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April 21, 2008

NY cracks down on short tautog

Inspections net blatant violators

Sales of illegal live tautog in Asian restaurants and markets has been so blatant that even short blackfish are commonly displayed in tanks. The Law Enforcement office of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's Marine District has been making cases by walking the streets to observe fish that only have significant worth when swimming in a tank. For instance, a seafood wholesaler in Flushing was caught with 643 pounds of short tog in his warehouse on Jan. 23. Those fish were valued at $16 per pound for a total of almost $10,300. The case report noted "This is a good example of how significant the illegal blackfish trade is in NYC." A plain clothes inspection of a Brooklyn market on Feb. 7 turned up 171 shorts weighing 290 pounds, with a retail value of $4,000.