Pa. Takes On Fish Poachers
The governor signed into law a bill introduced in the House to protect high-value fish and other aquatic life from poachers, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).
House Bill 2293 creates a new category of offenses within the Fish and Boat Code for serious unlawful takes and significantly increase penalties for poaching. Prior to this new law, poaching was graded as a summary offense punishable by a fine of $50. A serious unlawful take would be graded as a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000.
The law also addresses the taking or possession of fish or other aquatic life by any means other than what is specifically authorized by law. Further, a person found guilty of violating these offenses would be assessed the costs incurred by the Fish and Boat Commission to replace the threatened or endangered species involved in the violation.
In addition, the new law also makes other changes to the Fish and Boat Code, including increasing the duration of time for which the Fish and Boat Commission can revoke a person’s fishing and boating privileges, increasing summary offense fines for the first time in more than a decade and increasing the severity of offenses for performing certain acts while a license, permit or privilege is suspended or revoked.