AUGUSTA – A Lamoine lobster fisherman faces losing his lobster fishing license for 10 years after he was charged Monday with fishing more traps than he legally is allowed, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR).
William Haas, 55, was charged by the Maine Marine Patrol with exceeding trap limits, fishing untagged gear and fishing more traps on a trawl than allowed.
Haas fishes in Zone B, which runs between Schoodic Point and Newbury Neck and includes waters off Mount Desert Island. He is allowed to fish a maximum of 800 traps. Haas was fishing 44 more traps than he was allowed, DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols said in a press release.
Marine patrol officers on routine patrol earlier in the month hauled and checked a sample of Haas’ fishing gear and found traps without the required tags identifying the person harvesting lobsters. Using that information, officers conducted an investigation on Sept. 11 that involved three marine patrol vessels and more than 10 officers.
Haas has been charged under a recent law change that stiffened penalties for exceeding trap limits and other violations. Haas faces having his license suspended for a minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years for his alleged violations.
In addition, under the new law, fishing more than 25 untagged traps is a Class D criminal violation, which means Haas also could be sentenced to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The charge of fishing more traps than the three allowed on a trawl carries a penalty of $100 per violation.