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No Mercy: Florida Fishers Face $10,000 Fine Over Undersized Swordfish; 'We Hope This Case Serves As Deterrence'
Underwatertimes.com News Service
March 7, 2009 09:21 EST

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- That’s some expensive fish. Taking three undersized swordfish may end up costing four Broward County men $10,000. NOAA issued a “notice of violation and assessment” to the owner, permit holder, boat operator and fisherman of the fishing vessel “No Mercy.”

The case was referred to NOAA by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). In December, FWC Officer David Weis stopped a commercial fishing boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near Port Everglades.

Weis performed a marine fisheries inspection. Two men -- a captain and a fisherman -- were on board at the time. The men had caught six swordfish, three of which were under the legal length and weight limits, Weiss reported. Federal regulations specify a minimum length of 29 inches from cleithrum to caudal keel or 33 pounds dressed. If in whole condition, the swordfish must be 47 inches long, lower jaw fork length.

“We hope this case serves as deterrence,” said FWC Lt. Dave Bingham. “Taking undersized swordfish has costly consequences.”

Four people are facing federal fisheries law violations. The men are identified as the captain, Michael J. Macneir, DOB 12/2/80, of Fort Lauderdale; fisherman Shane T. Casey, DOB 12/21/82, of Fort Lauderdale; permit holder Vincent T. Bonura III, DOB 4/8/84, of Fort Lauderdale; and vessel registrant Scott M. Leon, DOB 7/24/70, of Davie.