Abalone poacher sentenced to three years probation

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Posted by on April 11, 2005 at 23:46:13:

In Reply to: Abalone poacher gets fine, probation posted by on April 11, 2005 at 00:31:01:

SAN MATEO, Calif. -- An abalone poacher has been sentenced to three years of probation and a hefty fine, a punishment state Department of Fish and Game officials hope will deter others from raiding diminishing stocks of the mollusk.

Yiting Zhu, a cook in a Chinese restaurant, received the penalties last week after pleading no contest to taking 20 abalones from the ocean near Ano Nuevo State Park.

Abalones are sometimes illegally sold as pricey seafood in Asian restaurants. The state limits the number that divers can take to three a day.

"He was south of San Francisco and brazenly collecting abalone where the resources have been plundered," said Troy Swauger, spokesman for the State Department of Fish and Game, adding that Zhu's commercial fishing license was revoked.

Zhu was caught off the San Mateo County coast in November 2003 when a fish and game warden spotted a man in a wet suit in his car.

California banned commercial harvesting of abalone in 1997 because of a dwindling population.

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