Officials: 9-foot tuna seized from boat illegally fishing; captain issued criminal summons

Officials in Rhode Island say they seized a 9.4-foot bluefin tuna from a Massachusetts charter...
Officials in Rhode Island say they seized a 9.4-foot bluefin tuna from a Massachusetts charter boat that was illegally fishing.(Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 2:13 PM AKDT
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PROVIDENCE, R. I. (Gray News) - Officials say they recently seized a giant tuna from a boat that was illegally fishing in Rhode Island waters.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said it recently seized a 9.4-foot bluefin tuna from a Massachusetts charter boat as the captain didn’t have the required state commercial fishing license.

According to the department, the fish was taken after environmental officers determined that the captain had paying clients on his vessel while fishing commercially for giant bluefin tuna without a proper state license.

Officers said they escorted the boat back to port while spotting that the captain had a recently killed tuna onboard.

The department said it sold the seized fish to a licensed dealer. The captain was issued a criminal summons for the alleged violations with the monies from the sold fish held in escrow.

Rhode Island officials said giant bluefin tuna along the coast are an indicator of a healthy ecosystem and environmental police officers are committed to protecting them for the benefit of adequately licensed fishermen who pursue these fish.