After a joint investigation between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), LDWF Enforcement Division agents cited five New Orleans men for alleged fishing violations today, March 19.
LDWF agents cited Nam Nguyen, 52, Nam Truong, 82, Hung Tran, 55, Son Pham, 41, and Hang Nguyen, 51, for violating highly migratory species regulations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Agents received a complaint from NOAA Fisheries that the USCG discovered the vessel fishing in federal waters with live bait on March 18. LDWF agents boarded the vessel, The Blue Fin, when it returned to Dulac this morning and found J-hooks, hand lines and three places to hold live bait.
It is illegal to fish for highly migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico with live bait and J-hooks. Circle hooks and either artificial lures or dead bait can be used with a highly migratory species permit.
Violating highly migratory species regulations brings up to $50,000 in fines, loss of any highly migratory species permits for up to one year and loss of catch. Agents seized 2,861 pounds of yellowfin tuna and a total of 623 pounds of swordfish, wahoo and escolar, hand lines and two buoys.
LDWF Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Louis Burnett, Senior Agents Dean Aucoin and Norman Deroche and Sgt. Ted Dewitt. NOAA Fisheries Special Agent Steve Campbell and USCG Ensign Zack Bowman also assisted in the case.