Hefty Fines and Penalties for Mendocino County Abalone Poachers

A convicted abalone poacher who was sentenced recently to probation and a fine also lost his ability to get a California fishing license for the rest of his life.

Paul Chak Po Mak, 62, of Oakland, was arrested and cited by Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens after taking more than the bag limit of red abalone from the Mendocino County coastline. The Mendocino County Superior Court sentenced Mak to three years probation and fined him $15,000.

His early October sentencing was the latest is a series of heavy fines and penalties levied on abalone poachers in Mendocino County that included permanent fishing license revocations.

“The Department of Fish and Game and the courts recognize the serious damage that just a few individuals can do to our precious resources. Working together to investigate and prosecute serious offenders is key to success in protecting our coastline,” said DFG Captain Bob Farrell, who supervises some the investigating wardens. “In this case, significant fines and lifetime revocation of their fishing licenses should put these guys out of business permanently.”

Between April 23 and May 21, 2012, California game wardens observed Paul Chak Po Mak take 52 red abalone, and Samuel Xing Sin, 41, also from Oakland, take 32 red abalone from the Mendocino County coastline. The seasonal bag limit for red abalone is 24.

The men harvested the abalone for the purpose of unlawful sale on the black market. Both men have previous abalone poaching-related convictions in Mendocino County.

Samuel Sin was recently sentenced in a separate abalone poaching case stemming from a November 2011 arrest. In that case, a warden contacted Sin at Agate Cove in Mendocino County where he and Xiao Chen, 31, Oakland; See Ping Bob Ng, 57, Willits; Yaowei Chen, 53, San Francisco; took 24 abalone to sell on the black market. It is unlawful to sell abalone harvested under the authority of a recreational fishing license, or to harvest abalone for commercial purposes from the wild in California.

The Mendocino County Superior Court found the following:

Samuel Sin – Guilty of conspiracy and possession of abalone for commercial sales. He was fined $35,000 put on formal probation for five years, and the court revoked his fishing license for the rest of his life.

Paul Chak Po Mak – Guilty of possession of abalone for commercial sales. He was fined $15,000, put on formal probation for three years, and the court revoked his fishing license for the rest of his life. Mak also pled no contest to his probation violation in Sonoma County for a previous abalone poaching conviction.

Xiao Chen – Guilty of possession of abalone for commercial sales. He was fined $15,000 and put on formal probation for three years, and the court revoked his fishing license for the rest of his life.

Yaowei Chen – Guilty of possession of abalone for commercial sales. He was fined $15,000 put on formal probation for three years, and the court revoked his fishing license for the rest of his life.

See Ping Bob Ng – Guilty of conspiracy and possession of abalone for commercial sales. He was fined $25,000 put on formal probation for five years, and the court revoked his fishing license for the rest of his life.

Contact:         
Lt. Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095

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