Update: 12/8: My husband, Jedidiah, said I’m completely wrong. The rules are the rules and the fisherman knew the rules. There are rods and reels big enough to capture a fish this size. We both agree the rule stinks.
Original Story: A fisherman in Massachusetts with the proper tuna permits caught an 891 pound tuna using a net. The government seized it and said that he should have reeled it in with a rod and reel or handline. Even a harpoon would have been acceptable. A harpoon is okay, but not a net? Whatever.
One would knew a substantial rod and reel for this fish.
The government, if they find a violation, and they most assuredly will, plans to sell the tuna overseas and send the proceeds of about $400,000 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fund, the repository for fines. That’s some racket they have going though they claim it’s necessary to remove incentives for fisherman who violate the rules. They say they do it to protect the tuna population, which is below 1970 populations. I personally think it’s for the money.
The fisherman, Carlos Rafael, caught it accidentally, but that isn’t helping his case. Rafael now feels he must surrender his tuna permits, saying what good are they if you can’t keep the fish?