Kodiak Fisherman sentenced for felony violation of The Lacey Act
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a resident of the state of Washington who fishes out of Kodiak was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for four felony violations of the Lacey Act.
Steven Carr, 54, who resides in Anacortes, Washington, but fished out of Kodiak, Alaska, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to 5 years’ probation.
Carr, at the time of the offense, was the owner and operator of the fishing vessel (F/V) Sea Mac, and caught Rockfish, primarily Pacific Ocean Perch (POP), in one regulatory area that was not available to him, and reported the catch as coming from another area.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder, who prosecuted the case, in July 2008, Carr made 4 trips on the F/V Sea Mac to catch Rockfish. Carr had participated in a special program called the Rockfish Pilot Program (RPP), which was designed to encourage smaller processors to participate in the Rockfish fishery. When the RPP processors were accepting fish, participating fishermen were allowed to catch Rockfish in areas closer to Kodiak, as long as they delivered those fish to participating processors. In July 2008, none of the participating RPP processors were taking Rockfish, so CARR was not authorized to fish in the closed areas. During each of the four trips, Carr fished in the closed areas, but
falsely reported to the government that his catch was from an area farther from Kodiak. During the four trips in July 2008, the value of the Rockfish (including POP) caught by CARR was worth approximately $146,000. CARR made three similar trips in July 2007, catching approximately $125,000 of Rockfish (including POP).
“Fisheries laws protect an important natural resource that belongs to all the people of the United States. Enforcement of fisheries laws is necessary to protect those resources for future generations,” stated U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler.
Ms. Loeffler commends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement, Alaska Enforcement Division/Kodiak office, for the investigation of this case.