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This item was found on the 1010 WINS website this morning, it is from the Associated Press:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The state Attorney General's Office has begun a criminal probe of allegations that blackfish are being illegally caught, bought and sold aboard an Ocean City party boat.

The news comes just weeks after the state Department of Environmental Protection issued 102 citations to fishermen aboard the North Star, including the ship's captain and a mate. It was the third time this year that fishermen aboard the boat were cited for catching and selling undersized and out-of-season blackfish, officials said.

The Environmental Crimes Bureau will try to determine "whether the civil violations fall into the realm of criminal activity," John Hagerty, a spokesman for the Division of Criminal Justice, told The Press of Atlantic City for Tuesday's editions. He said the investigation should be concluded within the next few weeks.

The civil charges against the fishermen were scheduled to be heard Tuesday in Ocean City Municipal Court, but the hearings were postponed until July 16 to allow more time for the criminal investigation, said Capt. Joseph Meyer, a marine enforcement officer with the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Joseph C. Grassi, the lawyer representing the North Star's owner and captain, said the delay has unfairly tarnished the boat's reputation.

"They are dragging this out and prolonging it during my client's fishing season," Grassi said.

Officials have said the fishermen allegedly planned to sell live blackfish, also known as tautog or tog, to Asian restaurants, where they command high prices.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
 

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This is an amazing story that I kept forgeting to post.

I read somewhere that the boat was equipped with giant livewells designed to keep the blackfish alive for the black market. This was an organized and planned operation that may have been operating for many years.
 

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Clean your own yard!!!!!!

Here is a thought. This crap has gone on for several years. In the western sound as well. I know of several individuals that are keeping shorts as well as excess bag limits,from all over the westchester area. And to all those that don't think that we know about the quick release burlap guess again.

John
 

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Gamakatsu I'm with you take the boat away him him, sell it or sink it. as sportsman we have to preserve our resources.As for the othe post about rec fisherman keeping shorts.Shame on them and shame on you for not reporting it.
Tight lines and bring on the fish

Bob
 
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