Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sea cucumber poaching results in jail time, fines

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Update — commercial fish closed period
On 3/19/12 James "Mitch" Cowan, of Sitka, and Jorge Ignacio Molina-Salas, of Atlanta, Ga., pled guilty in Sitka District Court to one count each of commercial fishing during a closed period and unlawful possession of commercial fish. Cowan was sentenced to 30 days in jail, fined a total of $8,000 with $4,000 suspended, and ordered to pay $442 in restitution to the state for illegally taken sea cucumbers. He also had to forfeit the illegally taken sea cucumbers, and was placed on probation for two years. Molina-Salas was fined $6,000 with $3,500 suspended, ordered to pay restitution, and placed on probation for two years. The charges stemmed from an investigation by Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post, which showed Cowan and Molina-Salas took 177 pounds of sea cucumbers by using dive gear in August 2011 when the commercial sea cucumber season did not open until October 2011. The illegally taken sea cucumbers were processed and packaged for sale. A portion of the sea cucumbers were then shipped out of state with the intent to deliver the product to potential international buyers as samples, well ahead of the legal open season for commercial sea cucumbers. The remaining processed sea cucumbers were found to be in the possession of Cowan and Molina-Salas and were seized.


  1. Poor Mitch,can't keep his sorry ass out of trouble.

  2. Is this the same mitch cowan that was around petersburg in the 80s.

  3. Is this the same Mitch Cowan that was around Honolulu in the early 80's?