One Fishy Thing: The “Codfather” Is Banned From Fishing But Will Keep Millions

Rafael’s boats for sale     Photo: Brendan Borrell, Hakai Magazine

Carlos Rafael, a New England fishing captain who is currently serving time in federal prison for massive fishing and tax fraud violations and for smuggling the proceeds out of the country, settled his civil fraud violations with the National Marine Fisheries Service, including more than $3 million in fines and a lifetime fishing ban.  As a result, Raphael will have to sell all his interests — his boats, including the fishing permits that go with them. But under the terms of the settlement, Rafael may keep the proceeds — he is “marketing his fleet to the highest bidder” — and according to the Cape Cod Times, he stands to walk away with millions.

That result is not sitting well with the fishermen who paid the price for Rafael’s years of overharvesting.  Hank Soule, of Sustainable Harvest in Portland, Maine. told the Cape Cod Times, “Our position three years ago was that, in the groundfish case, Rafael had displayed such wanton disregard for conservation rules that they should revoke all his groundfish permits.”

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