Two Houma Men Cited for Harvesting Oysters from a Polluted Area

Published 2:28 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Houma men for alleged oyster fishing violations on June 7 in St. Mary Parish.

Agents cited Oscar Aguilar, 31, and Efrain Macedo-Aguilar, 26, for taking oysters from an unapproved area and for violating the sanitation code for logbooks.

Agents were on patrol in the Atchafalaya River when they received a compliant of oyster boats harvesting polluted oysters in the washout area near Point Au Fer Island.  Agents arrived to the area and made contact with Aguilar and Macedo-Aguilar in a vessel in the polluted area.

Agents found the subjects in possession of six sacks of freshly sacked oysters.  Upon inspection of the vessel’s logbook, agents found the logbook to indicate the incorrect harvest area.

Agents seized the vessels’ scrapper and six sacks of oysters, which were returned to the water.

Taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Violating the oyster sanitation code for logbooks brings up to a $25 fine.

In addition to all other penalties, the oyster harvester’s license under which the violation occurred could also be revoked by the department and no new such license shall be issued for one year from the date of the conviction.  The violator may also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service.  During the period in which the violator is prohibited from possession of an oyster harvester license for a first offense, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or processing oysters only if that vessel is equipped with and is actively using a vessel monitoring system.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Gerald Sander, Corporal Christopher Hebert, Agent Trevor Benoit, and Agent John Stansbury.