Fishing family says state a weight on commercial prospects

AMAGANSETT - A longtime fishing family on Long Island is calling for an investigation into practices by the state that they say make earning a living in an already tough industry even more difficult.

The Lesters say their family has been fishing for more than 100 years in Amagansett. But according to them, the Department of Environmental Conservation has recently made it hard for them to be commercial fishermen.

In one example, the Lesters say in July 2011 the state Department of Environmental Conservation charged them with illegal shellfishing. DEC officers raided the roadside stand near their home and took close to 100 pounds of fish.

They claim the DEC then sold their fish to a local fish market for $200.

The Lester family hired an attorney and fought back in court. In October, a judge cleared them of the illegal shellfishing charges. They now want their money back from the DEC.

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