April 17, 2012
Poaching in itself is certainly something to be frowned upon, but this is just stomach-churning.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, La., and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, were arrested by the Louisiana DWF Enforcement Division on April 8 after agents confiscated 2,073 shark fins from the two.
Both are charged with over the limit of sharks taken commercially, shark "finning" and intentional concealment of illegal fish.
The DWF reports that agents stopped by the duo's boat, the Lady Lyanna, in Tiger Pass. Agents discovered 11 whole sharks on the deck, plus 12 sacks of fins in a hidden compartment. Agents say the fins came from 518 sharks -- of which the bodies were not onboard -- meaning the pair had illegally taken a whopping 529 sharks illegally.
Over the daily limit of sharks taken commercially and "finning" both net up to $350 in fines and 60 days in jail. Intentional concealment of illegal fish nets up to $950 in fines and 120 days in jail.
More penalties could be levied against Nguyen and Tiet, as the both face up $26,450 in civil restitution penalties, based off an estimated $50 per shark.