OYSTER FISHERMEN CITED FOR TAKING UNDERSIZED OYSTERS

Release Date: 01/30/2006

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited four oyster fishermen on Jan. 27 in Plaquemines Parish for alleged commercial oyster violations. 


Josip Piacun, 50, of Metairie, and Carlos A. Mejia, 30, Walter F. Cerrato, 29, and Jenrry A. Canizales, 31, all of Houston, Texas were cited for taking undersized oysters.


Agents were patrolling in response to complaints of fishermen taking undersized oysters when they observed the subjects dredging for oysters in Bay Crabe.  During a routine vessel inspection, agents found the subjects in possession of oysters, of which more than 15 percent were under the legal size limit of 3 inches. Oyster fishermen are allowed a 15 percent tolerance of undersized oysters.  Two hundred sacks of oysters were returned to the water.


Taking undersized oysters from a natural reef carries a fine up to $350, imprisonment up to 60 days, or both plus court costs.  Upon conviction, the subjects may be required to take oysters only from vessels equipped with an approved vessel monitoring system.


Agents participating in the investigation were Lt. Steve McManus, Sgts. Brian Marie and Scott Keller and Senior Agents Ronnie Granier, Eddie Skena and Roy Pier.


EDITORS: For further information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2469 or klacaze@wlf.louisiana.gov.