Maine Operation Game Thief is offering an $11,000 reward for information about a major lobster theft case near Jeffrey’s Ledge in the Gulf of Maine.
An investigation this week by the Maine Marine Patrol determined that about 200 lobster traps were hauled by someone other than the license holders, the lobsters were stolen, and the traps were lowered to the ocean bottom, according to a press release from Maine Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols. Some of the traps were not retrievable.
The traps were allegedly tampered with near Jeffrey’s Ledge in the western Gulf of Maine, about 30 miles off the coast of New Hampshire.
Maine Operation Game Thief, a private, nonprofit organization that works with the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Marine Patrol, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Warden Service and Wildlife Crime Stoppers, has offered the reward “for information that helps authorities bring the person or people responsible … to justice.”
“This is an extremely serious violation involving multiple victims, and we would appreciate any help from the public,” said Maine Marine Patrol Col. Jon Cornish. “The money for this reward comes both from the Operation Game Thief program and from lobstermen committed to bringing this person or people to justice. I’m grateful for the support of [Operation Game Thief] and these lobstermen and their dedication to supporting the work of the Maine Marine Patrol.”
Anyone with information about the case should call Maine Marine Patrol Sgt. Rob Beal at 479-3931 or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 800-253-7887.