Rhode Island EPOs Arrest Two Commercial Fishermen With 38 Striped Bass

Poachers were catching bass in Rhode Island to sell in Massachusetts.

Rhode Island EPO

RI DEM Environmental Police Arrest Two Commercial Harvesters For Violations of State Marine Fisheries Laws

Arrests are a Result of Information Obtained during Operation Level Playing Field, a Multi-day Effort Targeting Illegal Striped Bass Fishing Activity

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) today announced the arrest of Robert Majors, age 41, of Bristol and Peter Parente, age 53, of West Greenwich. The two men were arrested yesterday by DEM environmental police officers for being in possession of 38 striped bass. Both are Massachusetts commercial fishermen and were charged with 37 counts of exceeding the daily possession limit of one fish per day, and with 38 counts of failure to fin clip striped bass found in their possession as required by law. Majors and Parente are scheduled to be arraigned in 3rd Division District Court in September. The fish were seized as evidence.

“Preserving Rhode Island’s striped bass fishery and all our marine resources is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “I am extremely proud of our DEM Division of Law Enforcement and the commitment and professionalism our officers demonstrate every day in responding to illegal activity and bringing the people responsible to justice. Their outstanding action to thwart illegal fishing practices level the playing field for all anglers who abide by current striped bass regulations.”

Yesterday’s arrest stemmed from information obtained by DEM officers during Operation Level Playing Field, a recent prolonged high-visibility law enforcement patrol conducted in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coast of New Shoreham to protect the striped bass stocks. The EEZ is a portion of federal waters reserved for conserving and managing fishery stocks. From July 29 through August 2, officers from DLE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Law Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard, Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation patrolled and boarded vessels to check for compliance and enforce fishing laws and regulations on the Southwest Ledge off the coast of Block Island, an area frequently exploited by charter boat captains, dive operations, and both commercial and recreational anglers targeting striped bass near the tri-state boundary within the EEZ.

DEM environmental police officers learned that Majors and Parente were believed to be fishing in the EEZ and selling their catch in Massachusetts. The practice of taking striped bass from Rhode Island state waters and/or from the EEZ, and selling them in Massachusetts, is prohibited.

Based on this information, DEM law enforcement officers approached the two fishermen at a residence in West Greenwich and found them to be in possession of 38 striped bass with a total weight of 1,054 pounds. All of these fish were larger than the 34″ minimum size, and none had the right pectoral fin removed as required by regulation. Both fishermen were in violation of the possession limit of one fish per person, as well as failing to clip the right pectoral fin of a striped bass 34 inches or larger in total length.

DEM is working hard to ensure the health and future of the striped bass population and to go after illegal activity to protect this valuable natural resource. In 2016, DEM enacted regulations to help prevent the illegal harvest and sale of Atlantic striped bass; the rules require recreational anglers to clip the right pectoral fin of striped bass 34 inches or larger at the time of harvest. Complementary dealer regulations make it unlawful for a licensed dealer to purchase and/or offer for sale any striped bass with the right pectoral fin removed.

Director Coit said that Rhode Island environmental police will continue their efforts to combat illegal fishing activity in both state and federal waters.

For more information about DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or via Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM).

63 on “Rhode Island EPOs Arrest Two Commercial Fishermen With 38 Striped Bass

  1. Matt

    What an incredible waste leaving those fish on the hot tar in the hot sun to spoil.The fish should’ve been kept on ice and donated to a shelter or people in need

    1. chris

      That was my second thought as well going for the “enforcement pic” instead of preserving the meat – at least distribute those fish to local shelters

    2. chris

      But of course great job by the DEM, need more of them out there doing their jobs

    1. Van

      The fish were sold to a local seafood buyer to “fund” future patrols.

  2. Jean-Francois Dionne

    First… they need to start publishing photos of these dirt bags to shame them.
    3rd. Put a note in computer system that they are poachers and now have to present themselves in front of a board to get ANY type of license be it recreational or commercial.


    The fines are not enough.
    I like $1000 per fish.

    38 fish x 2 dirt bags =$76000 fine…
    How do you all like those numbers for fines??

  3. Brian D Williams

    So legal limit is 1 a piece.
    38-2=36 ×$500 a fish over legal limit with all gear confiscated.
    18k….. way better then a wrist slap. IMO

    1. Chris

      Stupid comment, names were published in the providence journal. Pretty sure that’s not the case. How does this have to turn into a build the wall argument. Take all their stuff and strip them of their commercial license permanently. This is literally one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever seen on here.

      1. Tom Correa

        We heard these comments from the trolls all the time. Instead of looking at porn all day they should educate themselves on the truth. I bet he doesn’t know what the first language was spoken when people came America

    2. Jim

      Vince. Really. I don’t with names like that they came from Mexico


      Vince you need to read and maybe educate yourself or maybe watch less politics in fox because knowledge is fundamental for brain growth and help you to understand no they are not illegals they are Americans with no respect or consideration $1000 for each fish should be a good start to make people obey the laws.

    4. Tom Correa

      You are right. Build the wall on the Canadian side and the east coast Side. i bet they were illegal

    5. Steve

      Sounds more like two local drunks idiots on drugs. Immigrants are not the ones to blame they are the ones that get the blame for losers like these. I am sure your parents or their parents were immigrants as well, you wouldn’t want them to be blamed unfairly for something like this.

  4. Noone

    You need to read.
    These weren’t illegals.
    They were white trash American dirtbags

  5. Chris Reima.

    Yeah Vince, why jump on some racist tirade when the guys who poached these fish are American? I hate poachers and racists.

  6. east bay dude

    Rob Major is an arrogant asshole in Bristol. Thinks his fish doesn’t stink.

  7. Mark Alongi

    Great job RI DEM officers! Get those scumbags. There are plenty more awaiting discovery…. commercial or recreational.

  8. Steve Giblin

    What a bunch of morons l hope the fish were eaten by somebody!

  9. Leo

    This is not a minor infraction. 34 recreational fisherman lost an opportunity to catch these fish. Confiscate their truck, boat, trailer and gear. Permanent loss of commercial license. OTW should follow up to see their actual penalties. Publish pics so they can be ostracized by true sportsmen and honest commercial guys.

    1. Fecum

      This is why it’s somewhat foolish to get so upset about these poachers. If they didn’t kill these big fish some other jerks would have needlessly done it the legal way. They need to bring a slot of 28-36 inches to the table. Without it big fish like these will continue to be killed wether by poachers or recreational and commercial fisherman.

      1. EdfieS3

        Poachers don’t care about slots, limits or any other rules

      2. Fecum

        Right but at least big stripers would only be killed by the smaller number of poachers and with strict enforcement and harsh penalties there would be less poaching as well

  10. leo

    And kudos to the EPOs for a job well done. Now its up the courts to back them up.

    1. Van

      The courts will back them up according to preceding cases. If you took law, then you would know that judgement is based on precedence. I’m sure they will get a warning for their MA commercial license. Realistically they’ll get fined up to $5,000. The good news is that these guys are on the DEM sh*t list. DEM can’t do photos because the state would get sued for defamation.

  11. Eric

    I’m sure they are not the only ones trying to get away with it unfortunately.

  12. Fezz

    Ur so racist it’s so sad you should be ashamed to be whatever you are. We are all human and none of that should even matter if you really really want to talk about illegals take a good lesson in history and see who came into a boat and came then took over this land America was founded in blood. The illegal immigrants came on a ship before America was founded if you are not Indian or Mexican your pretty much illegal immigrants.

  13. James

    With guys like that there will be nothing left for the future generations . I hope those greedy guys get what they deserve. Bunch of inconsiderate ass hole.

  14. Jt

    With guys like that there will be nothing left for the future generations. Bunch of inconsiderate dummies i hope the judge throw the book on them and ban them for life to fish and confiscate all there fishing gear and boats.

  15. Fecum

    Total scum, if only they could’ve been caught after poaching the first fish. Where do these people even plan to sell these fish in the first place?

  16. Vince-reply

    You can do a simple FB search if you want pics. Oh, not illegals Vince so you’ll need another outlet for your baseless racism.

    Van – why can municipalities put prostitution ring arrests without defamation fear?

  17. Nick

    How come we always see the pictures of the catch rather than the poachers

  18. Cal

    What a shame!….greed will get you in the end…..makes you wonder how many get away with it…. if these guys are that balsie who else is taking these chances

  19. Dan C

    Watched a guy keep a undersized striper last Saturday at the canal. Called the EPO and the dispatcher said he would send someone out to the pole number I reported and after 45 minutes nothing. I called back and got the same dispatcher an told him the guy was still there and no warden and wanted to know if I was wasting my time waiting. He then told me he can’t control where the warden is and would have him call me directly. Never got a call or seen a warden. Such BS

  20. Mad Trapper

    Confiscate all the trucks/boats/gear used by these scumbags, then fine them, and ban from ever fishing.

    OTW we want a follow up on what the court does to these bottom feeders

  21. West matt

    Saw 8 giant stripers dumped to waste at the point judith marina last weekend. None were fillet. Wasted.

  22. chris

    RE commercial over exploitation.

    NOAA just announced that the SEVENTEEN dragger captains who personally PROFITED from and aided Carlos Rafael’s New Bedford cod over-harvesting theft ring will be allowed to resume dragging the bottom.

    The only person to be permanently banned from commercial fishing? Carlos Rafael himself. What about his vessels and permits? HE GETS TO SELL THEM AND KEEP THE PROCEEDS.

    Where is the accountability in this?


  23. chris

    Consider donating to the Conservation Law Foundation if you want a voice at the policy level to push back against commercial profit-motive driven fisheries management.

    American Littoral Society works to restore coastal wetlands that are critical to supporting our fisheries and are worth considering for support as well.

    1. Vince

      Block Island is a zoo today. At least 100 breeding cows will perish today. Thanks for the report!

  24. David

    All the fish have been donated to the RI shelters. It’s a terrible thing to see so many stripers killed for greed, but at least their meat is going to feed the homeless and those less fortunate. Dem doesn’t get to profit from these catches.

  25. Matt

    Their vessel should be taken and sold and they should lose fishing and hunting privileges in every state

    1. Bren

      Good glad they got caught….
      They should be ban from ever being able to fish in RI again!

  26. Rector Umbergio

    We do need to build a wall…
    Under the sea
    To protect the fish from us humans.
    (only if you want your grandchildren to
    Experience natural beauty)

  27. Antonio

    deeep needs to have there own Judicial system…. these judges don’t have time or don’t give a crap.

  28. Alan Casey

    Watched a man put a short striper in his pail at Weekapaug Breach – told him he was breaking the law – he told me 2 f#$$ off – so I grabbed the live fish and tossed it back in – wanted 2 fight me – I’m a peaceable guy but I should have decked him and let him float out with the tide…

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