Carlos Rafael Sentence Shows Zero Tolerance for Fish Fraud

Federal court sends strong signal to fisheries around the world

September 25, 2017 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to the criminal sentencing in federal court of New Bedford-based fishing mogul Carlos Rafael. Mr. Rafael was sentenced to 46 months incarceration, a two hundred thousand dollar fine, and three years’ probation, during which time he is barred from participation in the fishing industry.

“The sentence imposed by Judge Young today sends a strong message that systemic abuse of our fishery resources will not be tolerated,” said CLF attorney Megan Herzog. “While others played by the rules, Mr. Rafael showed brazen disregard for fishermen, their families, and the health of our ocean environment. Going forward, it is critical that we implement stronger monitoring and enforcement at sea in order to ensure New England’s fishing industry operates on a level playing field.”

In his sentencing, Judge Young commented that Mr. Rafael’s behavior was “corrupt” and “designed to line [Mr. Rafael’s] pockets.” He further commented that these offenses show “extensive history of corruption.”

CLF experts are available for further comment.