The Department of Agriculture is cracking down on fishermen illegally fishing in Marine Preserve waters as the department works with the legislature to implement a citation program.
Department of Agriculture Conservation officers were on patrol in the Piti Bomb Hole Marine Preserve area on July 19th at around 4 am in the morning when they discovered a man illegally fishing in the preserve.
A release from DOAG states that 74 assorted reef fish and fishing paraphernalia were confiscated as a result.
The illegal fisherman was identified as 47-year-old Dani Tokoche. He was arrested.
DOAG Director Chelsa Muna-Brecht stated: “So many people, from young community advocates to biologists to conservation officers, fight every day to make sure Guam’s oceans are healthy and vibrant. This arrest tells us we still have much work ahead of us, our natural resources are still at risk.”
Currently, violators face criminal and civil adjudication for infractions but according to Muna-Brecht, the department is working with Senator Pedo Terlaje to decriminalize certain sections of the law as well as the Conservation Hunting and Fishing regulations and implement a citation program.
Instead of arrests, the program would entail the issuance of a citation notice and the violator is subject to pay a fine in accordance with DOAG’s fines and fee schedule.