Florida Man Hammered for Illegal Fishing in The Bahamas

Here’s a cautionary tale for anglers out there who might be a little dismissive of the rules and regulations. If you get caught, the government has the power to make consequences hurt. And by all means, pay attention to the rules while fishing in Bahamian waters. The Bahamas takes protection of its resources very seriously.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida, a Tavernier, Fla. man was recently sentenced to buy The Bahamas a $200,000-plus newly constructed 30’ Contender Tournament after pleading guilty in a plea deal for fishing violations.

The report reads:

“Henry J. Danzig, 57, of Tavernier, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Key West by United States Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow for illegally harvesting commercial quantities of demersal finfish from the vicinity of Cay Sal Bank, in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and transporting the fish into the United States in violation of the Lacey Act. Demersal finfish are those that live and feed on ocean bottoms.”

Danzig was sentenced to one year probation, $25 special assessment and forfeiture of his boat, which will be turned over to the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal and unreported fishing within the archipelagic waters of the Bahamas.

According to the release, on May 9, 2020, Danzig, and four others were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Atlantic Ocean outside of Tavernier, while returning from Bahamian waters. Danzig and his companions were aboard Danzig’s 39’ Contender fishing vessel, the “Bodacious.” On boarding the vessel, the Coast Guard and found and seized 167 reef fish, totaling approximately 529 pounds. At the time, Bahamian waters were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional investigation revealed that Danzig was co-owner of the City Hall Café, in Tavernier, Fla, through which some illegally sourced Bahamian fish had been sold on prior occasions, read the release.

According to the Joint Factual Statement, neither Danzig nor those associated with him in the charged conduct possessed a lawfully issued license from the Bahamas, to take, export or sell any fishery product or resource fish from Bahamian waters.

For more on how to legally fish in The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com.

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