Three San Francisco men received thousands of dollars in fines and other penalties after pleading no contest to illegally poaching 59 abalone in November 2014. The daily bag limit for abalone is three.
Jinfu Wu, 43, Wei Q Wu, 27, and Jin He Li, 35, all of San Francisco, were each fined $20,000 (Wu and Li had $5,000 suspended) and sentenced to 36 months of probation and 240 hours of community service. The men also face permanent revocation of their fishing and hunting licenses and the loss of all seized fishing gear.
On Nov. 5, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers with the Special Operations Unit observed a suspicious van with one man inside parked on the side of the road near the town of Elk in Mendocino County. The officers began surveillance on the van and ultimately observed two divers in the water near the location where the vehicle was parked. The divers appeared to be taking gross overlimits of abalone.
As the officers watched, the suspects made multiple trips into the water and appeared to hide their illegally harvested abalone on the shore. Once they gathered their catch, they left the scene in the van.
Wildlife officers later contacted the suspects at their San Francisco residence and arrested all three for conspiracy to illegally harvest abalone and combined possession of a gross overlimit of abalone.
The CDFW Special Operations Unit is a team of undercover wildlife officers who specialize in investigation of persons suspected of selling California’s fish and wildlife on the black market. Abalone is a prized resource in California, seasons and limits are highly regulated to protect the resource. For complete information on abalone fishing and regulations, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/abalone.asp.
To read the original news release on this case, please see https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/wildlife-officers-arrest-three-for-possession-of-59-abalone/.
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944