Charter Operator Gets License Suspended
The California Fish and Game Commission recently slapped a recreational sport-fishing vessel operator with a five-year license suspension for multiple violations.
The decision handed down by the commission follows a two-day hearing relating to an undercover operation and the subsequent boarding of a Pacific Star Sportfishing Inc. vessel, during which wildlife officers observed a total of 18 violations, including poaching within the state’s marine protected area (MPA) network, exceeding possession limits of several species, using illegal methods to take fish, and failing to report accurate counts on logbooks.
An administrative law judge acting on behalf of the commission proposed Pacific Star’s license be suspended for two years, with only the first 90 days taking effect, so long as the fishing charter operator complied with certain terms of probation. However, the commission rejected that proposal in favor of the longer suspension.
“Illegal take of our marine resources, especially in MPAS, undermines the tireless work of our law enforcement, scientists, the public, and fishermen in California,” said Eric Sklar, California Fish and Game Commission president. “The commission took ample time to review the details of the case, and we hope this serves as a message that we do not take lightly these sorts of violations and will ensure those who are responsible receive the appropriate penalty.”