POSTED: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, September 1, 2013 - 10:04am
PLAQUEMINE'S PARISH, LA — Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged oyster and boating safety violations in Bayou Stephan in Plaquemines Parish on August 26.
Agents cited John Phillipe, 32, Patrick Sylve, 25, both of Port Sulphur, and Jean Taylor, 32, of Sparta, Tenn., for harvesting oysters during illegal hours, unlawfully removing oysters from a private lease, failing to have written permission, and violation of the emergency fishery closure still in effect from the BP oil spill.
Phillipe, the licensed captain, was also cited for twice violating the state’s health code for not filling out his Department of Health and Hospitals log book and vessel sanitation requirements. He was also cited for taking commercial fish without a vessel license, no visible boat numbers, improper running lights, failing to comply with personal flotation device requirements, failing to change ownership of vessel after 45 days and failing to display a valid certificate decal.
The incident occurred when agents witnessed Phillipe and his deckhands harvesting oysters from a lease near Port Sulphur that did not belong to them and under the cover of darkness after legal sunset. The boating safety and health code violations were discovered during the stop.
Unlawfully harvesting oysters from a private lease, without written permission from the lease holder, and during illegal hours each carries up to a $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Taking commercial fish without a vessel license brings up to a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Each count of the state’s health code violations carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail and forfeiture of the product. Each of the boating safety violations brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Agents issued 20 citations, seized one oyster dredge and 11 sacks of oysters were returned to the water.