On February 4th, 2021

CDFW Wildlife Officer Assists in Catching Suspected Abalone Poachers in the Act

LONG BEACH - On the night of January 30, 2021, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer partnered with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) on a joint agency boat patrol in and around Long Beach Harbor. While on patrol, the officers observed the silhouettes of two subjects on the rocks of a jetty. LBPD boat operators dropped the wildlife officer off on the rocks to make contact. When he attempted to contact the subjects, they immediately fled, initiating a brief foot pursuit. With the help of the LBPD Air Support Unit, officers located two men hiding in the rocks who were in joint possession of 16 abalone.

The wildlife officer cited both subjects for 16 counts related to the unlawful take and possession of green and pink abalone. The abalone appeared to be in survivable condition and were carefully returned to the ocean.

“California is a beautiful state with very precious natural resources, and we must protect and take care of them,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Thank you to our CDFW wardens and local law enforcement departments who recognize the need to enforce the laws that are in place to preserve and protect our fish and wildlife.”

CDFW thanked  LBPD and the Los Angeles Port Police for their continued dedication in helping keep Southern California’s fish and wildlife populations safe.

A moratorium was established in 1997 for the take of abalone, commercial or recreational, south of the Golden Gate Bridge after the population neared collapse. A statewide closure of any abalone harvest took effect in mid-2017 as the red abalone population has continued to decline mostly due to environmental stressors. The recreational closure of abalone harvest has since been extended north of the Golden Gate Bridge until 2026.

 

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