Commercial waterman faces charges for fishing violations and undersized conch
Commercial waterman faces charges for fishing violations including possession of numerous undersized conch
LEWES (June 9, 2016) – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a commercial waterman June 3 for nearly 300 fishing violations, most of them for illegal take of knobbed conch after boarding his vessel for a no-wake violation near the Lewes Public Boat Ramp on May 31.
Shawn P. Moore, 40, of Georgetown, was charged with 289 counts of possession of undersized knobbed conch measuring less than the legal size limit of 5 inches in length, plus four counts of unlawful method of take for summer flounder, four counts of possession of unlawfully taken fish, and one count each of no commercial license in possession while fishing and failure to observe a slow-no-wake zone. Moore pled not guilty to all charges at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was released on a $15,400 unsecured bond pending a later appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.
Moore was previously convicted of 30 counts of possession of undersized knobbed conch in 2015, making the current undersize conch charges as enumerated above second offenses and environmental misdemeanors carrying fines of up to $500 per charge if found guilty.
Knobbed conch, also known as whelk, are Delaware’s fourth largest commercial fishery, with recent harvests estimated around 500,000 pounds annually. Most are exported to the European or Asian market and used to make fritters, chowders and salads. Commercial size limits are five inches in length or three inches in width at the whorl. Commercial watermen are permitted to possess five undersized conch by incidental catch per 60 pounds. About 90 percent are harvested by dredging, with dredge season from January 15 through June 15. Channeled whelk also are harvested in Delaware, typically by pot. Egg cases of both species, consisting of long, light tan-colored chains of compartments about nickel- to quarter-size, are a common find along Delaware’s beaches.
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.