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Press Release

Maine and New Hampshire Herring Fishermen Charged with Conspiracy, Fraud, and Falsification of Records

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine: Five fishermen from Maine and one fisherman from New Hampshire, along with a corporation, were charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice in connection with a multi-year scheme to sell unreported Atlantic herring and falsify fishing records, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

Glenn Robbins, 75, of Eliot; Ethan Chase, 44, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Neil Herrick, 46, of Rockland; Andrew Banow, 35, of Rockport; Stephen Little, 56, of Warren; Jason Parent, 49, of Owls Head; and Western Sea, Inc., were named in a 35-count indictment returned today.

According to the indictment, between June 2016 and September 2019, the owner, captains, and crew aboard the F/V Western Sea sold more than 2.6 million pounds of Atlantic herring that was not reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA relies upon accurate reports to set policies designed to ensure a sustainable fishery. The indictment alleges that members of the crew were paid directly by fish dealers and lobster vessel operators for the unreported herring.

“The type of unscrupulous and unlawful fishing alleged in the Indictment returned by the grand jury directly affects the economic benefit of law-abiding fishermen and fishing communities,” said Director James Landon, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. “We will continue to help bring to justice those who are proven to have violated U.S. fishing laws and regulations, to help ensure the sustainability of our living marine resources while also maximizing economic benefit.”

NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement and the Maine Marine Patrol investigated the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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David B. Joyce Assistant United States Attorney Tel: (207) 780-3257

Updated February 28, 2023