PROVIDENCE – Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) Officers cited a Warren man yesterday in Narragansett for having caught 13 striped bass – 12 over the limit for a recreational angler – the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced.
After a period of surveillance, DLE Officers Jeff Mercer and Anthony Esposito boarded a vessel belonging to Michael A. Saviano of 424 Water Street in Warren, as Saviano was coming into Point Judith yesterday morning. Two striped bass were in plain sight on the boat; the other 11 fish were hidden in a compartment under the bow. The current striper limit for recreational fishing is one fish measuring at least 28 inches long per person per day. (The RI commercial striped bass season is currently closed.)
Officers Mercer and Esposito cited Saviano with one count of exceeding the possession limit of striped bass and one count of failure to cut the pectoral fin. Rhode Island marine fisheries regulations require recreational anglers to remove the right pectoral fin of a striped bass that's at least 34 inches long at the time of harvest. This signifies that the fish was caught recreationally and is meant to prevent recreational anglers from selling their catch, which is illegal. DLE seized the 13 stripers and donated them to Amos House, the Providence-based social services agency that runs the state's largest soup kitchen.
"I am grateful to Officers Mercer and Esposito and all DEM Environmental Police Officers who patrol the waters handling so many responsibilities so well," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "One of their topmost missions is enforcing fishing, shellfishing, and lobster laws and regulations. In diligently doing so, they are safeguarding Rhode Island's natural resources, which are a public trust."
"It's a shame that a few people are greedy and have no respect for our fisheries," said Steve Medeiros, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Anglers Association. "We need stricter penalties along with judges who are willing to treat fisheries violations with the severity they deserve. We support RIDEM Division of Law Enforcement's efforts to enforce marine fisheries laws."
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