Illegal rockfish scheme investigation results in USD 1 million fines
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