Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Dover waterman arrested on 93 charges related
to commercial blue crab fishing near Port Mahon
DOVER (Dec. 15, 2015) – Following an investigation, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Delaware waterman Dec. 12 on 93 charges related to commercial crabbing activities in the Delaware Bay off Port Mahon.
Richard Hand Jr., 38, of Dover, was charged with 20 counts each of the following: crabbing without a commercial crab pot license, crabbing during pot closure season, crabbing from a vessel not associated with the operator’s commercial license number and crabbing from a vessel not displaying the required color panel matching the commercial operator’s markers. Hand also was charged with 10 counts of failure to tend crab pots every 72 hours and one count each of operating an unregistered vessel, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and operating an unregistered trailer.
Hand was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, pled not guilty and was released, pending an appearance in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas at a later date. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to $13,150 in fines, plus court costs.
The blue crab is Delaware’s most valuable commercial species, accounting for more than half the total value of all the state’s commercial fisheries combined. Delaware’s 2014 blue crab harvest brought in nearly $4.4 million.
The DNREC 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. Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Vol. 45, No. 428