Pirate Poachers of the Bay: Virginia gets tough with pirate water-men

Pirate Poachers of the ChesapeakePirate Poachers of the Bay: Marine Resources Commission Acts on Fisheries Violations

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – The Virginia Marine Resources Commission took the following actions on fisheries violations:

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Gregory Wheatley Parks, of Tangier, Virginia.  Parks, a commercial harvester, was convicted on two different dates in Accomack General District Court for three fisheries violations.  Two convictions, the first for oystering out of season and the second for taking oysters from a condemned area on April 8, 2015.  The third conviction for oyster possession over the limit was on February 2, 2015.  The Commission voted unanimously to revoke all Parks’ fishing licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or other marine organism for a period of six months from the date of the Commission meeting, August 25, 2015 through February 24, 2016. Additionally, Parks was also given 18 months on probation from February 25, 2016, to August 24, 2017.

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In Maryland Somerset County District Court the following citations and court actions are recorded for Gregory Wheatley Parks:

Aug. 8, 1995, Guilty plea to possession of undersized soft crabs; fine $30.00.

March 2, 1997, Guilty plea to operation of vessel at night without lights

Aug. 4, 1997, Guilty plea to operating unnumbered vessel; fine $30.00.

Oct. 28, 2011, Guilty plea to illegal entry to park facility; fine $127.50

June 14, 2013, Guilty plea to expired vessel registration; fine $132.50

Sept. 29, 2014, Guilty plea to theft; four counts dropped; Probation without judgment; fine $100

March 10, 2015, Guilty plea to possession of unculled oysters; fine $132.50

March 10, 2015, Guilty plea to possession of unculled oysters; fine $427.50

Virginia Marine Police

Virginia Marine Police

Robert B. Boas, of Hayes, Virginia. Boas, a permitted recreational fisherman, was convicted Gloucester General District Court on May 13, 2015, for harvesting oysters during a closed season.  The Commission voted unanimously to revoke all of Boas’ licenses for one year from the date of the Commission meeting, August 25, 2015, to August 24, 2016. Additionally, the Commission also voted unanimously to revoke  Boas’ fishing privileges within the Commonwealths’ tidal waters for that same one year period.

David Mosher, of Poquoson, Virginia. Mr. Mosher, a recreational fisherman, was convicted on February 24, 2015, in Hampton General District Court for harvesting oysters during a closed season.  The Commission voted unanimously to revoke all of Mr. Mosher’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish or marine organism for a period of one year from the date of the Commission meeting, August 25, 2015 to August 24, 2016. Additionally, the Commission revoked all of Mr. Mosher’s fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters for the same one year period.

Johnnie Tynes Jr., of Surry, Virginia.  Tynes, a commercial harvester had been placed on probation for 12 months, from April 28, 2015, through April 27, 2016, because of striped bass violations.  On June 17, 2015, while, on probation, Mr. Tynes was charged with two violations for failure to fish his commercial gill nets.  Tynes was convicted in Surry General District Court on two counts of failure to fish his commercial gill nets. The Commission voted unanimously to revoke all of Tynes’ licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish or marine organism for six months from September 22, 2015, to March 21, 2016.  The Commission also revoked Tynes fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal water for six months from September 22, 2015, to March 21, 2016.

Michael C. Clair, of Saxis, Virginia.  Clair, a commercial fisherman, was convicted in Accomack General District Court on one count of aiding and abetting the taking of oysters with a non-resident.  It is illegal under the Code of Virginia for non-residents to harvest oysters in Virginia.  Due to the severity of this violation, the Commission voted unanimously to revoke Clair’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish or marine organisms from September 22, 2015, to September 21, 2017.  The Commission also revoked Clair’s fishing privileges’ within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for two years, September 22, 2015, to September 21, 2017.

In Maryland Somerset County District Court Clair entered a guilty plea to DWI on Dec. 22, 2009, and was put on probation before judgment and fined $250.

Cited for operating a vehicle without a permit, Clair was given probation before judgment in District Court for Talbot County, Md., on Feb. 25, 2015, and fined $42.50.

“This Commission has revoked ten licenses so far this year, and the Commission is quite prepared to revoke more if necessary.  We don’t ask much of those who fish in tidal waters: Just obey the law and file mandatory harvest reports accurately and on time,” said Commissioner John M. R. Bull.

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