Eight charged with commercial fishing violations on East Coast

Leonardtown, Md. (AP) — Seven men and a fish wholesaler have
been charged in the largest investigation of illegal commercial
fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.

The Justice Department announced last Friday that the men from
Maryland and Virginia and D.C.-based wholesaler Cannon Seafood
illegally harvested and sold hundreds of thousands of pounds of
striped bass over a four-year period, beginning in 2003.

They are charged in Maryland and D.C. with violating the Lacey
Act, which prohibits the sale of wildlife taken in violation of
conservation laws.

Maryland regulates commercial striped bass fishing to prevent
overharvesting. The men and wholesaler are accused of falsely
reporting the amount and weight of the fish they caught and when
the fish were harvested.

Two others were indicted in October on similar charges.

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