First Arrests Since New Law Went Into Effect Earlier This Year
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Law Enforcement today announced the arrest of Chad W. Braga, age 31, of Swansea, Massachusetts and Brandon DeFaria, age 34, of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. The two men, charged with failure to fin clip striped bass found in their possession as required by law, were fishing recreationally out of Galilee. Braga and DeFaria are scheduled to be arraigned in 4th Division District Court on Wednesday, July 27. The seized fish were donated to local charity, Amos House.
Last month, Michael A. Saviano, age 35, of Warren was arrested at the Independent Park Boat Ramp in Bristol on fin-clipping violations. The arrest was the first since Rhode Island enacted fin-clipping regulations earlier this year. He will be arraigned in 6th Division Court on July 22.
"The striped bass fishery is an important one in Rhode Island. And preserving it and all our marine resources are responsibilities we take very seriously," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "These regulations are the latest step in our efforts to thwart illegal fishing practices in Rhode Island. I am extremely proud of our DEM Division of Law Enforcement and the commitment and professionalism our officers demonstrate every day in responding to illegal activity and bringing the people responsible to justice."
In April, DEM enacted regulations to help prevent the illegal harvest and sale of Atlantic striped bass; the rules require recreational anglers to clip the right pectoral fin of striped bass 34 inches or larger at the time of harvest. Complementary dealer regulations make it unlawful for a licensed dealer to purchase and/or offer for sale any striped bass with the right pectoral fin removed. Braga and DeFaria, who holds a Massachusetts commercial fishing license with a striped bass endorsement, were found with six striped bass meeting the clipping requirement. Saviano, who also holds a Massachusetts commercial fishing license with a striped bass