4,540 pounds of undersized fish seized

March 09, 1994

Maryland Natural Resources Police yesterday seized 4,540 pounds of undersized croaker at the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market in Jessup.

The illegal shipment of fish, also known as hardheads, had been sent to three seafood vendors from two suppliers based in North Carolina, said Barbara MacLeod, a spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources.

The Jessup vendors whose fish was seized included NAFCO, Reliant Fish Co. and E. Goodwin & Son.

The vendors will not face charges or be fined for the shipments.

"A lot of times a vendor orders a consignment from out of state and is unaware it contains undersize catches until it arrives," explained Ms. MacLeod.

The seized catch was donated to St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Northeast Baltimore, which has been the recipient of such seizures in the past. The church has a distribution network set up to supply needy families and soup kitchens in the city. By noon yesterday, the entire seizure had been distributed, said Ms. MacLeod.

Croaker, a migrating Atlantic fish, must be 10 inches long to be sold in Maryland.

Natural Resources police officers patrol the vast seafood market in Jessup daily to check on shipments and catch sizes.

Yesterday's seizure was the largest since officers confiscated 1,320 pounds of undersized croaker at the market in September.

That catch originated in Virginia, said Ms. MacLeod.

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