There were three of them in court today;all charged with the same two offenses:
Clamming without a fishing license
Harvesting undersized clams
The fines due, if convicted as charged total for the three of them over 7,000 dollars. The two women and one man heard the charges and fines via a court appointed interpreter separately, one after the other. Even the judge guessed that they had been captured together, but this fact was not relevant.
The two women were sisters, and all three undersized clammers were small in stature, and I guessed not Mexican, but I could not tell for certain.
The Judge was quite compassionate, considering the seriousness of the offence, and allowed for a continuance...promising to drop the license charge should they each obtain one, which is immensely cheaper then the fine for not having had one.
This was all news to me, as I did not know clams were fish, or that the fines for getting caught taking them smallwas so large. I am pretty sure none of these people knew either. They did not look like they were doing this for a living.
And what a way to ruin a day at the beach, after excitedly finding something to snack on? These immigrants are obviously dangerous people...I was wondering how many white folk ever got busted with a clam knife and bottle of tobasco walking away from a dozen clam shells?
I’ve noticed that here, with fish and game. They expect you to know. One fish that looks just like another fish can get you a big fine for misidentifying...but I never knew the clam laws existed at all, and the fines?
The things you learn when you stop driving. I for one will sick to mussels, and hide the shells just in case.