Two Louisiana Men Cited for Allegedly Harvesting Oysters in a Polluted Area and Other Infractions in St. Mary Parish
St. Mary Parish, Louisiana – Two Louisiana men have been cited for allegedly harvesting oysters in a polluted area and other infractions in St. Mary Parish.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) stated on June 7 that enforcement agents cited two Houma, Louisiana men for alleged oyster fishing infractions in St. Mary Parish.
Authorities cited Oscar Aguilar, 31, and Efrain Macedo-Aguilar, 26, for harvesting oysters from an unapproved area and violating the sanitation requirement for logbooks.
Agents were on patrol in the Atchafalaya River when they received a report of oyster boats gathering polluted oysters in the washout region near Point Au Fer Island. Agents came into the region and made contact with Aguilar and Macedo-Aguilar aboard a vessel in the polluted area.
Agents discovered the subjects in possession of six sacks of newly packed oysters. Agents discovered the improper harvest area after inspecting the vessel’s logbook.
Authorities seized the scrapper and six sacks of oysters, which were returned to the water.
Collecting oysters from an unapproved polluted region is punishable by a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Violations of the oyster sanitation rule for logbooks might result in a $25 punishment.
In addition to all other penalties, the department may revoke the oyster harvester’s license under which the offense occurred, and no new such license will be issued for one year from the date of the conviction. The violator may potentially be punished to 40 hours of community service. During the period in which the violator is barred from possessing an oyster harvester license for a first offense, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or processing oysters only if the vessel is equipped with and actively employing a vessel monitoring system.
Agents involved in the case include Sgt. Gerald Sander, Corporal Christopher Hebert, Agent Trevor Benoit, and Agent John Stansbury.
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.