Shrimp Task Force seeks tougher penalties
HOUMA - State officials and district attorneys continue to hammer out stricter penalties for shrimpers fishing out of season.
At its meeting Wednesday in Houma, The Courier reports the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force continued discussions on its plans to get legislation passed to strengthen the penalties for violators. Currently, shrimpers face fines, revocation of gear licenses, community service and potential jail time if accused of multiple violations.
Officials say the issue with the current penalties is that an owner of a vessel with multiple violations can use another licensed captain who does not have violations out on the same boat.
Previous discussions centered on a shrimper's vessel licenses being seized, but that has since shifted to a vessel monitoring system being equipped on boats found to be in violation. However, a monitoring system can only be required upon conviction.