Dominican Republic Boat Captain Facing 50 Large in Fines For Violations of Fishery Laws

Dominican Republic

A boat captain from the Dominican Republic has to pay some $50,000 in fines after he and his 28 crewman pleaded guilty to numerous infractions and violations of fisheries law.

Captain Eduardo Diaz and his 28 member crew were brought before Deputy Chief Magistrate Carolita Bethel yesterday. They literally had the book thrown at them in terms of violations. They were charged with engaging in foreign fishing, possession of prohibited apparatus, posession of undersized crawfish and grouper.

The court dockets state that on the 11th of October the men were discovered fishing in waters belonging to the Bahamas, aboard the small fishing boat “Adrian I”

The fishing boat was caught by a Cutter with the United States Coast Guard to the east of Ragged Island in the Columbus Bank.

It was reported that the men were carrying quite an odd assortment of illegal things such as nine air compressors, nine spear guns, a large portion of undersized crawfish and some one and a half tons of grouper which weighed less than two kilograms each.

The captain and crew of the “Adrian I”, with the aid of a translator, plead guilty to all charges laid against them. Magistrate Bethel went a little more lenient on them than the circumstances provided for, as they did not waste any of the court’s time.

Diaz, being the captain, was given a choice; cough up the $50,000 fine, or spend a year in jail, his crew was immediately deported, and all equipment confiscated. There was no mention as to whether he would get to keep the “Adrian I” or not, but one imagines he might sell it to pay for the fine.