Char­ter Op­er­a­tor Gets Li­cense Sus­pended

Saltwater Sportsman - - Tod / Casts + Blasts -

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.”

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