Re: "Down Stream Impacts" of Carlos Rafael's violations of Fisheries and other Laws.

There has been much written on this subject over many months and ultimately, Mr. Rafael got what he deserved by spending time in jail and paying a fine and other restitution for "decades-long falsifying of fishing records" and other laws. In addition, NOAA's recently announced a ban on ground fishing in Sector IX until April 30, 2018, unless executives for the sector can correct issues specified by NOAA.

In addition, Mayor Mitchell has expressed concern of the impact on port businesses due to the decreased catch landings in New Bedford. I agree with this point, as long as the individuals impacted did not benefit by their handling of the improperly reported or under reported catch.

However, I do believe the 80 crew members that are affected by the grounding of Mr. Rafael's vessels are not totally "innocent" in this matter. The captains and crew knew what was in their nets and what went into and out of their holding tanks. Yes, Mr. Rafael and office staff falsified and signed the reports, but the fishermen knew what they caught and I doubt they were payed less than their appropriate share for any trip, as that is how "crews" are compensated.

I believe this needs to be considered when making a plea for those who were involved in the deception but were not or could not be charged. They benefited from any over fishing.

John P. Gurney

Mattapoisett