Nolan L. Agner, the last of five Virginia Beach charter fishing boat captains convicted of poaching Atlantic striped bass was sentenced today in federal court in Norfolk, Va. All five captains – including Agner, Jeffery S. Adams, Raymond Carroll Webb, David Dwayne Scott, and William W. “Duby” Lowery IV – were sentenced for violating the Lacey Act by selling illegally-harvested striped bass, the Justice Department announced.
“As charter boat captains, these men had an obligation to know and follow the laws that protect this natural resource from overharvesting,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Their illegal poaching of striped bass gave them an unfair economic advantage over law abiding fisherman and irresponsibly posed a threat to this food supply. “With these sentences, they will pay the price by serving jail time or receiving probation, as well as paying fines, surrendering their captain’s license, or having their operations closely monitored or curtailed.”
In 1984, Congress passed the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act, recognizing that “Atlantic striped bass are of historic commercial and recreational importance and economic benefit to Atlantic coastal States and to the Nation,” and that it “is in the national interest to implement effective procedures and measures to provide for effective inter-jurisdictional conservation and management of this species.” Since 1990, the Secretary of Commerce has imposed a moratorium on fishing for striped bass within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the zone where the U.S. and other coastal nations have jurisdiction over economic and resource management. The moratorium makes it unlawful to fish for or harvest striped bass in the EEZ. The moratorium also makes it unlawful to retain any striped bass that were taken in or from the EEZ.
The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase any fish or wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of the United States, or to attempt to do so. More....