The Washington Post takes out the magnifying glass and looks at the illegal rockfish trade in local waters in Maryland. As Darryl Fears reports, the amount of fish involved might surprise you. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • 6,000: Pounds of rockfish officials from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources pulled from illegal nets on Feb. 1.
  • 26,000: Pounds of rockfish state officials have pulled from illegal nets so far this month. That’s nearly 13 tons.
  • 600,000: Pounds of rockfish police say a trafficking ring hauled from illegal nets over the course of four years, fetching a retail value of $3 million to $7 million.
  • 75: The percent of rockfish along the Atlantic coast that spawn in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • 30,500: Dollars Maryland DNR officials are offering as a reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the illegal nets discovered the first two days this month.
  • 300: Pounds of rockfish commercial fishermen are allowed to take from Maryland waters per day when fishing is allowed.
  • That’s a lot of fish, any way you weigh it.

    Photo of rockfish by Flickr user tonyweeg via an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license