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LDWF finds illegal oyster harvester in Lafourche Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Houma man for alleged oyster violations in Lafourche Parish on July 19.

Agents cited Angel Torres-Cuevas, 43, from Houma for take oysters from an unapproved polluted area.

Agents were on patrol in Bayou Blue north of Catfish Lake when they observed a vessel being used to harvest oysters in a closed area east of their location.  Agents made contact with Torres-Cuevas, the operator of the vessel, and found him in possession of nine sacks of oysters.

Agents seized the oysters and returned them to the water.  Agents also seized the vessel and dredge on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  In addition to the fine, upon conviction, the department shall revoke the violator’s oyster harvester license for one year for the first offense, three years for the second offense, and ten years for the third offense.  During the time the violator’s oyster harvester license is revoked on a first offense, the violator can only be present on an oyster vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device.  For the second and third offense, the violator cannot be present on any vessel harvesting oysters during the time their license is revoked.

The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Kristine Russell for prosecution.  Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert and Sgt. Michael Garrity.