Warren Issues Statement on NOAA Settlement with Carlos Rafael
BOSTON — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the a statement following the settlement reached in the civil case filed by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) against the “Codfather” Carlos Rafael.
"The U.S. Department of Commerce and the NOAA should do everything in their power to ensure that all of the fishing permits Carlos Rafael held remain in the Port of New Bedford. These permits sustain an industry that has been part of the fabric and the way of life in New Bedford for hundreds of years,” said the Warren, also a 2020 presidential candidate.
“Law-abiding fishing families and businesses have already suffered through no fault of their own, and don't deserve to have their livelihoods taken away because of Rafael's wrongdoing."
Rafael will have to give up all commercial fishing by December 31 and all scalloping by March 31, 2020. In addition, Rafael is ordered to a $3,010,633 civil monetary penalty and relinquish the seafood dealer permit issued to Carlos Seafood by September 1, 2019. According to the NOAA, Rafael is required to sell his fishing vessels and permits and will be allowed to keep the proceeds.
Allegations against Rafael included counts of misreporting groundfish, underreporting stock areas, and other federal fishery violations related to scalloping, gear and restricted areas.
Last October, Warren sent a letter to the Commerce Department and NOAA urging them to keep the fishing permits in the hands of Massachusetts families and businesses.