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Two men cited for commercial fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Agents cited two men for alleged commercial violations in Plaquemines Parish.

Agents cited Timothy P. Cheramie, 56, of Buras, for using skimmer nets during a closed shrimp season on July 28. Agents also cited Michael Cone, 46, of Buras, for using skimmer nets during a closed shrimp season on July 29.

Agents were on patrol in Bastian Bay when they observed a vessel using skimmer nets for shrimp over miles inside an area currently closed for the harvest of shrimp. Agents stopped the vessel and found Cheramie in possession of 118 pounds of shrimp. This is Cheramie’s third offense for using skimmers during a closed season.

Agents were on patrol in Cyprian Bay when they observed a vessel using skimmer nets for shrimp about a mile inside an area currently closed for the harvest of shrimp. Agents stopped the vessel and found Cone in possession of 925 pounds of shrimp. Cone also did not possess a commercial fishing license, vessel license or gear license. This is Cone’s second offense for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season.

The spring inshore season closed July 2, 2021 and a date has not been set to re-open the season. Agents seized the shrimp and sold them to the highest bidder.

Using skimmer nets during a closed shrimp season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail. Taking commercial fish without a commercial fishing license, gear license and vessel license each carry up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

In addition to the monetary penalties, for a second offense Cone faces shrimp gear license revocation for three years and cannot be on a vessel harvesting shrimp or possessing gear to harvest shrimp unless the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

In addition to the monetary penalties for a third or subsequent offense Cheramie faces shrimp gear license revocation for 10 years and cannot be on a vessel harvesting shrimp or possessing gear to harvest shrimp unless the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system which is accessible to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The case will be forwarded to District Attorney Charles Ballay for prosecution. Agents participating in the cases are Lt. Adam Young, Sgt. Villere Reggio, and Agent Shea Schexnaydre.