About time

Ocean Pro Ltd (Profish) plus its vice-president and its fish buyer were sentenced recently in US District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, for illegally harvesting striped bass for over a decade from the Potomac River. This has been called the largest ever commercial fish poaching plot in the Chesapeake Bay.
Timothy Lydon, a part owner and officer in Profish, one of Washington’s primary seafood wholesalers, last week was sentenced to 21 months in prison and fined USD 60,000. Benjamin Clough, a fish-buyer for the company, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined USD 7,500.
Profish was sentenced to three years probation, fined USD 575,000, restitution in the amount of USD 300,000 and a special assessment of USD 5,000. Gordon Jett, a fisher who supplied the striped bass or rockfish, was sentenced to five months in prison, five months of home of detention and fined USD 4,572 in restitution.
All the defendants’ fines will go to the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund and restitution will go to the Commonwealth of Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
“When fishermen and fish wholesalers do not comply with the law, they imperil the entire fishery and adversely impact livelihoods of those in the fishing industry who abide by the law, and reap an impermissible economic advantage through their non-compliance,” said Ignacia S Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “The Chesapeake Bay watershed is a national treasure, and the striped bass fishery is an important resource that we must protect from plunder for our enjoyment and that of future generations.”
Following a five-week jury trial, Lydon, Clough and Profish last July were judged guilty of purchasing illegally caught striped bass from the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland from 1995-2007. All were convicted of conspiracy and violations of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the transport, sale or purchase of illegally harvested fish and wildlife.
In total, the defendants were sentenced to more than 140 months in prison, and total fines and restitution exceed USD 1,361,000.
A unit of federal and state lawyers as well as undercover officers investigated the black market operation for five years. It ended in 19 men and three corporations being convicted.

20 comments on “About time

  1. woodwker99

    They should not be allowed to sell fish or any seafood ever again. but even this is just a small drop in the bucket of southern fish poaching.yes it happens up north too but not on the scale it happens in the south and everyone there turns a blind eye as it has been going on for so long it is expected. Now if we could just get rid of the foreign poachers as well…. but then that’s another soap box I don’t want to stand on right now.

  2. Steve K.

    Hopefully this serves as a warning to others that are practicing this. Great to see some jail time for the scum bags. Hopefully they serve close to their full sentence. Agree with the above that their licenses should be pulled.

    When I see poaching on the beach front – I tell them not to do it and why. If they ignore me then I pick up the phone. Not much else to do. We need to all police ourselves out there.

  3. Nick

    Z and crew thanks for staying on top of this for us all…. I worked in jail, unfortunately its gonna be a country club where there going….

  4. bdubbs

    They should have seized their boats. And given then a lot more years in prison. Think of all the baby stripers they killed over the years…… at least we caught em before it went too far.

  5. John

    I am amazed that the fisherman who supplied the fish received the smallest fine. Basically a slap on the wrist. There is nothing to stop him from doing it again. And there are many more like them out there

  6. harv

    Good work. Whomever is responsible we should email them to let them kmow it was the right thing to do & that we support them

  7. John B

    Now all they have to do is work on the charter boat poaching going on in the EEZ off Maryland and the Carolinas this Winter.

  8. big biscuit

    Take their boats and never allow them to commercialy fish ever again. Plus shut down the places that were buying the fish.


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