Boat owner disputes illegal 'liner' charge

Owner Joe DiMaio said the Coast Guard confiscated about 25,000 pounds of mixed groundfish, which was sold at Gloucester’s Buyers and Seller Exchange — or BASE —auction for “fair market value” on Wednesday, with the proceeds held pending final adjudication of the case. Officials could not verify any monetary value of the catch.

Lesli Bales-Sherrrod, spokeswoman for NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in Silver Spring, Md., said, “the size of the catch sold and the amount of money held in a suspense account pending final adjudication and forfeiture proceedings is not available because this matter is under investigation. As you know, we cannot discuss ongoing investigations,” Bales-Sherrod said.

DiMaio maintained Thursday that the crew aboard his boat was not acting illegally.

“The Princess Laura gets all kinds of gillnet gear in its nets,” DiMaio said in a telephone interview. He referred the Times to the captain of the boat, Robby Robbins, who could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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