months’ imprisonment. Aragon, the Captain and Orellano were read four other Fisheries offenses jointly for one count each of possession or conchs during closed season for 24 conchs; possession of lobsters in closed season for 28 lobsters; and two counts of possession of prohibited fish for 23 Angel fish and for 58 fillett Angel fish. Since Orellano and Aragon pleaded guilty to the other four serious offenses, Weir saw the charges withdrawn from him and he was free to go. Weir told the court he was not even fishing but took a ride in from the island with the other two fishermen. He said he only pleaded guilty because he was found on the vessel while the men were fishing.