According to the Natural Resources Police, catching watermen and seafood dealers with illegal and undersize catches is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Officers conducting a compliance check at the Wingate County Dock on March 25 measured oysters in two metal bins, one of which was already loaded in a box truck operated by Capt. Phips Seafood, a business based in Secretary. Of the 43 bushels inspected, 37 contained oysters ranging from eight percent to 49 percent below the 3-inch minimum size.
The buyer, Mary Catherine Sears, 33, of Wingate, received 19 citations for possessing undersized oysters and Capt. Phips Seafood was issued 18 citations for the same offense.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in Dorchester District Court on June 17. Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000.