Commerce secretary: Return $544K in fish fines – Bloomberg

BOSTON (AP) — The acting U.S. Commerce Secretary on Friday ordered federal regulators to return about $544,000 in unjust fines collected from 14 fishermen or fishing businesses, most of whom worked Northeast waters.  New Bedford fishing boat owner Carlos Rafael, who will receive $17,500 back after Blank’s order, said he’s pleased to get anything, given the industry’s ongoing struggles. But he said the bigger victory is accountability for fisheries’ officers. “Even if I didn’t get any money, the world is watching them,” he said. “Before nobody was watching them. … Before they were like the Gestapo. Before you were (automatically) guilty, the party was over.”

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