MIAMI, Fl. (CW69 News at 10) – United States Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow sentenced Henry J. Danzig, 57, of Tavernier, Florida for illegally harvesting commercial quantities of demersal finfish from the vicinity of Cay Sal Bank, in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and transporting the fish into the United States in violation of the Lacey Act, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Demersal finfish are those that live and feed on ocean bottoms.

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Magistrate Judge Snow sentenced Danzig to:

  • One year probation
  • $25 special assessment
  • forfeiture a newly constructed and outfitted 30’ Contender Tournament boat worth more than $200,000.

The boat will be employed by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal and unreported fishing within the archipelagic waters of the Bahamas.

According to court documents, on May 9, 2020, Danzig, and four others were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard in the Atlantic Ocean outside of Tavernier, in the Florida Keys, while they were returning from Bahamian waters.

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Danzig and his companions were aboard Danzig’s 39’ Contender fishing vessel, the “Bodacious.” On boarding the vessel, the Coast Guard and found and seized 167 reef fish, totaling approximately 529 pounds. At the time, Bahamian waters were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additional investigation revealed that Danzig was co-owner of the City Hall Café, in Tavernier, FL, through which some illegally sourced Bahamian fish had been sold on prior occasions.

The Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Section 3372(a)(2), prohibits the import, export, transport, sale, receipt, acquisition, or purchase of any fish in foreign commerce which was taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any foreign law.

Statute Law of the Bahamas, Revised Edition 2010, Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction & Conservation), Chapter 244, Part V, Section 70(1), in effect at the time of the conduct at issue, prohibited the export of any fishery product or resource from the Bahamas, except under and in accordance with the terms of a license granted by the Government of the Bahamas, and after presentation of the product or resource to a fisheries inspector.

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According to the Joint Factual Statement, neither Danzig nor those associated with him in the charged conduct possessed a lawfully issued license from the Bahamas, to take, export or sell any fishery product or resource fish from Bahamian waters.