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Fish confiscated, donated to local charity

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During March and April, fishermen aren’t allowed to sell or purchase black, or gag, grouper because it is their spawning season.

According to North Carolina law, every commercial fishing boat must have a commercial fishing license. Marine patrol officers say the boat Captain Star violated both of these laws.

Marine Patrol had received several reports indicating that the ship was bringing back to many black and gag grouper. But it took nearly a week stake out at Star Seafood before the officers were able to reel in the crew and its captain.

“If there had been a licensee on board, and it had been valid, they would have been able to keep those fish and there would have been no violation except the grouper,” reported Captain Jim Kelly of Marine Patrol.

Marine patrol auctioned off most of the catch, worth more than $6,000.

Captain Star and Star Seafood owner William Greer said the penalty is too harsh for some missed paperwork. “Well a long story short, it didn’t get done, but to take all my fish on a license violation that’s ridiculous.”

As for the grouper, “They legally could have had two a piece, there were four people on board, so they could have had a total of eight and they had twelve,” said Jim Kelly.

“During the course of a trip you lose count. Because you’re catching all these other fish and…they just made a mistake,” Greer.

Ocean View Methodist Church in Oak Island and Word Changing Heart Ministry were the lucky recipients of more than 200 pounds of grouper.

“When he told me how much there was, I thought oh my goodness, and I told him I would find a way to use it,” said Elizabeth Hartsell of the Ocean View Church Meals on Wheels program.

Greer acknowledged he was wrong for not transferring his license over to one of the crewmembers.

Hartsell said the church will fry up the fish for Meals on Wheels, and serve it with some corn on the cob and fresh coleslaw.

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Story summary

videoDuring March and April, fishermen aren’t allowed to sell or purchase black, or gag, grouper because it is their spawning season.

According to North Carolina law, every commercial fishing boat must have a commercial fishing license. Marine patrol officers say the boat Captain Star violated both of these laws.

Story summary image

fish150.jpg

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