DA presses civil case against crab fisherman

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced it was prosecuting a commercial fisherman for illegally taking crab in a marine protected area off the coast between Pillar Point and Montara.

The DA’s Consumer and Environmental Unit on Monday filed a civil suit in San Mateo County Superior Court against George Jue, a registered commercial crab fisherman and operator of the fishing vessel known as “Take Time.”

The district attorney’s office alleges that on Jan 8, California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens found five buoys belonging to Jue located inside the western boundary of the Montara State Marine Reserve. The wardens found 36 live Dungeness crabs inside the traps, the district attorney’s office said. The crabs were released into the water. The complaint alleges that Jue could face up to $2,500 for each crab taken.

The Montara reserve is one of 124 protected zones meant to conserve sensitive habitats and wildlife. It encompasses just over 11 square miles and covers 3.2 miles of coastline. In both the Montara reserve and neighboring Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area, fishermen are prohibited from taking or hunting any animals, geological or cultural marine resource, unless for a scientific or permitted reason, the district attorney’s office said.

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