BOSTON - The Conservation Law Foundation has sent three letters to several individuals associated with the prosecution of fishing magnate Carlos Rafael, expressing deep concern over the case.

Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel for CLF, tells WBSM News for years the foundation has criticized fishing management, blaming them for overfishing by not implementing stricter quotas. Shelley says that was presumed to be the case until the charges against Rafael were brought to light.

"That made us sit up and realize that maybe the managers hadn't been the problem, that it was people like Carlos Rafael who were out there just disregarding the law and not being held accountable for it," said Shelley.

Shelley drafted the letters, which were sent to officials at the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA, and Judge William Young who will be sentencing Rafael later this month. In the letters, Shelley called Rafael's actions "the most extensive and unreported fishing that's ever been documented in the United States."

CLF is also requesting that any forfeiture funds from Rafael go towards funding NOAA's at-sea monitoring programs.

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