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MOREHEAD CITY – State Marine Patrol officers kept potentially tainted shellfish from reaching the fish markets last week by arresting a man caught clamming in polluted waters.

John William Labadie, 45, of 227 Center St., Newport, faces a charge of taking clams from polluted waters, his second offense of the kind within two years, which makes it a Class I felony.

Officers Michele Turner and Dave Morris responded Wednesday, Dec. 12, to a report that someone was taking shellfish in an area of Bogue Sound that is permanently closed to shellfishing. They found Labadie clamming just west of Gales Creek, in Carteret County, and confiscated a bushel of clams from him.

The clams were returned to the water.

Labadie was convicted Oct. 25, 2006 of taking shellfish from a polluted area in Broad Creek in Carteret County. If convicted of this second offense, he could receive of fine of no less than $2,500 and suspension of his commercial shellfish license.

Bogue Sound, between channel markers 14 and 19, is closed to shellfishing because of high bacteria counts, said Wayne Mobley, director of the Shellfish Sanitation Section of the Division of Environmental Health.

Clamming in a polluted area is a serious charge because it poses great danger to consumers, Mobley said. Polluted shellfish can carry diseases such as hepatitis and typhoid, he said.

“If the shellfish got into the markets, it could cause serious illness, even death in some cases,” Mobley said.

Additionally, if a serious illness were tied to North Carolina shellfish, it would ruin the market value of the product, Mobley said.

For more information, contact Marine Patrol Captain Steve Anthony or Sgt. Chris Bennett at (252) 726-7021 or (800) 682-2632.
 

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which makes it a Class I felony.
That got my attention...

If convicted of this second offense, he could receive of fine of no less than $2,500 and suspension of his commercial shellfish license.
That lost it. I guess there is a "no less" in there, but it would seem like a felony should carry a higher immediate penalty than that. Especially with the commercial food supply aspect.
 

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I am not informed as to the classes of felonies and their associated penalties, but I agree with Jeffonc. Shouldn't a persistant offender suffer more than $2,500.00? I guess the suspension of his license is supposed to be the big loss. I would almost bet that even without the license he will still be clamming and selling to his black market buyers.
 

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THIS IS THE STATE OF N.C.......... NETTERS GET AWAY WITH KILLING FISH THEY CANT GET LEGALLY AND SHELFISHERMAN GET AWAY WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER BY POISONING AND ALL THEY GET IS A SLAP ON THE WRIST.
DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT IF THEY TAKE HIS LICSENCE HE WILL STOP CLAMMING? HECK NO HE WILL SELL THEM UNDER SOME OTHER CLAMMERS NAME.
N.C NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFIE BEFORE SOME ONE GETS HURT OR KILLED AND BEFORE THE DRUM POPULATION AND TROUT ARE WIPED OUT.
A FELONY DEFINETLY SHOULD CARRY ALOT STIFFER FINE AND IMPRISONMENT :mad: I BET THEY WOULD LEARN THEN!!!
 

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We need to voice our concern and opinion to Raleigh as a group and maybe, just maybe mind you, they will get the message and if we do band together as a group we can start having a big effect on what takes place that would harm our natural resources, some of our livehoods , and in general a strong voice for our sport. Be pro active and not always reactive, we need to get some solid email addresses, mailing address, and telephone numbers.
Things happen all the time that we know nothing of until it is law or already decided upon.
Then maybe people like this dude will not keep walking our shores.
Just my thoughts!
 

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Thanks Chuck - you did better at the search than I did... I spent a bit of time in the NC Courts site but couldn't find anything that good.

It takes some effort to get even the Class-I (lowest grade) felony for this:
  • Page 19 - G.S. 113-209 Taking polluted shellfish at night or with prior conviction forbidden; penalty.
The only others I saw in the list specifically related to fish/fishing/marine were these two:
  • Class F - G.S. 75A-18(d)(2) Penalties (Boat Safety Act).
  • Class H - G.S. 14-63 Burning of boats and barges.
 

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This may be a topic that we should approach the Dept. of Fisheries, Fish & Game, or whoever is reponsible for the enforcement and interpretation of laws governing our sport to have clearly stated and defined as well as being readily available for all. Why should we have to conduct a massive search to find this?

Hey everyone, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 
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