According to reports, last week the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management seized a 9.4-foot bluefin tuna from a Massachusetts charter boat. Criminal summons were also issued to the boat’s captain during the seizure. Officers determined the captain has been paying clients on his vessel and lacked the required fishing license and permit to fish in Rhode Island waters.
The environmental police officers made contact with the vessel in state waters and noticed the captain had recently killed the tuna which was secured it to his vessel. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management escorted the boat to port and sold the fish to a licensed dealer where the money is being held in escrow. In a statement the organization said, “Giant bluefin tuna along the (Rhode Island) coast are an indicator of a healthy ecosystem and are great opportunities for properly licensed commercial fishermen. (Rhode Island) Environmental Police Officers are committed to protecting this vital resource for the benefit of properly licensed fishermen who pursue these fish.”