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For Release: Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Recreational Fisherman Faces Felony Charges After Illegally Selling Bigeye Tuna

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) charged a recreational fisherman with multiple offenses after they caught him commercially selling a 160 pound bigeye tuna at a fish dock in Montauk without proper permits, the agency announced today.

According to Captain Timothy Huss of the NYS DEC Police, on August 8, 2014, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) ECOs were on routine vessel patrol in the heavily traveled Montauk Harbor when they spotted what appeared to be a recreational fishing vessel parked at Gosman's Fish Dock near the off-loading doors. ECOs inspected the vessel, the F/V Avalon, out of Niantic, CT and determined the operator was not able to produce the required New York State Commercial Food Fish Landing License and Federal HMS (highly migratory species) Permit.

The investigation revealed the vessel operator, Mr. Gary Savard, 59, of Hatfield, MA had allegedly sold a 120 to 125 pound bigeye tuna to Gosman's Fish Market on August 7, 2014 for $1,960 in addition to the 160 pound bigeye tuna sold on August 8 for $1,240.

Mr. Savard was cited for one felony (sale over $1,500) and one misdemeanor (sale under $1,500 but above $250) level charge for the illegal commercialization of fish.

The felony charge includes a minimum of one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. The misdemeanor charge includes up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Mr. Savard is scheduled to appear at East Hampton Town court on December 13, 2014.

Individuals spotting illegal activities are encouraged to call DEC's Environmental Conservation Police at (631) 444-0250 during business hours, and 1-877-457-5680 or 1-800-TIPP-DEC at all other times to report suspected illegal activities.

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