New Bern’s B&J Seafood Market Remains Open After Search Warrant

The B&J Seafood Market in New Bern remains open, despite the ongoing federal investigation into the establishment.

On Wednesday, the seafood market was searched by federal fisheries officers from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

As to why NOAA law enforcement executed a search warrant for the company, the answer is still unknown.

The Sun Journal contacted Lauren Gaches, director of public affairs for NOAA, who said she was limited in the information she could provide.

The Sun Journal also attempted to reach a representative from B&J Seafood and the US Department of Justice, but was unsuccessful.

On Saturday, a member of the business posted a message on Facebook on the B and J Seafood Market page, confirming that he was welcoming customers.

“At B&J Seafood, we would like all of our customers to know that we are open for business and we appreciate all of your support, come and shop with us!” read the social media post.

Gaches emailed law enforcement information from the division, including possible reasons why the search was carried out.

One of NOAA’s missions is to not allow people to deliberately violate fisheries management regulations, as this puts people who follow the rules at a significant disadvantage, according to the Office of Fisheries Enforcement. the NOAA.

The Fisheries Division’s Office of Enforcement (OLE) performs enforcement functions through patrols on and off the water.

They also monitor vessels electronically, criminal and civil investigations, partnerships with state, tribal, federal and non-governmental organizations, outreach and compliance assistance, and use of innovative technology tools, according to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement.

The following are examples of violations:

  • Feeding, injuring or killing dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions or any other marine mammal.

  • Feed, harm or kill sea turtles or harvest sea turtle eggs.

  • Intentional mislabeling of seafood for profit.

  • Buying or selling fish without the proper permits.

NOAA law enforcement has a website dedicated to how the public can report a possible violation to their office.

Depending on the case, their law enforcement agencies may reward individuals who provide information leading to arrest, conviction, civil penalty, or forfeiture of property for violating NOAA-enforced laws and regulations.

“OLE will assess whether the information provided was sufficiently substantial that the illegal activity likely continued undetected and/or that a successful prosecution could not have been obtained without the information provided,” according to NOAA.

The Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the primary law that governs the management of marine fisheries in US federal waters.

The law was passed in 1976 and promotes the long-term biological and economic sustainability of marine fisheries.

The objectives of the act include preventing overfishing, rebuilding overfished stocks, increasing long-term economic and social benefits, ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of seafood, protecting habitat which fish need to spawn, reproduce, feed and grow to maturity.

Stay tuned to The Sun Journal as this story develops.

Reporter Symone Graham can be reached by email at [email protected] Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription.

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