MONTAUK, NY — It was "carnage on the water," when the crew of a party charter vessel threw hundreds of lbs. of illegal fish overboard in Montauk harbor, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Environmental conservation officers were patrolling the harbor when they spotted a vessel whose crew was throwing fish overboard, the DEC said.

As they approached the party charter vessel, ECOs ordered the fishermen to stop; the orders were ignored in an attempt to avoid prosecution under environmental conservation law, the DEC said.

ECOs estimate that hundreds of pounds of illegal black sea bass, fluke, and scup were dumped into the harbor, the DEC said.

At the dock, ECOs inspected the fishermen as they left the boat; a total of 8 tickets and 22 warnings for ECL violations were issued, including possession of undersize black sea bass, possession of undersized summer flounder, possession of over-the-limit black sea bass, possession of over-the-limit scup, failure to stop dumping upon command, and incomplete vessel trip report, the DEC said.

Once the fishermen were off the boat, additional ECOs assisted to recover as many fish from the water as possible, the DEC said.

The abandoned fish that could be saved were donated to a Long Island mission. The fishermen are due back in East Hampton Town Justice Court in October, the DEC said.

The DEC did not name the fishermen charged.

Photos courtesy of the DEC.

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