DEC ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION OFFICERS CHARGE MEDFORD MAN WITH ILLEGAL SHELLFISH HARVESTING
Individual Faces Four Misdemeanor Charges
A Medford man is facing four misdemeanor charges after New York State Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) observed him harvesting shellfish from an uncertified shellfish harvesting area in the Nissequogue River, near San Remo.
“In addition to protecting natural resources, Environmental Conservation Officers play a valuable role in safeguarding the public’s health,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. “The harvesting of shellfish from uncertified waters has the potential to have dire human health consequences. Harvesting shellfish from uncertified waters could potentially result in the shellfish transmitting diseases to humans who consume them. The work done by DEC’s Environmental Conservation Officers is often the first line of defense against the transmission of diseases to humans.”
According to Captain Timothy Huss of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement in Region 1, on February 23, two ECOs observed John P. Martell walking along the shore of the Nissequogue River near Riviera and Locust Drive in San Remo. Officers then observed him driving down the road to the location where he stashed approximately 800 oysters. Martell was then confronted by the officers after he was seen loading the bags of oysters into his vehicle.
Martell,of Medford, was issued four misdemeanor tickets which each carry up to $1,000 fines and/or one year in jail. The four misdemeanor charges issued were: failure to tag shellfish, possession of commercial shellfish quantities at night, taking shellfish at night and possession of shellfish at night. Martell was also charged with one violation for failure to carry a commercial shellfish digger license which carries a potential $250 fine.
State law prohibits harvesting shellfish from sunset to sunrise. This law was made so law enforcement officials could easily observe shellfishing activities to ensure shellfish are harvested from certified areas.
The entire length of the Nissequogue River is listed as uncertified for shellfishing.
Martell has a court date of March 23 in Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip.
For more information on shellfishing, visit DEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/345.html. Additional information on DEC and shellfish safety can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9161.html.
To report any environmental crime, please contact DEC’s toll free 24-hour TIPP hotline at: 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332). DEC keeps the identity of all TIPP callers confidential.